At a time of rising political discontent and declining voter turnout, basic structures and principles of Canadian democracy are being scrutinized as never before by governments and citizens alike. Since 1999, the Institute for Research on Public Policy has contributed to this growing public debate with research and reflection from leading commentators. Strengthening Canadian Democracy brings together many of the papers from this initiative. Updated to reflect ongoing changes in the political landscape, the contributors offer both analysis and prescription aimed at fortifying a flagging Canadian democracy. Topics analyzed include the interplay between party politics and the electoral system, electoral reforms such as switching to proportional representation, electoral participation and the new voter registration regime, the media's role in the growing public distaste for politics and politicians, the rules and regulations surrounding provincial electoral democracy, and the usefulness of referendums as a decision-making tool for important policy issues.
Contributors include David Beatty (University of Toronto), Jerome Black (McGill University), Donald Blake (University of British Columbia ), John Courtney (University of Saskatchewan), Jean-Pierre Derriennic (University of Laval), Tom Flanagan (University of Calgary), Thierry Giasson (University of Montreal), Paul Harris , Richard Johnston (University of British Columbia), Louis Massicotte (University of Montreal), Matthew Mendelsohn (Queen's University), Richard Nadeau (University of Montreal), and Andrew Parkin (Millennium Foundation).