Transcript: Fixing Our Democracy | Apr 30, 2019

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 spotted purple tie.

A caption on screen reads "Fixing our democracy. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says POLITICIANS ROUTINELY
PROMISE TO DO POLITICS
DIFFERENTLY.
BUT THE RECORD ON THEM ACTUALLY
DOING SO IS MIXED, AT BEST.
WHAT IF IT'S NOT THEIR FAULT?
WHAT IF TO GET BETTER DEMOCRATIC
OUTCOMES, WE NEED TO CHANGE HOW
DEMOCRACY ACTUALLY FUNCTIONS,
FROM HOW WE CHOOSE THE PEOPLE
INVOLVED, TO HOW WE ASSESS WHAT
POLICY PEOPLE WANT?
WITH US TO CONSIDER WHAT BETTER
DEMOCRATIC POLITICS MIGHT
INCLUDE, WE WELCOME, IN THE
NATION'S CAPITAL: JEFFREY
SIMPSON, FORMER NATIONAL AFFAIRS
COLUMNIST WITH "THE GLOBE AND
MAIL," NOW A FELLOW AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA...

Jeffrey is in his late sixties, clean-shaven, with short blond hair. He's wearing glasses, a gray suit, white shirt, and striped burgundy tie.

Steve continues AND HERE IN OUR STUDIO: CRAIG SCOTT, FORMER MP FOR
TORONTO-DANFORTH AND A NOW
PROFESSOR OF LAW AT YORK
UNIVERSITY'S OSGOODE HALL LAW SCHOOL.

Craig is in his fifties, with short gray hair and a stubble. He's wearing glasses, a black suit and a purple shirt.

Steve continues BRITTANY ANDREW-AMOFAH, SENIOR
POLICY AND RESEARCH ANALYST AT
THE BROADBENT INSTITUTE...

Brittany is in her thirties, with black hair in a bun. She's wearing a short-sleeved black blouse and a golden necklace.

Steve continues AND HEATHER BASTEDO, PRESIDENT OF PUBLIC SQUARE RESEARCH...

Heather is in her fifties, with short blond hair and side-swept bangs. She's wearing a blue blazer with a matching scarf, and golden hoop earrings.

Steve continues AND WE ARE DELIGHTED TO WELCOME
THE THREE OF YOU BACK TO OUR
STUDIO IN TORONTO.
AND TO BROTHER SIMPSON AT POINTS
BEYOND, IT'S GREAT TO SEE YOU IN
THE NATIONAL'S CAPITAL.
SOME WEEKS AGO WE WERE HAVING A
DISCUSSION ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT
THIS COUNTRY IS CAPABLE OF
UNDERTAKING BIG MAJOR PROJECTS
BECAUSE THE RECORD TO DATE
SUGGESTS THAT MAYBE WE CAN'T.
AND AT THE END OF THAT PROGRAM
ONE OF OUR PARTICIPANTS, JOHN
DUFFY, HAD THIS TO SAY.
SHELDON, IF YOU WOULD.

A clip plays on screen with the caption "April 17, 2019. John Duffy."
In the clip, John speaks in the studio. He's in his fifties, clean-shaven, with short gray hair and glasses.

He says THERE IS SOMETHING BIGGER
GOING ON HERE ABOUT HOW YOU
CREATE DEMOCRATIC CONSENSUS FOR
MOVING THINGS FORWARD IN A WORLD
WHERE I THINK GLOBAL DYNAMICS
ARE REALLY PULLING SOCIETIES
APART.
AND DELEGITIMIZING POLITICIANS
IS A BIG PART OF THE PROBLEM WE
HAVE HERE.
THEY HAVE TO DO THEIR PART TO
RELEGITIMIZE THEMSELVES, BUT
IT'S CORROSIVE UNTIL WE FIX IT.

The clip ends.

Steve says OKAY, LET'S FOLLOW UP
ON THAT THANKS TO A SURVEY FROM
PUBLIC SQUARE, WE CAN TAKE A
LOOK AT SOME NUMBERS WHICH
REFLECT HOW CANADIANS FEEL ABOUT
OUR POLITICS AND POLITICIANS,
AND AS JOHN DUFFY SUGGESTED, IT
DOES REFLECT SOME DEEP CYNICISM
OUT THERE.
LET'S BRING UP THIS GRAPHIC IF
WE CAN, SHELDON.
FOR THOSE LISTENING ON PODCAST,
I'LL READ OUT ALL THE NUMBERS.
WHAT DO CANADIANS THINK ABOUT POLITICS?

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Politicians and parties."

Steve reads data from the slate and says
APPARENTLY 71 percent OF US BELIEVE
THAT POLITICIANS CARE MORE ABOUT
STAYING IN POWER THAN GETTING
THINGS DONE.
70 percent SAY POLITICIANS DON'T DO
WHAT THEY PROMISE.
AND YET, CRAIG, THIS MIGHT
INTEREST YOU, 53 percent HAVE
CONFIDENCE IN THEIR LOCAL MP.
BUT TWO THIRDS DO NOT HAVE
CONFIDENCE IN POLITICAL PARTIES.
HEATHER, THESE ARE YOUR NUMBERS,
WHAT DO YOU THINK THEY TELL US
ABOUT CANADIANS' ATTITUDES TO
REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY?

The caption changes to "Heather Bastedo. Public Square Research."
Then, it changes again to "What do we make of our political system?"

Heather says WELL, THE ONE PARTICULAR ONE
WITH RESPECT TO MEMBERS OF
PARLIAMENT I THINK IS AN
IMPORTANT ONE, AND IT'S BEEN
THAT WAY FOREVER.
WE SEEM TO LOVE OUR MP BUT DON'T
LIKE WHAT HAPPENS IN OTTAWA.
AND I SPENT SOME TIME FOLLOWING
AROUND OUR STALKING MPs
ACADEMICALLY TO FIND OUT WHY
THIS WAS THE CASE.
AND WE FOUND REALLY THREE
THINGS.
THE FIRST AND FOREMOST IS WHEN
THEY GET IN THEIR RIDINGS,
THEY'RE NOT WEARING THE PARTY
SWEATSHIRT ANYMORE.
THEY'RE JUST THEMSELVES.
IN FACT, THEY'RE NOT ALLOWED TO
HAVE ANY PARTY MEMORABILIA OR
PARTY-ISSUED PARTY STUFF.

Steve says PEOPLE LIKE CRAIG WHEN HE'S
BEING CRAIG, BUT MAYBE A LITTLE
LESS SO WHEN HE'S REPRESENTING THE NDP.

Heather says THAT'S THE SECOND THING WE
SAW.
IN THE RIDING HE'S CRAIG.
HE'S NOT EVEN CRAIG SCOTT OR
HONOURABLE MR. SCOTT.
HE'S CRAIG HAVING A COFFEE AT
McDONALDS, AND HE'S HUMAN, AND
THAT IS REALLY, REALLY QUITE
IMPORTANT WHY PEOPLE LIKE HIM.
AND THEN THIRD AND CRITICALLY IS
HE GETS THINGS DONE.
SO THEY COME TO HIM WITH A
PROBLEM AND THEY CAN SEE ACTION,
AND AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL YOU
START TO SEE SOME OF THIS.
TRUDEAU WAS MAKING PHONE CALLS
BACK TO PEOPLE.
HE DOES APPARENTLY 20 CALLS A
MONTH NOW OR A WEEK JUST TO
CONNECT WITH PEOPLE AND SEE
WHAT'S GOING ON.
DOUG FORD IS NOTORIOUS...

