Transcript: Democracy in a Digital World | Mar 15, 2018

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and striped purple tie.

A caption on screen reads "@spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says A GENERATIONAL SHIFT
IS UNDERWAY IN THE POLITICS OF
THIS COUNTRY, AS MILLENNIALS
INCREASINGLY OUTNUMBER BABY
BOOMERS AT THE POLLS.
THEY ARE THE FIRST COHORT OF
DIGITAL NATIVES, AND THEY BRING
WITH THEM NOT JUST NEW
TECHNOLOGIES, BUT NEW ATTITUDES
AND EXPECTATIONS OF OUR
DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS.
JOINING US NOW TO TAKE STOCK OF
HOW THE DIGITAL ERA IS CHANGING
OUR POLITICAL CULTURE AND
PRACTICE:
WE WELCOME BACK IN HALIFAX, NOVA
SCOTIA:
GRAHAM STEELE, THAT PROVINCE'S
FORMER MINISTER OF FINANCE AND
AUTHOR OF "THE EFFECTIVE
CITIZEN: HOW TO MAKE POLITICIANS
WORK FOR YOU."

Graham is in his fifties, balding, with a trimmed white beard. He's wearing a gray suit and a white shirt.

Steve continues IN MONTREAL, QUEBEC, VIA SKYPE:
IAN CAPSTICK, FOUNDER OF THE
OTTAWA-BASED PUBLIC AFFAIRS
AGENCY MEDIASTYLE AND THE SOCIAL
IMPACT PLATFORM, CAMP.

Ian is in his mid-thirties, clean-shaven, with short brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit and checkered shirt.

Steve continues IN THE NATION'S CAPITAL:
KADY O'MALLEY, POLITICAL
REPORTER AND TVO.ORG CONTRIBUTOR...

Kady is in her thirties, with short blond hair. She's wearing a red sweater.

Steve continues AND SUSAN DELACOURT, COLUMNIST
AT THE TORONTO STAR AND AUTHOR
OF "SHOPPING FOR VOTES: HOW
POLITICIANS CHOOSE US AND WE
CHOOSE THEM."

Susan is in her mid-forties, with long blond hair and bangs. She's wearing a black suit and shirt.

Steve continues AND HERE IN OUR STUDIO:
EDWARD GREENSPON, PRESIDENT AND
CEO PUBLIC POLICY FORUM...

Edward is in his late forties, clean-shaven, with short wavy brown hair. He's wearing glasses, a blue suit and shirt, and a striped red and blue tie.

Steve continues AND PETER LOEWEN, DIRECTOR OF
THE SCHOOL OF PUBLIC POLICY AND
GOVERNANCE AND PROFESSOR OF
POLITICAL SCIENCE AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO.

Peter is in his mid-forties, with short gray hair and a stubble. He's wearing a light gray coat and a pink shirt.

Steve continues WE ARE DELIGHTED TO WELCOME THE
CAST OF BEN-HUR TO OUR PROGRAM
TODAY AS WE HAVE EVERY
IMAGINABLE ANGLE OF THIS STORY
COVERED.
LET'S START IN THE NATION'S
CAPITAL.
KADY, CANADIAN MILLENNIALS ARE
GOING TO BE ELIGIBLE TO VOTE IN
THE NEXT ELECTION AND IN DOING
SO ARE GOING TO SURPASS THE BABY
BOOMERS AS THE LARGEST VOTING
BLOCK OUT THERE.
HERE'S THE QUESTION.
DO THEY THINK DIFFERENTLY ABOUT
POLITICS THAN THE WAY THEIR PARENTS DID?

The caption changes to "Kady O'Malley. Political Reporter."
Then, it changes again to "The medium is the message?"

Kady says I THINK SO, DEFINITELY, BECAUSE IT IS, AS
YOU'VE SAID, THEY'VE NEVER
REALLY HAD TO DEAL WITH A
SOCIETY WHERE THEY COULDN'T JUST
CHECK A TWITTER FEED OR FACEBOOK
TO HEAR IT DIRECTLY FROM A
POLITICIAN, TO HEAR BOTH THE
VIEWS EXPRESSED AND EXPRESS
THEIR OWN.
AT THE SAME TIME, I DO WONDER
HOW MUCH THAT SAME SORT OF
TRANSFORMATION IS ACTUALLY
CHANGING HOW BABY BOOMERS LOOK
AT POLITICS.
LIKE, I'M NOT SURE THEY'RE
PRESERVED IN AMBER, AND JUST
BECAUSE THEY'RE A GENERATION
AHEAD MEANS THEY DON'T TAKE
ADVANTAGE OF THE VARIOUS SOCIAL
MEDIA PLATFORMS AND THE NEW
ACCESS THEY HAVE TO POLITICIANS.
I THINK IT'S THE CHANGE THAT
IT'S WREAKING ON POLITICS IS
WIDER THAN JUST ONE GENERATION.
I THINK IT KIND OF TRANSCENDS
MERE YEAR OF BIRTH.

Steve says THAT'S INTERESTING,
SUSAN.
I WOULD HAVE THOUGHT OLD FOGEYS
LIKE ME LIKE TO SIT DOWN AT THE
END OF THE DAY TO WATCH THE NEWS
AND GET AN ACTUAL NEWSPAPER TO
READ AS OPPOSED TO THE DIGITAL
NATIVES, WHO ARE DOING
EVERYTHING ONLINE.
DO YOU THINK KADY IS RIGHT
INASMUCH AS WE ARE ALL SORT OF
MERGING TOGETHER IN THE WAY THAT
WE UNDERSTAND AND APPRECIATE
POLITICS TODAY?

The caption changes to "Susan Delacourt. Toronto Star."

Susan says I SAT IN
ON A REALLY INTERESTING SESSION
AT THE MANNING INSTITUTE
CONFERENCE IN OTTAWA LAST MONTH,
AND HAMISH MARSHALL, WHO WILL BE
ANDREW SCHEER'S CAMPAIGN CHAIR,
WAS TALKING ABOUT DEMOGRAPHICS
AND GOING AFTER VOTERS, AND HE
ACTUALLY REJECTS THE IDEA THAT
AGE IS AN INDICATION OF ONE'S
POLITICAL BENT.
HE SAID, WHETHER YOU'RE MARRIED
OR NOT, FOR EXAMPLE, IT'S YOUR
LIFE CHOICES RATHER THAN YOUR
LIFE HAPPENSTANCE THAT HAS A
BIGGER EFFECT ON HOW YOU VOTE.
MARRIED PEOPLE HAVE MORE IN
COMMON WITH MARRIED PEOPLE THAN
20-YEAR-OLDS HAVE WITH OTHER
20-YEAR-OLDS, FOR EXAMPLE.
I WAS SORT OF PERSUADED BY THAT.
I THINK... ON THE STAGE WITH HIM
WAS DAVID COLETTO, THE POLLSTER
WHO HAS MADE QUITE A CAREER OUT
OF SAYING THERE IS A DIFFERENCE
IN MILLENNIAL VOTERS AND
MILLENNIALS AS A POLITICAL
ENTITY.
BUT I'M SORT OF PERSUADED BY THE
IDEA THAT IT IS WHAT YOU CHOOSE
TO DO IN LIFE THAT INFLUENCES
HOW YOU VOTE.

Steve says I DO WONDER, THOUGH,
ED, AND YOU AS A FORMER EDITOR
OF THE GLOBE AND MAIL WOULD HAVE
A VIEW ON THIS: MILLENNIALS
DON'T SIT DOWN OVER BREAKFAST
WITH A HARD NEWSPAPER THE WAY
THAT YOU AND I DID BACK IN THE DAY.
DOES THAT NOT... IN SPITE OF
WHAT SUSAN SAID AND WHAT HAMISH
HAD TO SAY, DID THAT NOT
NECESSARILY MEAN THAT THEY JUST
APPROACH POLITICS AND THEIR
UNDERSTANDING OF HOW TO
PARTICIPATE IN IT DIFFERENTLY
FROM THE WAY THAT WE DID?

The caption changes to "Edward Greenspon. Public Policy Forum."

Edward says I THINK THAT THEY DO, STEVE.
I THINK EVEN BEFORE YOU GET TO
THE BREAKFAST TABLE, THAT'S
ENGRAINED IN THEIR BEHAVIOUR,
OTHER THINGS WERE ENGRAINED IN
OUR BEHAVIOURS.
WE'RE THE PRODUCT OF GENERATIONS
THAT HAVE CERTAIN PROPENSITIES
TOWARDS THEM.
THIS GENERATION, THESE KIDS GREW
UP IN SCHOOLS WITH
ENVIRONMENTALISM BEING VERY
PROMINENT, WITH THE THREAT OF
CLIMATE CHANGE HANGING OVER
THEM.
I THINK MANY KIDS HAVE SENSE
ADVERTISED THEIR PARENTS TOWARDS
CLIMATE CHANGE.
I THINK THERE'S SOME EVIDENCE
THAT KIDS, MUCH YOUNGER
CANADIANS, NOT ALL MILLENNIALS
ARE KIDS ANY MORE BUT THEY FEEL
MUCH MORE NATURAL WITH WHAT WE
CALL INCLUSION TODAY.
IT'S MUCH MORE AUTOMATIC FOR
THEM.
IT'S NOT EVERYBODY, BUT IT'S A
PROPENSITY.
THERE WAS SOME ANALYSIS AFTER
THE LAST FEDERAL VOTE THAT IF
YOU PULLED THE MILLENNIALS OUT
OF THE VOTE THAT THE
CONSERVATIVES AND THE LIBERALS
WOULD HAVE BEEN IN A DEAD HEAT.
SO THEY WERE THE ONES WHO THREW
THE LIBERALS OVER THE TOP AND
THEY WENT LIBERAL, NDP, AND THEN
CONSERVATIVE.
SO I THINK THAT IS A VALUE SHIFT
THAT WE HAVE TO PAY ATTENTION TO.

