Transcript: What Future for the People's Power? | Oct 20, 2020

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

A caption on screen reads "What future for the people's power? @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says THERE ARE 338 ELECTED MEMBERS OF THE CANADIAN PARLIAMENT AND 124 MPPs AT QUEEN'S PARK. BUT HOW OFTEN DO WE ACTUALLY HEAR FROM ANY BUT A SMALL GROUP THE PARTY LEADERS, MAYBE A FEW TOP MINISTERS - IN THE DAILY CUT AND THRUST OF OUR DEMOCRATIC POLITICS? IT'S EASY TO BE CYNICAL ABOUT THAT, BUT WHAT HAPPENS IF WE ASK: DO WE REALLY NEED ALL THOSE POLITICIANS? AND AS A DEMOCRACY, WHATEVER MIGHT REPLACE THEM? WITH US TO INQUIRE, FEARLESSLY, INTO ALL OF THAT, WE WELCOME: IN THE NATION'S CAPITAL, THERE'S: GARRY KELLER, HE'S VICE PRESIDENT AT StrategyCorp, AND ONCE CHIEF OF STAFF TO FORMER FOREIGN MINISTER JOHN BAIRD...

Garry is in his forties, clean-shaven, with short gray hair. He's wearing glasses, a gray suit and a white shirt.

Steve continues IN HAMILTON, ONTARIO: CLIFTON VAN DER LINDEN, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AT MCMASTER UNIVERSITY...

Clifton is in his late thirties, with short, side-parted brown hair. He's wearing a blue suit and a blue shirt.

Steve continues AND ALSO IN THE AMBITIOUS CITY THERE'S: VASS BEDNAR, PUBLIC POLICY CONSULTANT AND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF "REGS TO RICHES," A NEWSLETTER ABOUT START-UPS AND PUBLIC POLICY IN CANADA...

Vass is in her thirties, with brown hair in a ponytail. She's wearing glasses, a black blazer and a black sweater.

Steve continues IT'S GREAT TO HAVE YOU THREE WITH US HERE ON TVO TONIGHT. LET ME JUST START BY THROWING A FEW NUMBERS YOUR WAY AND THEN I'LL GET YOU THREE TO COMMENT ON THOSE. ACCORDING TO PEW RESEARCH, THAT'S P-E-W RESEARCH, A REPUTABLE RESEARCH FIRM IN THE UNITED STATES, CANADIANS WERE ASKED WHAT THEY THOUGHT ABOUT THIS STATEMENT: ELECTED OFFICIALS CARE ABOUT WHAT ORDINARY PEOPLE THINK. ONLY 24 percent OF PEOPLE SURVEYED AGREED WITH THAT STATEMENT. 59 percent DID NOT. ALMOST 60 percent OF PEOPLE SURVEYED PRE-COVID THOUGHT OUR DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM DOES NOT REPRESENT THEM WELL. 60 percent. VASS, START US OFF. ARE PEOPLE RIGHT TO THINK THAT WAY?

The caption changes to "Vass Bednar. Public Policy Consultant."
Then, it changes again to "Canadians want a better democracy."

Vass says I THINK THEY'RE RIGHT AND THEY'RE WRONG AT THE SAME TIME. BECAUSE THE PRIMARY TECHNOLOGY THAT WE USE TO FIND OUT WHAT PEOPLE THINK OR HOW THEY FEEL IS POLLING, AND IT'S VERY IMPERSONAL, RIGHT? SO IT DOESN'T SURPRISE ME THAT BECAUSE WE RELY SO MUCH ON POLLING, PEOPLE THEN FEEL THAT THERE'S AN INAUTHENTIC CONNECTION WITH THEIR ELECTED OFFICIALS. THE FLIP SIDE OF THIS IS THAT THERE ARE SO MANY TECHNOLOGIES OUT THERE AND TECHNOLOGICAL OPTIONS, WHEREAS IF WE WERE TO INVEST MORE IN OUR DELIBERATIVE INFRASTRUCTURE, WE COULD DO A BETTER JOB ACTUALLY TALKING TO PEOPLE AND HELP POLITICIANS, WHO ARE FUNDAMENTALLY KIND OF PLATFORMS OF THE PULSE OF THE PEOPLE, DO A BETTER JOB DOING WHAT THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO DO.

Steve says LET ME JUST JUMP IN. DELIBERATIVE INFRASTRUCTURE. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

Vass says SO WE HAVE EXAMPLES FROM AROUND THE WORLD AND SOME THAT WE'VE BEEN INCUBATING IN CANADA AND I THINK SOME THAT WE'LL TALK TO ON THE SHOW, HOW WE CAN TAP INTO THE PULSE MORE, CO-AUTHOR, CROWDSOURCE LEGISLATIVE DOCUMENTS, KIND OF GO BACK TO PEOPLE, AND ALSO IMPROVE THE EXPLAINABILITY OF OUR FINAL DECISIONS. THAT'S SOMETHING I THINK POLITICS AND POLICY HAS SO MUCH IN COMMON WITH TECHNOLOGY WHEN IT COMES TO THE MOVEMENT OF EXPLAINABILITY IN A.I., THERE'S A HUNGER I THINK TO UNDERSTAND, WE MADE A DECISION BUT WHY? NOT JUST DOWNLOADING WHAT THE DECISION WAS, BUT WHY DID WE CHOOSE THAT? WE KNOW OTHER OPTIONS WERE CONSIDERED. SHARING THE RATIONALE CAN HELP BUILD TRUST IN OUR PARLIAMENT, I THINK.

Steve says INTERESTING. WE'LL COME BACK TO THAT LATER. GARRY, THOSE NUMBERS OFF THE TOP, HOW DO YOU REACT WHEN YOU HEAR THOSE?

The caption changes to "Garry Keller. Strategycorp."

