Northern Reflections: Participatory Democracy

                                                   http://www.amazon.com/ Justin Trudeau has made a lot of promises. And, Susan Delacourt writes, he’s calling on Canadians to help him keep them. That’s a complete turnaround from the man he replaced: The difference boils down to this: Stephen Harper only made promises that he had the power to deliver on his own. Trudeau, ...

The Canadian Progressive: Shareholders and users ask Google to disclose political spending, leave U.S. Chamber of Commerce

By: Public Citizen | Press Release WASHINGTON, June 5 – What: Press conference on Thursday, the day of Google Inc.’s annual shareholder meeting, led by consumer groups and shareholders, who will call on Google to institute a policy to disclose its political spending and end its membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Groups of Google investors sent a ...

The Canadian Progressive: In BC, Dix and NDP will ban union and corporate donations if elected

By: Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive: A big announcement from the Adrian Dix and the BC New Democrats today. If elected, an NDP government will institute several measures to reduce the corroding influence of big money on our democracy. First of such progressive measures will be a ban on union and corporate donations. […] The post In BC, ...

calgaryliberal.com: The Purpose of a Political Party

A political party has one purpose. It is a service organization. And it serves the public. Everything else is secondary. A political party is focused on its relationship with the voter, supporting the public servants be they a MLA or member, and creating opportunities for leadership. In this a party needs to be two things: ...

calgaryliberal.com: So how did you get them emails, Ms. Redford?

This week Education Minister Jeff Johnson sent an email to about 30,000 teachers. This is frightening for two reasons. (1) It is an abuse of private information of citizens. As Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman points out in a press release today it likely violates FOIP as Alberta’s teachers gave those emails solely for the purpose of registering ...

CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE WORLD: In Quebec City, A Protester Confronts Stephen Harper

The CBC News reports that a lone protester interrupted a speech by Prime Minister Stephen Harper as he addressed an international conference on the French language in Quebec City today. The protester “began shouting and approaching the stage” before he was “grabbed by two security guards and hustled out of the room through a side ...

The Scott Ross: The US Supreme Court & The Health of America

Though it is unclear whether Obamacare will improve the health of Americans, the recent US Supreme Court ruling will at least improve the health of American institutions. America is a sick country, not only because of the millions of people uninsured and vulnerable to the cost of already one of the most expensive health care ...

CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE WORLD: Meet The University Of Ottawa’s Ecojustice Clinic

From William Amos, director of the clinic: “A lot of ecojustice cases end up being David vs. Goliath battles; and that’s simply because the clients we serve in small communities and in cities across the country don’t have the funds to hire high-priced lawyers and lots of experts to provide evidence in their cases. The ...

Canadian Progressive World: Quote of the year: “We are the 99 per cent”

Fred Shapiro, associate librarian at Yale Law School has declared “We are the 99 per cent”, the political slogan of the Global Occupy movement, the heavy weight champ of the quotes for 2011. It’s another unavoidable …Read More

On governance (2): Parliament

This one’s going to be a little disconnected. The overarching thread, as said yesterday, is figuring out how to adjust our governing institutions to suit the importance of the principle of autonomy — that is, the idea that legitimate government authority derives from our authority to govern ourselves. This is approximate — there’s something odd ...

On governance: (1) Principles

How should we govern ourselves? Since Locke’s Second Treatise, the presumption has been in favour of self-government — that is, each individual adult person has the natural right to govern his or her own life. Thus government by others is, when legitimate, only derivatively so. For a government to be legitimate, an individual must give ...

On the Quebec question: (2) Self-determination

Yesterday, I suggested that objections to the definition of a “clear majority” in favour of separation as 50%+1 were insincere, and really masked forms of other objections. The first I want to talk about is the claim that there is something wrong with allowing Quebec to determine its own political future, whether in Canada or ...

On secrecy and Wikileaks.

IntroductionSo, as everyone and their brother’s roommate knows, Wikileaks managed to get their hands on another chunk of material that the powers-that-be would rather the rest of us never saw. This time, of course, it was a collection of documents related to the war in Afghanistan. This has raised a number of issues which, oddly, ...

On proportional representation (2): the case against

IntroductionLast week, I argued for the claim that proportional representation (PR) is preferable to single-member plurality (SMP) as a system of electing representatives to a democratic assembly. The central reason for this conclusion was that PR is the default system of elections, given that it is the system which ensures a strong connection between the ...

On proportional representation (1): the case for

This week and next I’ll be writing a two-part series I’ve been intending to write for a while on proportional representation. This first part presents the case in favour of proportional representation, while the second part will present the case against. Assumptions Some background assumptions. Any theoretical project has some assumptions working in the background; ...