Steve says PETER, YOU'RE
SURROUNDED BY THESE PEOPLE IN
YOUR CLASSROOMS... MAYBE NOT THE
35, 36, 37-YEAR-OLDS BUT
CERTAINLY THE YOUNGER END OF THE
MILLENNIAL GENERATION.
WHAT ARE YOU SEEING?

The caption changes to "Peter Loewen. University of Toronto."

Peter says WELL, THERE ARE TWO THINGS TO NOTE.
ONE IS THAT EVEN 30 YEARS AGO,
NEWSPAPER READERSHIP WASN'T
UNIVERSAL, INTEREST IN POLITICS
WASN'T UNIVERSAL.
SO EVEN THE DECLINES HAVING BEEN
FROM 100 percent TO 65 percent, IT'S BEEN 75 percent
DOWN TO 60 percent.
SO THE QUESTION IS, DO THESE
MILLENNIALS LOOK A LOT LIKE THE
PEOPLE BEFORE THEM WHO VOTED OR
THE PEOPLE BEFORE THEM WHO
DIDN'T VOTE?
AND MY SENSE IS THAT THEY LOOK A
LOT MORE LIKE THOSE BEFORE THEM
WHO DID VOTE.
THEY APPROACH POLITICS
DIFFERENTLY.
THEY'RE INTERESTED IN POLITICS
TO A CERTAIN DEGREE.
THEY FOLLOW IT.
THEY JUST HAPPEN TO HAVE A LOT
MORE VARIETY IN TERMS OF WHAT
THEY CAN CONSUME.
SO, YOU KNOW, YOUR NEWSPAPER SET
THE AGENDA FOR YOU BEFORE AND
NOW YOU HAVE IN FRONT OF YOU
ENDLESS STREAMS OF DATA, NEWS
THAT YOU CAN CONSUME.
POLITICS IN THE WORLD, POLITICS
IN THE U.S., OUTSIDE OF CANADA.
I THINK THE BIG DIFFERENCE ISN'T
NECESSARILY ATTENTION OR
ENGAGEMENT, IT'S HOW BROAD THAT
ATTENTION AND ENGAGEMENT IS
AMONG MILLENNIALS, AND I THINK
IT'S MORE DISPERSED THAN IT WAS
BEFORE 20, 30 YEARS AGO.

Steve says IAN, YOU'RE THE
SOCIAL MEDIA GURU AMONG US HERE.
HOW ARE YOU SEEING THIS?

The caption changes to "Ian Capstick. Mediastyle."

Ian says I MIGHT ALSO BE THE ONLY MILLENNIAL, BORN IN 1980.
PROUD MILLENNIAL.
ONE OF THE FIRST ON PARLIAMENT
HILL AND NOW ONE OF THE OLDEST
MILLENNIALS AS WELL.
I THINK FROM THAT PERSPECTIVE, I
CAN SUGGEST THAT THE ENTIRE
GENERATION ISN'T DIGITALLY
NATIVE.
THERE ARE A LOT OF DIGITAL
DISPARITIES.
DEPENDING ON WHERE YOU GREW UP
GEOGRAPHICALLY, HOW WELL-OFF
YOUR PARENTS WERE AND THE TYPE
OF ACCESS YOU HAD TO TECHNOLOGY
IN YOUR SECONDARY SCHOOL AND
UNIVERSITY SCHOOL ARE REALLY
IMPORTANT DEMOGRAPHIC MARKERS OF
THE MILLENNIAL GENERATION.
SO ACTUALLY THE GENERATION THAT
I AM MOST EXCITED AND SPEND A
LOT OF TIME IN MY ACADEMIC WORK
LOOKING AT IS ACTUALLY
GENERATION Z OR IF YOU'RE AN
AMERICAN GENERATION ZEE.
THESE ARE THE VOTERS WHEN WE SAY
SO-CALLED MILLENNIAL VOTERS
TIPPED THE TRUDEAU SCALES, I
ACTUALLY BELIEVE IT WAS 18 AND
19-YEAR-OLD VOTERS.
NOW THOSE FOLKS ARE ACTUALLY
GENERATION Z.
THEY'RE TEACHING FOR THE FIRST
TIME EVER.
THAT GENERATION IS NOW, THE
OLDEST OF THEM, IN CLASSROOMS IN
THE UNITED STATES, AND NEXT YEAR
WILL BE IN CLASSROOMS IN CANADA.
SO WE ALMOST NEED A MIND SHIFT
AWAY FROM THINKING OF
MILLENNIALS AS SUCH A LARGE
DEMOGRAPHIC AND REALLY STARTING
TO BREAK THEM DOWN INTO SLIGHTLY
SMALLER COHORTS THAT ARE, AS
HAMISH MARSHALL SUGGESTED, I WAS
INTRIGUED TO HEAR SUSAN SAY
THAT, ARE TIED A LITTLE BIT MORE
CLOSELY TO LIFE STAGE AS WELL AS
SOCIOECONOMIC FACTORS.
THOSE ARE THINGS THAT I THINK
ARE GOING TO REALLY TELL THE
TALE OF DIGITAL NATIVES, BECAUSE
THAT POPULATION OF SO-CALLED
MILLENNIAL VOTERS, OF COURSE
THEY'RE GOING TO VOTE ALL
DIFFERENT WAYS, AND GUESS WHAT?
NEXT ELECTION, THEY MIGHT NOT
VOTE THE SAME WAY THEY VOTED IN
THE LAST ELECTION.
IN FACT, THE LIKELIHOOD BY ALL
STUDIES IS THAT THEY MAY NOT.

A map pops up briefly, showing the location of Montreal.

Steve says INDEED.
BECAUSE THE DAYS OF US VOTING
FOR THE SAME PARTY OVER AND OVER
AND OVER AGAIN AS OUR PARENTS OR
GRANDPARENTS DID, THOSE DAYS ARE
LONG GONE, AREN'T THEY?

The caption changes to "Ian Capstick, @iancapstick."

Ian says AGAIN, IT DEPENDS WHERE YOU WERE.
IF YOU'RE ON THE ISLAND OF
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND, PROBABLY NOT.
THAT IS A CULTURAL INSTITUTION
THAT'S ENGRAINED FOR MANY YEARS.
THE NEW DEMOCRATS, THE PARTY I
WORKED MOST WITH, HAVE GREAT
DIFFICULTIES WITH BRAND IN THAT
PARTICULAR VOTING AREA VERSUS
OTHER AREAS WHICH PERHAPS... YOU
KNOW, DOUG SANDERS, I THINK YOU
HAD HIM ON YOUR SHOW, TALKING
ABOUT RIVAL CITIES, THE NOTION
OF MORE TRANSIENT POPULATIONS,
THOSE AREAS WE DEFINITELY SEE,
YOU KNOW, ARE NOT BELLWETHER
RIDINGS.
THEY ARE JUMPING AROUND IN A WAY
THAT IS NOT PREDICTABLE, AND
THEY'RE NOT STALWART RIDINGS
EITHER.
SO WE'VE GOT THIS OTHER NEW
BRAND OF RIDING WHICH IS A BIT
OF AN UNPREDICTABLE BEAST.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: @theagenda, TVO.org, Facebook, YouTube, Periscope, Instagram."

Steve says AS WE NOW, GRAHAM
STEELE, TRY TO UNDERSTAND HOW
MILLENNIALS ARE RELATING TO
POLITICS, I WONDER IF YOU COULD
SHARE WITH US THAT STORY YOU HAD
IN YOUR BOOK OF SOMEBODY WHO YOU
HAD A MEETING WITH, I THINK IT
WAS A CONSTITUENT, AND YOU WERE
TRYING TO EXPLAIN THE TRADE-OFFS
THAT YOU WERE NATURALLY INVOLVED
IN AS MINISTER OF FINANCE.
THEY WANTED A LOT OF INFORMATION
AND MONEY FOR EDUCATION.
YOU TRIED TO EXPLAIN HOW, WELL,
HEALTH CARE IS KIND OF A BIG
DEAL FOR ME AS WELL AND THEY
JUST WEREN'T INTERESTED IN
ANYTHING YOU HAD TO SAY ABOUT
THAT.
FILL IN THE BLANKS, IF YOU
WOULD, ON THAT STORY?

The caption changes to "Graham Steele, @steelegr."

