The Champions – René Lévesque vs Pierre Elliott Trudeau

A wonderful three-part series by the National Film Board of Canada. Watching the first twenty minutes of part two where the 1968 leadership race is held was of particular interest to me, having been at two different announcements this year in federally and provincially. The series can also be found on the NFB’s website here:

Part 1

Part 2

The Champions, Part 2: Trappings of Power by Donald Brittain, National Film Board of Canada

Part 3

The Champions, Part 3: The Final Battle by Donald Brittain, National Film Board of Canada

New Zealand and the Electoral Options Discussion

Later this month New Zealand will go to the polls not just to decide on a government but also to determine whether or not an electoral system adopted 15 years ago should continue to be used in that nation’s elections. The government has done an amazing job on the referendum, putting out videos, fact sheets and a host of other materials to help explain the options the people of New Zealand are being presented with.

To find out more you can visit the website, Referendum NZ, or check out their very helpful YouTube channel here. The following are the videos on the five electoral system options being presented to the people of New Zealand this month.

What Have You Done For Democracy Lately?

Ode to Democracy

What have you done for democracy lately?

In a free society such as Canada, we as the electorate can often become complacent, feeling as if a trip to the polls won’t make much difference to society and is mostly a boring chore we would rather not do.

This is not true for everyone, including myself as I clearly love elections and discussions of civics. But as reflected in the voter turnout levels at the last federal election, many Canadians have tuned out, lost interest or at least the belief that voting matters at all, let alone in the scope of their everyday lives.

So I have created a new section on this website calling for a rejuvenation of Canadian interest in democracy. Democracy is not something that you participate in once, or even once an election cycle. It is ongoing.

The recent protests across the world have brought home an important message:  the right to vote in a free election is a right that countless people fight for and some even give up their lives for. And yet 40% of Canadians have that right and do not exercise it.

I want this section to be about challenging Canadians as bluntly as possible to engage the system, to be part of the process. And I want to celebrate those who do and who inspire others to join them. We can actually make a difference. One person really can change the world. Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26 year old Tunisian street merchant, did change the world. And you can too.