Tuesday, July 5, 2011

If you are looking for a bit of serious Summer reading, here are a few books some may wish to consider

Beginning this Conservative Thoughts blog, and continuing to write it, has been an interesting, and at times frustrating, endeavor since I began late last year.

Those who know me would tend to say I go into new ventures with a full head of steam.  On this project I did ... and I have.

Since then it has on occasion been a challenge finding the time to write --- but rarely has it ever been a challenge to find things to write about.

Along the way some of you have also taken the time to write and encourage me … to have a comment pro or con … or to offer a fresh point of view.  Thank you to all who have done that as it has been appreciated.

Today one of these folks, a medical doctor I have had an ongoing email dialogue with over the past several months, gets to have the floor.  Wally is a strong believer in the democratic process – and obviously a strong reader on concepts and ideas around democracy and its application.

Just recently he sent me a request asking if I would be willing to list four books the he has read in the past year, that as he said were “most informative” and that offer “vital views of politics aspects and each suggests ways that would be worthy of consideration as we try to improve our Canadian way of life.”

The books are “Direct Democracy in Switzerland” written by Gregory Fossdal … “The Economic Dependency Trap” by Calvin Helin … “Fixing Canadian Democracy” by Gordon Gibson et al … and “Who We Are - A Citizens Manifesto” by Rudyard Griffiths.

I can honestly say I have not read these books, however I do plan to visit a few used books stores to see if I can find copies.  If you are interested in finding out more about these books, Wally has also provided a bit of an outline on each … as follows:

Direct Democracy in Switzerland
The Author spent many months in Switzerland reviewing their system of democracy and way of life which is generally considered to be the most democratic in the world. Direct democracy is a system which allows the individuals to disagree with their elected representatives, if they wish to, by using referendums to involve the people in virtually all aspects of government.  We on the other hand have the Representative form in which we elect someone to speak for us.  The Swiss system  leads to a great many decisions being made at a local level.

The Economic Dependency Trap
This second book by Calvin extends the scope of his review of individual groups and business’s that lose their independence and control of their life, by becoming totally dependent on others.  It is international in scope while his first book reviewed this situation in our aboriginal people.

Fixing Canadian Democracy
This book is mainly a review of the voting systems that Canada might look at to make it more democratic.   It shows how we do not often get what we vote for – I think that the 60% of people who did not vote for the Federal Conservative’s might be an example. It is a Fraser institute publication and most of the authors are well known Canadian political figures.

Who we are - A Citizens Manifesto
This is a short review of the history of Canada and how our political system arose. It   discusses for example the present immigration system and how this will lead to significant changes in our country.

 So … if you are looking for a bit of serious Summer reading, here are a few books that some of us may wish to consider.  If you do … I hope you can and will take a moment to let me and others know what you thought of them.

Do they – can they – have application if Canadian politics … and in particular, politics in BC?

I’m Alan Forseth in Kamloops … and I hope you are having a great day.
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