Graham says THAT WAS
WHEN I WAS THE MINISTER OF
FINANCE HERE IN NOVA SCOTIA AND
OF COURSE I MET WITH A LOT OF
INTEREST GROUPS.
AND ONE GROUP THAT WE MET WITH
WERE STUDENT LEADERS, UNIVERSITY
AND COLLEGE STUDENT LEADERS, AND
OF COURSE THEY WANTED SUCH
THINGS.
AND AS MINISTER OF FINANCE, I
WANTED TO SAY TO THEM, LOOK, I
HEAR WHAT YOU'RE SAYING.
HERE'S THE CHALLENGES THAT WE
HAVE.
HELP ME WITH THE CHALLENGES,
WHICH IS HERE IN GOVERNMENT WE
HAVE... YOU KNOW, OUR BIGGEST
ITEM IN EVERY BUDGET IS THE
HEALTH CARE SYSTEM, COSTS ARE
RISING RAPIDLY.
HEALTH CARE IS GRABBING EVERY
SINGLE EXTRA DOLLAR THAT THERE
IS AND A LOT OF DOLLARS THAT
THERE AREN'T.
AND LATER ON, A NUMBER OF MONTHS
LATER, I GOT A MESSAGE FROM ONE
OF THE STUDENT LEADERS WHO HAD
BEEN IN THE ROOM THAT DAY AND HE
SAID TO ME, "THAT'S SO
INSULTING.
WE CAME TO YOU TO TALK ABOUT
EDUCATION, AND ALL YOU WANTED TO
TALK TO US ABOUT WAS HEALTH."
I THOUGHT I WAS TRYING TO TELL
THEM, HERE'S WHAT'S REALLY GOING
ON.
HERE'S THE BALANCE.
HERE'S WHY YOU'RE NOT
IMMEDIATELY GETTING WHAT YOU
WANT.
BUT THIS IS INDICATIVE, I THINK,
OF PRETTY MUCH ALL INTEREST
GROUPS WHO COME IN WITH THAT ONE
THING THAT THEY WANT AND DON'T
REALIZE THAT POLITICS REALLY,
THE CORE OF IT, THE ESSENCE OF
IT, IS ABOUT THE BALANCE.

Steve says SUSAN, LET ME FOLLOW
UP WITH YOU BECAUSE I SAW A
QUOTE HERE FROM A FORMER FOREIGN
MINISTER IN SWEDEN WHO SAID SOME
YEARS AGO, PEOPLE ARE MOBILIZED
MORE BY SINGLE ISSUES THAT
AFFECT THEM RATHER THAN BY THE
ABSTRACT OVERARCHING IDEOLOGIES
ESPOUSED BY PARTIES.
DOES THAT RING TRUE WITH YOU?

The caption changes to "Susan Delacourt, @susandelacourt."
Then, it changes again to "Politics without parties."

Susan says YEAH, I THINK SO.
I'VE ACTUALLY, IN SOME MOMENTS,
WONDERED WHETHER WE NEED
POLITICAL PARTIES ANYMORE.
YOU KNOW, YOU SEE NOT A LOT GOOD
HAPPENS IN POLITICS BECAUSE OF
POLITICAL PARTIES.
MUCH AS I HAVE A LOT OF
ADMIRATION FOR POLITICIANS, A
LOT OF RESPECT FOR THEM.
BUT IT'S THE PARTISAN ASPECT OF
POLITICS THAT TURNS PEOPLE OFF.
AND YOU SEE THESE STUDIES FROM
SAMARA... I HAVEN'T READ
GRAHAM'S BOOK YET BUT I'M GOING
TO... PEOPLE AT THE END OF THEIR
POLITICAL LIFE, THEIR BIG
REGRETS ARE WHAT THEY DID FOR
PARTISAN... FOR THE SAKE OF
PARTISANSHIP.
SO I THINK, YEAH, I THINK WE'RE
GOING TO BE MOVING MORE TOWARD
THAT, BECAUSE BASICALLY BEING A
LIBERAL OR CONSERVATIVE OR NEW
DEMOCRAT IS NOT SOMETHING THAT
MOST PEOPLE IDENTIFY WITH.
I THINK... WHAT IS IT?...
FEWER THAN 5 percent OF CANADIANS
BELONG TO POLITICAL PARTIES.
THE LIBERALS HAVE DONE AWAY WITH
THE IDEA OF MEMBERSHIP.
I ACTUALLY THINK THAT MAYBE WE
SHOULD BE LOOKING AT A DAY WHERE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND
PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT WORKS LIKE
MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT WITH NO
POLITICAL PARTIES WHATSOEVER.

Steve says INTERESTING.
PETER LOEWEN... GO AHEAD.
IS THAT IAN?

Ian says MY APOLOGIES, YEAH.
I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO NOTE
WHERE WE HAVE PRECEDENT FOR THIS
IN CANADA.
LET'S LOOK NORTH TO NUNAVUT, OUR
MOST RECENT TERRITORY.
INUIT VERY MUCH BELIEVE IN
CONSENSUS-BASED GOVERNMENT, AND
ALSO GO ONE STEP FURTHER: THEY
ELECT THEIR PREMIER FROM THOSE
INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE ELECTED TO
THAT.
SO PERHAPS WE COULD IN FACT IN
THIS ERA OF POST RECONCILIATION.
AS WE MOVE FROM THE CENTRE BLOCK
TO THE WEST BLOCK, THE LITERAL
SEAT OF OUR GOVERNMENT IS
CHANGING.
SO I THINK SUSAN IS INCREDIBLY
SORT OF, YOU KNOW, ALMOST
TELLING THE FUTURE, AS ALMOST A
FUTURIST ONLY COULD WHO HAS BEEN
ON THE HILL FOR SO LONG.
AND I THINK IT'S ACTUALLY VERY
TELLING THAT SOMEBODY WHO HAS
OBSERVED POLITICS FOR AS LONG AS
SUSAN HAS THROUGH THAT LENS OF
OTTAWA PARTISANSHIP COULD IN
FACT ENVISION A CANADIAN FUTURE
WHERE WE DROP THIS ALMOST
FALSENESS OF THESE PARTY COLOURS
THAT WE PRETEND IN QUESTION
PERIOD AND OTHER PLACES EXIST,
BECAUSE VERY CORRECTLY, LESS
THAN 5 percent, IN FACT LESS THAN 2.5 percent
OF CANADIANS BELONG TO ANY FORM
OF POLITICAL PARTY.

Steve says PETER, CAN YOU
IMAGINE MILLENNIALS LEADING US
INTO A NEW GENERATION OF
POLITICS WHERE THERE ARE NO MORE
POLITICAL PARTIES?

Peter says NO.
NO, I MEAN, A COUPLE OF THINGS
TO SAY ABOUT IT.
I DON'T WANT TO BE TOO FLIPPANT
ABOUT IT.
YOU WANT TO MAKE A DISTINCTION
BETWEEN PARTISANSHIP AND THE
DEPTH AND THE DEGREE OF
PARTISANSHIP WE HAVE MIGHT BE
UNDESIRABLE.
THERE ARE ARGUMENTS FOR IT BUT
THE DEGREE TO WHICH WE DIVIDE
OURSELVES ON PARTISAN LINES WITH
THE MARKER OF THE PARTY YOU
IDENTIFY WITH IS A BIT SILLY.
PARTIES AREN'T A PART OF OUR
CONSTITUTION.
PARTIES WEREN'T MANDATED BY LAW.
PARTIES EMERGED AND THEY EVOLVED
FOR A REASON.
THEY SERVE A FUNCTION.
THE POLITICAL WORLD IS CHAOTIC.
THERE ARE LITERALLY AN INFINITE
NUMBER OF ISSUES YOU CAN
CONFRONT AS A POLITICIAN.
YOU HAVE TO FIND A WAY TO
ORGANIZE THOSE.
AND THE NOTION THAT THERE'S SOME
OTHER MODEL OUT THERE IN A WORLD
WITH ANY DEGREE OF HIGH LEVEL
MULTIDIMENSIONAL POLITICAL
COMPLEXITY THAT CAN BE SOLVED BY
INDIVIDUALS SELF-ORGANIZING
AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN, IT'S
JUST NOT GOING TO OCCUR.
THE ONE THING I WOULD NOTE IS WE
DO HAVE, AS IAN NOTED, TWO CASES
IN PARLIAMENT IN CANADA, WHICH
ARE NON-PARTISAN PARLIAMENTS.
THEY ARE TWO OF PERHAPS A HALF
DOZEN AROUND THE WORLD, AND EVEN
ONE OF THEM, THE NORTHWEST
TERRITORIES, HAS DECIDED OVER
TIME THAT THEY'LL RUN THAT
PARLIAMENT IN AN OPPOSITIONAL
FASHION WHERE THERE'S A CABINET
AND AN OPPOSITION.
THEY GET AWAY FROM HAVING
PARTIES BECAUSE THEY'VE GOT
SOMETHING ON THE ORDER OF 10 OR
11 CONSTITUENCIES.
IT'S NICE THE IDEA THAT PARTIES
DON'T TURN A FUNCTION, BUT IT
TURNS OUT THEY DO.
THEY ORGANIZE THE CHAOS OF THE
POLITICAL WORLD, AND THERE IS
NOT ANOTHER COMPETITOR TO THEM.
I COULD BE TOTALLY WRONG, BUT
THERE'S A GOOD REASON WHY WE
HAVE PARTIES AND THERE'S A GOOD
REASON WHY PARTIES HAVE EMERGED
LIKE IN EVERY PART OF THE WORLD
WHERE THERE'S DEMOCRACY.

