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Monday, September 27, 2010

Are Albertans, Like Americans, Becoming Fat Dumb and Lazy & Losing Our Advantage?

Thomas Friedman has a very interesting piece in the New York Times comparing the energy of authoritarian China and the torpor the democratic United States.   Before we get into any anti-American Canadian sense of superiority, it is my observation that what Friedman says holds true for Canada and even good old Alberta.

Democracy is broken in Canada and in Alberta too.  It is partly the fault of the system, the politicians and the media, but it is mostly the fault of indifferent and compliant citizens who have defaulted on their duty of citizenship.

Power is the purpose of the political machines we see running what passes for democracy today in our country too.  The best evidence of the citizen culpability in the democratic deficit is the lack of voter participation.  But the problem goes much deeper to the consequences of an uninformed and politically illiterate population that can be manipulated by language and fear.

Friedman describes this as a lack of ability for democracy in the USA (Canada and Alberta???) to >>>"generate the kind of focus, legitimacy and stick-to-it-iveness to do big things - democratically."  He notes "we have done it before.  But we're not doing it now because too many of our poll-driven, toxically partisan, cable-TV addicted, n=money corrupted political class are more interested in what keeps them in power than what would make America (Canada and Alberta???) powerful, more interested in defeating each other than saving the country." (Canada and Alberta???)

This is the political cultural backdrop that Reboot Alberta started to seek some sense of and solutions about.  It is time for progressives to become activist again.  The number of Reboot people running in the current local school board and municipal elections is a positive sign that this is starting to happen.  Reboot 3.0 has to take that energy and start identifying issues that progressives feel need something done about them.  That is at least informed citizen engagement, democratic reform, intergenerational equity and acting like owners of the oil sands to ensure they are developed in an integrated, open, honest, transparent, accountable way with an overarching concern for ecological stewardship.

If you are tired of being complacent, mislead and manipulated you will want to be part of the Reboot Alberta progressive citizen's movement.  If you are not impressed with the serious shift to the right in the Alberta political spectrum by the two leaking parties, you will want to be part of the Reboot Alberta progressive citizen's movement.  If you want to be proud to be an Albertan again as we look beyond being the best place in the world and aspire to be the best place for the world, you will want to be part of the Reboot Alberta progressive citizen's movement.

If you want a progressive political culture in the Next Alberta register now for RebootAlberta 3.0 at www.rebootalberta.org