I do not have a political science degree.
I’m just a citizen who believes we seriously need electoral reform, because what we have now is not very democratic. I’m just looking for answers.
I’ll admit it, I don’t even like the idea of political parties.
I don’t like the fact that elected representatives can be told by the party hierarchy to ignore what is best for their constituents and vote the way the party tells them to. Right there citizens of a democracy lose our voice. Without a voice, citizen concerns get ignored. At the same time, the voices of powerful corporations are heard loud and clear. Call me crazy, I think the government in a democracy should represent the citizens of the country, not the corporations.
Even worse, an absurd number of citizens lack any representation at all. Not because they don’t vote, but because their votes don’t count. Although I’ve been voting all my life, I have never elected anyone to the Parliament of Canada or the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. My vote has never once counted. Yet I’ve worked, raised a family, paid taxes…
There has to be a better way.
After a lifetime of non-partisan political engagement, I decided to join the Green Party of Canada last year when my husband (Bob Jonkman) decided to run for office, and asked me to be his campaign manager.
The Green Party has consistently championed the two things I feel very strongly about: Proportional Representation and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Factoring in Green Party commitment to put citizen interests ahead of party interests and opposition to “whipped” MP votes, I have decided to retain my Green Party membership. (For now.) That said, this is not a Green Party blog, this is still mine. When I feel compelled to blog greenly, I’ll do it at the WRGreens Blog. And for the record, I would rather not be in any party at all. [That’s an important part of why Single Transferable Vote is the Proportional Representation electoral system I prefer.] But.
We have a party system. Membership in a political party — even a small one — can magnify our voices. If there is a party whose values reflect your own, you might want to consider getting involved yourself as a member and/or volunteer, or perhaps with financial support. Alternatively, you might be interested in getting involved with a non-party grass roots organization like Fair Vote Canada or the Council of Canadians to help bring about change. Political engagement on any level is the path to achieving meaningful reform.
And let’s face it: we need Electoral Reform. If you ever had any doubts at all, just look south.
The issues I write about here tend not to be partisan. Proportional Representation, environmental protection, civil rights, free speech, dissent, government transparency and accountability– democracy in general — are beneficial to citizens, not parties. Which is, of course, why it’s hard to get parties to support them. Please let me know (either in email or comment) if you detect any sign of party bias here.
Laurel L. Russwurm
One of the things I like best about the internet is the fact that it’s making the world small.
But it makes it so much easier to reconnect with the people we’ve lost touch with.
I’d love to hear from old friends, and new ones.
Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
the Whoa!Canada blog by Laurel L. Russwurm is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. The only exceptions are images/artwork credited to others, which will indicate any different licensing.
some of my blogs
- Laurel L. Russwurm, Author
- my personal blog ~ mostly free culture & copyright
- techDITZ: making sense of tech
- visual laurel