Edward says I THINK
THERE'S TWO PHENOMENA GOING ON
HERE AT THE SAME TIME.
ONE IS THAT, I AGREE WITH PETER,
THAT PARTIES AREN'T GOING TO
DISAPPEAR.
BUT PARTIES ARE EASY TO CAPTURE
NOW.
PARTIES ARE, YOU KNOW, VESSELS
THAT SOMEBODY CAN TAKE THE
STEERING WHEEL OF IN THE BRIDGE,
AND WE SAW THAT WITH DONALD
TRUMP AND THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.
WE SEE THAT IN OTHER INSTANCES.
BECAUSE REALLY THE
COMMUNICATIONS FUNCTION OF THE
PARTY IS THE KEY THING AND THE
BRANDING ON TOP OF THE PARTY.
THE OTHER PHENOMENA THAT I THINK
IS GOING ON IS TRENDS DON'T,
UNFORTUNATELY IN CANADA, COME
FROM OUR NORTH, THEY COME FROM
OUR SOUTH MORE OFTEN THAN NOT,
AND, YOU KNOW, POLARIZATION IS A
REALITY, AND I THINK IT'S A
REALITY THAT IS EXACERBATED OR
EGGED ON BY A DIGITAL WORLD
WHICH IS A VERY JUDGMENTAL
WORLD, A WORLD WHERE YOU'RE
QUICK TO COME TO VIEWS, WHERE
OPINION IS OVER FACT, ALMOST
TO... IF I PUT IT IN DIFFERENT
WORDS, SOMETHING PETER SAID AT
THE BEGINNING OF THE SHOW, WHERE
FREEDOM IS GREATER AND FREEDOM
OF CHOICE IS GREATER THAN WE'VE
EVER HAD, BUT COMMON WHEEL AND
SETTLING ON A COMMON SET OF
ISSUES IS MUCH MORE DIFFICULT TO
HAVE.
YOU CAN SEE THE TREND IN THE
UNITED STATES AND YOU SEE POLLS
WHERE PEOPLE ARE ASKED, DO YOU
GENERALLY IDENTIFY WITH
REPUBLICANS, DEMOCRATS, OR AS AN
INDEPENDENT.
AND THE INDEPENDENTS BASICALLY
DISAPPEAR.
THEY HAVE IDEOLOGIES THAT TEND
TO ALIGN WITH THE PARTY AND THE
MIDDLE GROUND IS HARDER TO HOLD.

Steve says SUSAN?

Susan says YEAH.
COLLECTIVELY I THINK KADY AND I
WANT TO POINT OUT HERE FROM
OTTAWA THAT THERE IS A SENATE
RIGHT NOW FUNCTIONING, I BELIEVE
THE NUMBER OF NON-AFFILIATED,
NON-PARTISAN SENATORS NOW
OUTNUMBER THE PARTISANS, SO
WE'RE ACTUALLY SEEING... AND THE
SENATE HAS BECOME EFFECTIVE AND
INTERESTING.
SO I THINK IT CAN HAPPEN.
ALSO, IN THE UNITED STATES... I
THINK WHAT I DON'T LIKE ABOUT
PARTISANSHIP IS THAT IT'S A
GUARANTEE... JUSTIN TRUDEAU
DOESN'T HAVE TO WORK TO GET HIS
MPs TO SUPPORT ANYTHING.
THEY JUST HAVE TO SUPPORT HIM.
AND I THINK IT'S THE
PREDICTABLE, NOT LIKE CONGRESS,
FOR EXAMPLE, WHERE THERE IS A
DISCUSSION HELD ABOUT VOTES.
IT'S THE BLIND PARTISANSHIP THAT
KIND OF WRECKS POLITICS.

Steve says THERE'S ONLY ONE OF
YOU HERE THAT'S BEEN ELECTED SO
I ABSOLUTELY NEED TO HEAR FROM
GRAHAM STEELE NOW ON WHETHER YOU
CAN POSSIBLY IMAGINE MILLENNIALS
LEADING US INTO THIS NEW NIRVANA
OF NON-PARTISAN POLITICS, WHICH
I THINK SUSAN IS QUITE RIGHT,
WE'RE SEEING MORE OF IN THE
SENATE RIGHT NOW AND IAN'S
RIGHT, WE HAVE SOME EXAMPLES OF
IT IN THE NORTHERN PART OF THIS
COUNTRY.
WHAT DO YOU THINK, GRAHAM?

The caption changes to "Graham Steele. Author, 'The Effective Citizen.'"

Graham says PARTIES
AREN'T GOING TO DISAPPEAR ANY
TIME SOON.
THEY'RE GOING TO KICK AND SCREAM
TO HOLD ON TO WHAT THEY HAVE.
BUT I DO THINK IT'S RIGHT THAT
YOUNGER VOTERS BY AND LARGE
DON'T FEEL THE SAME KIND OF
ALLEGIANCE THAT THEIR PARENTS
AND GRANDPARENTS DID.
AND, LOOK, STATISTICS SHOW THE
RATE OF VOTER TURNOUT BY OLDER
VOTERS IS MUCH HIGHER THAN IT IS
AMONG YOUNGER VOTERS.
SO THE PARTIES ARE GOING TO KEEP
GOING AFTER THE OLDER VOTER,
THAT RELIABLE VOTE THE SAME WAY
OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN.
THE YOUNGER VOTERS ARE MUCH MORE
CHALLENGING, AS WE WERE SAYING
EARLIER.
THEY SEEM TO BE MORE INTERESTED
IN SINGLE ISSUES.
THEY WILL ALIGN WITH A PARTY.
THEY WILL REALIGN.
THEY WILL DISALIGN.
THEY MAY NOT TURN OUT AT ALL.
AND THIS IS TREMENDOUSLY
CHALLENGING TERRAIN FOR THE
POLITICAL PARTIES.
AND THE OLDER VOTERS ARE MUCH
EASIER, THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE
ALWAYS VOTED AND ALWAYS VOTE THE
SAME WAY.
PARTIES AREN'T GOING TO GO
ANYWHERE ANY TIME SOON.

Steve says KADY, YOU GET TO
WATCH THE SENATE MORE THAN THE
REST OF US BECAUSE YOU ARE
THERE.
DO YOU THINK THIS NEW, THE
LARGEST BLOCK, SUSAN IS QUITE
RIGHT, THE LARGEST BLOCK IN THE
SENATE RIGHT NOW IS A NEW
NON-ALIGNED BLOCK, THEY'RE NOT
LIBERALS, CONSERVATIVES, THEY'RE
INDEPENDENTS.
IS THIS THE WAVE OF THE FUTURE?

The caption changes to "Kady O'Malley, @kady."

Kady says IT'S A
FASCINATING EXPERIMENT TO WATCH.
IT'S ALSO WORTH POINTING OUT, IN
FACT BECAUSE OF THE
CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENTS IN
THE SENATE, YOU HAVE TO BE I
THINK IT'S 40 YEARS OLD.
NONE OF THEM ARE MILLENNIALS.
AND YET, I LOVE WATCHING THE
NON-PARTISAN AND THE INDEPENDENT
SENATORS WHEN THEY'RE CONFRONTED
BY SOMETHING THAT'S PERFECTLY
NORMAL IN PARTISAN CIRCLES.
BECAUSE THERE'S STILL THE
CONSERVATIVE PARTY, WHICH IS
ALIGNED WITH THE CONSERVATIVE
CAUCUS IN THE HOUSE, AND THERE
ARE THE SENATE LIBERALS, WHO ARE
A SEPARATE CAUCUS, THEY DON'T
REALLY TAKE ORDERS FROM THE
HOUSE ANYMORE BUT THEY STILL
OPERATE AS A CAUCUS.
AND YOU WATCH THE INDEPENDENTS,
WHEN THEY'RE SORT OF, YOU KNOW,
LOOKING AT THESE MANOEUVRES, AND
THEY REACT LIKE NORMAL HUMAN
BEINGS BY JUST SORT OF SAYING,
WHAT ON EARTH IS GOING ON?
WHY ARE YOU BEING RIDICULOUS?
CAN WE PLEASE GET BACK TO WORK?
I DON'T THINK MILLENNIALS
NECESSARILY HAVE A MONOPOLY ON
BEING PUZZLED AND BASICALLY OVER
THE WHOLE PARTISANSHIP THING.
I DON'T REALLY THINK IT'S SO
MUCH AN AGE ISSUE AS EVERYONE
SORT OF FEELS THAT WAY.

Steve says PETER LOEWEN?

