Thursday September 15th was International Democracy Day. But beginning this year, the week around it has been Fair Vote Canada’s Democracy Week which is being celebrated across Canada, with events in Kitchener-Waterloo, Toronto, Ottawa, London, Yukon, British Columbia and Montréal.
politics on the patio
I attended Monday’s “Politics on the Patio,” quite a nice informal gathering attended by most of the Kitchener candidates.
The evening was pleasantly informal, in an accessible setting, allowing citizens and politicians to mingle and engage in unstructured conversation. The Conservative Party incumbents were notably both absent, which strikes me as a little odd in the midst of an election.
Since I live in a different riding, I stayed on the sidelines so I didn’t actually chat with all the politicians.
The candidates I missed were from the Kitchener-Waterloo Riding, Liberal Candidate Eric Davis (@eric_m_davis), Green Candidate J.D. McGuire (@jdmcguire)and NDP Candidate Isabel Cisterna (@IsabelCisterna.
I did get to talk to Independent #kitwat candidate Peter Davis who has a lots of interesting ideas for political reform. If I did live in the riding of Kitchener-Waterloo riding where he is running, I might very well vote for him. If you live there, check out his blog.
The other candidate I spoke a with a bit was NDP Candidate Cameron Dearlove, who shared some of his campaign experiences. He, too, has good ideas, including making himself publicly available for a weekly chat, with Coffee with the Candidate:
Join Kitchener Centre NDP candidate Cameron Dearlove for open conversation about what you want from your representative to Queen’s Park at the Little Bean Coffee Bar at 417 King Street West (at Francis) every Thursday from September 8th to September 29th from 1:00 – 3:00pm
Also in attendance were:
Steven Bradley Scott, the Kitchener Center Pirate Party Candidate in the spring federal election,
writer and Kitchener City Council Candidate from the last municipal election Scott Piatkowski,
and musician/activist Sam Nabi, who went on to launch a Fair Vote Campus Club at the University of Waterloo as part of Democracy Week on Tuesday.
Something that I found particularly interesting was Candidates from the different parties ended up in serious conversation with each other, essentially holding informal one on one candidate debates.
Which was rather refreshing, actually.
The second event I attended was Wednesday night’s Nuclear Energy debate (I’m just putting the video together now.)
Democracy In the New Millennium
The final Waterloo Region offering for this first annual Democracy Week will be Saturday’s 7 PM screening of Roger Albrecht’s locally filmed documentary “Democracy In the New Millennium,” at First United Church, 16 William St., Waterloo (corner of Caroline and William, behind Waterloo Town Square)
“From the creators of the popular annual Day in the Park and Human Peace Sign comes a local documentary, shot in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, asking citizens and leaders in Waterloo Region what democracy means to them, whether we have it, and if not, how we can achieve it. Interviews include Kitchener Mayor Carl Zehr and Dr. Peter Eglin, professor at Wilfrid Laurier University.”