THIS

Progressive politics, ideas & culture

Menu

democracy

September-October 2016

How Canadian politicians can build the world in peace

In favour of world war free

Yassin “Narcy” Alsalman@TheNarcicyst

For our special 50th anniversary issue, Canada’s brightest, boldest, and most rebellious thinkers, doers, and creators share their best big ideas. Through ideas macro and micro, radical and everyday, we present 50 essays, think pieces, and calls to action. Picture: plans for sustainable food systems, radical legislation, revolutionary health care, a greener planet, Indigenous self-government, […] More »
November-December 2015

What kind of citizen?

Today’s test-focused, results-based education system discourages critical thinking and puts democracy at risk. Why it’s time to start teaching dissent

Joel WestheimerWebsite@joelwestheimer

If students from a totalitarian nation were secretly transported to a Canadian classroom to continue their lessons with new teachers and a new curriculum, would they be able to tell the difference? I do not ask this question facetiously. It seems plausible that a good lesson in multiplication, chemistry, or a foreign language might seem […] More »
May-June 2011

This45: Andrew Potter on democracy researcher Alison Loat

Andrew Potter with Victoria Salvas

Canadians are giving up on their political system. Voting participation is at historic lows; the number of people who vote for the winning party is now routinely outpaced by the number who don’t vote at all. Most young people don’t vote—63 percent of people under age 24 didn’t cast a ballot in 2008—and that bodes […] More »

As Middle East citizens reclaim their countries, democracy weakens at home

victoria salvas

In Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, even Italy, citizens are rising up, risking their lives to protest their corrupt governments. Egyptians, in a historical event, have proven they can be successful in overthrowing years of dictatorial leadership. Canadians were mostly cheering along (though our government wasn’t), but’s hard to put ourselves in their place—Canada, flawed though it […] More »
July-August 2010

In Google’s spat with China, the legacy of colonialism still echoes

Navneet AlangWebsite

When Google, citing concerns over security and censorship, pulled their operations out of China in March this year, they were widely praised for taking a stand for democracy. But Google’s move wasn’t the first time a Western entity had taken the moral high road in regard to China. In fact, almost 200 years ago, the […] More »
November-December 2009

How to bring democracy back to Alberta

Lindsay Kneteman

There’s voter apathy and then there’s Alberta. In the 2008 provincial election, a mere 41 percent of eligible voters came out. The provincial Conservative government went on to claim a historic 11th straight victory, a win that Athabasca University history professor Alvin Finkel believes was the result of Albertans not believing that there’s a viable […] More »
July-August 2009

Twitter and the future of democracy

Navneet AlangWebsite

Sure, the web is rife with nonsense. But real political dialogue thrives too In my more idealistic moments, I always imagine I’ll stumble upon raging intellectual debate on the subway. But based on the conversations I’ve overheard lately, here’s what I can tell you about the public mood in Canada: saving GM is both the […] More »
March-April 2009

Baffled at the Ballot Box

Bruce M. Hicks

In 1864, Thomas Hare argued at the Association Internationale pour le Progrès des Sciences Sociales meeting in Amsterdam that proportional representation — in which parliamentary seats are awarded based on political parties’ share of the popular vote — was a much fairer system than the “single member plurality” system being used in his home country […] More »
September-October 2004

Hossein Derakhshan on how the internet has changed Iran

Andre Mayer

Hossein Derakhshan on how the internet has changed Iran More »