Peter says I'LL JUST
NOTE, IT'S TRUE THAT THE SENATE
IS WORKING IN A NON-PARTISAN WAY.
I'LL JUST NOTE TWO FACTS OF IT.
NO ONE IN THERE IS SUBJECT TO
ELECTORAL SANCTION.
NONE OF THEM HAVE TO FIGURE OUT
HOW TO COLLECTIVELY PUT FORWARD
A POLITICAL AGENDA THAT THEY CAN
DEFEND IN AN ELECTION.
THAT'S A NICE POSITION TO BE IN.
THEY DON'T ACTUALLY SET AN
AGENDA.
THEY SIT IN THE SENATE AND WAIT
FOR PARLIAMENT, WAIT FOR THE
HOUSE OF COMMONS TO SEND UP
LEGISLATION THAT THEY CAN THEN
REACT TO.
PUT THEM IN A SCENARIO WHERE
THEY'RE THE FIRST MOVER, THEY'RE
EXPECTED TO DELIVER POLICY AND
DEFEND THAT POLICY IN FRONT OF
VOTERS, GIVEN A PERIOD OF TIME,
PARTIES WILL REEMERGE.
THE SENATE IS A GREAT EXPERIMENT
IN TERMS OF IF YOU HAVE
UNELECTED PEOPLE WHO DON'T HAVE
TO SET AN AGENDA, REVIEW
LEGISLATION.
NO QUESTION IT WORKS WELL.
I DON'T THINK IT'S AN
INSTRUCTIVE CASE FOR WHAT THE
FUTURE OF ELECTORAL DEMOCRACY IS
GOING TO LOOK LIKE.

Steve says SUSAN, LET ME PUT A
NEW ISSUE ON THE TABLE HERE, AND
THAT IS, YOU WENT TO THE MANNING
CONFERENCE THE OTHER DAY.
I WENT TO A CONFERENCE AT
RYERSON THE OTHER DAY WHERE
DAVID HURLEY, THE CAMPAIGN
MANAGER OF KATHLEEN WYNNE,
BASICALLY SAID I HAVE A
DIFFICULT JOB GOING FORWARD.
AND IT WASN'T FOR THE REASONS
THAT YOU THOUGHT.
HIS DIFFICULT JOB IS IF HE KNOWS
THAT HIS PREMIER IS GOING TO GET
REELECTED, YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE TO
COME OUT AND VOTE FOR HER.
AND HE SAID THE DIFFICULTY OF
TRYING TO APPEAL TO THEM IS THAT
THEY ARE GETTING INFORMATION
RIGHT NOW ON SOCIAL MEDIA IN
SEVEN-SECOND VIDEOS, USUALLY
WITH THE SOUND TURNED OFF.
AND HE WONDERED HOW IT WAS IN
HEAVEN'S NAME POSSIBLE TO HAVE
ANY KIND OF INTELLIGENT
CONVERSATION WITH ANYBODY UNDER
THOSE CIRCUMSTANCES.
CAN YOU HELP US WITH THAT?

Susan says I DON'T
THINK THAT'S JUST DAVID HURLEY'S
PROBLEM.
I ACTUALLY THINK THAT'S A
PROBLEM FOR WE IN THE MEDIA AS
WELL.
WHEN I FIRST ARRIVED IN OTTAWA,
WE KNOW NOT THAT LONG AGO, LET'S
SAY, I WROTE BASICALLY 1500 TO
2,000-WORD STORIES EVERY DAY ON
OBSCURE THINGS LIKE SENATE
REFORM.
THE IDEA THAT I COULD DO THAT
NOW, THAT'S HOW JOURNALISM WORKS
OR POLITICAL INFORMATION IS
CONVEYED, IS SOMETHING THAT'S
VERY TROUBLING TO THE JOURNALISM
WORLD TOO.
HOW DO WE NOT MAKE A LIVING...
MOST JOURNALISTS ARE IN
BUSINESS, JUST LIKE THE
POLITICAL REPORTING BUSINESS
ANYWAY, FOR MUCH OF THE SAME
REASONS THAT POLITICIANS ARE,
THEY ACTUALLY LIKE MAKING A
DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD AND THEY
LIKE REPORTING ON THESE THINGS.
BUT COMMUNICATING IN
SEVEN-SECOND VIDEOS IS NOT
JOURNALISM.

Steve says I'LL GET TO YOU IN A
SECOND BUT I WANT TO HEAR FROM
IAN CAPSTICK ON THIS.
I CANNOT IMAGINE HOW THE
POLITICAL PARTIES CAN
COMMUNICATE WITH MILLENNIALS,
MANY OF WHOM WANT TO GET THEIR
INFORMATION IN SEVEN-SECOND
VINES ON SOCIAL MEDIA WITH THE
AUDIO TURNED DOWN.
HOW DO YOU MAKE THAT HAPPEN?

Ian says I'M GOING TO
VOTE THAT VINE HAS BEEN DEAD FOR
A REALLY LONG TIME AND
MILLENNIALS KNOW THAT.

Steve says I'VE PROVEN I'M NOT
A MILLENNIAL AND CLOSE TO DEAD.

Ian says THAT'S WHAT
I'M SAYING, AND DAVID HURLEY,
AND I HAVE AN IMMENSE AMOUNT OF
RESPECT FOR DAVID'S WORK, THE
GANDALF GROUP DOES SOME OF THE
BEST POLLING WORK I'VE EVER
SEEN, AND I UNDERSTAND WHAT THE
DATA SAYS.
WHAT THE DATA SAYS IS, WHILE,
YES, IT STARTS WITH SEVEN
SECONDS WITH THE SOUND OFF,
YOU'VE GOT TO DRAW THAT
MILLENNIAL OR YOUNG VOTER IN.
AND WHEN YOU TAKE A LOOK AT SOME
OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL MEDIA
RIGHT NOW, IT'S THE RISE OF THE
DOCUMENTARY.
PEOPLE WILL LITERALLY SIT AND
WATCH A TWO-HOUR DOCUMENTARY,
YOU KNOW, THAT'S ABOUT PRODUCT
DESIGN OR ABOUT ONE TYPEFACE.
I DON'T THINK THE LONG FORM IS
DEAD AT ALL.
IN FACT, IF YOU TAKE A LOOK AT
HIT HOLLYWOOD MOVIES, MY
HEAVENS, THEY'RE ONLY GETTING
LONGER.
WHAT'S HAPPENING HERE IS
SOMETIMES WE HAVE FALSE
PRECEDENTS OF ORDERS.
SO SOMETIMES WE BELIEVE TEXT IS
MORE VALID THAN VIDEO, AND GUESS
WHAT?
IN A SEVEN-SECOND SILENT VIDEO,
YOU CAN COMMUNICATE A LOT.
ANYBODY WHO HAS SEEN ME ON
"POWER and POLITICS" ROLL MY EYES,
KNOW EXACTLY WHAT I'M THINKING
WHEN I DO THAT.
THE OTHER THING HERE IS AS THESE
YOUNGER MINDS ARE IMMERSED IN
THEIR TELEPHONES A LITTLE BIT
MORE, AS THEY TAKE NOTES ON
LAPTOPS A LITTLE BIT MORE, WHAT
WE'RE STARTING TO SEE IS STUDIES
THAT SUGGEST THEIR COMPREHENSION
UPTAKE IS ACTUALLY NOT AS GOOD
AS WELL.
SO WHILE I'M SAYING IT'S NOT
ENTIRELY A PROBLEM, THE ACTUAL
FLIPSIDE OF THE PROBLEM IS ONE
OF COMPREHENSION, RIGHT?
SO IN THAT INSTANCE, I FEAR THAT
POLITICS MAY BECOME EVEN MORE
SIMPLISTIC, RIGHT?
ALREADY IT'S A BATTLE OF, IT
USED TO BE 30-SECOND SOUND BITE,
NOW 10-SECOND SOUND BITE.
SO MY FEAR HERE IS WE REDUCE
PARTISANSHIP TO TRUMPIAN-LIKE
TALKING POINTS, THEM GOOD, US
BAD, AND THE ROOM FOR NUANCE
ISN'T THERE.
SO THE ANTIDOTE IS THAT IS
ACTUALLY INSTAGRAM LIVE.
SO WHEN YOU SEE JAGMEET SINGH OR
JUSTIN TRUDEAU GO ON INSTAGRAM
LIVE OR FACEBOOK LIVE AND START
INTERACTING WITH PEOPLE, THAT'S
WHAT WE SHOULD ENCOURAGE OUR
POLITICIANS TO DO BECAUSE THAT
MEANS WE CAN ACTUALLY HAVE THAT
BACK AND FORTH WITH THEM IN THAT
DIGITAL COMMONS, IN THAT IDEAL,
THAT UTOPIAN PUBLIC SPHERE.

Steve says ED?

The caption changes to "Edward Greenspon, @egreenspon."

