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Democratic reform on menu in Newfoundland and Labrador

Liberal MHA Andrew Parsons, Progressive Conservative MHA Paul Davis, New Democratic Party MHA Lorraine Michael and Independent MHA Paul Lane answer questions at the launch of “The Democracy Cookbook.”
Liberal MHA Andrew Parsons, Progressive Conservative MHA Paul Davis, New Democratic Party MHA Lorraine Michael and Independent MHA Paul Lane answer questions at the launch of “The Democracy Cookbook.” - Beth Penney

Official launch of ‘The Democracy Cookbook’ took place Tuesday at Memorial University

The R. Gushue Hall at Memorial University was full on Tuesday morning, when speakers spoke about the importance of reforming the province’s democratic system of government.

The event was brought to life by the launch of “The Democracy Cookbook: Recipes to Renew Governance in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

“The Democracy Cookbook” is a collection of short opinion pieces from 89 contributors about how to improve the province’s democracy.

The book was edited by professors Alex Marland and Lisa Moore, who didn’t know each other at the beginning of the project. Marland says they had very different approaches.

“One of us is straight-laced and methodical,” Marland said with a laugh. “The other is creative and imaginative.”

What they do have in common, Marland said, is that they care about a strong, vibrant democratic system in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Marland says the book aims to appeal to people who wouldn’t normally be interested in politics.

To make the publication easier to digest, the contributions are concise, and some even have short tweets at the beginning to even more clearly explain the piece.

Sister Elizabeth Davis was one of the 89 contributors featured in “The Democracy Cookbook.”

“I was very pleased to be able to contribute,” said Davis. “Our congregation has been passionate about making change in our world, and we know in a democracy government is essential in leadership to enable us to make those changes.”

Davis says her congregation is particularly concerned about the voices of women and the poor, and about the condition of the Earth.

In its 2015 election platform, the provincial Liberal party promised to form an all-party committee on democratic reform.

Government House Leader Andrew Parsons says the all-party committee on democratic reform will be struck in early 2018.

“’The Democracy Cookbook’ is intended to kick-start the all-party committee’s work,” said Marland.

In January, the book will become the first ISER book that will be online for anyone in Newfoundland and Labrador who wishes to access it.

The Telegram is a partner in "The Democracy Cookbook" project. It has been running excerpts from the book in print and online. To read them, click HERE.

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