Rebick, JudyPublisher: Stoddart, Toronto, Canada
Year Published: 2000
Pages: 244pp Price: $19.95 ISBN: 0-7737-6240-X
Library of Congress Number: FC635.R42 2000 Dewey: 271.064'8
Resource Type: Book
Cx Number: CX6694
Rebick calls for the transformation of fundamental institutions in Canada: the economy, the media and the electoral system.
Abstract: Judy Rebick's Imagine Democracy calls for the transformation of fundamental institutions in Canada: the economy, the media and the electoral system. The book proposes that, in the face of increasing centralization of power in corporate hands, citizens must become committed participants in the democratization of foundational elements of society. Rebick names this form of participation "active citizenship".
Imagine Democracy promotes the creation of citizen watchdog groups to monitor both public and private industries. It recommends placing a greater value on the everyday experiences of average citizens and valuing voluntary citizen engagement in the economic and political realms. The book sees an urgent need for individuals to demand more influence over decisions that affect their lives; ways to do this include restructuring the electoral system in favour of proportional representation, decentralizing the administration of government and holding members of the media to high standards of public service.
Rebick advocates for a renewed idea of democracy in Canada, one in which the political process is not disproportionately influenced by the elite, but instead caters to and is shaped by all Canadians. Drawing upon her many years on the local, regional and national activism scene, Rebick illustrates her vision of a transformed Canada with pertinent examples. To naysayers she writes, "organizing can and has changed the world." Imagine Democracy is a clarion call for citizen participation and the democratization of Canadian institutions.
[Abstract by Tara McElroy]
Table of Contents:
1. From Elite to Mass Politics
2. Active Citizenship
3. Globalization's Assault on Democracy
4. The Feminization of Politics
5. Citizen Engagement
6. A Referendum on Referendums
7. Participatory Administration
8. Democratizing the Welfare State
9. Your Time or Your Money
10. The Media Are the Message
11. Money is Power
12. More Appealing Political Parties
13. A Democratic Electoral System