Garry says WHILE I'M NOT SURPRISED, IT IS DISAPPOINTING TO HEAR THOSE NUMBERS. AND, YOU KNOW, WITH POLITICAL ACTIONS THAT TAKE PLACE, YOU KNOW, WITH SCANDALS THAT HAPPEN OR THE SCANDAL DU JOUR, WHETHER IT'S AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL OR THE PROVINCIAL LEVEL OR EVEN AT THE MUNICIPAL LEVEL, YOU KNOW, CITIZENS DON'T REALLY DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN THE TWO, OR THREE LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT. THEY HEAR A SCANDAL AND THEY HEAR ABOUT IT IN THE NEWSPAPER, AND THAT IN ITSELF, YOU KNOW, DETERIORATES PUBLIC CONFIDENCE AND TRUST IN THE SYSTEM. I THINK IT BEHOOVES ALL PUBLIC OFFICIALS TO HAVE THAT IN THE BACK OF THEIR MIND WHEN THEY THINK THEY'RE ACTING IN THE PUBLIC GOOD. THE CHALLENGE IS WITH SOME OF THE TECHNOLOGIES THAT VASS TALKED ABOUT, HAVING WORKED ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE, BOTH IN GOVERNMENT AND IN OPPOSITION IN SENIOR HOUSE LEADERSHIP ROLES, THE GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER'S OFFICE, THE WHIP'S OFFICE, OR IN THE LEADER'S OFFICE, OUR WESTMINSTER STYLE OF GOVERNMENT IS NOT WELL SET UP TO HANDLE SOME OF THESE TECHNOLOGIES. IN A LOT OF WAYS TRYING TO POUND A SQUARE PEG INTO A ROUND HOLE. AND SO WHEN NEW IDEAS COME FORWARD, AND I'M THINKING OF WHEN PRESTON MANNING, THIS GUY FROM WESTERN CANADA CAME OUT WITH THIS FUNNY LITTLE VOICE AND RAG-TAG BAND OF MPs AND TALKED ABOUT REFERENDA AND DIRECT ADDRESSES, THE POLITICAL ELITES IN TORONTO AND OTTAWA AND MONTREAL LAUGHED AT HIM. I THINK ABOUT THE TIME WHEN HE TRIED TO DEMONSTRATE WHERE HE WAS ONE MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, HE WAS ONE OUT OF MANY AND HE SAT IN THE SECOND ROW OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS AS LEADERS AND HE WAS LAUGHED AT AND MOCKED BY THE LEGAL ELITE IN OTTAWA. WHILE THE NUMBERS AREN'T SURPRISING, THEY ARE DISAPPOINTING. THAT'S WHY WE NEED STRONG RULES, STRONG LAWS IN PLACE, SO MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT AND ELECTED OFFICIALS ALWAYS HAVE THOSE CONCEPTS IN THE BACK OF THEIR MIND WHEN THEY'RE MAKING DECISIONS ON THE PUBLIC GOOD.

Steve says CLIFTON, I'LL REMIND EVERYBODY: ELECTED OFFICIALS CARE ABOUT WHAT ORDINARY PEOPLE THINK. 24 percent OF CANADIANS ENDORSE THAT VIEW. HOW DISAPPOINTING IS THAT NUMBER FOR YOU?

The caption changes to "Clifton Van Der Linden. McMaster University."

Clifton says DISAPPOINTING BUT NOT SURPRISING. IF YOU LOOK AT THE RESULTS OF THE CANADIAN ELECTION STUDY WHICH GOES BACK DECADES, YOU'LL SEE THAT IN THE 1980s, EARLY 1980s IN PARTICULAR, THERE WAS A SHARP DROP... OR A SHARP INCREASE, I SHOULD SAY, IN CYNICISM AMONG CANADIANS AND THIS REFLECTS A BROADER GLOBAL TREND WHICH MAY BE THE RESULT OF A VARIETY OF FACTORS, BUT THE NOTION THAT PEOPLE GENERALLY FEEL THAT POLITICIANS ARE LARGELY SET OUT TO ADVANCE THEIR OWN AGENDAS AS OPPOSED TO THE AGENDAS OF THE PEOPLE AND THE PUBLIC INTEREST, IT'S SOMETHING THAT IS A FINDING THAT HAS BEEN REPRODUCED OVER DECADES.

Steve says NOW, JUST BEFORE YOU FOLKS GOT HERE, WE DID AN INTERVIEW EARLIER IN THE PROGRAM WITH ALEX MARLAND WHO IS A PROFESSOR AT NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR AND HAS THIS NEW BOOK OUT CALLED "WHIPPED" WHICH DOES NOT PAINT A VERY PRETTY PICTURE OF THE AMOUNT OF FREE SPEECH THAT POLITICIANS IN THIS COUNTRY HAVE AND WHAT THEIR PARTY WHIPS OBLIGE THEM TO DO. LET'S JUST PLAY A SHORT SNIPPET OF THAT AND THEN WE'LL COME BACK AND CHAT. SHELDON, IF YOU WOULD, THE CLIP?

A clip plays on screen with the caption "Alex Marland. October 20, 2020."
In the clip, Alex speaks on screen. He's in his forties, clean-shaven, with short blond hair.

He says THE MORE CANADIANS LEARN ABOUT POLITICAL PARTIES I THINK THE MORE FRUSTRATED THEY WOULD GET. ANYBODY WHO BECOMES A CANDIDATE WITH A POLITICAL PARTY INSTANTLY STARTS REALIZING THAT THEY ARE NOT A FREE AGENT, THAT THEY ARE JOINING A POLITICAL CLUB, THEY ARE PART OF A TEAM, THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO FOLLOW THE RULES OF THAT TEAM, AND THEN YOU BECOME AN MP OR AN MPP, AND THE RULES GET EVEN TIGHTER FOR YOU, AND YOU START REALIZING THAT, WOW, YOU KNOW, I'M NOT HERE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. I'M HERE TO REPRESENT MY PARTY. I MEAN, THIS IS NOT WHAT I SIGNED UP FOR. AND SO GENERALLY I WOULD SAY THAT THIS IS THE CHALLENGE FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE. THEY BECOME REDUCED TO VOTING MACHINES. THEY BECOME PARTY ROBOTS. THEY BECOME TRAINED SEALS. AND FOR THE AVERAGE CANADIAN, IT'S NOT A GOOD LOOK. IT DOESN'T MAKE US THINK THAT WE HAVE A VIBRANT DEMOCRACY WHEN PARTIES ARE SO POWERFUL.

The clip ends.

