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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Delving into Alberta's Democratic Deficit

There is a growing democratic deficit in Canada. Alberta has a particularly significant set of experiences in this regard. While the new Premier Stelmach has taken some initial steps to reform these matters the recent history of this province in this regard is not particularly sterling. It is not that anything illegal is being done, it is just that the system is not very accommodating of fundamental issues of fairness nor encouraging of informed debate and discussion. We are not getting the best service and outcomes of our legislative processes and institutions with outdated policies and practices.

Public Interest Alberta is a group of Alberta volunteer citizens who have engaged in a process to address these concerns. They have developed a very interesting discussion paper on Democratic Renewal in Alberta and are holding public forum all over the province for citizen input on the issues.

I recently interviewed Larry Booi, the Chair of Public Interest Alberta on the organization and its efforts around democratic deficits and renewal in Alberta. My conversation with Larry is on Policy Channel and I invite you to give it a boo!

As an aside, I spent a couple of days with former Prime Minister Joe Clark this week whiile he was in Edmonton. There is the text of a very interesting speech given by the Rt. Hon. Joe Clark given this week at the Univerity of Alberta on Policy Channel too.