Edward says WELL, YOU
KNOW, I THINK WE HAVE AN
EXISTENTIAL ISSUE.
I KEEP WONDERING, IF THE MEDIUM
IS THE MESSAGE, I WOULD LIKE TO
FIND MARSHALL McLUHAN PULLED
OUT OF A MOVIE LINE AND SAY WHAT
DOES THIS DIGITAL WORLD MEAN?
ANNIE HALL.
I DON'T SEE THAT KIND OF
THINKING IN SOME WAYS GOING ON.
I THINK THERE'S A FEW THINGS TO
SAY ABOUT IT.
YOU KNOW, SEVEN-SECOND CLIPS,
YOU CAN'T GET A LOT OF NUANCE,
YOU CAN'T GET A LOT OF EMPATHY.
YOU KNOW, IT WAS A DIFFERENT
WORLD WHEN YOU COULD REALLY BE
DEBATING ISSUES, AND I DON'T
WANT TO BE CRAZY NOSTALGIC, I
USE MY SMARTPHONE A LOT, BUT
IT'S A SUPERFICIAL QUICK KIND OF
RELATIONSHIP THAT YOU HAVE WITH
THAT, A BUILT-IN BIAS, IT WOULD
BE THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE
KIND OF IDEAS, EMOTION WORKS
BETTER THAN REASON, WHETHER IT'S
ANGRY EMOTION OR LAUGHTER
EMOTION, THIS IS ONE OF THE
REASONS WHY FAKE NEWS TENDS TO
WORK BETTER THAN REAL NEWS IN
SOME WAYS, OPINION WORKS BETTER
THAN FACT.
IT HAS BIASES THAT AREN'T GREAT.
YOU MAY REMEMBER, STEVE, A BOOK
WRITTEN I THINK IN THE LATE
'80s, EARLY '90s, BY NEIL
POSTMAN CALLED "AMUSING
OURSELVES TO DEATH."
AND THE IDEA OF "AMUSING
OURSELVES TO DEATH" IS THIS KIND
OF CONFLATION OF ENTERTAINMENT
AND IMAGE, AND THE QUICK KIND OF
IMAGE WITH PEOPLE NOT DOING THE
NUANCE THAT COMES WITH READING,
REALLY, WOULD LEAD TO A
SITUATION WHERE SOCIETY WOULD
ACTUALLY ERODE ITS POLITICS AND
INTELLIGENCE AND POLITICS NOT IN
THE WAY GEORGE ORWELL SAID BY
AUTHORITARIANISM, BUT BY WHAT
HUXLEY SAID BY SO MUCH
ENTERTAINMENT AND DISTRACTION.
AND I'M AFRAID... I DON'T WANT
TO OVERSTATE THAT... BUT I'M
AFRAID THAT'S THE TREND LINE OF
WHAT IS IN THIS MEDIUM.

Peter says IF I COULD
ADD TO WHAT ED AND IAN SAID AND
THEY DESCRIBED THE ENVIRONMENT
VERY WELL.
BUT THE THING I WANT TO POINT
OUT IS, IT IS TRUE THAT PEOPLE
CONSUME NEWS QUICKER AND IN
SMALLER SOUND BITES AND THERE'S
PROBABLY LESS NUANCE AND
INFORMATION IN EACH OF THOSE
INDIVIDUAL PIECES BUT THERE'S
MORE NEWS TO CONSUME.
30 YEARS AGO YOU HAD A LOCAL
NEWSPAPER, COVER POLITICS WELL,
AND YOU WATCHED HALF AN HOUR OR
A 40-MINUTE NEWS BROADCAST AT
THE END OF THE DAY FOR WHICH 15
MINUTES MIGHT BE DEVOTED TO
POLITICS.
AND NOW PEOPLE SPEND LITERALLY
HOURS A DAY ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND
THEY'RE GETTING EXPOSED TO A LOT
OF INFORMATION ABOUT POLITICS
OVER THE COURSE OF THAT DAY.
THE AGGREGATE OF IT IS PROBABLY
POSITIVE DEMOCRATIZING
EXPERIENCE THAT WE HAVE TO COME
TO GRIPS WITH AND I DON'T THINK
WE HAVE YET.

Ian says AT THE SAME
TIME WE DON'T HAVE OTHER
REGULATIONS AND CONTROL AROUND
SOME OF THE ALGORITHMIC
ENTITIES, FACEBOOK, TWITTER AND
OTHERS, WHO ARE FEEDING US THIS
INFORMATION.
SO FOREIGN ACTORS, LIKE RUSSIANS
IN THE U.S. ELECTIONS AND OTHERS
HAVE MORE OPPORTUNITY TO PLAY
WITH IT BECAUSE THIS SPACE IS
NOT AS WELL-REGULATED AND IT'S
NOT AS WELL-REGULATED BECAUSE
IT'S NOT AS WELL-UNDERSTOOD.
I REMEMBER THREE AND FOUR HOUR
DISCUSSIONS WHEN TWITTER CAME
OUT AS TO WHETHER POLITICIANS
SHOULD OR SHOULDN'T JOIN
TWITTER.
I FEEL WE WERE WRONG IN SOME
INSTANCES AND PROBABLY SHOULD
HAVE KEPT THEM OFF THE MEDIUM,
BUT I THINK THE KEY HERE IS
UNDERSTANDING THAT THE VERY
PEOPLE WHO ARE LEGISLATING AND
REGULATING THIS HAVEN'T VERY
WELL-UNDERSTOOD IT FOR VERY
LONG.
THE ONE ENTITY THAT HAS, THE
CRTC, IS SO DIVORCED AND DEVOID
OF POLITICS, A VAST MAJORITY OF
POLITICIANS ARE AFRAID OF IT,
RIGHT?
WE NEED SOME SORT OF POLICY
RECOGNITION THAT THE VERY LEGAL
AND REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT THAT
WE'RE IN IS NO LONGER WHAT IT
WAS WHEN THE BROADCAST ACT WAS
PUT OUT.
SO FUNDAMENTALLY WE HAVE TO PLAY
A VERY DIFFERENT STYLE OF
SECURITY WHEN IT COMES TO THESE
ALGORITHMIC ENTITIES.

Steve says LET ME GET KADY TO
START ON THIS NEXT CHAPTER, AND,
GRAHAM, I'LL GET YOU TO FOLLOW UP.
GIVEN THAT WE ARE HERE GATHERED
TOGETHER ON THE IDES OF MARCH,
IT SEEMS APPROPRIATE TO TALK
ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED TO PATRICK
BROWN A COUPLE OF MONTHS AGO,
THE LEADER OF THE PROGRESSIVE
CONSERVATIVE PARTY, WHO MAY OR
MAY NOT HAVE BEEN KNIFED IN THE
FRONT OR THE BACK BY HIS CAUCUS
COLLEAGUES.
HERE'S WHERE I'M GOING WITH
THIS.
IT WAS PATRICK BROWN'S PARTY AND
THEN IT WASN'T AND THEN HE GOT
BACK IN THE RACE AND THEN HE GOT
OUT, AND THEN DOUG FORD GOT IN
AND HE WON.
AND IN SPITE OF ALL OF THIS, THE
PC PARTY IS STILL NUMBER ONE BY
A LONG SHOT IN ALL OF THE PUBLIC
OPINION SURVEYS.
AND I GUESS WHAT I'M WONDERING
IS, IF WE TALK ABOUT THE
IMPORTANCE OF POLITICAL PARTIES,
KADY, WHEN I WAS GROWING UP IN
THIS PROVINCE, WE UNDERSTOOD
THAT THE BIG BLUE MACHINE WAS
THE PARTY OF FROST AND ROBARTS
AND DAVIS.
WE UNDERSTOOD THAT IT WAS MORE
THAN JUST WHOEVER HAPPENED TO BE
AT THE HEAD OF IT AT THE MOMENT.
ARE THOSE DAYS GONE?
IS THIS NOW THE DOUG FORD PARTY,
NOT THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE
PARTY OF ONTARIO, WITH 80 YEARS
OF HISTORY BEHIND IT?

The caption changes to "From blue machine to blue contraption."

Kady says WELL, I
GUESS HE HAD BEEN ON THE JOB...
WHAT?... A WEEK.
WHAT I WONDER ACTUALLY IS WE WHO
ARE POLITICAL JUNKIES TEND TO
PAY ATTENTION TO EVERY PLOT
TWIST AND EVERYTHING THAT
HAPPENED TO THE ONTARIO PC PARTY
OR ANY PARTY THAT WAS GOING
THROUGH WHAT WE SAW OVER THE
LAST MONTH, I KIND OF WONDER
WHETHER OR NOT THE POPULATION AT
LARGE WAS AS FASCINATED BY IT,
WHICH IS WHAT I... IT WILL BE
INTERESTING TO SEE IF THOSE
NUMBERS HOLD ON AND IF THERE'S A
GRADUAL SHIFT.
BECAUSE ONE THING THAT TENDS TO
SHOW UP IN POLLING IS, IT TAKES
TIME FOR A COLLECTIVE CHANGE IN
OPINION TO REALLY START TO SHOW
IN THOSE NUMBERS AND THE WAY
IT'S GOING, IT COULD BE STARTING
TO PERCOLATE RIGHT ABOUT THE
TIME THAT ONTARIANS ARE ACTUALLY
GOING TO GO FOR THE BIGGEST MOST
IMPORTANT POLL OF ALL, WHICH IS
OF COURSE THE ELECTION POLL.
IN THAT SENSE WE DON'T KNOW HOW
THIS IS GOING TO ALL KIND OF
PLAY OUT.
AT THE SAME TIME IT'S ALSO, AS
CANADIANS, WE LOOK SOUTH OF THE
BORDER AND WE LOOK AT THE
PRIMARY SYSTEM AND SOMETIMES WE
GET THAT CONFUSED WITH OUR
LEADERSHIP SYSTEM AND HOW
PARTIES CHOOSE THEIR LEADERS.
THAT CANNOT BE VIEWED AS
SOMETHING YOU CAN JUST TRANSPOSE
ONTO THE PROVINCE AS A WHOLE
BECAUSE IT REALLY IS A
SELF-SELECTING GROUP, MORE SO
WITH THIS RACE THAN MOST BECAUSE
IT WAS DONE SO ABRUPTLY AND SO
QUICKLY AND OVER SUCH A SHORT
PERIOD OF TIME.
SO IN THAT SENSE, I THINK IT'S A
GIANT UNKNOWN AND WE REALLY
DON'T KNOW HOW IT'S ALL GOING TO
PLAY OUT.
IT COULD TURN OUT, YOU KNOW,
DOUG FORD COULD EASILY BECOME AN
ODD FOOTNOTE IN CANADIAN
POLITICAL HISTORY WHERE PEOPLE
THINK, JEEPERS, THERE'S THAT GUY
WHO WAS LEADER OF THE PARTY FOR
A YEAR OR HE COULD BE PREMIER
FOR A DECADE.
YOU DON'T KNOW.

