Public Understanding of Parliament
New here. How goes it?
I'd like to know if anyone else is with me on this. I can't speak for other provinces but in B.C. there is a severe lack of understanding of how our political system works - at all levels. I imagine this is due to the wide-scale political apathy, caused in part by becoming disillusioned with the political process. People just aren't interested if drama and complications are involved. At least the young people I know...
The apathy has manifested in maintaining an awful minimum of political knowledge, a great deal of which is necessary for a functional democracy. The young people I know who DO vote (many do not out of misguided protest), vote for the party leader and do not investigate further. If you care about social programs, are anti-war, pro-environment etc. you vote for the left-leaning guy. If you're a libertarian, deeply religious, or a member of the business community you vote for the neo-con guy. I realize I'm generalizing but this is the sense I get.
So I'm saying both "sides" are clueless (in general, not everyone is clueless). Yet only one group seems uninterested, the left. The conservatives are certainly better at mobilizing during campaigns, bolstering their base and using policy strategically to gain advantages in swing ridings. Why are we so bad? Is it mostly due to the powerful conservative religious lobby? How can this be combatted?
For starters I think a solid understanding of how our parliament works, including the negative aspects of it, how it is misused and abused. Then some alternative picture of parliament is necessary. An alternative which allows for direct participation by voters. Then we must outline the ways in which we can move from where we are to where we want to be.
Does anyone know of a website that gives this information in a simple, perhaps even fun, way? Does anyone have plans to make such a website? Am I completely out of it in thinking that this will make any difference?
The cynic in me thinks we need a painful wake up call.