At the heart of every political discussion in a democracy is the idea of accountability. In Canada, Senate reform is back on the table – once again Canadians are questioning the validity of a body that is in nature undemocratic, unaccountable, and not necessarily representative. For many Canadians, it is time that some sober second thought be given to the idea of senate altogether. Across oceans, for the first time ever, a pope resigned. Allegations of corruption and abuse run wild – who will take over the head of the Vatican, and how will their influence be used in years to come: is the church sticking to the same old script, or is it time for a change in direction? This week our writers grappled with these important themes; accountability, democracy, corruption and change – read on and be inspired to read more.
In terms of Canadian governance, starting at the federal level, check out the unsung hero of fiscal accountability in Nadir Khan’s, Kevin Page: The Noble Number Cruncher. The federal liberal party, once hailed Canada’s natural governing party, has lost its way, Matt Cressatti thinks it’s time for a change – Out of the Wilderness: The Liberal Party of Canada’s Last Chance . Living in Quebec, it’s easy to forget that other provinces deal with issues of educational funding – should Ontario be investing into universities or colleges? Read Emma Meldrum’s Ontario’s Post-Secondary Education: Quantity or Quality? for more info.
A world over, China celebrated their new year – check out some political predication in The Year of the Snake; a Potentially Historic Crossroads for China by Tiffany Lam, and the implications of this important crossroads for the issue of corruption and accountability in Chinese politics in Corruption in China: A Story about a Man who Bought 192 Homes and his Country by Alison Li. Jimmy Lou also looks at important crossroads, but instead, for North Korea – what does China’s lack of support mean for their future? Read about it in, Pyongyang, We have a Problem. Russia seems to have hit a crossroads too – engage with Russia’s changing governance in Hegemony Lite, Russian Arms Contracts and Putin’s Grand Strategy by contributor Samuel Ramani.
South of the border, I continued my critical look at reproductive rights, this time in Mexico, to explore the implications of abortion being largely criminalized – read more in The State of the Uterus. Part Two: Mexico. Tie off your reading about democracy and accountability in Closing the Democratic Deficit With a Leap into the World of Social Media , our weekly EST contribution written by Frederick van Mierlo. Does the internet make it easier, or harder to be an engaged citizen?
That’s all for now readers,
see you next week!
(Featured photo: Intiaz Rahim, Creative Commons, Flickr)