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Monday, March 1, 2010

Wrapping the West in Winnipeg

Arriving in Winnipeg, the Mace was happy to emerge safe and sound once again from its modest yet comfortable travel case.

Where's Democracy,Winnipeg,Manitoba

...And quickly went about scoping the surroundings. For the first hop of the journey, it got to travel in automotive style, nestled up to the warmth of the car's heater. "A welcome bit of warmth," said the mace, "It gets so a parliamentary employee like me can forget that there's a big, wide, c-c-cold country out there when we're bundled up all cozy in the warm halls of the Commons."

Where's Democracy,Winnipeg,Manitoba

First off was meeting its hosts for the Winnipeg trip, Dave and Shannon. "We've got a heck of a tour in store for you" said Shannon. "I hope you don't get tired easily." "Luckily, I have no feet," said the mace "so you'll be doing the legwork on this visit. Let's do it!"

Where's Democracy,Winnipeg,Manitoba

First stop was a visit to the future site of the Canadian Human Rights Museum. A fitting monument in the home of Nellie McClung, champion of equal rights for women; and the city that saw the 1919 General Strike, in which the whole city went on strike. It became the platform for future labour reforms and a foundation for the democratic voice of Canadians. "I can relate," said the Mace "technically, I'm built to strike as well, but not in that way."

Where's Democracy,Winnipeg,Manitoba

After that, was a visit to two monuments to Louis Riel, Canadian Folk Hero, Canadian politician, a founder of the province of Manitoba, and leader of the M├ętis people. "Ah, we saw a monument to M. Riel in Regina as well," noted the Mace. "So far, I've seen 3 monuments to Riel and no monuments to the MP who asserts he was a traitor. Funny that. Hey, cool sculpture!"

Where's Democracy,Winnipeg,Manitoba

Given that they were nearby, the Mace asked if it might be possible to pop by and pay a friendly Parliamentary visit to MP Steven Fletcher. They did stop in, but MP Fletcher wasn't around at the time. "He's probably out getting things done somewhere else," said the Mace. "Can we go and see the big one now? The Legislature?" The mace almost drooled in anticipation. Except it had no saliva glands or mouth to drool from. So it didn't.

Where's Democracy,Winnipeg,Manitoba

And before you could say 'Would like some democracy with that?', they were approaching the seat of legislative authority and participatory democracy in Manitoba. "And some pretty decent architecture to boot!" added the Mace. "You haven't seen the half of it," replied the guides.

Where's Democracy,Winnipeg,Manitoba

Inside was even more impressive. Not only was the legislature open and the lights on, they even had a large monument inside to the processes that go on in such a place of learned debate. "That's the biggest bull I've ever seen!" exclaimed the Mace. Its guides chuckled. "It's not a bull dear, it's a buffalo." "Whoops!" blushed the Mace, "Sorry. You could see how I might become a bit confused on that." They grabbed a few snaps of the admittedly beautiful legislature for the Mace's photo album before heading out once again. "Not long before I have to be back in Ottawa," said the Mace "I'd better head out soon."  "Yes, we understand," replied its guides, "but we thought we'd take you for a nice meal before you go along ..."

Where's Democracy,Winnipeg,Manitoba

And so they headed to the hands down best Ukrainian restaurant in the city and tucked into a nice big plate of Perogies, Holupshi, Cole slaw, and borscht soup. "Delicious! And by the way, I would like some democracy with that. Cheque please!"

Where's Democracy Winnipeg Manitoba

And thanking its guides (and promising them that the rest of the day's photos would be posted on its Facebook page), the Mace was on to the penultimate stop on its journey - Guelph Ontario, for a whirlwind tour on the way to Ottawa for back to work day!

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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!