Steve says GRAHAM, PEOPLE ARE
SAYING IT'S NOT THE REPUBLICAN
PARTY ANYMORE, IT'S THE TRUMP
PARTY.
PEOPLE IN ONTARIO ARE SAYING
IT'S NOT NECESSARILY THE PC
PARTY, IT'S THE FORD PARTY, OR
IT'S NOT THE LIBERAL PARTY OF
SMITH, IT'S THE WYNNE PARTY.
HAS THERE BEEN A SEA-CHANGE IN
HOW WE REGARD OUR POLITICAL
PARTIES NOW?

Graham says THERE ARE
THINGS THAT DON'T CHANGE ABOUT
POLITICS.
ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL FORCES
IN POLITICS IS WHEN PEOPLE
DECIDE IT'S TIME FOR A CHANGE.

A picture of his book appears briefly on screen. The cover features a picture of a Canadian flag waving against a blue sky.

Graham continues THAT SEEMS TO BE WHAT'S GOING ON
IN ONTARIO, AND IT DOESN'T SEEM
TO MATTER WHO IS LEADING THE
ONTARIO PC PARTY, IF THE VOTERS
HAVE DECIDED THAT IT'S TIME FOR
A CHANGE.
BUT THE OTHER THING THAT'S GOING
ON IS KIND OF WHAT YOU PUT YOUR
FINGER ON THERE IS THAT I'M OLD
ENOUGH TO REMEMBER WHEN PEOPLE
WERE SAYING HOW TELEVISION, THE
ADVENT OF TELEVISION, WAS
PUTTING A FOCUS ON LEADERS AT
THE EXPENSE OF THE PARTY.
WELL, TODAY, IN THE TWITTER AGE,
THE SNAPCHAT AGE, THAT'S EVEN
MORE THE CASE THAN IT EVER WAS,
WHERE THE ENTIRE FOCUS OF THE
POPULATION IN THE UNITED STATES
IS, WHAT IS DONALD TRUMP GOING
TO TWEET TODAY?
NOW, THAT'S ALL VERY WELL, YOU
KNOW, WHEN YOU'RE AN OPPOSITION
PARTY AND TRYING TO BRING DOWN A
GOVERNMENT.
BUT WHAT CONCERNS ME THE MOST IS
HOW THIS CHANGE IN THE USE OF
TECHNOLOGY AND THE IMPACT ON THE
ELECTORATE AND THE IMPACT ON
PARTIES IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH
THE COMPLEXITY OF GOVERNMENT.
I MEAN, IT IS COMPATIBLE WITH
WINNING AN ELECTION, WHICH IS
WHAT THE STRATEGISTS ARE
THINKING ABOUT.
THAT'S THEIR JOB, IS TO WIN AN
ELECTION.
BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY YOU'VE
GOT TO RUN A HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
AND AN EDUCATION SYSTEM AND A
TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM, AND WHAT
I FEAR THE MOST, STEVE, IS THAT
PEOPLE IN ELECTED OFFICE WILL
JUST BE LESS READY FOR THAT JOB
THAN EVER.

Peter says HERE'S A
DEEPLY ANTIDEMOCRATIC NOTION.
BUT THE PROBLEMS THAT YOU'RE
DESCRIBING, THE ANTIDOTE TO
THOSE PROBLEMS ARE STRONGER
POLITICAL PARTIES.
NOT POLITICAL PARTIES STRONGER
IN THE SENSE THAT THEY'VE GOT
MORE MEMBERS, BUT POLITICAL
PARTIES THAT ARE STRONGER IN THE
SENSE THAT THEY HAVE TRADITIONS
ABOUT WHAT THEY BELIEVE.
THEY MAY HAVE COMPETING FACTIONS
WITHIN THEM.
THEY HAVE POWERFUL MEMBERS WHO
ARE ELECTED TO PARLIAMENT AND
THOSE MEMBERS HAVE INFLUENCE
OVER WHO IS SELECTED AND THOSE
MEMBERS AND THAT PARTY AS A
CORPORATE ENTITY CARRIES FORWARD
AN IDEOLOGY THAT CAN CHANGE OVER
TIME BUT ISN'T MERELY AT THE
WHIM OF THE LEADER.
WE THINK THAT PARTIES ARE A BAD
THING, BUT THAT PARTY YOU'RE
DESCRIBING IS ONE THAT EVOLVED
OVER TIME IN REACTION TO LEADERS
BUT THOSE LEADERS HAD TO
RECONCILE THEMSELVES TO THE
PARTIES.
THAT DESCRIBES THE LIBERAL PARTY
AND LEADERS HAD TO RECONCILE
THEMSELVES TO THESE BELIEFS OR
POLITICAL COMMITMENT OR IDEOLOGY
OR WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL
THEM.
THE SOLUTION TO THIS SORT OF
THING IS NOT LESS POWERFUL
PARTIES, IT'S PARTIES THAT ARE
ACTUALLY ABLE TO KEEP OUT
OUTSIDERS THAT COME IN AND
HIJACK THEM AND INSTEAD BE
LEADERS OF PARTIES THAT HAVE
CERTAIN BELIEFS.

Steve says SUSAN, THE RULES NOW
PERMIT QUOTE, UNQUOTE, THE
HIJACKING OF PARTIES BY
SINGLE-ISSUE INTEREST GROUPS NOW
BECAUSE IT'S ONE PERSON/ONE VOTE
AND YOU CAN TAKE OVER A PARTY.
THAT'S THE WAY IT GOES NOW.

Susan says YEAH.
I'M SURPRISED WE HAVEN'T BEEN
TALKING... WE SHOULD TALK ABOUT
PARTY FINANCING IN ALL OF THIS
TOO.
IT'S NOT JUST PEOPLE YOU HAVE TO
MOBILIZE, IT'S MONEY.
AGAIN, I'M GOING TO... I THINK
WE WERE BETTER OFF IN THE DAYS
OF PUBLIC SUBSIDY FOR THE
PARTIES BECAUSE BASICALLY
POLITICIANS ARE TURNED INTO
FUND-RAISING MACHINES.
THEY'RE OUT THERE... WE HAVE
DONE AWAY WITH CORPORATE
DONATIONS AND UNION DONATIONS
AND LARGE-SCALE DONATIONS.
OFTEN THOSE DONORS GAVE THE
PARTIES THE STABILITY YOU'RE
TALKING ABOUT.
YOU NOTICE NO POLITICAL PARTY IN
OTTAWA NOW WANTS TO BE ALIGNED
WITH BIG BUSINESS OR BAY STREET
OR WANTS TO BE A FRIEND OF THE
CORPORATE WORLD BECAUSE THEY
DON'T NEED THEIR DONATIONS
ANYMORE.
AND I THINK THAT MAKES THINGS A
LITTLE MORE VOLATILE AS WELL,
THAT PARTIES ARE MOVING NOW
WHERE THE MONEY IS AND IT'S LOT
OF INDIVIDUAL DONATIONS AND IT'S
AN ERRATIC KIND OF SYSTEM.

Edward says A VERY
IMPORTANT POINT GRAHAM SAID
ABOUT GOVERNING, BECAUSE
ULTIMATELY THE POINT HERE IS
POLITICAL COMPETITION, WHO'S
GOING TO GOVERN.
AND THESE SMALL DONATIONS THAT
SUSAN TALKED ABOUT, YOU'RE
APPEALING USUALLY TO THE
EXTREMES OF PARTIES.
AGAIN, YOU'RE APPEALING TO
EMOTION.
YOU'RE TRYING TO GET... THE
PERSON IS GOING TO GET REALLY
RILED BY THIS OR THAT.
ONCE YOU GET IN GOVERNMENT,
YOU'RE TRYING TO BUILD BRIDGES,
YOU'RE TRYING TO BUILD CONSENSUS
IN SOME WAYS TO MOVE FORWARD.
SO THE SYSTEM IS WORKING AT
CROSS-PURPOSES.
PARTIES USED TO PLAY THE ROLE OF
BROKERING DIFFERENCES.
NOW THAT'S NOT REALLY THEIR ROLE
ANYMORE.
NOW THEY'RE JUST VESSELS FOR
COLLECTING MONEY, PUTTING OUT
MESSAGES AND ADVERTISING,
GETTING A BRAND AND SOMETIMES
THAT BRAND COULD BE A DONALD
TRUMP, A JUSTIN TRUDEAU, A
PRE-EXISTING... A DOUG FORD, A
PRE-EXISTING BRAND, ACTUALLY,
HELPS THE PARTY.
GIVES IT A HEAD START.

