The Prime Minister is an appointee

It’s interesting to note that Stephen Harper, who rails against the appointment system for the Senate, was never elected Prime Minister by the people of Canada. He was elected by his party. So Harper shouldn’t set himself up as an example of a democratic electoral system. Rather, given the nature of politicking, he’s an example … Continue reading


A new name for sortition?

The jury system has long given governmental powers to citizens selected by lot. ¬†About 10 years ago, the government of British Columbia randomly chose members for a Citizens Assembly. It’s 160 randomly selected members were asked to come up with a new electoral system for the province. Both juries and the B.C. experiement could be … Continue reading

Ford, Coderre, Brazeau, Duffy and Wallin: their stories suggest a bold change to the system

This morning, the embattled franchise of Toronto mayor Rob Ford leaped ahead of the Senate scandal as the lead story in Canada’s news media. Accused of smoking crack cocaine, Ford proposed that police release a video of his alleged activity. Presumably they can’t do that without authorization from the courts. Also today it was announced … Continue reading

Those old Greeks had a great idea

I’ve thought about basic democracy for probably 10 years, but that’s just an instant since basic democracy began. More than two-and-a-half millennia ago Athens was run by a boule, a group of 50 men appointed from 10 tribes. In 507-508 BC, Cleisthenes (also spelled Kleisthenes)¬†reformed the boule by expanding it to 500 men who were … Continue reading