11 September 2013

September 15th—International Day of Democracy

Attention, all you democrats, mark it on your calendars: the International Day of Democracy, Sunday, September 15th—as declared by the UN General Assembly in 2007 with resolution 62/7.

Following the big day is Democracy Week, September 16-23. Elections Canada is inviting Canadians to participate in events and activities across the country. The theme this year is "Connect with democracy." According to Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand, "Canada's Democracy Week is about celebrating what youth are doing to promote democracy in their communities." Read all about it here. I intend to celebrate Democracy Day by attending a pub meet-up on proportional representation with some fellow Fair Vote Canada folks.

The cynics will no doubt say, what democracy? Our first-past-the-post electoral system is the world's worst, frequently electing governments most citizens don't want. Unions, the mainstay of democracy in the workplace, are under siege. Our mass media, the public forum of modern democracy, is almost entirely under the thumb of corporations, as is too much of our economy. Etc. Etc.

All this is true. Our democracy is far from perfect ... well, OK, very very far from perfect ... but that's our fault. As part of celebrating what democracy we do have in the coming week, we might also resolve to do our bit to undoing some of the ills.

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