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MP Alex Atamanenko to attend a "potluck for democracy" in Rossland on Tuesday
by Andrew Bennett on 26 Jul 2012
Do you feel Canadians are being led down the proverbial garden path by our federal government? Do you wish there were some way you could have more influence on Ottawa's decisions? And what's all this about moving our riding boundaries?
Rossland politicos, mark down July 31, 6 p.m., for a "food for thought" potluck with our Member of Parliament, Alex Atamanenko, at the house of Andy Morel—1995 Union Street.
Morel's decision to try to gather collective action around these issues was partially inspired by LeadNow.ca, an independent, online, "pro-democracy" organization that has identified a "democratic crisis" in Canada that they feel requires widespread, grassroots citizen involvement to fix.
LeadNow advocates not only for a stronger voice for Canadians in Ottawa, but also for environmental protection, the creation of economic opportunity, equal access to basic services, and other issues that many Canadians feel the current government is failing on.
Among LeadNow's initiatives are "summer gatherings"—much like Morel has planned for July 31—for concerned citizens to coordinate their efforts towards affecting real change at the federal level.
One tactic is to apply pressure on 13 key Conservative MPs—who were either elected by less than a majority or who show a leaning towards "pro-democracy values"—to become independents and "hold this government accountable before the next election," LeadNow writes. They call this the "13 Heroes" campaign.
Community gatherings are also an opportunity for voters to discuss electoral reform to build momentum towards what LeadNow calls a "game-changing strategy for the 2015 federal election."
Morel and others who have instigated Rossland's "democracy dinner" are intrigued by LeadNow's ideas but want to focus their efforts as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Consequently, Morel is very pleased that Atamanenko will be able to join the event to share his informed opinion, and to help the pro-democracy potluckers navigate uncertain strategic waters in this era of the "majority minority" Conservative government, omnibus bills and all.
Questions to tackle include:
- Between now and election time, does it make sense to focus on 13 Heroes?
- Is there a realistic hope that the NDP would partner with the Liberals and Greens to toss out the Conservatives?
- What is the likelihood of electoral reform, and what strategies could best achieve it?
- And, of immediate relevance to voters in this region, what is the significance of the change to riding boundaries?
Morel says to bring something neat to eat, a few friends, and your questions, hopes, dreams, and enthusiasm for a better Canada.
The potluck begins at 6 p.m. at Andy Morel's home, 1995 Union in Lower Rossland. Contact Morel at 362-5042.
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