Voting has historically served as a powerful expression of political voice. But over the last 30 years voter turnout has steadily declined. Making things worse, young people, newcomers, the weakest and most vulnerable among us are even less likely to vote. It becomes part of a cycle of exclusion. The situation is compounded many times worse when modern politics discourages citizens from running for office and offering for public service.
In the next Nova Scotia Provincial Election where we elect local members of the legislature and the party with the most elected members decides the premier, it's likely that only a little under half of the total citizens in the community will vote.
Are you part of the "Voting Class"?
Story-based voting is the idea that in the current circumstance a citizen who votes has the opportunity to cast a ballot to represent the interests of many.
When I was a little kid and got sick while visiting my grandparents in Pictou County it was Dr. John Hamm who came to visit. Through fevers, croup, mumps, measles, chicken pox, and a nail through my lip; after the home remedies, baby aspirin, calamine lotion, iodine, Mercurochrome, vicks vap-o-rub, and vaporizers with fryer's balsam failed to get results it was Dr. Hamm who was called. The thing I remember most is his calm kindness and the scientific approach he would take to the problem - testing, measuring, writing. He took responsibility.
Many years went by and I was only slightly aware of politics when I heard he had been elected premier.
Last week many Nova Scotians shared outrage and concern at the outcome of the case where Judge Gregory Lenehan ruled in Halifax that Bassam Al-Rawi was not guilty of sexual assault.
By now, everyone has read the facts presented in the case as reported by the media.
The verdict turns, by the judge’s account, on the notion that an intoxicated person can give consent.
Many called for more training for judges. And that’s great of course. But that’s not how government and the legal system best work together. The idea is that government makes clear laws, supported by the people, which the legal system applies fairly and impartially as society demands.
Writing about life, citizenship, and Nova Scotia.