Media releases | January 30, 2007

EDMONTON—Public Interest Alberta called on citizens and all levels of government to work together to develop a comprehensive plan that will address all aspects of Alberta’s democratic deficit.

"Alberta's democratic deficit is at least as large as its infrastructure deficit, and the consequences are every bit as problematic," said Larry Booi, Chairperson of Public Interest Alberta. "We need a lot more democracy in this province, and we need to get started now.The goal has to be to renew and revitalize democracy in comprehensive and systematic ways."

Public Interest Alberta has released a discussion document called Democratic Renewal In Alberta, focusing on nine major areas of the democratic deficit. PIA’s Democracy Task Force proposes more than 80 suggested solutions that are designed to spark discussion across the province.

"With the Premier and the Opposition leaders all talking about addressing the 'democratic deficit', now is the time for ordinary citizens to speak up about the importance of enhancing democracy in Alberta," said Steve Patten, professor of Political Science at the University of Alberta. "We need to set the bar high and call upon our politicians to offer a democratic agenda that meets the high standards set by citizens."

"We have an opportunity to engage the diversity of our province to create a system we can all participate in and is truly reflective of all Albertans," said Samantha Power, U of A Students’ Union president. "If we really want to get young people, women and others who are frustrated and excluded from our democratic system to participate in our democracy, then now is the time for all of us to consider these proposed solutions and to act on them."

Public Interest Alberta announced that they will kick-start the discussion with eight public forums across the province.

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