Teach your children well… especially when it comes to how a parliamentary democracy works

Apart from all the other issues raised by the demise (fingers crossed) of our nasty and brutish Conservative government, it’s clear that very, very few Canadians understand how our political system works. I’ve long thought that this is one reason for the anemic interest in politics in Canada, and the widespread feeling that there is no point in voting since it won’t matter anyway. We need — all across the country — mandatory civics classes (perhaps most of a year out of the junior high history curriculum) — so that citizens know how our democracy works, what our constitution says, etc. It’s hard for people who don’t understand the structure to understand how they can use it and it’s irresponsible for a society not to educate its population about its own democracy.

Other, not particularly related thoughts on the political situation:

– Wow, does CTV ever torque its stories. It’s appalling. The TV coverage is much worse, but even this web story quotes Bob Fife as if he’s a credible source rather than a reporter.

Thinking back to my days at BNN, I was asked to run many, many minutes of live coverage of Gomery, even though it had no relevance to business news and no effect on the markets. Although I didn’t make the connection at the time, I’m now thinking the edict to run Gomery probably came from Robert Hurst — or, it was an attempt by our hapless executive producer to please her partisan masters.

– The Tories’ key talking point, at least if I’m to take Pierre Poilievre seriously, is that although Harper pooh-poohed the idea of Canada being sideswiped by the worldwide — did I mention that was worldwide? — economic crisis during the campaign, he had actually been hard at work on a secret plan to protect Canada from the economic crisis that he knew was coming two years ago when he promised to lower the GST by two percentage points. As a lapsed Catholic, I’m used to trying to accept complicated metaphysical concepts like the Holy Trinity, but I’m still struggling with this one.