Steve says VASS, HE WENT ON TO SAY THEY'RE BASICALLY BRAND AMBASSADORS. AND I WONDER WHAT THE... WHAT DOES THE SPECTACLE OF HAVING SUPPOSEDLY INTELLIGENT PEOPLE MOUTHING THE EXACT SAME TALKING POINTS DAY IN AND DAY OUT, EVERYWHERE THEY GO, REGARDLESS OF THEIR INTERACTIONS WITH THE PUBLIC, WHAT DOES THAT DO IN TERMS OF UNDERMINING PEOPLE'S FAITH IN RATIONAL DEMOCRACY?

The caption changes to "Vass Bednar, @vassb."
The caption changes to "Undemocratic parties."

Vass says I THINK IT DOES A LOT TO UNDERMINE PEOPLE'S FAITH IN DEMOCRACY, IN THAT IT FEELS LIKE A BIT OF A PANTOMIME. SO, YOU KNOW, ON THE ONE HAND, IT'S COMFORTING THAT OUR PARLIAMENTARY INSTITUTION HAS BEEN SO RESILIENT AND CONSISTENT OVER TIME. BUT ON THE OTHER HAND, THE VECTOR OF REPRESENTATION THAT WE HAVE, GEOGRAPHY, IS OUTDATED. IT FAILS PEOPLE. PEOPLE DON'T LIVE AND WORK IN THE SAME RIDING ANYMORE, EXCEPT NOW IN THE PANDEMIC WHEN YOU WORK FROM HOME, RIGHT? AND THE POPULATION IS MORE EDUCATED THAN EVER BEFORE. THEY'RE MORE ENGAGED. WE HAVE MORE TOOLS. THERE'S AN EXPECTATION OF MORE TOUCHPOINTS, MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR INPUT BEYOND THE ELECTION CYCLE. SO IT MAKES LESS SENSE TO ELECT ONE PERSON AND KIND OF ABSOLVE YOURSELF OF ANY KIND OF CONSTANT INPUT INTO THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS. ON THE SIDE OF, YOU KNOW, BEING WHIPPED OR THAT KIND OF MESSAGE CONTROL, I THINK IT'S SKEWED A LITTLE BIT TOO MUCH BUT IT DOESN'T SURPRISE ME AND IT DOESN'T ACTUALLY BOTHER ME THAT MUCH. I THINK IT'S A LITTLE BIT OF A FLAWED FANTASY TO THINK THAT AN ELECTED OFFICIAL, SOMEONE GETS ELECTED AND THEN THEY'RE RUNNING AROUND WITH LIKE A WORD DOCUMENT OR GOOGLE DOC, LIKE WRITING LEGISLATION TO ENGAGE IN ROBUST POLICY-MAKING. THAT IS A TEAM SPORT. WE HAVE THINK-TANKS, WE HAVE THE CIVIL SERVICE, WE HAVE ACADEMICS, AND I THINK WE NEED TO MOVE AWAY FROM THAT. BECAUSE THAT IDEA IN AND OF ITSELF IS ACTUALLY TO MY MIND UNDEMOCRATIC. THE IDEA I ELECT ONE PERSON AND THEN THEY'RE GOING TO GO KIND OF, YOU KNOW, WRITE A POLICY AND THAT'S IT. I DON'T LIKE IT.

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

Steve says ALTHOUGH, GARRY, ON THIS ISSUE OF TALKING POINTS, AND YOUR FORMER BOSS JOHN BAIRD WAS ONE OF THE BEST AT THIS. THE OLD EXPRESSION WAS, YOU SAY IT OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER, AND WHEN YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY SICK TO DEATH OF SAYING IT, ONLY AT THAT MOMENT HAS IT PENETRATED THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF THE ELECTORATE IN GENERAL BECAUSE OF COURSE THEY HAVE REAL LIVES AND THEY'RE NOT FOCUSED ON ALL THIS STUFF. I MEAN, THAT'S ONE OF THE OTHER FACTS OF POLITICS AS WELL, IS IT NOT, AND WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT THAT?

The caption changes to "Garry Keller, @garry_keller."

Garry says YEAH, FOR SURE. I MEAN, THAT'S ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. IN ORDER FOR A MESSAGE TO GET OUT, IT HAS TO BE REPEATED AND REPEATED AND REPEATED OVER AGAIN. AND I, YOU KNOW, I'M A STRONG BELIEVER IN THE PREMISE THAT POLITICS IS A TEAM SPORT. YOU KNOW, DON'T TEND TO ELECT INDEPENDENTS IN THIS COUNTRY. THE RULES ARE STACKED AGAINST INDEPENDENTS. LOOK, IF PARLIAMENTARIANS, IF MPs WANTED TO CHANGE THE RULES, THEY COULD AMEND THE CANADA ELECTIONS ACT TOMORROW AND PROVIDE INCENTIVES FOR INDEPENDENTS TO RUN AND GET ELECTED. IT IS EXTREMELY RARE FOR INDEPENDENTS TO GET ELECTED IN OUR SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT. MOST INDEPENDENTS WHO DO GET ELECTED HAVE BEEN EITHER KICKED OUT OR LEFT ANOTHER PARTY AND GOT ELECTED THEMSELVES AN INDEPENDENT. BUT EVEN THE SIMPLE RULES LIKE, LET'S SAY YOU'RE AN INDEPENDENT, YOU'RE INDEPENDENT-MINDED, YOU REALLY FEEL STRONGLY ABOUT GETTING ELECTED. YOU CAN'T RAISE MONEY BETWEEN ELECTION CAMPAIGNS. YOU CAN ONLY RAISE MONEY IN A YEAR THAT THERE'S AN ELECTION. AND IT'S ONLY A MAXIMUM OF $1600 PER PERSON. AND LET'S SAY YOU DO REALLY WELL, YOU GET ELECTED AND YOU HAVE A SURPLUS, YOU KNOW, POLITICAL PARTIES GET TO GET THAT MONEY BACK, THAT SURPLUS MONEY BACK. IF YOU'RE AN INDEPENDENT, ELECTIONS CANADA GETS THAT MONEY. SO THE RULES ARE STACKED IN SUCH A WAY THAT IT MAKES IT ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE FOR INDEPENDENTS TO GET ELECTED. AND I ACTUALLY DON'T MIND THAT SYSTEM BECAUSE I DO BELIEVE THAT POLITICS ARE A TEAM SPORT. AND IF WE HAVE 338 INDEPENDENT MPs AND WE GOT RID OF POLITICAL PARTIES AND BANNED THEM, THEY WOULD GATHER TOGETHER IN COALITIONS OF LOOSE FISH ANYWAY. WELL, I LIKE WHAT JANE'S POSITION ON X IS AND I LIKE WHAT STEVE'S POSITION ON Y IS AND, BOY, I SURE LIKE SITTING WITH CHRISTINE ON COMMITTEE. MAYBE WE SHOULD, YOU KNOW, GET TOGETHER AND DIVVY UP THE WORK SO THERE'S NOT SO MUCH WORK FOR US. I THINK ESPECIALLY WITH A WESTMINSTER STYLE OF GOVERNMENT, POLITICS IS A TEAM SPORT AND I THINK THAT'S JUST THE REALITY OF THE WAY THINGS ARE.

