Saturday, January 30, 2010

Democratic Deficits, Progressive Values and Reboot2.0

One of the Reboot Alberta theme streams progressives are following is the democratic deficit and what reform measures we could take to fix the problem.  Alberta mirrors the national problem but the fact is the federal abuse of power is more blatant in the hands of Harper than in Alberta. 

Yes to the Cons who will howl about Chretien's abuses too - as if that gave them license to continue to abuse our democracy.  Especially since Harper ran an won - twice- on a platform of more accountability and transparency.  The Harper hypocracy is coming home to roost and it is about time.  Prorouging to avoid accountability and forgetting his Senate reform undertakings plus his deceit about the recession and stimulus funding are just some of the consistent character flaws our Prime Minister is showing.  Canadians are coming to the conclusion Harper is a clever and conniving politician but he comes up way to short of the minimal standards to be worthy of our consent to govern us.

I will be dealing more with the reality of the Alberta democratic deficit in future blogs and post Budget to be sure we are as current as possible.  In the meantime, to get you in come context consider this Globe and Mail column today by Lawrence Martin on the national democratic deficit. 

There is a lot to consider in this area of our democratic deficit.  People who came to the first Reboot Alberta event and many people who are coming to Reboot2.0 in Kananaskis Feb26-28 will be grappling with their citizenship concerns as Progressives.  The obvious need for more integrity, accountabilty and honesty in our Alberta political culture is becoming apparent to everyone paying even minimal attention to the issues in the province. If you share these kind of concerns about the future of Alberta and want to know more about what is going on in and about our government consider joining us at Reboot2.0.

In the meantime, if you believe in the need a more progressive approach to politics, help Reboot Alberta by taking a conjoint survey on Albertan values.  It will uncover some of the most and least important values we Albertans feel should be applied when political and policy decisions are being made by our government.

It takes about 8 minutes and is frustrating for some folks.  You are required to chose a most and least important value from sets of four, and usually the values presented are all important.  However we always make value tradeoffs and this survey brings that reality to the forefront.  Which values do you think politicians and their advisors should consider mostly when they are making public policy decisions?

It is an anonymous survey but you can leave an email address in the survey and receive a copy of the results.  The aggregate survey results will be presented in greater detail at the Saturday evening dinner at Reboot2.0.  Take the survey.  Don't get frustrated.  Stick with it.  Your input is important to help Progressives learn what values we share and how intently we hold to them.  Click here to take the survey

Feel free to forward this blog post to others in your networks who you believe are progressives and want to do the survey and personally reactivate their sense of citizenship.  Reboot Alberta is all about citizen engagement and you are welcome to join the movement.


  1. Anonymous4:33 pm

    Time to reboot this blog. Ken is incredibly intelligent but his talent is wasted on the "reboot" movement which means zip to Alberta.

  2. Thx for the faint praise Anon. Actually Reboot Alberta is gaining so much attention and traction so fast that it is hard to keep up with it. We have been around only 3 months and see a remarkable community of progressive Albertans growing and gelling around the need for a reinvigorated and responsible citizenship.

    We seem to have attracted some special attention of WAP suppoters for some reason. They are aggressive in calling us names and always anonymously for slome strange reason.

    My theory is the WAP wanted to feign moderation in an attempt to attract disillusioned PC progressives like me. They seem to see the emergence of Reboot as a threat to that game plan. They are right.

    Actually Reboot is attracting thoughtful progressives from all parties and plenty of independent minded non-partisan citizens too - from all over the province.

    We see 40% of those who are re-engaging in responsible citizenship through the Reboot Alberta Movement are women and youth. That is a very different demographic than the traditinalist and modernist conventional

    So in a way you are right Anon. Reboot means "zip" but only to the old stule of top down, command and control power-play tactics of adversarial politics based on anger.

    Fortunately the days are number those folks who are trying to retain power due mostly to a democratic deficit of low voter turnout and high voter turnoff. Progressives are startign to push past their cynicism and realizing we need to retake responsibility for our democracy. If that happens theneverything can and will change.

    So Anon enjoy your priviledged position for a bit longer. But don't get too comfortable or self-satisfied. Your old style politics is about to be taken over by a more inclusive, accepting, honest and accountable progressive political culture.

    The sagacious citizens of Alberta are coming to their senses. They will demand and make some big changes about how we are governed and who will govern us very soon.

  3. As a lifelong, third generation Albertan emerging from many years of studied disengagement with the political process in Alberta due to a hopeless feeling around being able to challenge what I have seen as a democratic deficit characterized by stealth, lack of transparency as to motives and agendas, and power "over" brokering, I fail to see how any "anonymous" can purport to claim what means "zip" to me. In fact, I see a case in point of more of the same, which completely discredits the message and messager in my estimation. "Reboot", whatever the outcome may be, with its stated goals and actions thus far congruent in exemplifying openness, honesty, transparency and
    integrity, is already countercultural to what the political process has become in this province. The fact that it means "zip" to "Anonymous", and that they feel they can speak on my behalf without even identifying who they are, or what their agenda is, or even consulting with me, is typical of my experience in this regard. I reject the statement and I separate myself from whoever may be making it. Gloria Wells