CBC Asks: Is politics broken? 'Team No' weighs in

The 2015 federal election looms, and with voter turnout in the last election having barely squeaked past 60 per cent, CBC News asks: Is politics broken? Today, the No side presents its argument.

Sheila Copps, Aisha Moodie-Mills and Monte Solberg still believe in electoral process

'It is the vote itself that has the most influence on the political class," writes former MP Sheila Copps, one of the participants in the CBC Asks debate Is Politics Broken? (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

The 2015 federal election looms, and with voter turnout in the last election having barely squeaked past 60 per cent, CBC News asks: "Is Politics Broken?"

A live debate featuring six contestants moderated by CBC's chief correspondent, Peter Mansbridge, sought to answer that question on March 25.

Arguing for the No side, a team of three public policy thinkers explained why they still have faith in the political process as an effective agent of change.

Former Ontario MP Sheila Copps, U.S. political strategist Aisha Moodie-Mills and former Alberta MP Monte Solberg defended the political process.

Each panelist shared some thoughts before Wednesday's debate.

"At the end of the day, it is the vote itself that has the most influence on the political class," writes Copps, who believes it's actually simpler than ever to effect change with more citizens having the right to vote and social media allowing people to quickly mobilize grassroots groups.

Moodie-Mills, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, said that despite weak campaign finance laws in the U.S. and hyper-partisanship, "the power of the the people to petition their government and get results has not waned."

Solberg writes that politics has a wide reach and sparks change in two main ways - by designing the rules that facilitate the exchange of big ideas, and by creating policies to keep society running smoothly.

"The political process is about more than pushing that Like button on Facebook...To be meaningful, politics requires debate and action," he argues.

Check out Team Yes's argument from debate panelists Andrew Coyne, Alison Loat and Dave Meslin.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?