Democracy

As the BC election starts, where’s our collective head at?

Apr 4, 2017
Much of BC’s pre-election debate has coalesced around the free-for-all in corporate political donations—and understandably so, given the scale of the problem that’s been revealed by various investigations. But worrying as the potential corruption of our democratic system may be, it’s not the only concern weighing on British Columbians’ minds as we draw closer to… View Article

The US election results: Brief thoughts on the unthinkable

Nov 18, 2016
Having watched the US electoral horror show unfolding over several months, I’m trying to stand back from the emotional impact of the outcome, to think of some of the themes for progressive debate and research in politics and communication. What understandings are relevant to the political action that our collective survival now necessitates? First, we… View Article

CETA: A significant shift from democratic governance

Oct 13, 2016
Imagine a far-off dystopia when foreign corporations are given the same status as citizens in public hearings. When the overriding priority for government in issuing licenses for fracking, pipeline and other projects is to make the process simple for corporations. When, regardless of how much a project is opposed by the public, governments have to… View Article

Penticton’s peculiar policy on freedom of information

Sep 30, 2016
This is International Right to Know Week, a week in honour of the public’s right to information held by their governments. The week is being celebrated in different ways in the 105 countries around the world with right to information laws. Here in British Columbia the City of Penticton is celebrating it in a spectacularly disappointing… View Article

How Proportional Representation could help to decentralize power and strengthen Parliament

Sep 28, 2016
Submission to the House of Commons Special Committee on Electoral Reform The debate around electoral reform has largely neglected a central question: what would a change in the electoral system mean for Canada’s constitutional separation of powers? To state the matter briefly, our Westminster system has an inherent tendency toward the concentration of power (into… View Article