Steve says IT'S A TEAM SPORT BUT, CLIFTON, I WONDER WHETHER, YOU KNOW, ON THE OTHER HAND, WE HAVE AN INCREDIBLY RIGID DISCIPLINED SYSTEM RIGHT NOW WHERE MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT ESSENTIALLY BY 96, 97, 98 PERCENT MARGINS VOTE WITH THEIR PARTY ON EVERY VOTE. THAT WAS ONE OF THE THINGS THAT CAME OUT OF ALEX MARLAND'S BOOK. ON THE OTHER HAND, YOU HAVE A SCENARIO THAT GARRY JUST DESCRIBED WHICH SIMPLY MAY NOT WORK IN A WESTMINSTER STYLE SYSTEM. YOU STUDY THE POLITICAL BEHAVIOUR OF POLITICIANS. WHAT'S YOUR SENSE OF HOW SERIOUSLY CANADIANS ARE TAKING THE BEHAVIOUR OF OUR POLITICIANS WHEN THEY HEAR THIS MESSAGE TRACK ROTE, DISCIPLINED, OVER AND OVER AND OVER?

The caption changes to "Clifton Van Der Linden, @CliffVdLinden."

Clifton says WELL, I THINK THERE'S A DISCOUNT THAT'S APPLIED TO POLITICAL SPEECH BY MOST CANADIANS. I THINK THEY RECOGNIZE THAT IN A PARTY SYSTEM LIKE OURS, BEFORE YOU CAN BE ELECTED BY THE PUBLIC, YOU HAVE TO BE ELECTED BY YOUR PARTY OR NOMINATED BY YOUR PARTY. AND TO THAT END, YOU KNOW, YOUR FIRST LOYALTY, IT OSTENSIBLY MAY BE TO YOUR PARTY. TO GARRY'S POINT, WITHOUT THAT MECHANISM IN CANADIAN POLITICS, YOU REALLY DON'T HAVE MUCH OF A SHOT OF BEING ELECTED BY THE PUBLIC. SO I THINK THERE'S A BROAD RECOGNITION OF THAT FACT. I DO THINK THAT IN CANADA AT LEAST THE PUBLIC CONFIDENCE IN OUR GOVERNMENT IS MORE THAN... IT'S MORE DYNAMIC THAN JUST THE CONFIDENCE IN ELECTED POLITICIANS. IN CANADA WE HAVE HIGH LEVELS OF INSTITUTIONAL TRUST IN OUR GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS AND OUR PUBLIC SERVICE, FOR EXAMPLE, WHICH TO SOME EXTENT MAY ACT AS A COUNTER-BALANCE. THERE ALSO NEEDS TO BE SOME RECOGNITION THAT THE PRACTICE OF POLITICS IS NOT MERELY HOW PEOPLE VOTE IN THE HOUSE ON A PARTICULAR BILL, IT'S ALSO THE BACKROOM DISCUSSIONS THAT HAPPEN AMONG POLITICIANS, THE INTEREST THAT THEY BRING TO THE TABLE IN CAUCUS. THERE ARE A LOT OF DISCUSSIONS THAT HAPPEN BEHIND CLOSED DOORS WHERE I THINK POLITICIANS ARE ADVOCATING FOR THE INTERESTS OF THEIR CONSTITUENTS, BUT THOSE CONVERSATIONS ARE IN CAMERA. SO AS A RESULT, THESE INTERESTS MAY BE BROUGHT TO THE TABLE, BUT AS IN ALL PARTY POLITICS, ONCE A DECISION IS MADE, IT'S A UNITED FRONT.

Steve says WELL, AS MONTY PYTHON MIGHT HAVE SAID: AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT AS WE CONSIDER ALTERNATIVES TO OUR FIRST PAST THE POST SYSTEM AND THE WAY WE DO POLITICS IN THIS COUNTRY, I WANT TO PLAY A CLIP HERE FROM A GUY NAMED BRETT HENNING WHO RUNS AND STARTED SOMETHING CALLED THE SORTITION FOUNDATION. IF YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT A DIFFERENT WAY TO DO POLITICS, LET'S LISTEN TO WHAT THIS GUY HAS TO SAY. SHELDON, THE CLIP, IF YOU WOULD.

A clip plays on screen.

In the clip, Brett Henning stands on a stage and speaks to an audience. He's in his late forties, with short gray hair and a goatee.

He says THE TECHNICAL NAME IS SORTITION BUT IT IS RANDOM. IT IS SIMPLE: WE RANDOMLY SELECT PEOPLE AND PUT THEM IN PARLIAMENT.

[LAUGHTER]

Brett continues LET'S THINK ABOUT THAT FOR A FEW MORE MINUTES, SHALL WE? 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 SOCIOECONOMIC 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.

The clip ends.

Steve says VASS, SORTITION. A LONG WAY FROM WHERE WE ARE TODAY WHICH IS A VERY PROFESSIONAL POLITICIZED CLASS. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE IDEA?

The caption changes to "Democracy without voting."

