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

Youth from Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton and the Kootenays were able to dig into two evenings of online learning and connection through United Way Southern Interior B.C.’s <CODE>anagan program. (Submitted)<code> </code>
CODEanagan gives youth a chance to learn about technology

The youth, aged 12 to 21, built their own WordPress sites and developed blogging ideas

Decorative snowboards provided by Off The Wall. (Claire Palmer photo)
Wildsight Golden contest wraps up

Two decorative snowboards were awarded

A rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

Sylvain Fabi, Canada’s chief negotiator for the Columbia River Treaty, joined a number of government and Indigenous government stakeholders for a virtual town hall on Feb. 24, 2021, to update the state of the Columbia River Treaty negotiations. Trevor Crawley photo/Zoom screenshot
Indigenous input key to Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Ecosystem function included in negotiations along with flood management and power generation priorities

Okanagan patients will benefit from the recent inclusion of the Medical Arts Health Research Group in a worldwide study with the National Institute of Health (NIH). The study will be a global collaboration for finding better treatments for COVID-19. (File photo)
Okanagan research group involved with finding better COVID treatments

Okanagan Medical Arts Health Research Group invited to collaborate in global study

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

The Salmon Arm Economic Development Society released a video on Feb. 22, 2021 promoting agriculture and food production in Salmon Arm and the Shuswap. (SAEDS image)
New video promotes Salmon Arm staples of agriculture, food production

Three-minute video from economic development featuring local producers receives appreciative reviews

One person was extricated from a vehicle that rolled off Highway 97 Feb. 25, 2021, near Clerke Road in Coldstream around 2 p.m. (Roger Knox - Vernon Morning Star)
Two hurt in Highway 97 rollover south of Vernon

Ambulance transfers two patients with non-life-threatening injuries

The BC Prosecution Service announced last year that it was appointing lawyer Marilyn Sandford as a special prosecutor to review the case, following media inquiries about disclosure issues linked to a pathologist involved in the matter. (Black Press Media files)
Possible miscarriage of justice in B.C. woman’s conviction in toddler drowning: prosecutor

Tammy Bouvette was originally charged with second-degree murder but pleaded guilty in 2013 to the lesser charge

A puppy stolen from a West Kelowna residence has been reunited with its family. (Kelowna RCMP)
Stolen puppy reunited with Central Okanagan owners

A happy ending; puppy stolen from West Kelowna vehicle found in Kelowna, returned to family

A kid in elementary school wearing a face mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Metro Creative)
Union asks why an elementary school mask rule wouldn’t work in B.C. if it does elsewhere

B.C. education minister announced expansion of mask-wearing rules in middle, high school but not elementary students

A pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
Canada approves use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

The country joins more than a dozen others in giving the shot the green light

Veteran Vernon radio announcer Frank Martina is returning to the local airwaves with his popular Saturday Classics show, which will run from 1-4 p.m. on Vernon’s new community station Valley FM, set to launch in the fall of 2021. (Morning Star - file photo)
Vernon radio announcer returning to airwaves

New community station Valley FM reaches deal with Frank Martina to air his Classics show

Most Read