The Peace Tower is pictured on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Jan. 25, 2021, as lawmakers return to the House of Commons following the winter break. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

The Peace Tower is pictured on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Jan. 25, 2021, as lawmakers return to the House of Commons following the winter break. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

EDITORIAL: Maintaining a strong democracy

Canada has placed fifth worldwide for the level of its democracy

Canada has a strong democratic tradition, and it’s up to us to keep it that way.

The latest Democracy Index rankings, released earlier this month, put Canada in fifth place out of 167 countries around the world. Other countries near the top include Norway, Iceland, Sweden and New Zealand.

The annual index is conducted each year by The Economist, a London-based news magazine and evaluates each country on several criteria.

The most robust democracies were listed as full democracies, where elections are fair and free, and civil liberties are respected.

READ ALSO: Long pandemic could add to extremism, decline in democracy: Defence Department report

READ ALSO: Democracy takes work, Trudeau says in condemning ‘violent rioters’ incited by Trump

By comparison, the United States placed 25th and was listed as a flawed democracy.

The U.S. has been declining in the rankings in recent years.

The index also includes authoritarian regimes such as North Korea, China and Cuba. It also lists hybrid regimes, where election fraud and corruption are common, as is low participation in the political process.

Canada’s democratic system is something to be treasured, but in order to maintain this tradition it takes a commitment from all of us.

This involves participating in the electoral process, by voting and perhaps by registering as a candidate or volunteering to help a candidate or political party.

In a democracy, there is room for many voices at decision-making tables.

Maintaining a strong democracy also requires respect for the processes we have in place and respecting the outcomes of elections – even if not all are happy with those results.

And it means holding elected officials to account. Governments, whether at the federal, provincial, regional or municipal levels, exist to serve the public, and those who are elected are there to act in the best interests of their constituents.

A strong, fully functioning democracy also shows itself in the participation of the public, even when elections are not happening.

Those who have concerns about a topic can and should raise their concerns.

We in Canada are able to participate in all levels of government, which is not the case in many other parts of the world. It is up to all of us to maintain that freedom.

— Black Press

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

EditorialsGovernment

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

Big White Ski Resort pictured on Feb. 26. (Big White Ski Resort)
No new COVID-19 cases at Big White in past week: IH

No more cases have been detected since IH’s last Big White Mountai update, Feb. 19

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Female deputy fire chief embraces the challenges

“Fighting a fire can be taught to anyone,” says Kelowna deputy fire chief, Sandra Follack

Kelowna-Mission MLA Renee Merrifield. (Contributed)
Gender no deterrent for Kelowna businesswoman, MLA

“He looked at me, and he said, ‘You’ll never be as good of a developer as I am.’” — Renee Merrifield

While the Okanagan Rail Trail remained open, Coldstream parks have been closed for a month now, but could re-open mid-May. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Funds link Okanagan Rail Trail to Predator Ridge

1.3-km section of multi-use trail with a safe crossing under Highway 97

NorKam secondary student Karis Wilson in the outfit that got her sent home from school on Feb. 23, 2021
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here are the stories that made waves in the Okanagan-Shuswap

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

Arrow Lakes Caribou Society said the new caribou pen near the Nakusp Hotsprings is close to completion. (Submitted)
Maternity caribou pen near Nakusp inches closer to fruition

While Nakusp recently approved the project’s lease, caribou captures are delayed due to COVID-19

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

BC Housing has proposed that the emergency winter shelter at Victory Church at 352 Winnipeg Street be extended as a shelter until March 31, 2022. It was originally intended to be open until April 1, 2021. (Jesse Day - Western News)
One more year of ‘temporary’ homeless shelter in Penticton?

BC Housing has applied to extend Victory Church as a shelter for those experiencing homelessness

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

Most Read