Vass says SO I WONDER IF PEOPLE WOULD BE WILLING OR ABLE TO GIVE UP THAT CHUNK OF TIME IN THEIR LIVES, RIGHT, TWO, THREE, FOUR YEARS. BUT I DO LOVE THE CONCEPT AS IT APPLIES TO SOMETHING LIKE CIVIC LOTTERIES WHICH WE HAVE BEEN INCUBATING WITH HERE IN CANADA AND RANDOMLY SELECTING PEOPLE JUST LIKE A JURY, A CITIZEN'S JURY, AND HAVING THEM DIG DEEPLY INTO BIG POLICY ISSUES AND COME UP WITH RECOMMENDATIONS THAT ELECTED OFFICIALS CAN HAVE. WERE I TO BE RANDOMLY SELECTED TO BECOME A MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS, I THINK IT WOULD TOTALLY FREAK ME OUT. IT'S NOT FOR EVERYONE. BUT WE SHOULD BE TALKING ABOUT THIS. THERE'S SOMETHING THERE ABOUT THE RANDOMNESS AND REPRESENTATIVENESS I THINK WE SHOULD BE LOOKING INTO.

Steve says YOU SAY YOU WOULD BE FREAKED OUT. I WOULD LOVE TO BE GUIDED BY SOMEONE AS WISE AND INTELLIGENT AS YOU. WHY WOULD IT FREAK YOU OUT?

Vass says I THINK THERE IS AN AMBITION FOR POLITICIANS IN BEING THAT PROFESSIONAL CLASS. SO I THINK PEOPLE WOULD WELCOME THE WORK OF REFLECTING THEIR BEST THINKING IN A GROUP AND A TEAM SETTING. BUT I THINK THE DIFFERENCE IN BEING A POLITICIAN AND AN INDIVIDUAL IS THAT IT'S YOUR BRAND, RIGHT? IT'S YOUR PERSONA. AND THAT'S DIFFERENT FROM RANDOMLY ASKING PEOPLE TO THINK HARD ABOUT A REALLY DIFFICULT ISSUE, WHICH IS WHAT WE SHOULD DO MORE OF, TO HAVE A MORE TRUSTWORTHY, CREDIBLE PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM.

Steve says HMM. GARRY, AS A GOOD CONSERVATIVE, YOU NO DOUBT REMEMBER WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY ONCE SAYING: I'D RATHER BE GOVERNED BY THE FIRST 200 NAMES IN THE BOSTON TELEPHONE BOOK THAN BY THE 200 SMARTEST PROFESSORS AT HARVARD UNIVERSITY. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS NOTION OF SORTITION?

Garry says WELL, LOOK, I THINK THERE ARE SOME ISSUES WITH IT BECAUSE FOR EVERY VASS IN THE WORLD, THAT WOULD BE GREAT TO BE PLUCKED OUT OF AT RANDOM TO BE PART OF PARLIAMENT, THERE'S OBVIOUSLY THE FLIP SIDE TO THAT ARGUMENT AS WELL. I DO AGREE WITH ONE POINT IN THAT CLIP, WHEN THE PERSON TALKING TALKED ABOUT A MICROCOSM OF SOCIETY. I ACTUALLY THINK IN A LOT OF WAYS PARLIAMENT IS A MICROCOSM OF SOCIETY. YES, IS IT REPRESENTATIVE AS A WHOLE OF SOCIETY? NO. BUT THERE ARE POCKETS, AND THERE ARE IN DIFFERENT CLASSES OF PEOPLE WHO SIT IN PARLIAMENT, AND WE HAVE TO REMEMBER AS WELL THAT THE ONLY... YOU HAVE TO GET CLEARED AS A CANDIDATE BY YOUR PARTY. BUT AS A FIRST TIME MP, YOU HAVE A 36-DAY JOB INTERVIEW AND THAT'S IT, IN AN ELECTION CAMPAIGN. YOU KNOW, THERE ARE A LOT OF REGULAR PEOPLE WHO DO DECIDE THAT THEY WANT TO PUT THEIR NAME FORWARD AND BECOME PART OF THE POLITICAL SYSTEM. AND I DON'T THINK THAT'S A BAD THING. SO I DO THINK IN SOME WAYS IT'S NOT COMPLETELY REPRESENTATIVE OF CANADIAN SOCIETY, BUT IN SOME WAYS...

Steve says GARRY, GARRY, GARRY, I MEAN, IT FAILS THE FIRST TEST. THERE'S 25 percent OF THE MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT ARE WOMEN. THAT'S DRAMATICALLY UNDERREPRESENTING WOMEN IN DECISION-MAKING CAPACITIES IN THE PARLIAMENT OF CANADA. YOU KNOW, ON GENDER BALANCE ALONE, IT FLUNKS. AND WE CAN GO ON FROM THERE.

Garry says THERE ARE GROUPS OF... WHETHER IT'S PROFESSIONAL CLASS OR EDUCATION OR BACKGROUND OR EXPERIENCE, THERE ARE THOSE GROUPS IN PARLIAMENT THAT DO EXIST. AND I HAVE SEEN THEM UP CLOSE. AND THEY DO REPRESENT THEIR CONSTITUENTS FAIRLY WELL. ON THE GENERAL ISSUE, THERE HAS BEEN TALK OF USING CITIZENS' ASSEMBLIES FOR CHANGE AND FOR DECISION-MAKING. YOU KNOW, ON CERTAIN ISSUES, I DON'T THINK, YOU KNOW, PITCHING THOSE IDEAS AROUND IS A BAD THING. BUT AGAIN IN A WESTMINSTER-STYLE SYSTEM, I THINK WE'D HAVE TO LOOK AT A BROADER CHANGE TO THINGS.

Steve says CLIFTON, CAN I GET YOU ON THIS ISSUE OF A SO-CALLED CITIZENS' ASSEMBLY. I REMEMBER WE TRIED THIS IN ONTARIO IN 2007. WE LITERALLY PUT I THINK 125-SOME-ODD PEOPLE TOGETHER, IF YOU LIKE, IN A ROOM FOR SEVERAL MONTHS AND GOT THEM TO LOOK AT DIFFERENT ISSUES OF SELECTING PEOPLE IN THE ONTARIO LEGISLATURE. AT THE END OF THE DAY THE SYSTEM WAS WIDELY PRIZED AS BEING EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE AND THE AVERAGE CITIZEN REALLY FELT LIKE THEY HAD A STAKE IN THEIR DEMOCRACY. AT THE END OF THE DAY THEIR RECOMMENDATIONS WERE REJECTED OVERWHELMINGLY BY THE ELECTORATE. BUT THE PROCESS BY WHICH THEY DID THEIR WORK, IS THAT SOMETHING YOU CAN IMAGINE ON A WIDER BASIS?

