We The People

Hey guys, the first project of the year has just come to a close and as with every project comes reflection. This project is no exception. As you may have already been able to tell by my previous couple of posts, this project came in the wake of the Canadian federal election that had taken place on September 20th this year. And with so many of our minds focused on that election it was the perfect time to push us to start thinking about our own views on government and politics with the driving question being:

How should we govern ourselves?

Surprisingly open-ended right? Well in all honesty, I think that because the direction we could go in this project was such a large area it really allowed me to explore some topics in detail that I was properly invested in.

Said focus ended up being inequality in electoral ridings when it comes to both numbers and the actual geography of them. Well I say that was the focus but really that was just the jumping off point for me to continue to do a deep dive into representation in the Canadian government. The beginning of this rabbit hole actually started with a mention of how weird my local electoral district was shaped and how it gave a warped view of the populace in the area during a vote. So when we had to research an aspect of the election process and form an opinion about it for our first milestone I jumped at the opportunity to look deeper into the issue. I ended up posting my findings to my blog. And although I focused on the numbers and geography within the post itself to help support my point, I had done a lot more research behind the scenes when it came to how riding are redrawn and the measures put in place to make it fair. That one little comment had now sparked a growing flame of knowledge within me, eager to learn more.

That opportunity came in the next part of the project, where we were split up into groups of around four or five people and told to find common ideals within the group and create a political party off of said ideals. Now, Ms. Willemse didn’t tell us what we all had in common, if there was anything at all. However my group, which consisted of Brenton, Alexee, and Owen, quickly noticed that we all had a shared interest in proper representation within the government, each with a different area of “expertise”. We started to formulate a plan of what our party’s main focus would be and specifics of what we wanted to change and how we would do it.

This would become our Statement of Intent, which pulled together all the ideas the group had on what we needed to improve. Of course, since this was a group party that meant that it was our job to go back home and learn more about these different issues and systems that we would be advocating to change with our party. It was here that I learned even more about regional quotas for things like members of the Supreme Court and the number of ridings for a province. All of this leading to an even stronger understanding of how all of these issues intertwined with each other. The next big hurdle, however, was to translate that into a two minute campaign video.

The biggest challenge I faced while helping write the script for this video was taking everything we had written about our values and plans for Canada and compress it into a interesting yet informative video of average comprehension. My main task in this ended up being going through what had been written in the script and working with my group to edit the text so it stays true to the original message but has a better flow that makes it easier to listen to. I do admit that I kind of took over this part of the project with directing how the script would work. However, because I had a generally deeper understanding of what our party wanted from my previous research I knew how each point would work in tandem with each other to create a story out of our video. Finally it was time to shoot and edit the video, which went pretty smoothly except for the part where one area of our video almost blew out the speakers in the class because it wasn’t levelled properly. (Don’t worry we fixed that issue afterwards)

Of course, for most that would have been the end of the project, but as we know all too well, the driving question must answered by the end. So, how do I think we should govern ourselves? After doing this project it seems like a much more loaded question than what we’re originally lead to believe but I think I know what I would say. There are many benefits to our current system but there are still many inequalities that need to be addressed in our governmental representation. There needs to be some sort of impartial power within the government that has power over the house change these quotas and riding lines so there is no conflict of interest when Canadians are represented in the government.

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