This issue would discuss the failures of western-style electoral politics in creating real, participatory democracy. Although there may be room to include a historical and international analysis, the federal, provincial and municipal systems in Canada would serve as the primary case study.
*The politics of guilt* on strategic voting
*First past the post* on voting reform
*Appointing Privilege* on relationship between judiciary and executive
*Multiple Choice* on oligarchical party politics
*Coalition of the Unwilling* on parliamentary majorities, minorites and lack of accountability of cabinet during term
*The Illusion of Representative Democracy* on once every 4 years
*Manufacturing Discontent* on lack of citizen oversight of legislators, lack of referenda and other issues leading to poor turnout
*The Hill isn't the only thing you have to climb* on enfranchisment barriers such as voter eligibility and powerful lobby blocks
How this special issue would fill a media gap:
Serious journalistic discussion of democratic participation tends to be an either/or phenomenon. Either it accepts the system of electoral politics that we have now as a basis for discussion of involvement, or it focuses on grassroots mobilizations and specific campaigns that exist outside of it. This issue could examine the potential intersection of these two via an in-depth analysis of the fundamental failure of our system to actually engage citizenry in decision-making, thus facilitating a huge disappointment with and mass exodus from this kind of politics.