Clifton says I THINK IT'S AN EXEMPLARY MODEL OF HOW CITIZENS' ASSEMBLIES CAN BE APPLIED TO INFORM POLICY-MAKING MORE BROADLY ACROSS A WIDE RANGE OF TOPICS. WHETHER OR NOT... WHETHER OR NOT CITIZENS ASSEMBLIES OR SOME SORT OF SORTITION METHOD SHOULD SUPPLANT ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES WITHIN A CLASS OF POLITICIANS IS ANOTHER MATTER. IF PEOPLE CAN COME TOGETHER AND DELIBERATE ON IMPORTANT PUBLIC POLICY TOPICS AND HAVE THE FINDINGS OF THOSE DISCUSSIONS AND THE CONCLUSIONS THAT ARE REACHED REFLECTED IN THE LEGISLATION THAT POLITICIANS THEN GO AND TRY TO SELL TO THE PUBLIC, I THINK THAT'S A WIN FOR REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY.

Steve says WELL, LET'S... IF YOU LIKE THAT IDEA, WE HAVE SOMETHING ELSE FOR YOU HERE TO CHEW ON AS WELL. WE WOULD LIKE YOU TO CONSIDER DEMOCRACY WITHOUT POLITICIANS AT ALL, AND WE'RE GOING TO SHOW YOU ANOTHER CLIP. THIS ONE IS FROM A CHILEAN PHYSICIST AND AUTHOR NAMED César WHO, Clifton, I THINK YOU KNOW.

A clip plays in which a man addresses an audience. He's in his forties, with brown hair in a bob and a goatee.

He says IMAGINE FOR A SECOND A WORLD IN WHICH INSTEAD OF HAVING A REPRESENTATIVE THAT REPRESENTS YOU AND MILLIONS OF OTHER PEOPLE, YOU CAN HAVE A REPRESENTATIVE THAT REPRESENTS ONLY YOU. WITH YOUR NUANCED POLITICAL VIEWS. THAT WEIRD COMBINATION OF LIBERTARIAN AND LIBERAL AND MAYBE A LITTLE CONSERVATIVE ON SOME ISSUES AND MAYBE VERY PROGRESSIVE ON OTHERS. POLITICIANS NOWADAYS ARE PACKAGES AND THEY'RE FULL OF COMPROMISES. BUT YOU MIGHT HAVE SOMEONE THAT CAN REPRESENT ONLY YOU IF YOU ARE WILLING TO GIVE UP THE IDEA THAT THAT REPRESENTATIVE IS A HUMAN, IF THAT REPRESENTATIVE IS A [indiscernible] WE COULD HAVE A SENATE THAT HAS AS MANY SENATORS AS CITIZENS AND THOSE SENATORS ARE GOING TO BE ABLE TO READ EVERY BILL AND VOTE ON EVERY ONE OF THEM.

The clip ends.

Steve says PUT A FLESH ON THAT BONE. HOW WOULD THIS WORK?

Clifton says HE'S REFERRING TO A SUB BRANCH CALLED MACHINE LEARNING AND THE IDEA OF MACHINE LEARNING IS TO HAVE A SERIES OF ALGORITHMS THAT DRAW ON EXISTING OBSERVATIONS, A DATA SET OF EXISTING OBSERVATIONS, WHICH CAN BE ANYTHING FROM THE TYPES OF PURCHASES YOU MAKE TO THE TYPES OF MEDIA YOU CONSUME TO THE WAY YOU VOTE. AND IT CAN USE THAT DATA FROM YOUR PAST BEHAVIOUR IN ORDER TO MODEL FUTURE BEHAVIOUR, TO PREDICT HOW YOU MIGHT MAKE PURCHASES IN THE FUTURE, HOW YOU MIGHT VOTE IN THE FUTURE. AND SO CAESAR IS SAYING THAT WE CAN TAKE THIS IDEA AND USE IT TO SOLVE ONE OF THE BIGGEST PROBLEMS OF REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY, WHICH IS COGNITIVE BANDWIDTH, WHICH IS THE TIME WE ACTUALLY HAVE TO CONTEMPLATE THE NUMEROUS ISSUES AND IDEAS AND BILLS AND LEGISLATION THAT POLITICIANS HAVE TO CONTEMPLATE ON A DAILY BASIS. WE ALL LEAD EXTREMELY BUSY LIVES. STEVE, YOU ALREADY MADE REFERENCE EARLIER IN THE SEGMENT THAT PEOPLE HAVE OTHER THINGS TO WORRY ABOUT, THEY HAVE JOBS AND KIDS AND THESE THINGS ARE VERY CONSUMING. SO THE IDEA THEY COULD SIT DOWN AND READ EVERY BILL PUT FORWARD FOR A VOTE AND SOMEHOW DIRECTLY VOTE ON IT I THINK IS A HUGELY PROBLEMATIC ONE. WE JUST DON'T HAVE THE TIME. WE DON'T HAVE THE CAPACITY TO DO THAT. SO THE PROMISE OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, AND I'M SURE WE'LL SCRUTINIZE THIS, BUT THE PROMISE OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE THAT CAESAR IS PUTTING FORWARD, IS IF YOU PROVIDE IT WITH SUFFICIENT DATA TO TRAIN IT, YOU CAN HAVE THESE MACHINE LEARNING MODELS ACTUALLY PREDICT FUTURE BEHAVIOUR. MACHINE LEARNING COULD THEORETICALLY UNDERSTAND YOU WELL ENOUGH THAT IT WOULD KNOW YOUR VALUES AND INTERESTS IN SUCH A WAY AS IT COULD REFLECT THOSE VALUES AND INTERESTS IN AN AUTOMATED WAY IN THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS. THIS IS A VERY POLEMICAL CLAIM IN MANY WAYS BUT AT THE VERY LEAST CAESAR IS CENTERING IN WITH A PROBLEM ON REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY WHICH IS DISTINCT AND NOVEL AND REQUIRES A DIFFERENT APPROACH THAN THE SORT OF DIRECT DEMOCRACY SUGGESTIONS THAT HAVE BEEN MADE OVER TIME.

