Politics

CBC Asks: Is politics broken? The 'Team Yes' argument

We all know that politics is a messy business, but is it due for a massive overhaul? In the lead-up to the 2015 federal election, a panel of three public policy thinkers says yes.

Andrew Coyne, Alison Loat and Dave Meslin say the political process falls short

The CBC Asks debate, which takes place Wednesday, March 25, looks at whether politics is broken. Andrew Coyne, Alison Loat and Dave Meslin believe it is, arguing that the current political process is no longer the most effective way to enact real change. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

We all know that politics is a messy business, but is it due for a massive overhaul?

In the lead-up to the 2015 federal election, three public policy thinkers say yes.

On March 25, CBC News convened a live debate on the question: "Is Politics Broken?"

Representing Team Yes, arguing that the current political process is no longer the most effective way to enact real change, were political columnist Andrew Coyne; Alison Loat, executive director of Samara Canada; and community organizer and speaker Dave Meslin.

The Yes panelists laid out some of their reasons in writing before Wednesday's live debate, which was moderated by CBC Chief Correspondent Peter Mansbridge.

Loat, who teaches at the University of Toronto's School of Public Policy and Governance, believes "the political process now repels more citizens than it attracts."

The non-partisan charity she co-founded, Samara, releases its Democracy 360 report card on March 25, and calls for a cultural shift towards "everyday democracy."

'Idealistic and inspired youth'

Meslin, whose TED talk, The Antidote to Apathy, has been viewed over 1.4 million times online, believes the Occupy movement was a telling example of where today's youth believe "real power" lies.

"Rather than targeting government as an effective path toward change, these idealistic and inspired youth descended on the financial district of New York City," Meslin writes, calling it a "sad reflection on our current political state."

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