September 10, 2008

Pt 1: Average Voters - Next time you find yourself in a public place with a bunch of strangers -- say a line-up at a bank machine or on a public bus -- try this little exercise. Look to your left. Look to your right. Now take a moment and decide if you trust the people sitting next to you to elect a government on your behalf.

Download Flash Player to view this content.


Pt 2: The Rain in Spain - Documentary - Throughout the spring and into the early part of the summer, Barcelona suffered through a terrible drought, a drought that pushed the city to go to some extraordinary lengths to continue providing the most basic of services. Millions of gallons of water were actually tanked into the city to keep water flowing from its taps. As part of our year-long series Watershed, The Current's Kathleen Goldhar traveled to Barcelona and she was with Anna Maria in Toronto.

Download Flash Player to view this content.


Pt 3: Community Confidential - That was Prime Minister Stephen Harper -- with piano and strings -- selling the Conservative Party to immigrant Canadians. It's a variation on a theme all of the parties are hitting on in this election. And it's no wonder ... One in six Canadians belongs to a visible minority. And one in five was born outside Canada. And as Canada's ethnic communities multiply and expand, they're changing in other ways too. They're becoming more complex, more politically diverse and more unpredictable in how they vote.

Download Flash Player to view this content.



It's Wednesday, September 10th.

The Taliban says it's stepping up attacks on Canadian soldiers because of the upcoming federal election and that the next Prime Minister should pull out of Afghanistan.

Currently, pollsters say this backs up their finding that the Taliban are 46 per cent more likely to take an interest in the election than the average Canadian.

This is the Current.

 

Average Voters

Next time you find yourself in a public place with a bunch of strangers -- say a line-up at a bank machine or on a public bus -- try this little exercise. Look to your left. Look to your right. Now take a moment and decide if you trust the people sitting next to you to elect a government on your behalf.

Bryan Caplan does not. And he makes no apologies for that. In fact, with politicians on both sides of the border trying ever trick in the book to appeal to "regular folks" he'd like us all to take a step back and ask if any of those "average voters" actually know what they're doing. Bryan Caplan teaches economics at George Mason University. He's also the author of The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Politics and he joined us from Fairfax, Virginia.

Now despite all of Bryan Caplan's misgivings, we asked the CBC's Susan Burgess to canvass students at the University of Ottawa to find out if they trusted other voters to do the right thing.

But not everyone is ready to give up on participatory democracy quite yet. Rick Anderson was a Campaign Director for the Reform Party. He's now a board member with Fair Vote Canada and he was in Vancouver.


 

The Rain in Spain - Documentary

Throughout the spring and into the early part of the summer, Barcelona suffered through a terrible drought, a drought that pushed the city to go to some extraordinary lengths to continue providing the most basic of services. Millions of gallons of water were actually tanked into the city to keep water flowing from its taps. As part of our year-long series Watershed, The Current's Kathleen Goldhar traveled to Barcelona and she was with Anna Maria in Toronto.


 

Community Confidential

That was Prime Minister Stephen Harper -- with piano and strings -- selling the Conservative Party to immigrant Canadians. It's a variation on a theme all of the parties are hitting on in this election. And it's no wonder ... One in six Canadians belongs to a visible minority. And one in five was born outside Canada. And as Canada's ethnic communities multiply and expand, they're changing in other ways too. They're becoming more complex, more politically diverse and more unpredictable in how they vote.

So this morning, we're going to explore how those communities are changing, how our political parties are adapting and what all that means for Canadian politics. To do that, we've enlisted the help of three journalists who cover some of Canada's ethnic communities for a segment we're calling "Community Confidential."

Winnie Hwo is the News Director for the Chinese-language network Fairchild TV. She's in Vancouver. Nadia Zouaoui is a freelance journalist and a contributor to Radio Canada International. She's in Montreal. And Anis Farooqui is the Editor of Voice Of Toronto.com, an on-line news website that caters to South Asian Canadians. He was in Toronto.

Last Word

But we'll leave you with one more thought about the changing role of minorities in Canadian politics. In 1993, Jean Augustine made Canadian political history when she became the first black woman elected to House of Commons. Nine years later, she became the first woman of African heritage to sit in cabinet. We gave her the last word on this show.


Comments are closed.