Steve says HE DOES THAT MANY A DAY.

Heather says HE'S NOTORIOUS FOR THAT AS WELL.
THAT KIND OF THING MAKES THE
DIFFERENCE FOR PEOPLE, AND
THAT'S WHERE YOU SEE THE
CONFIDENCE IN THEIR LOCAL MP,
NOT SO MUCH THEIR PARTIES.

Steve says I WANT TO GET JEFFREY
SIMPSON'S SENSE OF THIS, BECAUSE
WHEN YOU... I'D LIKE YOU TO
COMPARE, IF YOU WOULD, JEFFREY,
WHEN YOU STARTED YOUR NATIONAL
AFFAIRS COLUMN FOR "THE GLOBE
AND MAIL," COMPARED TO WHEN YOU
LEFT, OR EVEN TODAY, WHAT... HOW
WOULD YOU GAUGE THE DIFFERENCE
IN THE LEVEL OF TRUST PEOPLE
HAVE FOR THEIR POLITICIANS OVER
THAT TIME PERIOD?

The caption changes to "Jeffrey Simpson. University of Ottawa."

Jeffrey says NEXT WEEK, STEVE, I'M
ATTENDING A CONFERENCE.
IT'S THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF AN
INSTITUTION CALLED THE
PARLIAMENTARY INTERNSHIPS, WHICH
ALLOWS PEOPLE WHEN THEY LEAVE
UNIVERSITY TO SPEND TIME ON
PARLIAMENT HILL.
AND I WAS FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO BE
ONE OF THOSE BACK IN 1972-73 IN
THE PRE-HISTORIC ERA.
AND I REMEMBER, I REMEMBER THE
ANTIPATHY TO PIERRE ELLIOTT
TRUDEAU.
OH, MY GOD, IT WAS UNBELIEVABLE.
ACROSS ENGLISH-SPEAKING CANADA.
AND YOU REMEMBER IN THE '72
ELECTION, HE ONLY SURVIVED
BECAUSE HE SWEPT QUEBEC AND ONLY
HAD A TWO-SEAT MAJORITY.
AND EVER SINCE THEN, WHETHER
IT'S PIERRE TRUDEAU, OR WHETHER
IT WAS JOE CLARK OR WHETHER IT
WAS BRIAN MULRONEY OR WHETHER IT
WAS TO A LESSER EXTENT JEAN
CHRETIEN, CERTAINLY STEPHEN
HARPER, CANADIANS LOVE TO KICK
THEIR PRIME MINISTERS AND THEIR
POLITICIANS.
I'VE NEVER... THE POLL THAT
HEATHER JUST REVEALED, I THINK
YOU COULD HAVE FOUND SIMILAR
RESULTS 40 OR 50 YEARS AGO.
SO WHEN I HEAR THE FACT THAT
EVERYBODY'S ANGRY AND ALBERTA'S
UPSET, WHICH THEY ARE, AND THEY
HAVE A RIGHT TO BE IN THIS CASE,
AND PEOPLE ARE UNHAPPY, I SORT
OF SAY: THAT'S THE CANADIAN
STANDARD.
I'M SORRY, WE LIKE TO KICK OUR
POLITICIANS.
I'M NOT SAYING IT'S GOOD, BAD OR
INDIFFERENT, BUT IT IS THE
NATURE OF WHO WE ARE.
AND BY THE WAY, ONE LITTLE
POINT, ON MY FRIEND JOHN DUFFY'S
COMMENT ABOUT WE HAVE TROUBLE
GETTING CONSENSUS, OKAY, THERE
ARE SOME ISSUES THAT I CAN POINT
TO IN THE LAST 50 OR 60 YEARS
WHERE THERE WAS BROAD NATIONAL
CONSENSUS.
FOR EXAMPLE, ALL PARTIES CAN
CLAIM THAT THEY HAD A ROLE IN
THE INTRODUCTION OF MEDICARE.
BUT FRANKLY, THE NEW DEAL
THROUGH IN THE UNITED STATES IN
THE FACE OF FEROCIOUS OPPOSITION
FROM THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AND
THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY.
THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT WHICH
WAS A HOT ISSUE WHEN I FIRST GOT
HERE WAS FIERCELY OPPOSED BY
MANY, MANY CANADIANS IN
ENGLISH-SPEAKING CANADA, AND I
COULD GO ON.
SO THE SEARCH FOR CONSENSUS IS
THE SEARCH FOR THE IDEAL, AND IN
LIFE AS IN POLITICS, THE IDEAL
IS ASPIRATIONAL BUT NOT A REALITY.

Steve says HMM, FASCINATING.
BRITTANY, I WANT TO GET YOU IN
HERE BECAUSE YOU REPRESENT A
YOUNGER GENERATION, LET'S SAY,
THAN THE REST OF US HERE TODAY,
AND I WONDER WHETHER YOU SEE IN
YOUR GENERATION AN ANGRIER MORE
SKEPTICAL ELECTORATE THAN, SAY,
THEIR PARENTS WOULD HAVE BEEN?

The caption changes to "Brittany Andrew-Amofah. Broadbent Institute."

Brittany says YEAH, I DON'T THINK ANGRIER
IS THE CORRECT TERM TO DESCRIBE
IT, BUT I WOULD SAY PASSIONATE.
I WOULD SAY CIVICALLY ENGAGED.
THEY ARE ACTIVE IN THEIR
COMMUNITIES, MORE AWARE OF
WHAT'S HAPPENING GLOBALLY, MORE
AWARE OF WHAT'S HAPPENING IN
THEIR COUNTRY AND THEIR
COMMUNITIES, AND THAT'S LEADING
THEM TO WANT TO TAKE ACTION.

Steve says IN POLITICS?

Brittany says ON A LARGER SCALE
I WOULD SAY NOT IN POLITICS.
FORMAL POLITICS, THE BROADER
SOCIAL CHANGE OR CIVIL SOCIETY
WORK.
I THINK THAT'S HAPPENING WITH MY
GENERATION, AND I THINK GROWING
UP IN AN ERA WHERE YOU GREW INTO
HAVING MORE ACCESS TO
INFORMATION, BECAUSE I REMEMBER
VERY DISTINCTLY NOT HAVING
GOOGLE, NOT HAVING THE INTERNET,
AND THEN ONE DAY WAKING UP, AND
I'M IN A COMPUTER CLASS AND I'M
LEARNING WHAT A SEARCH ENGINE
IS, AND THEN A COUPLE YEARS
LATER I HAVE ALL THESE
INFORMATION AND DATA AT MY
FINGERTIPS, AND IT WAS WITHIN A
SPAN OF TWO OR THREE YEARS,
RIGHT?
SO WE GREW INTO... WE ARE A
GENERATION THAT GREW INTO A
WEALTH OF KNOWLEDGE, AND I THINK
THAT HAS EMPOWERED US TO NOT BE
AS COMPLACENT OR TO THINK ABOUT
HOW CAN WE GET MORE INVOLVED OR
ENGAGED IN SOCIETY AT LARGE.
BUT THE OTHERS RAISED SOME
REALLY INTERESTING POINTS AROUND
ELECTED OFFICIALS.
JEFFREY, YOU MENTIONED HOW
CANADIANS HAVE ALWAYS LIKED TO
KICK THEIR POLITICIANS AROUND,
AND THAT MIGHT BE A TRUE, BUT
THERE'S A VERY DISTINCT
DIFFERENCE THAT'S HAPPENING
RIGHT NOW WHERE PEOPLE ARE
DISENGAGED FROM THE POLITICAL
SYSTEM IN A DIFFERENT WAY.
SO EVEN THOUGH THEY MAY HAVE
ALWAYS LIKED TO KICK POLITICIANS
AROUND, WE'RE SEEING VOTER
TURNOUT RATES DECLINE.
WE'RE SEEING FORMAL
PARTICIPATION IN POLITICS
DECLINE, SO THAT DOES SPEAK TO A
DIFFERENT... AND I DO WANT TO
ACKNOWLEDGE AND HIGHLIGHT
HEATHER'S POINT AROUND THE POWER
OF CONSTITUENCY WORK, RIGHT, AND
HOW THAT'S THE ONE THAT GETS MPs
OR MPPs OR MLAs, LIKE, REALLY IN
FAVOUR OR WELL LIKED BY THEIR
CONSTITUENTS, RIGHT?
BECAUSE WHEN YOU GET TO THE
LEGISLATURE OR SPECIFICALLY THE
HOUSE OF COMMONS, IT BECOMES ALL
ABOUT THE LEADER, AND WE SEE A
GROWING TREND OF THE
CENTRALIZATION OF POWER.
I'LL END THAT OFF THERE, BUT
THAT'S KIND OF WHAT I WANT TO
SAY IN A NUTSHELL RIGHT NOW.