Steve says WE HAVE ABOUT FOUR
MINUTES LEFT HERE AND I WANT TO
PUT ONE MORE ISSUE ON THE TABLE
AND GET EVERYBODY TO WEIGH IN ON
THIS.
DO YOU THINK... IAN, YOU'RE THE
MILLENNIAL HERE, SO LET'S START
WITH YOU.
DO YOU THINK THE NEXT GENERATION
OFFERS ANY REASON TO THINK THAT
LIBERAL DEMOCRACY IS ACTUALLY IN
GOOD HANDS NOWADAYS?

The caption changes to "A new politics."

Ian says ALL WE'VE GOT
TO DO IS TAKE A LOOK AT THE
UNITED STATES AND THE INCREDIBLE
THEATRE KIDS, GSA KIDS AND
OTHERS THAT LED THAT INCREDIBLE
WALKOUT YESTERDAY AND THEY'RE
GOING TO DO IT AGAIN AND THEY'RE
GOING TO DO IT OVER AND OVER AND
OVER AGAIN.
I THINK THAT'S WHAT REAL DIGITAL
NATIVES ARE LIKE.
I'VE HAD AN INCREDIBLE CHANCE IN
THE LAST ELECTION TO WORK WITH
SOME OF THE YOUNGEST VOTERS IN
THE COUNTRY, IN FACT SOME FOLKS
WHO HADN'T HAD THE CHANCE TO
OFFICIALLY CAST A BALLOT AND
THEY INSPIRE ME BEYOND ANYTHING
THAT I HAVE EVER SEEN.
I DON'T KNOW, MAYBE THAT'S ME
GETTING OLDER AND GETTING MORE
WISTFUL AND OPTIMISTIC AS I AGE.
I'M NOT MORE PESSIMISTIC, THAT'S
FOR SURE.
I'M WARY OF EXTREMISM WITHIN
YOUNG PEOPLE AS WELL, THOUGH.
I THINK THAT SOMETIMES EXTREMELY
HELD BELIEFS WHETHER ON THE VERY
FAR LEFT OR RIGHT, CAN ALSO BE
VERY DANGEROUS AND THE YOUNGEST
OF US ARE SOMETIMES PRONE TO THAT.

Steve says GRAHAM, WHAT ARE YOU
SEEING DOWN EAST?

Graham says WHEN I
BECAME NOVA SCOTIA'S FINANCE
MINISTER, I HAD BEEN IN
OPPOSITION FOR 8 YEARS, AND IT
DIDN'T DO ME ANY GOOD.
I KNEW MAYBE 10 percent OF WHAT I
NEEDED TO KNOW TO GOVERN.
SO WHAT I WORRY ABOUT MORE THAN
ANYTHING, STEVE, IS WHAT I SAID
BEFORE, IS THAT OUR PARTIES ARE
PRIMED TO WIN AND THEY DO THAT
BY AGITATING PEOPLE, YOU KNOW,
WHIPPING PEOPLE UP TO RAISE
MONEY.
BUT THEY'RE NOT READY TO GOVERN
AND THEY'RE LESS READY TO GOVERN
NOW THAN THEY EVER WERE, AND
THAT'S THE CONCERN.

Steve says KADY, WHAT ARE YOU SEEING?

Kady says A LOT OF
PRESSURE TO PUT ON THE
MILLENNIALS TO BEGIN WITH.
PERHAPS WE SHOULD ALL TAKE OUR
PART IN BRINGING BACK SOME
DECENCY AND DECORUM TO OUR POLITICS.
I'M ALSO PRETTY OPTIMISTIC.
I THINK THAT THE SEA CHANGES
THAT HAPPEN... AGAIN, I'LL SAY
THIS.
I THINK IT DOES TEND TO BLEED
OVER FROM ONE DEMOGRAPHIC.
I DON'T THINK THESE ARE ALL LIKE
AGE SILOS WHERE NO ONE TALKS TO
ANYONE ELSE AND NO ONE IS
INFLUENCED BY ANYONE ELSE.
OLDER PEOPLE CAN BE INFLUENCED
BY YOUNGER PEOPLE AND VICE
VERSA.
IN THAT SENSE I THINK THE
TECHNOLOGY HAS ALMOST BECOME...
THE PLATFORMS HAVE BECOME AGE OR
DEMOGRAPHIC INDEPENDENT IN THAT
EVERYONE CAN HAVE ACCESS TO THE
SAME MATERIAL AND THE SAME
SOURCES OF INSPIRATION.
WHILE, YEAH, YOU WATCH THINGS
LIKE THE WALKOUT IN THE UNITED
STATES AND THAT IS ENORMOUSLY
INSPIRING, BUT THEN YOU LOOK AT
THE REACTION FROM PEOPLE IN
THEIR 20s, 30s, 40s AND UP
WHO ARE ALSO CONGRATULATING
THOSE KIDS AND SAYING GO YOU.
THIS IS AWESOME TO SEE.
IT'S NOT AS THOUGH IT'S THEM
AGAINST THE WORLD IN A LOT OF
CASES, IT'S MORE A LOT OF PEOPLE
ARE WORKING TOGETHER TOWARDS SOMETHING.

Steve says SUSAN, AT THE PC
LEADERSHIP CONVENTION LAST
WEEKEND, I PROBABLY SPOKE TO
HALF A DOZEN CANDIDATES FOR THE
NEXT ELECTION WHO ARE IN THEIR
20s, AND THAT'S JUST
CANDIDATES.
THERE WERE CERTAINLY A LOT MORE
YOUNG PEOPLE WHO WERE THERE WHO
WERE NOT INTENDING TO BE
CANDIDATES BUT WHO WERE JUST
INTO POLITICS.
THAT'S A GOOD SIGN, I GUESS, ISN'T IT?

Susan says MAY I JUST
POINT OUT THE BIGGEST MENACE ON
TWITTER IN THE CIVILIZED WORLD
IS AN OLDER MAN 70 YEARS OLD,
IT'S DONALD TRUMP WHO IS
WRECKING SOCIAL MEDIA.
SO I DO A LITTLE BIT OF WORK AT
CARLETON UNIVERSITY WITH
JOURNALISM STUDENTS AND THE
SCHOOL OF POLITICAL MANAGEMENT
THERE, AND WHEN I SEE THOSE
STUDENTS, I THINK THINGS ARE
GOING TO BE OKAY.

Steve says ED?

Edward says WELL, I
THINK THINGS ARE ALWAYS GOING TO
BE OKAY AND WHEN WE'RE IN A
COUNTRY LIKE CANADA, WE'RE
DEBATING BETWEEN THE GOOD AND
THE VERY GOOD IN SOME WAYS.
HAVING SAID THAT, I WORRY ABOUT
THE RISE OF HYPER PARTISANSHIP, I
WORRY ABOUT THE LOSS, A
BREAKDOWN IN SOME WAYS OF THE
PLURALISM OF PEOPLE WORKING OUT
THEIR DIFFERENCES, COMING TO A
SOLUTION THAT THEY'RE NOT
PERFECTLY SATISFIED WITH BUT
REASONABLY SATISFIED WITH.
I THINK THAT'S EXACERBATED BY
DIGITAL FILTER BUBBLES AND ECHO
CHAMBERS, AND I THINK WE HAVE TO
THEREFORE PROBABLY USE POLICY TO
BUILD INFORMATIONAL BRIDGES THAT
ARE MORE COMMON THAT PEOPLE CAN SHARE.

Steve says LAST 30 SECONDS TO YOU.

Peter says THREE QUICK POINTS.
ONE IS DEMOCRACY IS ACTUALLY NOT
HAVING A GREAT RUN GLOBALLY
RIGHT NOW.
IT'S IN THE WORST SHAPE IT'S
EVER BEEN SINCE THE BEGINNING OF
THE 1990s.
THAT'S PARTIALLY DUE TO GLOBAL
FORCES.
GOVERNANCE BY PEOPLE BASED ON
IMAGES IS NOT A DESIRABLE THING.
WE'RE FARTHER DOWN THAT ROAD IN
OUR COUNTRY THAN WE WOULD
PROBABLY LIKE AND THAT WE
PROBABLY SHOULD BE.
THE THIRD THING IS WE ARE IN A
CULTURE THAT DOESN'T APPRECIATE
ALL THE BARGAINS THAT ARE
INHERENT IN POLITICS, ALL THE
PATIENCE THAT'S INHERENT, ALL
THE EXPERTISE THAT'S NEEDED AND
THAT'S REALLY WHAT GRAHAM'S BOOK
IS ABOUT.
WE NEED TO GET A REBUILD AND AN
APPRECIATION FOR WHAT
POLITICIANS DO AND AN ABILITY TO
HOLD THEM TO A HIGHER STANDARD.
I'M NOT POLLYANNA-ISH ON OUR
ABILITY TO DO THAT.
I'LL FINISH ON A MORE
PESSIMISTIC APPROACH.

The caption changes to "Producer: Wodek Szemberg, @wodekszemberg."

Steve says I APPRECIATED THE
BOOK, "THE EFFECTIVE CITIZEN."
THANKS, ALL.
A CAST OF THOUSANDS HERE ON
"THE AGENDA" TONIGHT.
THANKS SO MUCH, EVERYBODY.

Watch: Democracy in a Digital World