Steve says WELL, THIS FEELS A BIT TOM CRUISE IN MINORITY REPORT-ISH. YOU SAID SCRUTINY IS COMING. YES, IT IS. GARRY, HAVE AT IT. WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Garry says NOT SURPRISINGLY, I KIND OF HATE THE IDEA, PARTIALLY BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, THIS IS WHY WE ELECT PEOPLE. WE ELECT PEOPLE FOR THIS VERY REASON: TO MAKE TOUGH DECISIONS, TO THINK THROUGH THE IMPACTS THAT THESE DECISIONS THAT THEY'RE MAKING HAVE ON BROADER SOCIETY. AND, YOU KNOW, IF WE'RE MOVING TO A MACHINE LEARNING SYSTEM OF GOVERNANCE, THEN WE MIGHT AS WELL JUST PACK IT UP AND GO HOME AND FORGET ABOUT, YOU KNOW, ENGAGEMENT ON A REGULAR BASIS. I MEAN, THIS IS WHY PEOPLE RUN FOR POLITICS AND WHY PEOPLE RUN FOR ELECTED OFFICE. THEY WANT TO MAKE A CHANGE. THEY WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. AND THEY ARE EMPOWERED TO READ LEGISLATION AND CONSIDER AMENDMENTS AND SIT ON COMMITTEES AND THINK ABOUT THESE BIG ISSUES OF THE DAY, AND ADVOCATE FOR THESE POSITIONS PERSONALLY WITHIN PARTY CAUCUSES OR AS INDEPENDENTS IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS. BUT I THINK ONCE WE START GOING DOWN THIS PATH, I THINK IT'S A VERY DANGEROUS PATH THAT LEADS US INTO ALL SORTS OF DIFFICULT PLACES AND I FOR ONE CERTAINLY DON'T WANT TO GO DOWN THAT ROAD.

Steve says VASS, YOU ARE THE ONE ABOUT 20, 25 MINUTES WHO INTRODUCED THIS IDEA IN OUR DISCUSSION OF A.I. AND MACHINE LEARNING. DOABLE AND-OR DESIRABLE? WHAT'S YOUR THOUGHT?

Vass says DOABLE, PROBABLY NOT DESIRABLE. I MEAN, WE STARTED TALKING ABOUT HOW PEOPLE DON'T TRUST POLITICIANS. YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE THEY DON'T TRUST? A.I. LET'S NOT PUT THE TWO TOGETHER JUST YET. BUT I THINK CAESAR IS HELPING US THINK THROUGH, JUST AT A MORE POLAR END OF THE SPECTRUM. HOW DO WE SHARE POWER? THAT'S WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT. DO WE SHARE POWER CORRECTLY? I'M OF THE MIND WE DO NOT ELECT THOUGHT LEADERS, WE ELECT THOUGHT FOLLOWERS. IT'S A SPICE GIRLS KIND OF POLICY MAKING, NO DISRESPECT TO THE SPICE GIRLS, TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT, WHAT YOU REALLY, REALLY WANT. WE CAN USE A.I. TO EXPERIMENT BETTER WHAT WE WANT AND NEED AND POLITICIANS CAN CONTINUE TO DO THEIR JOB BUT DO IT BETTER TO SAY, WHAT ARE WE DOING, WHY ARE WE DOING IT, AND WHY AREN'T WE DOING OTHER KIND OF DECISIONS OR PATHWAYS THAT WE MIGHT WANT TO TAKE WHICH GOES TO THE EXPLAINABILITY POINT.

Steve says I WONDER, VASS, WHETHER OR NOT THE PUBLIC... I SHOULD SAY THE PUBLIC... WHETHER HUGE CHUNKS OF THE PUBLIC ARE SO DISENCHANTED WITH OUR INSTITUTIONS AS THEY ARE RIGHT NOW THAT THEY MIGHT JUST WANT TO TAKE A FLYER ON SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT, AS IN A.I. OR MACHINE LEARNING? WHAT DO YOU THINK?

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Vass says I THINK THE APPETITE FOR EXPERIMENTATION AND FOR OUR INSTITUTIONS TO SHOW THAT THEY'RE TRYING NEW THINGS, THAT THEY'RE EXPERIMENTING, THAT THEY'RE LOOKING... YOU KNOW, LOOKING INTO NEW TECHNOLOGIES TO SUPPLEMENT AND COMPLEMENT AND ENHANCE THEIR WORK WOULD BE REALLY INVIGORATING AND HELP PEOPLE FEEL KIND OF THAT THE WORK ON BEHALF OF THEM IS TRYING TO BE MORE ROBUST THAN IT CURRENTLY IS BECAUSE I THINK WE DO HAVE A PRETTY GOOD CONSENSUS HERE THAT PEOPLE JUST DON'T FEEL IT'S SUFFICIENTLY... IT REPRESENTS THEM AND CANADA AS A WHOLE.

Steve says WELL, LET ME FOLLOW UP WITH CLIFF ON THAT BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, IF I LOOK IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO, CLIFF, SINCE THE ENDS OF WORLD WAR II, WE HAVE HAD THE SAME POLITICAL PARTIES IN THIS PROVINCE EXACTLY. WE'VE HAD LIBERALS, TORIES, AND NEW DEMOCRATS SINCE THE END OF WORLD WAR II AND ONE GREEN. IN THE LAST ELECTION, WE GOT ONE GREEN AND THAT WAS THE BIGGEST CHANGE. IF YOU LOOK NEXT DOOR IN QUEBEC OR SASKATCHEWAN OR BRITISH COLUMBIA, YOU HAVE NEW PARTIES COMING AND GOING ALL THE TIME. WE HAVE A VERY TRADITIONAL, ESTABLISHED WAY OF DOING POLITICS IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO. NOW, I DON'T KNOW IF THAT REFLECTS CONTENTMENT OR IF IT REFLECTS A SCLEROTIC NATURE OF OUR POLITICAL SYSTEM. WHAT DOES THAT PORTEND FOR US?

