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Monday, February 8, 2010

Where's Democracy? The Beginning.

It was early in the year 2010 when Canada's Prime Minister, Stephen Harper was getting too many uncomfortable questions. In need of some time to rest and recalibrate, he decided, "I know! I'll do something nice for all of the hard working Members of Parliament!"

Where's Democracy

Given that democracy was no longer needed around the house, the Parliamentary Mace found itself without much to do. So, it decided to do a tour around the country to see some of the people who still care about it. 

Where's Democracy

Laying in the winter snow and looking skyward, the Mace started talking to itself (which is in itself pretty interesting, seeing as it is an inanimate object); "Since democracy isn't really wanted here in Ottawa," said the Mace, "Let's take a look around this great old country and see if people really don't care anymore."

So with that, the Mace hopped on down to the mail room (where the mail staffer was happy to have something to send out other than attack ad pamphlets) and jumped a plane to the first stop on its tour: Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Where's Democracy

In Halifax, the mace was greeted by Sam, who decided to show it a bit of the town. First stop was a visit to a fine old fellow next to the Provincial Legislature: 

Where's Democracy

The statue of Joe Howe, Nova Scotia's fifth Premier, who once agitated brilliantly for a strong and free press in Canada, imploring his fellow citizens in a six hour speech "to leave an unshackled press as a legacy to your children".

"I wonder what he'd say about the state of things today?", mused the Mace. Joe stood silent, his fight now up to the current generation of Canadians.

"Next up" said Sam, "Citadel Hill!"

Where's Democracy

Citadel Hill protected the city for centuries from potential marauders. The fortress remains as a national historic site. The climb up the hill is steep, and the Mace asked to rest a moment, during which, it posed for a photo with the town clock. "Time marches on here" thought the mace, as it wondered if the clock on Parliament's tower was also prorogued. "Maybe it got time off as well. It only seems fair" thought the mace.

Where's Democracy

Reaching the gates of the Citadel, the Mace took a moment to catch its breath. But then it realized it had no breath to catch, since it was made of wood. So it stared at the solid gates to the imposing fortress. Thinking of the long military history of the town, the Mace said, "I wonder if back in the 18th Century, politicians would hide behind the military in order to avoid questions about their own conduct, or if that's a more modern affliction. I should look that up when I get back to the Library of Parliament. I wonder if the Library is prorogued as well?"

"Well," said Sam, the Mace's host, "About time you got on to the next stop on your tour. You'll eventually have to get back to work, I guess." "I guess so." said the Mace. "And I definitely want to see as much of Canada as I can, so I'd better split."

Where's Democracy

"Literally" said the Mace. "If you'll be so kind, Sam, I'll be heading out to see the East and the West at the same time. So many people to see, so much to do. I can't wait to find out what awaits me next. So the top half of me will go to the top of the country - Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. The bottom half of me will head to Fredericton, New Brunswick next."


So Sam boxed the Mace up, wished it best of luck, and sent it on its way. The Mace and Sam both eager to find out what interesting things would be learned on this cross Canada tour to find the answer to the question; "WHERE'S DEMOCRACY?"

Where's Democracy

Be sure to check back for the Mace's next adventures as it travels to Yellowknife and Fredericton.

This is an art project being performed by Canadian citizens who are concerned about their country's democratic process.

Visit the facebook groups:
Where's Democracy
Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament

1 comment:

  1. well, I remember the first CAPP thread called Torch Relay, in which someone suggested we use the mace, I added the idea of fragmenting it and sending it across country to be returned to Ottawa, and now, lo and behold, you have all but single-handedly made this a reality. Please please contact local CAPP chapters, so that the parts of the mace, have friends and supporters,whereever it goes: this is a fabulous Olympic colour story for the international media. Well done and thank you.



About Me

I'm quite passionately interested in what makes a true democratic system work, and why ours here in Canada doesn't seem to be working so well these days. Where's Democracy is a commentary on some aspects of that, and will hopefully serve to at least pose some questions about how it might be better. Oh, and it's also supposed to be fun!