Steve says LET ME DOVETAIL RIGHT
FROM THE END OF THAT TO CRAIG.
YOU'RE THE ONLY ONE WHO'S SAT IN
THE HOUSE OF COMMONS BEFORE.
AS A FORMER MP, COULD YOU TELL
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CRAIG IN
THE RIDING AND CRAIG SCOTT, NEW
DEMOCRATIC PARTY MP IN OTTAWA?

The caption changes to "Craig Scott. Osgoode Hall Law School."

Craig says YES.
I THINK IT'S DEFINITELY THE CASE
THAT IN THE RIDING YOU ARE
INTERACTING ON DIFFERENT ISSUES,
AND EVEN WHEN YOU'RE TALKING
ABOUT POLICY, TRYING TO GET
PEOPLE'S INPUT, OR TRYING TO
ACTUALLY AT SOME LEVEL SELL
PEOPLE ON WHY YOUR PARTY IS
MOVING IN A CERTAIN DIRECTION.
YOU'RE STILL ENGAGING PEOPLE IN
A MORE ONE-ON-ONE WAY, EVEN IF
IT'S IN A TOWN HALL OR A SMALLER
GROUP.
SO THAT'S THE... IS
INTERPERSONAL SIDE IS JUST
ALWAYS THERE.
THE CONSTITUENCY WORK SIDE I
WOULDN'T OVERSTATE IT.
IF YOU GET A REPUTATION FOR
HAVING... GOING THE EXTRA MILE,
WORKING HARD, HAVING VERY GOOD
STAFF WHO ARE EMPATHETIC WITH
PEOPLE AND GET THINGS DONE, IT
DOES HELP.
BUT IN RIDINGS OF 100,000
PEOPLE, THE AVERAGE PERSON WHO
ACTUALLY KNOWS WHAT AN MP DOES
FOR OTHER PEOPLE, IT'S PRETTY
SMALL SLICE.
AND SO BACK IN OTTAWA, NO, YOU
START... YOU TRY TO BE YOURSELF,
AND SOMETIMES YOU FEEL LIKE YOU
LOSE YOURSELF.
I CAN GIVE YOU ALL KINDS OF
EXAMPLES OF THAT.
BUT YOU ARE PART OF A TEAM.
THAT'S THE MOST EUPHEMISTIC WAY
OF PUTTING IT.
SOMETIMES YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'RE A
COG IN THE MACHINE, AND PEOPLE
DON'T NECESSARILY KNOW WHAT
YOU'RE DOING UP THERE.
AND DON'T NECESSARILY CARE.

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live."

Steve says WELL, IN THIS QUEST,
HEATHER, TO FIND A WAY TO DO
POLITICS DIFFERENTLY, AND I
THINK KIM CAMPBELL WAS THE FIRST
PERSON WHO TRULY RAN ON THIS
PLATFORM OF I WANT TO DO
POLITICS DIFFERENTLY, EVERYBODY
WANTS TO BREAK THE MOULD OF A
TYPICAL POLITICIAN.
WHAT... JUSTIN TRUDEAU CAME INTO
OFFICE THREE AND A HALF YEARS
AGO INSISTING HE WAS GOING TO BE
A DIFFERENT KIND OF POLITICIAN.
WHAT WERE VOTERS HOPING HE
REPRESENTED AS THAT DIFFERENT
KIND OF POLITICIAN?

The caption changes to "Heather Bastedo. Public Square Research."
Then, it changes again to "A new way of doing politics."

Heather says WELL, I THINK THE... THERE
ARE A NUMBER OF THINGS IN THERE
THAT YOUNGER PEOPLE, OF COURSE,
WERE ATTRACTED TO POT, BUT
YOUNGER PEOPLE ALSO WERE I THINK
ATTRACTED TO HOW MUCH THEY COULD
RELATE TO HIM, AND HE WAS
ASPIRATIONAL, AS BRITTANY
MENTIONED, THAT HE WAS NOT JUST
GOING TO DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY
BUT HE WAS GOING TO LISTEN TO
HIS MEMBERS, MPs, AND HE CARED
ABOUT THEM.
AND IT WAS MORE ABOUT CANADIANS
THAN IT WAS ABOUT CONTROL.
AND THERE'S A FEW IRONIES THERE
RIGHT NOW, BUT THAT'S KIND OF
THE THINGS THAT HE WAS... PEOPLE
WERE ATTRACTED TO.

Steve says I'M INFERRING FROM
YOUR ANSWER THAT WITH THE
SNC-LAVALIN SITUATION, IN YOUR
VIEW, HE MAY HAVE PUT PARTY
AND-OR RIDING-PROVINCE AHEAD OF
THE NATIONAL INTEREST?

Heather says I WOULDN'T SAY AHEAD OF THE
NATIONAL INTEREST BECAUSE
MAINTAINING CONTROL IS NOT
NECESSARILY AGAINST THE
INTEREST, BUT OF COURSE WHEN
YOU... WHAT WE DID SEE IS THE
VOICE OF THE MP ISN'T
NECESSARILY GOING TO BE AS
POWERFUL AS WE MIGHT HAVE THOUGHT.

Steve says JEFFREY, LET'S SEE IF
WE CAN DRAW SOME INFERENCES FROM
THE ELECTION JUST HELD IN PRINCE
EDWARD ISLAND WHERE CLEARLY...

[Laughter].

Jeffrey says YEAH, I LOVE IT.

