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September 27, 2009: "Canada's Dysfunctional Politics"- Is There a Cure For Our Failing Democracy? (Special Forum) - Episode 15 of 'Twenty Pieces' - Slow Money (Doc)

Hour 1: "Canada's Dysfunctional Politics"- Is There a Cure For Our Failing Democracy? - Sociologists define dysfunction as "a social practice or behavior pattern that undermines the stability of a social system". Does that sound familiar? (Note: We broadcasted live from the auditorium at Saint Paul's University in Ottawa)

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Hour 2: "Canada's Dysfunctional Politics"-- Continued - This is hour two of The Sunday Edition's Public Forum on Canada's Dysfunctional Politics.

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Hour 3: Twenty Pieces of Music that Changed the World - It's time once again on the Sunday Edition for Twenty Pieces. Today, episode 15.

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Elsewhere on the show - David Gutnick got in on the ground floor of a movement in his documentary called, Slow Money.




A Special Sunday Edition Public Forum from Ottawa.

"Canada's Dysfunctional Politics"- Is There a Cure For Our Failing Democracy?

Sociologists define dysfunction as "a social practice or behavior pattern that undermines the stability of a social system". Does that sound familiar?

It is Fall in Canada and as the leaves turn, the endless chirping about an election or lack of same hangs in the air. We've had three elections in five years, parliament has become something of a photo op in a never-ending campaign. The symptoms of political dysfunction abound: the paucity of big ideas, the lack of substantial policy debate, the decline of political civility, regional rancor, the alienation of Canadians from their political representatives,and a rising sense of governments, parties and leaders that are all adrift.

It is perhaps a repeat of a political culture that the journalist Peter Newman described in an earlier era as the "distemper of our times". Politics in Canada seems not to be any longer about agendas or policy choices. Rather , it is a spectator sport in which we obsess about the game, without paying too much attention to what the game means.

Earlier this week, Michael moderated a public forum. The panelists were:

Jane Taber, senior parliamentary writer for The Globe and Mailm, and co-host of CTV's Question Period.

Duff Connacher, founder and co-ordinator of Democracy Watch.

Charlotte Gray, is one of Canada's best known non fiction writers, and adjunct professor in the department of history at Carlton University.

William Johnson, the author of five books on politics in French and English including, The Future of Canada and a biography of Stephen Harper.

Manon Conellier, political columnist for Le Devoir.

Elly Alboim, former CBC journalist and current head of Strategic Communications for Earnscliffe Strategy Group

Listen to Hour One:

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"Canada's Dysfunctional Politics"- Is There a Cure For Our Failing Democracy? -- Continued

This is hour two of The Sunday Edition's Public Forum "Canada's Dysfunctional Politics"- Is There a Cure For Our Ailing Democracy.

We broadcasted live from the auditorium at Saint Paul's University in Ottawa with Michael Enright.

Listen to Hour Two:

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Slow Money -- Documentary

Combine deadly pistachios with Bernard Madoff. Add poisonous factory farm tomatoes and tons of contaminated cookie dough. Then throw in a stock market disaster where investors lost their life savings.

And you may have the recipe for a revolution.

At least that's the hope of the dreamers and doers in a seedling movement called "Slow Money".

This year - when the only growth industry in North America seems to be farmer's markets - it might even make some economic sense."Slow Money" takes its name from a crusade called "Slow Food".

For twenty years now, "Slow Food" proponents have railed against the fast life, and the damage that fast eating causes our bodies and the world.

As it turns out, lots of people have been listening. And therein lies a problem.

There is an exploding demand for what small farms and food producers have to offer. But banks see agriculture as risky business and brokers trade stock in Monsanto, not the local dairy operation. Farmers need cash, and a system to get it to them.

That's what "Slow Money" activists want to create: A system where profit is redefined, where big money helps small producers.

This week, David Gutnick got in on the ground floor of a movement.


20 Pieces of Music that Changed the World -- Episode 15

It's time once again on the Sunday Edition for 20 Pieces of Music that Changed the World. For the past year or so, as many of you probably know, we've been looking at pieces of music that were not only famous, or important in the world of music, but which had greater resonance in the wide world beyond music - that changed the world. Our guide, as always for the series, is Robert Harris.

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Listen to Hour Three:

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