Clifton says IT'S A DEMONSTRATION OF THE POWER STRUCTURES IN ONTARIO MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE. I ABSOLUTELY AGREE WITH VASS' POINT THAT I THINK THAT THERE'S AN APPETITE FOR CHANGE. HOW THAT CHANGE MANIFESTS, THE FORM IT TAKES IS UNCLEAR I THINK TO MOST OF US AND TO MOST MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC. BUT I DO THINK THAT INTRODUCING THESE INTERESTING IDEAS ABOUT ALTERNATE FORMS OF GOVERNANCE AT LEAST OPENS UP A PUBLIC DISCUSSION, A CONVERSATION AROUND WHAT THE CURRENT PROBLEMS REALLY ARE WITH DEMOCRATIC REPRESENTATION IN CANADA AND IN ONTARIO, AND PERHAPS THE SOLUTIONS ARE FAR-FETCHED BUT I THINK THAT THE POINT OF THESE THOUGHT EXPERIMENTS, TO GET US THINKING ABOUT WHAT THE FUTURE MAY HOLD, REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY IS A VERY OLD CONCEPT, YOU KNOW, IT GOES BACK TO THE ROMAN REPUBLIC. SO IT'S NOT THIS NOTION THAT IT'S GOING TO CHANGE OVERNIGHT BUT THAT WE CAN INTRODUCE NEW IDEAS AND NUANCED WAYS OF THINKING ABOUT IT IN ORDER TO TRY AND ADDRESS SOME OF THE DEFICITS THAT WE'VE IDENTIFIED AND HAVE BEEN TRYING TO IMPROVE UPON FOR DECADES.

Steve says GARRY, HOW OPEN DO YOU THINK THE CANADIAN PUBLIC ARE OR, FOR THAT MATTER, HOW OPEN DO YOU THINK OFFICIAL OTTAWA IS TO ENTERTAINING SOME OF THESE NEW AND DIFFERENT IDEAS?

The caption changes to "Democracy without politicians."

Garry says WELL, JUST TO GO BACK A LITTLE BIT TO THE LAST POINT, WHICH I THINK WAS REALLY IMPORTANT ABOUT ONTARIO. I THINK IT'S NOT JUST A CANADIAN POLITICAL CULTURE. THERE ARE REGIONAL POLITICAL CULTURES THAT DO ACCEPT A LITTLE BIT MORE, YOU KNOW, LOOSE FISH, RANDOMNESS IN THE POLITICAL CULTURE. I THINK OF B.C., I THINK OF ALBERTA, WHERE EVEN AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL, B.C. HAS BEEN MORE LIKELY TO ELECT INDEPENDENT MPs TO THE HOUSE OF COMMONS THAN ONTARIO HAS. LOOK, OFFICIAL OTTAWA AND THE PARTY SYSTEM IS, YOU KNOW, HIGHLY RESISTANT TO CHANGE, AND THESE THINGS TAKE A LOT OF TIME. BUT PART OF THE REASON IS, AND I WANTED TO TOUCH ON THIS AS, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE TALK ABOUT, WELL, MPs SHOULD BE MORE INDEPENDENT AND SPEAK OUT. AND I THINK IF YOU... EVEN AGAINST THEIR OWN PARTIES. AND I THINK IF YOU TALK TO PEOPLE, MPs WHO HAVE DONE THAT, THEY REALIZE, IT'S NOT A PANACEA. THEY SPEAK OUT AND THEY SAY, WELL, I ACTUALLY, YOU KNOW, FEEL VERY DIFFERENT THAN MY PARTY ON THIS ISSUE. I'M ACTUALLY OPPOSED TO MY PARTY ON THIS ISSUE. AND WHAT'S THE REWARD FOR IT? OH, THERE'S A MEDIA STORY ABOUT HOW THERE'S DIVISION IN THE RANKS AND THIS PERSON IS IN LEFT FIELD AND PARTISANS SAY THERE'S A SPLIT, THE LEADERSHIP IS WEAK, RIGHT? SO WE CAN TALK ABOUT A LOT OF INDEPENDENT THOUGHT. BUT THE REALITY IS THAT OFFICIAL OTTAWA AND THE STRUCTURES THAT ARE IN PLACE ARE VERY RESISTANT TO CHANGE.

Steve says VASS, YOU WANT THE LAST 30 SECONDS ON THIS?

Vass says I MEAN, SURE. WHAT IF THOSE INDEPENDENTS HAD THE DATA BEHIND THEM TO SAY, LISTEN, I'M THIS CONDUIT FOR MY RIDING. THIS IS THE INFORMATION I HAVE. THIS IS THE DELIBERATIVE WORK I'VE DONE. AND NOW DOING MY BEST JOB TO REPRESENT THEM AND LAYERING IN MY OWN THOUGHTS, THIS IS KIND OF THE DATA-DRIVEN APPROACH TO DISSENT THAT I'M TAKING. I THINK THAT'S WHAT WE WANT. WE DON'T WANT POLITICIANS TO BE SWINGING AROUND KIND OF INDEPENDENTLY, NOT ON BEHALF OF ANYONE BUT THEMSELVES, MAKING POLICY AND MAKING DECISIONS. THAT'S NOT THE POINT.

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

Steve says THAT WILL HAVE TO BE THE LAST WORD TODAY, UNLESS, VASS, YOU REALLY, REALLY, REALLY WANT TO ZIG-A-ZIG AH. I THINK THAT'S THE FIRST SPICE GIRLS REFERENCE WE'VE HAD ON THIS PROGRAM FOR 15 YEARS. THAT'S VASS BEDNAR, THE EDITOR IN CHIEF OF RAGS TO RICHES, CLIFTON VAN DER LINDEN AN ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, McMASTER UNIVERSITY. GARRY KELLER, STRATEGYCORP, AND THE FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO CANADA'S ONE TIME FOREIGN MINISTER JOHN BAIRD. IT'S GREAT TO HAVE YOU ALL ON TVO TONIGHT. THANK YOU VERY, VERY MUCH.

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcast: tvo.org/theagenda."

The three guests say THANK YOU.

Watch: What Future for the People's Power?