Steve says HEAR ME OUT FOR A
SECOND.
NO, I HEAR YOU.
SMALL PROVINCE.
BUT CLEARLY A DESIRE IN THAT
PROVINCE WITH THE RESULTS THAT
THEY GAVE TO REWARD THE PARTIES
THAT WERE ALL ABOUT LESS RAW
PARTISAN CRAFT POLITICS.
THEY REWARDED PARTIES THAT WERE
INTERESTED IN BEING MORE
COLLEGIAL OR COLLABORATIVE.
I DON'T KNOW IF YOU SAW THE
PICTURE OF THE NEW PREMIER AND
THE NEW LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
HUGGING EACH OTHER AT A JOINT
RADIO INTERVIEW THE DAY AFTER
THE ELECTION WAS HELD.
I'VE NEVER SEEN THAT BEFORE.
PU BUT CLEARLY THEY SEEMED TO
JUMP ON AN ATTITUDE THAT'S OUT
THERE THAT PEOPLE WANT SOMETHING
DIFFERENT AND MORE COLLABORATIVE
AND LESS STUPIDLY PARTISAN.
DO YOU SEE THAT?

Jeffrey says WELL, I THINK WHAT I SEE IS
THAT AFTER A PERIOD OF TIME ANY
INCUMBENT GOVERNMENT IF IT'S
BEEN THERE TOO LONG BEGINS TO
LOSE POPULARITY.
THAT'S WHAT I SEE IN PRINCE
EDWARD ISLAND.
WADE MCLAUGHLIN WAS A VERY GOOD
PREMIER.
THEY HAD THE HIGHEST ECONOMIC
GROWTH RATE IN THE COUNTRY, AND
THEY TURFED HIM OUT BECAUSE THE
LIBERALS HAD BEEN IN FOR QUITE A
LONG TIME.
THE SEARCH FOR SOMETHING
DIFFERENT, BRITISH COLUMBIA, THE
LIBERALS HAVE BEEN IN 15 YEARS.
QUEBEC THEY'D BEEN IN 15 YEARS.
ONTARIO, THEY'D BEEN IN 15
YEARS.
SO I WOULDN'T CONFLATE THE
SENTIMENTS OF POPULISM AND
DISSATISFACTION ENTIRELY WITH
ECONOMIC CIRCUMSTANCES.
THERE IS A DEMOCRATIC INSTINCT
WHICH IS VERY HEALTHY, BY THE
WAY, AFTER A LONG STRETCH OF ONE
PARTY IN OFFICE TO TRY SOMEBODY
ELSE, BECAUSE PARTIES GET TIRED,
EVEN IF THEY CHANGE THE LEADER,
THEY OFTEN DON'T DRAMATICALLY
CHANGE THE SHAPE AND STRUCTURE
OF THE PARTY AND THE WAY THEY DO
BUSINESS
I THINK PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
PARTLY MANIFESTED THAT.
BUT... AND I DON'T WANT TO BEAT
UP ON THIS, BUT P.E.I. IS A VERY
PARTICULAR POLITICAL CULTURE.
CRAIG QUITE ACCURATELY SAID THAT
IN A RIDING OF 100,000, EVEN THE
HARDEST-WORKING MP WOULD
PROBABLY ONLY BE KNOWN BY A
FRACTION.
BUT 100,000'S WAY MORE THAN
THERE ARE VOTERS IN ALL OF
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND IN AN
ELECTION.
SO YOU KNOW, YOU CAN BE KNOWN IN
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND AS GOOD OLD
CRAIG, AND HE GOT THIS AND HE
DID THAT.
BUT THAT'S PRETTY TOUGH WHEN
YOU'RE REPRESENTING THE RIDING
THAT HE DID IN TORONTO.

Steve says LET ME FOLLOW UP WITH
CRAIG.
WE CHATTED EARLIER, BEFORE WE
STARTED ACTUALLY SITTING HERE ON
THE SET AND DOING THIS FOR REAL,
ABOUT THE FACT THAT WHILE YOU
MAY HAVE ENJOYED YOUR TIME AS A
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, YOU
WOULDN'T RUN AGAIN BUZZ THE
SYSTEM, IN YOUR VIEW, IS JUST
TOO MESSED UP AND REQUIRES SOME
PRETTY FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE BEFORE
YOU'D... I THINK THE EXPRESSION
IS STICK YOUR HAND INTO THAT
BLENDER AGAIN.
SO WHAT KIND OF CHANGE?

Craig says I THINK THAT WAS YOUR PRESSE.
I'M NOT SURE I USED THAT METAPHOR.

Steve says NO, YOU DIDN'T USE IT.
THAT'S MINE.

The caption changes to "Craig Scott, @CraigScottCAv."

Craig says JUST WANTED TO CLARIFY THAT.
YEAH, IT ALL GETS MIXED UP WITH
ONE'S OWN PLACE.
I'M NOT SURE I PERSONALLY WOULD
HAVE THE ENERGY TO DELIVER ON
BOTH THE EXPECTATIONS OF MY
PARTY AND THE RIDING TO RUN
AGAIN.
I DO BELIEVE IT'S TIME FOR NEW
BLOOD, NOT THAT I'D BEEN IN
THERE FOR ALL THAT LONG, BUT I'M
GENERATIONALLY CERTAINLY OLDER
THAN I THINK WHAT WE NEED TO SEE
BY WAY OF A TRANSITION.
WE SEE IT STARTING TO HAPPEN IN
OUR PARTY.
TRUDEAU WAS PART OF IT HAPPENING
IN HIS.
BUT YEAH, I GUESS WHAT I SAID TO
YOU WAS THAT I WOULD CONSIDER...
AND THIS IS WHERE I MAY DIVERGE
FROM THE GENERAL SENTIMENT ABOUT
WHAT IT IS THAT MAKES PEOPLE
EITHER LIKE THEIR POLITICIANS OR
RESPECT THEM.
I'D SAID TO YOU THAT IF THE
SYSTEM CHANGED TO A PROPORTIONAL
REPRESENTATION SYSTEM,
ESPECIALLY MIXED NUMBER OF
PROPORTIONAL WHERE A SLICE OF
MPs ARE ELECTED BUT ELECTED FROM
A BROADER REGION AND LET'S JUST
SAY IT... FROM A LIST WHERE THEY
HAVE A BIT MORE FREEDOM AND THE
EXPECTATION IS ALSO THERE THAT
THEY WILL PAY MORE ATTENTION TO
BROADER ISSUES, MAYBE THE
NATIONAL PARLIAMENT AS THEIR
MAIN OPERATING FORUM, I WOULD
CONSIDER GOING BACK IN.
BECAUSE FRANKLY, AND I THINK ALL
SURVEYS OF EXITING MPs SHOW
THIS, A LOT OF SAMRA'S WORK
SHOWS THIS, THE AVERAGE MP WILL
SAY IT'S TWO AND A HALF JOBS.
IT'S THE PASTORAL WORK IN THE
RIDING.
IT'S THE PARLIAMENTARY WORK, AND
IT'S ON THE SIDE YOU'RE NOT
GETTING PAID FOR THIS BUT IT'S
THE PARTY SIDE TOO.
AND IF YOU TRY TO DO ALL OF
THEM, YOU BURN YOURSELF OUT.
AND IF YOU OVER-FOCUS ON
PARLIAMENT, YOU BASICALLY ARE
ALMOST NOT DOING WHAT PEOPLE
EXPECT BY WAY OF BEING
CONSTANTLY IN THE RIDING.
I HAPPENED TO FOLLOW AN AMAZING
POLITICIAN, JACK LAYTON, WHO
HAPPENED TO HAVE BEEN A
MUNICIPAL COUNCILLOR BEFORE,
WHICH DIDN'T HELP.
IT JUST EXACERBATED SOMETHING
THAT ALREADY EXISTS, WHICH IS
THAT PEOPLE DO WANT THEIR MPs TO
BE... I USE THE WORD PASTORAL.
THEY DO WANT THEM TO BE A BIT
LIKE MUNICIPAL POLITICIANS IN
TERMS OF LOWER-LEVEL, INDIVIDUAL
CASEWORK KINDS OF STUFF THAT
THEY GET DONE.
NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT.
BUT I ACTIVELY THINK THAT APART
FROM BRINGING THE CONCRETE TO
THE GENERAL SO THAT YOU ACTUALLY
KNOW WHAT PEOPLE ARE LIVING,
THAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT WHEN
YOU'RE IN OTTAWA, WHEN YOU'RE
TRYING TO, YOU KNOW, BOTH BRING
ACCOUNTABILITY AND HAVE AN
IMPACT ON LEGISLATION, BUT THE
IDEA THAT THE MAIN ROLE OF AN MP
SHOULD BE THIS KIND OF CASEWORK
IN THE RIDING I THINK IS ONE OF
OUR PROBLEMS.
I DON'T THINK WE HAVE A
SUFFICIENTLY NATIONALLY ORIENTED
POLITICAL SYSTEM.

