Friday, May 4, 2012

Action For Democracy

Photographs from the Symposium

Action For Democracy

The Report on Symposium 2012: Dialogue and Action

On Saturday, November 24, RODC hosted A Day of Dynamic Dialogue focused on the question “Is Canada Still a Democracy? Let's Talk.”

Due to technical considerations, the proceeding was not Livestreamed  or videoed.

Purpose: To propel the movement forward by
1. bringing together both experts and concerned citizens across the country,
2. crafting an evidence-based statement that establishes the widening gap between the current situation and a true democracy in Canada, and making recommendations for the actions that will close that gap,
3. gaining national media support for the movement, and
4. inspiring Supporters of the movement to hold similar events in their locality.

Organization: Reclaim Our Democratic Canada is a grassroots movement aiming to restore democracy in Canada by 
· monitoring government actions
· communicating to alert Canadians about anti-democratic actions
· providing a forum to share concerns and plans for action
· working with like-minded organizations to restore democracy
· advocating for change.

The Event: A subcommittee of RODC organized Symposium 2012 over a period of 12 months. It was held at the Unitarian Congregation Mississauga's Great Hall, 84 South Service Road just east of Hurontario, Mississauga, Ontario. Finding a suitable venue in Oakville that was available on a Saturday in November was impossible. UCM is easily accessible by car and GO train.

-Keynote Speech: The Current State of Democracy in Canada by Lawrence Martin, author of Harperland
-Co-operating for Canada -Speaker: Nick Fillmore, A Different Point of View
-Economic Inequality -Speaker: Trish Hennessy, Director of the Income Inequality Project at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
-How Parliament Could Work -Speaker:  Bonnie Brown, Former MP for Oakville

Who Came: 108 people registered for the symposium and took an active part in the discussion.

Lunchtime entertainment
A very substantial “Light lunch” followed the morning sessions.  Symposium guests were entertained by the Wieler family, who played and sang a delightful ditty entitled “Threats to Our Democracy” to the tune of  “I am the very model of a modern major general” by Gilbert and Sullivan.

The Recommendations: ACTIONS that RODC Approved

RODC members approved the following actions that came as suggestions from the group members at Symposium 2012 because they fit into the mandate and the capabilities of RODC. They will be included in our action plans for 2013 and beyond.

1. Hold Symposium follow-up discussions and meetings, for example: 
-Host public video showings and discussion, for example,  “We Are Wisconsin” and “Day In the Life of Your Tax Dollar”
-Host Public speakers such as a trainer from “Tools for Change”
-If invited, make presentations on democracy in Universities, Colleges, or High Schools that focus on restoring democratic values to  decision making in politics.
-Invite speakers and/or hold discussions at our monthly meetings, for example, a speaker from Idle No More.
-Investigate the national monetary policy to discover how the Bank of Canada could fund government debt.
-Publicize the role of the Council of CEOS in influencing federal policy making. (Our concern is with the democratic process.)
2. Advocate for
-Cooperate for Canada
-Electoral Reform
-Proportional Representation

3. Consider joining the Council of Canadians’ “Common Causes”

4. Maintain an up to date  progressive web site and continue sending newsletters to Supporters.

5. Post a list of useful handbooks for activists on the main web site.  (Since there are already many handbooks for activists we won’t create another one.) 

6. Encourage members to join a political party and seek to influence policy through Riding Associations

7. Encourage RODC Supporters elsewhere in the country to hold their own local discussion and actions forums. Suggest using software.

Some Others Ideas that emerged, which are good ones, but right now do not fall within either our mandate and/or our capabilities include:

Advocate education for
-New MPs on their powers in the House
-For new Party members on political processs
-For students Grade 5 and up on Democracy

Push for
-Reform of tax system
-Guaranteed Income/Living Wage
-Job creation/job training programs
-A Federal housing policy


The pages of this site contain  the following topics.  Click on the topic to open the page.

Symposium Summary: Tina's Summary of the Day

Lawrence Martin Speaks: the Keynote Speech plus questions and answers

Trish Hennessy Presents:  Notes on Income Inequality

Nick Fillmore Presents:  His notes on Cooperation for Canada

Bonnie Brown Presents:  Notes on How Parliament Could Work

Workshop Notes: Participants' ideas as recorded by the three breakout groups

Participant Evaluations: A complete summary of Feedback to the Symposium from participants

References and Links: Books and web sites recommended by participants

Symposium Committee:  Members of the group that organized this symposium