At the Ballot Box

At the Ballot BoxDemocracy, it is often said, is government by the people for the people.[1] But just who are the “people”? With few exceptions, government “by the people” has meant government by men, and very few at that – levels of representation of women and of diversity of sexuality, ethnicity, and class in political institutions remain far, often far, far, lower than their proportion of populations. The future of democracy requires that we ask: What are the causes of this under-representation? What barriers exist to achieving government that is really by “the people”? And, what can be done?

This feature explores such issues by watching elections in Canada but also around the world, examining the nature of representation, the discourse that surround selections, and the issues they profess to and do address. Posts in this feature will also examine past elections, keeping a critical eye on the evolution of representation and barriers to participation. You will also find discussion focused on referendums, the influence of participation in the democratic process by women and other disadvantaged groups and the effect of outcomes on the lives of all citizens.

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