Steve says AND THE KIND OF CHANGE
THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE
HAPPEN IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN
BECAUSE THIS PRIME MINISTER
PROMISED IT AND THEN SAID HE'S
NOT GOING TO DO IT.

Craig says IT'S NOT CLEAR WHAT HE PROMISED.
IT'S CLEAR THAT HE WANTED PEOPLE
TO THINK THAT HE WAS COMPLETELY
OPEN TO PR.
HE USED LANGUAGE TO SUGGEST
THAT.
HIS FORMAL PROMISES THAT HE
WOULD CHANGE THE ELECTORAL
SYSTEM, HE HAD SOMETHING ELSE
CLEARLY IN MIND THAT ANYBODY
WOULD HAVE TOLD HIM WOULDN'T
TAKE LONG TO PUNCTURE AS A
BALLOON BECAUSE IT WOULD BE A
SYSTEM THAT WOULD AMALGAMATE
VOTES PROBABLY FOR PARTIES LIKE
THE LIBERALS, AND IN THE END,
BECAUSE THAT WASN'T GOING TO GO
THROUGH THE SOMEWHAT OPEN
PROCESS THAT THEY AGREED TO HAVE
IN PARLIAMENT, THEY PULLED THE
PLUG.
AND SO YEAH, I HAD SOME HOPE
THAT THEY WOULD SEE THAT THE
PRIME MINISTER WOULD SEE THAT HE
WOULD BE RESPECTED IF HE GOT
INTO POWER AND ACTUALLY
DELIVERED ON THAT PROMISE
BECAUSE OF IT GOING AGAINST SORT
OF PARTY INTERESTS, BUT IN THE
END, NO.

Steve says HERE'S A COUPLE OF
NUMBERS, HEATHER.
THESE ARE YOUR NUMBERS, AND I
WANT YOU TO HELP US UNDERSTAND
BECAUSE THEY SEEM TO BE
CONTRADICTORY HERE.
SHELDON, I'M AT THE BOTTOM OF PAGE 4.
HERE WE GO.

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Works or needs change."

Steve reads data from the slate and says
84 percent OF THOSE SURVEYED BELIEVE
THAT SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IS NEEDED.
58 percent SAY THAT DEMOCRACY
IS WORKING WELL OR VERY WELL.
HOW DOES THAT MAKE ANY SENSE?

The caption changes to "Heather Bastedo, @hjbastedo."
Then, it changes again to "Do we feel politically represented?"

Heather says SO THERE'S A PRINCIPAL
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DEMOCRACY AS
AN IDEAL, AND I CAN CHANGE
WORDS... AND I USE POLITICS.
THAT SAME SURVEY WE ASKED
WHETHER POLITICS WAS WORKING,
AND YOU GOT A DIFFERENT, A MORE
HOSTILE NUMBER AGAIN.
SO WE LOVE THE IDEAL OF
DEMOCRACY.
IN PRACTICE, WE HATE THE
POLITICS.
AND TO CRAIG'S POINT, IT'S NOT
THAT THEY WANT THEIR RIDING MP
TO TAKE EVERY PROBLEM ON.
IT'S THAT THEY WANT TO BE SEEN
AS CARING, THAT THEY'RE
INTERESTS AND WHAT THEY SEE
INSTEAD IS ELBOWS OUT, THE TWO
PARTIES SPARRING AND ARGUING
OVER SOMETIMES THINGS THAT DON'T
MATTER VERY MUCH BUT TRY TO
WEDGE VOTERS, AND THAT'S NOT
WHAT WE WANT.
WHAT WE WANT TO SEE IS MORE
CARING, AND DEMOCRACY IS AN
IDEAL THAT WE CARE VERY DEEPLY ABOUT.

Steve says GO AHEAD.

The caption changes to "Brittany Andrew-Amofah, @BrittanyAmofah."

Brittany says YEAH, JUST TO ADD ON TO THAT,
I FULLY AGREE WITH EVERYTHING
THAT HEATHER JUST MENTIONED, BUT
ALSO THE WAY WE TALK ABOUT
DEMOCRACY, I THINK IT'S REALLY
IMPORTANT WHEN WE'RE HAVING
THESE CONVERSATIONS.
SO DEMOCRACY IS OUR ABILITY TO
PARTICIPATE OBVIOUSLY WITHIN THE
POLITICAL SYSTEM, BUT ALSO
OUTSIDE OF IT, AND HOW... TO
INTERACT.
I THINK HAVING A MORE WHOLESOME
CONVERSATION ABOUT DEMOCRACY
WILL ALLOW US TO MAYBE
UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE STILL HAVE
A POSITIVE RELATIONSHIP OR IDEA
AROUND DEMOCRACY AS A WHOLE.
I THINK THE INSTITUTIONS OUTSIDE
OF IT ARE JUST AS IMPORTANT,
BEING ABLE TO ORGANIZE OUTSIDE,
BEING ABLE TO RALLY, BEING ABLE
TO PARTICIPATE IN CIVIL SOCIETY,
BEING ABLE TO DEPUTE, ET CETERA.
AND TO ADD TO CRAIG'S POINT
AROUND ELECTORAL REFORM, WHICH
IS LIKE AN ONGOING PRESSING
ISSUE ABOUT WHETHER PEOPLE'S
VOTES MATTER OR NOT, BUT ALSO
HOW CAN WE INCREASE ENGAGEMENT
IN PEOPLE'S I WOULD SAY
INVESTMENTS WITHIN THE POLITICAL
SYSTEM, I THINK THAT'S SOMETHING
THAT SHOULD CONTINUE TO BE
DISCUSSED.
HOWEVER, WE'VE SEEN IN B.C.,
P.E.I., NOW WE'RE GOING TO LOOK
IN QUEBEC, WHETHER THESE THINGS
CAN ACTUALLY COME FORWARD.
SO THERE'S OBVIOUSLY A
DISCONNECT BETWEEN MAYBE THOSE
WHO DISCUSSED DEMOCRACY AT
GREATER LENGTH AND GRAPPLE WITH
THESE IDEAS AND THOSE... PEOPLE
ON THE GROUND IN TERMS OF, LIKE,
WHETHER THEY SEE IF ELECTORAL
REFORM IS SOMETHING THAT'S
ESSENTIAL ENOUGH FOR THEM TO
MOVE FORWARD WITH.
I'M NOT SAYING IT ISN'T, BUT
THERE'S SOME DISCONNECT
HAPPENING THERE, AND WHAT IS IT?

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Steve says WE ALL HEARD JEFFREY
CHUCKLING, SO WE ALL WANT TO
KNOW WHAT'S BEHIND THAT CHUCKLE.
GO AHEAD, JEFFREY.

Jeffrey says I LOVE DISCUSSIONS OF
ELECTORAL REFORM BECAUSE I
TAUGHT SEMINARS AT THE
UNIVERSITY AND YOU COULD SPEND
HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS IN THE
UNIVERSITY TALKING TO... IT WAS
FANTASTIC.
I LOVED IT.
AND I'VE COVERED ELECTIONS IN 20
COUNTRIES.
I LOVE IT.
THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS WHEN
THE PROPOSITION THAT HAS JUST
BEEN ADVANCED HAS BEEN PUT TO
THE CANADIAN PEOPLE IN BRITISH
COLUMBIA THREE TIMES, IN
ONTARIO, IN PRINCE EDWARD
ISLAND, EVERYBODY SAYS NO.
IT'S 0-5.
CAN WE PLEASE STOP TALKING ABOUT
IT?
THE CANADIAN PUBLIC DOESN'T WANT
IT.
I WANT TO GO BACK TO THE POINT
THAT I THOUGHT WAS QUITE
PROFOUND MADE JUST A MOMENT AGO,
THAT THERE ARE ALTERNATIVE WAYS
OF PARTICIPATING IN DEMOCRACY,
AND THAT'S ABSOLUTELY CORRECT.
IN MY VIEW, HAVING BEEN AROUND
SO LONG, ONE OF THE MOST
PROFOUND CHANGES, AND I'D LIKE
TO HEAR CRAIG SCOTT ON THIS, IS
THAT WE'VE BECOME VERY, VERY
MUCH MORE AMERICAN IN THE SENSE
THAT BECAUSE OF THE CHARTER OF
RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS WE NOW LOOK
TO THE JUDICIARY TO RULE ON AND
TO ARBITRATE WHAT ARE LARGELY
DEFINED AS POLITICAL ISSUES.
AND THE COURTS, TO MY SURPRISE,
EVER SINCE THE EARLY DAYS OF THE
CHARTER, HAVE BEEN VERY EAGER OR
PUT IT IN A NEGATIVE WAY NOT
UNWILLING TO TAKE UP THE CUDGELS
OF DOING, IN EFFECT, LARGE
POLITICAL QUESTIONS THROUGH THE
NARROW PRISM OF THE LAW.
TODAY WE ARE DEALING WITH THE
REFUGEE SITUATION.
WE'RE DEALING WITH IT IN THE
CONTEXT OF A STING DECISION THAT
WAS MADE MANY YEARS AGO WRITTEN
BY BERTHA WILSON IN THE EARLY
BLUSH OF EXPANSION OF THE
CHARTER.
MEDICARE, WHICH IS THE CLASSIC
CANADIAN PUBLIC POLICY ISSUE,
THE COURT CAME ALONG WITH A
CHAULIE DECISION AND SAID WE'RE
GOING TO LOOK AT THIS THROUGH
THE PRISM OF THE LAW.
THE TRANS MOUNTAIN DECISION,
WHICH WE JUST HAD, WHICH I
BELIEVE IS COMPLETELY
INCOHERENT, BUT THAT'S MY OWN
VIEW, NEVERTHELESS, THEY TOOK ON
A MAJOR PUBLIC POLICY ISSUE.
YOU ADD THAT TO THE UPSURGE OF
INDIGENOUS RIGHTS AS DEFINED BY
THE COURTS IN A VERY OPAQUE AND
OFTEN INCOMPREHENSIBLE WAY, AND
YOU'VE GOT REAL INCENTIVES FOR
PEOPLE NOT TO LOOK TO THE
POLITICAL SYSTEM AS THEY HAD TO
IN THE PAST BUT RATHER TO THE
COURTS.
I JUST SPENT A MONTH IN THE
UNITED STATES, IN THE SUN, I
MIGHT ADD, AND I READ, AS I DO
HABITUALLY, THREE OR FOUR PAPERS
A DAY.
AND I WAS CONSTANTLY STRUCK BOTH
AT THE VERY LOCAL LEVEL AND AT
THE NATIONAL LEVEL AT THE NUMBER
OF TIMES THAT A LEGISLATURE
WOULD PROPOSE SOMETHING OR A
GOVERNMENT WOULD PROPOSE
SOMETHING, AND BEFORE THEY
ACTUALLY GOT ANYTHING INTO THE
LEGISLATURE, LET ALONE
AFTERWARDS, PEOPLE, GROUPS WERE
THREATENING TO TAKE THIS TO THE
COURTS.
IT'S A VERY AMERICAN THING.
AND I DON'T THINK CANADIANS
FULLY UNDERSTAND YET EVEN AFTER
ALL THESE DECADES THE IMPACT
THAT THE CHARTER HAS HAD ON OUR
THINKING ABOUT DEMOCRACY AND THE
POOR SLOBS AND LADIES WHO GET
ELECTED TO PARLIAMENT WHOSE
VIEWS ARE OFTEN PUSHED ASIDE BY
COURTS THAT SAY, WELL, I KNOW
YOU CONSIDERED THIS, BUT THIS IS
OUR VIEW OF WHAT SHOULD BE DONE
BECAUSE OF OUR READING INTO THIS
CHARTER.
OVER TO YOU.

Steve says LET ME GET THE LAW
PROF FIRST ON WHETHER OR NOT
JUDGES HAVE NOW TAKEN OVER THE
ROLE THAT POLITICIANS
TRADITIONALLY PLAYED.

Craig says WELL, BY DEFINITION YES.
WITH THE CHARTER AND WITH
SECTION 35 ON ABORIGINAL TREATY
RIGHTS, THEY'VE BEEN PUT IN THE
ROLE AND THEY'VE ASSUMED IT IN
SOME SPHERES IN THE WAY THAT
JEFFREY DESCRIBES.
IN OTHER SPHERES THEY'VE CARVED
OUT AN AWFUL LOT OF DEFERENCE,
AND IN THE END, THE LITIGATION
IS PROBABLY COUNTERPRODUCTIVE
BECAUSE IN THE END THE COURTS
AREN'T REALLY DOING ALL THAT
MUCH, BUT IT IS DIVERTING ENERGY
IN THE WAY THAT JEFFREY
DESCRIBED.
ABSOLUTELY.
I THINK ONE OF THE PROBLEMS WITH
ANY CONSTITUTIONAL BILL OF
RIGHTS IS THAT IT DOES TWO
THINGS.
ONE IS IT PRODUCES A PATHWAY FOR
PARTIES AND POLITICIANS TO
ABSOLVE THEMSELVES OF
RESPONSIBILITY.
AND IN TWO WAYS.
ONE IS TO PASS THINGS SAYING
THAT IF IT'S REALLY A PROBLEM
THE COURTS WILL DEAL WITH IT.
AND THE OTHER IS TO SORT OF SAY
THAT IT'S NOT REALLY OUR JOB,
AND THAT'S THE PROBLEM I HAVE.
AND I THINK IT COMES A BIT OF AN
OVERLAP WITH JEFFREY HERE.
I THINK THERE'S A SHARED BURDEN
OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR
FUNDAMENTAL CONSTITUTIONAL
VALUES.
WE DO NOT HAVE A PARLIAMENTARY
SYSTEM THAT'S ACTUALLY ABLE TO
TAKE RIGHTS SERIOUSLY AS
PARLIAMENTARY... IN THE
PARLIAMENTARY REALM.
WE HAVE A VERY REDUCED SYSTEM
FOR LOOKING AT WHETHER THERE IS
A PROBLEM CONSTITUTIONALLY WITH
BILLS, AND SO IT'S TIME TO SAY
WE LOOKED AT THIS AND THOUGHT
ABOUT IT AND SOMEBODY SAID
CHARTER AND WE STILL VOTED FOR
IT, THAT DOESN'T...

Steve says HANG ON.
LET ME JUMP IN HERE.

Craig says WE NEED A BETTER.

Steve says WE NEED A BETTER SYSTEM.
PERFECT SEGUE.
I DON'T WANT THE CLOCK TO GET
AWAY FROM US HERE.
I'LL GIVE YOU THE FIRST KICK AT
IT, BRITTANY.
WHAT IF WE PICKED POLITICIANS A
COMPLETELY DIFFERENT WAY FROM
THE WAY WE DO RIGHT NOW?
ROLE CLIP PLEASE, SHELDON.

A clip plays on screen in which a man wearing a headset microphone speaks.
He's in his fifties, with short gray hair and a trimmed goatee.

He says THE IDEA IS ACTUALLY VERY SIMPLE.
WE RANDOMLY SELECT PEOPLE AND
PUT THEM IN PARLIAMENT.
LET'S THINK ABOUT THAT FOR A FEW
MORE MINUTES, SHALL WE?

A wide-shot shows the man standing on a stage with a sign that reads "TEDx Danubia."

The man continues IMAGINE WE CHOSE YOU AND YOU AND
YOU AND YOU AND YOU AND YOU DOWN
THERE, AND A BUNCH OF OTHER
RANDOM PEOPLE AND WE PUT YOU IN
OUR PARLIAMENT FOR THE NEXT
COUPLE OF YEARS.
OF COURSE WE COULD STRATIFY THE
SELECTION TO MAKE SURE THAT IT
MATCHED THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND
DEMOGRAPHIC PROFILE OF THE
COUNTRY AND WAS A TRULY
REPRESENTATIVE SAMPLE OF PEOPLE.
50 percent OF THEM WOULD BE WOMEN.
MANY OF THEM WOULD BE YOUNG.
SOME WOULD BE OLD.
A FEW WOULD BE RICH, BUT MOST OF
THEM WOULD BE ORDINARY PEOPLE
LIKE YOU AND ME.
THIS WOULD BE A MICROCOSM OF
SOCIETY, AND THIS MICROCOSM
WOULD SIMULATE HOW WE WOULD ALL
THINK IF WE HAD THE TIME, THE
INFORMATION AND A GOOD PROCESS
TO COME TO THE MORAL CRUX OF
POLITICAL DECISIONS.
AND ALTHOUGH YOU MAY NOT BE IN
THAT GROUP, SOMEONE OF YOUR AGE,
SOMEONE OF YOUR GENDER, SOMEONE
FROM YOUR LOCATION AND SOMEONE
WITH YOUR BACKGROUND WOULD BE IN
THAT ROOM.

The clip ends.

Steve says OKAY.
THAT'S A FELLOW NAMED BRETT HEN
IG AT A TED TALK IN HUNGARY.
HE PITCHED THIS IDEA CALLED
SORTITION.
NOT ELECTIONS, SORTITION.
BRITTANY, WHAT DO YOU THINK?

The caption changes to "Democracy without politicians or parties?"

Brittany says WELL, AS SOMEBODY WHO LOVES
IDEAS, NEW IDEAS AROUND
DEMOCRACY, GOVERNANCE, I ENJOYED
THIS, BUT I HAVE QUESTIONS.
I HAVE QUESTIONS AROUND WHAT IF
THOSE PEOPLE DON'T WANT TO
SERVE.
CAN THEY JUST PASS IT ALONG TO
THE OTHER PERSON?
IS THIS MANDATORY?
HOW DO WE ACCOUNT FOR RACIAL
DIVERSITY?
HE DID MENTION WOMEN, BUT WHAT
ARE THE METRICS AROUND RACIAL
DIVERSITY?
IS IT A PROPORTION...

Steve says LET'S SAY YES.

Brittany says RACIALIZED PEOPLE WOULD BE
DRASTICALLY UPPED REPRESENTED.
I WOULD IMAGINE THERE MAY BE
ONE, TWO, I'M NOT SURE OF THE...

Steve says WHY WOULD THERE BE?

Brittany says IF WE'RE LOOKING AT THE
CANADIAN POPULATION AT LARGE AND
THE DEMOGRAPHICS, WOULD THAT
ALLOW FOR THEIR VIEWS TO BE
PERMEATED WITHIN IT?
WHAT ARE THE DYNAMICS OF THIS
RANDOM SELECTION?
IT RAISES A LOT OF INTERESTING
QUESTIONS WE NEED TO GRAPPLE
WITH.
BUT EVERY TIME WE THINK ABOUT
DEMOCRACY, WE ALWAYS HAVE THESE
GRAND SWEEPING I GUESS
CATEGORIES OF CANADIANS, PEOPLE,
ET CETERA, BUT VERY, VERY...
ACTUALLY, NOT OFTEN AT ALL WE
DON'T ACTUALLY SPECIFICALLY
PINPOINT WHO WE'RE SPEAKING
ABOUT.
SO WHEN I TALK ABOUT DEMOCRACY,
I WANT TO HEAR FROM THOSE WHAT
ARE MOST MARGINALIZED, NOT
REPRESENTED IN THIS POLITICAL
SYSTEM.
HOW DO THEY FEEL ABOUT THEIR
REPRESENTATIVES OF DEMOCRACY.

Steve says WE HAVE FIVE MINUTES.
I WANT TO HEAR JEFFREY SIMPSON
ON THIS.
SORTITION.

Jeffrey says ABSOLUTELY CRACK BRAIN IDEA.

Steve says GET OFF THE FENCE.
TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK.

Jeffrey says GOOD FOR TED TALKS, BUT
POLITICS IS COMPLICATED.
THE ISSUES ARE EXTREMELY
COMPLICATED, AND IT SOUNDS
ARROGANT TO SAY THAT A RANDOM
SELECTION OF PEOPLE COULD MAKE
BETTER DECISIONS THAN THOSE WHO
HAVE STOOD IN ELECTIONS, THOUGHT
ABOUT THE ISSUES, ASKED THEIR
FELLOW CITIZENS FOR SUPPORT,
JOINED A POLITICAL PARTY.
I THINK YOU WOULD GET PEOPLE...
LOOK, IN MY EXPERIENCE, AND I'VE
BEEN AROUND FOR A WHILE, AND I'M
SAYING THIS KNOWING THAT CRAIG
IS WITH US, I'VE KNOWN HUNDREDS
OF MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT, AND
THEY ARE NO MORE OR LESS SMART
THAN THE AVERAGE CROSS SECTION
OF CANADIANS, AND THEY WORK A
HELL OF A LOT HARDER, BY THE
WAY, THAN MOST OF US DO.
AND THEY DON'T DESERVE THE ABUSE
THAT WE SOMETIMES HEAP ON THEM.
AND SO THIS OTHER SCHEME, YOU
HAVE A LARGE CIVIL SERVICE,
RIGHT?
WE'RE FORTUNATE IN CANADA TO
HAVE AN HONEST AND GENERALLY
VERY GOOD CIVIL SERVICE.
WHO'S GOING TO RUN THE CIVIL
SERVICE IN THIS COLLECTION OF
350 PEOPLE?
WHO'S GOING TO DIRECT THE CIVIL
SERVICE?
WHO'S GOING TO OVERSEE THE
ADMINISTRATION OF THE PROGRAMS
ON WHICH WE DEPEND?
WHO'S GOING TO MAKE SURE THAT
THE TAXES GET... POLITICS IS A
DIFFICULT... GOVERNMENT IS A
DIFFICULT BUSINESS, AND TO
ARBITRARILY PICK PEOPLE OUT OF
NOWHERE, EVEN IF THEY ARE QUOTE
UNQUOTE FULLY REPRESENTATIVE IS
A RECIPE FOR CHAOS.
I REMIND YOU THAT SEVERAL
HUNDRED YEARS AGO POLAND TRIED A
PARLIAMENT JUST LIKE THAT, A
WHOLE BUNCH OF INDIVIDUALS, AND
IT ALL FELL APART AND THE
COUNTRY COLLAPSED.

Steve says HEATHER?

Heather says I HAVE TO SAY I DISAGREE AS
FAR AS IT ACTUALLY HAPPENING
PROBABLY NOT, BUT THE SENATE
WOULD BE A LOVELY PLACE TO START ON THIS.
I HAPPENED TO BE INVOLVED IN
INTERVIEWING PEOPLE IN THE
CITIZENS ASSEMBLY, AND I WATCHED
A COLLECTION OF 300 AND SOME ODD
ONTARIANS GET TO KNOW THE
NUANCES OF ELECTORAL REFORM.
THEY WERE SO COMMITTED.
THEY WERE SO HARD WORKING.

Steve says THIS WAS ABOUT 12
YEARS AGO.

Heather says ABOUT 12 YEARS AGO IN
ONTARIO, AND IT WAS ONE OF THE
MOST INSPIRING POLITICAL EVENTS
TO SEE IN PRACTICE, AND THEY
GAVE A LOT OF THEMSELVES.
THEY TOOK IT SERIOUSLY.
AND NOT TO SAY THAT THERE WAS NO
POWER BROKING, BUT YOU COULD
TELL THAT THOSE INDIVIDUALS...
AND THIS GETS AT SOMETHING
REALLY, REALLY IMPORTANT, IS
THEY WEREN'T IN IT TO BE
RE-ELECTED.
NOW THAT'S ALSO THE DOWNSIDE OF
THIS, IS THERE'S NO
ACCOUNTABILITY AFTER THEY MAKE
THE DECISION.
BUT THERE IS SOMETHING...
THERE'S A DELICIOUS IDEA OF
SENDING THE ORDINARY GUY TO
OTTAWA IN THE SENATE AND SEE
WHAT HAPPENS.

Jeffrey says CAN I JUST SAY THAT INSTANCE,
AND I KNOW THE MAN WHO CHAIRED
IT, HE'S A GREAT FRIEND OF MINE,
ONE ISSUE, 12 MONTHS.
YOU'RE RUNNING A GOVERNMENT,
ISSUES HIT YOU EVERY SINGLE DAY
YOU HADN'T EXPECTED.
YOU'RE DEALING WITH A WELTER OF
ISSUES ALL THE TIME.
SO THAT EXAMPLE, WHICH IS A GOOD
ONE, FOR ONE ISSUE DOES NOT
APPLY IN THIS CRACK BRAIN IDEA
THAT THAT GENTLEMAN HAD.

[Laughter].

Steve says ABOUT A MINUTE AND A
HALF LEFT.
CRAIG, TAKE IT.

Craig says THERE ARE ELEMENTS OF THE
IDEA THAT HAVE MERIT IN THE
SENSE OF PRODUCING... IT'S NOT
JUST A MATTER OF GETTING A BUNCH
OF PEOPLE WHO ARE
DEMOGRAPHICALLY REPRESENTATIVE
AND HAVING THEM VOTE.
THE KEY HERE IS A DELIBERATIVE
DEMOCRACY ELEMENT THAT HE
THINKS... I THINK HE THINKS THAT
MOST PARTY AND CURRENT SYSTEMS
DEAL WITH INADEQUATELY, AND
THAT'S TRUE.
JUST AS AN EXAMPLE, THE IDEA OF
DEBATES IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS,
AND JEFFREY HAS TO AGREE WITH ME
ON THIS, WHATEVER DEBATES USED
TO BE, THEY DON'T EXIST NOW.
I WOULD, FOR EXAMPLE... I WOULD
GO IN SMALL STEPS TO VERSIONS OF
THIS WHERE CITIZEN JURIES ARE
USED IN DENMARK.
CITIZENS ASSEMBLIES HAVE BEEN
USED IN OTHER AREAS.
YOU DO NOT USE IT AS A WHOLESALE
GOVERNING MECHANISM.
YOU USE IT AS A WAY TO ALSO PUT
PRESSURE ON THE POLITICAL
PROCESS.
YOU DON'T TAKE THE DECISION AWAY
FROM ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES,
BUT YOU ACTUALLY INCREASE THE
HORIZONS IN TERMS OF WHAT DO THE
BUNCH OF THOUGHTFUL PEOPLE WHO
HAD A LITTLE BIT OF TIME COME UP
WITH.
CAN THIS TRANSCEND SOME OF THE
WORST SIDES OF OUR OVERLY
PARTISAN GRIDIRON SYSTEM?
I THINK THERE ARE WAYS YOU CAN
LAYER IT.
CHARLIE ANGUS AND I WENT AROUND
TO A FEW TOWN HALLS AND SAID
WHEN YOU GET RID OF THE SENATE,
SOMETHING RESEMBLING A ROLLING
CITIZENS ASSEMBLY WOULD BE A...

Steve says WE GOT TO GET OUT OF
HERE.
TIME'S UP.

Craig says BUT ONLY IF IT'S ADVISORY,
NOT IF IT'S BINDING.

Brittany says TALKING TO THOSE WHO ARE
LEAST REPRESENTED, THEN WE CAN
SHIFT DEMOCRACY CONVERSATIONS.
WE'RE NOT THERE YET, BUT I THINK
WE SHOULD START DOING SO.

Steve says I THINK FORMER
AFFAIRS COLUMNISTS IN OTTAWA
DESERVE 10 VOTES AND THE REST
OF US SHOULD JUST GET ONE.
THAT WOULD BE THE REFORM
I'D COME UP WITH.

Jeffrey says I WANT TO BE A MEMBER OF THIS NEW GROUP.
I DON'T HAVE TO RUN FOR OFFICE.
SOMEBODY'S GOING TO PICK ME.

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

Steve says WE HAVE TO SORTITION
OUR WAY OUT OF HERE, EVERYBODY.
THAT'S JEFFREY SIMPSON, THE
FORMER NATIONAL AFFAIRS
COLUMNIST WITH "THE GLOBE AND
MAIL" NOW FELLOW AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA, AND TO OUR
THREE FRIENDS IN THE STUDIO
HERE, HEATHER BASTEDO, BRITTANY
ANDREW-AMOFAH, CRAIG SCOTT,
THANKS FOR BEING ON TVO WITH US
TONIGHT AS WELL.

All the guests say THANK YOU.

Watch: Fixing Our Democracy