Garth Turner, psychic


From his blog, and apparently his next book.

While parties are central to how we run countries, it is less so each day. The Internet has the power to turn unknowns into leaders and involve citizens whom partisan recruiters, organizers and militants will never meet. A blog can alter political outcomes, while web sites reach millions when media outlets are still editing. Politicians who open digital conversations make the future impossible for those who do not. One or two more federal elections, and the traditionalists will be gone.

Parties may follow. They’ll certainly be transformed. Online members will be harder to control, and more responsive to voters. Ridings will melt away in the digital ascent of issues over geography. And if dozens of independents are ever to take their seats in the House of Commons, it will be because of this. Funded, promoted and elected through web-based campaigns, they will skirt the rules of a political establishment which abhors them.

Experience has convinced me this is what many Canadians want. Parties and leaders who demand unquestioning acceptance of dogmatic positions are doomed. No one, not even a prime minister, can put this back in the bottle.


Garth Turner, psychic

  1. .” Parties and leaders who demand unquestioning acceptance of dogmatic positions are doomed.”
    Duh. I mean, I voted for the first time in the last election, and even campaigned door to door for my chosen candidate.But as a young person, I can’t help but think that this is what my generation feels. People wonder why youth don’t vote. It’s not apathy. Quite a few of us know more about politics then some adults. It’s disgust. Until politicians are prepared to listen, not talk, but
    actually listen to the people, then we will have lower turnouts with each and every election. We need someone with the populism of a Diefenbaker or Chrétien , the idealism of Pearson, and the ability to compromise of Laurier. I don’t give a darn if they can make a pretty speech.

  2. Oops. Forgot to close my italics.

  3. Mobilization of the young adult voting bloc through the internet and chat groups in South Korea put the previous President Roh Moo Hyun in power:

    High-tech exports surely please the Seoul government, but it could hardly have foreseen that its expensive network would be used to incubate a generation of cyber-activists often deeply at odds with its policies. In February 2003, the activists – mostly young and progressive – helped elect President Roh Moo-hyun, a human rights lawyer whose dramatic political career mirrors Korea’s post-1987 transition from military dictatorship to burgeoning democracy. Roh’s narrow, 2.3 per cent victory was later credited to an eleventh-hour internet appeal sent to over a million mobile phones and PCs, which prompted many young people to visit polling stations for the first time in their lives.

    Garth Turner is on the ball on this and has been for a while.


  4. Sorry…need to reference. It was from the Independent, November 20th, 2006.


  5. Sophie-People wonder why youth don’t vote. It’s not apathy. Quite a few of us know more about politics then some adults. It’s disgust. Until politicians are prepared to listen, not talk, but actually listen to the people, then we will have lower turnouts with each and every election.

    Thats a cop-out Sophie. When politicians disgust you with their lies and flip-flops, it’s time to get more involved in the process, not less. Ignoring bad policy devised by politicians with no talent allows them to hold power way past their best-before date.

  6. Transcanada,
    I think it’s more the purview of politicians to engage youth, don’t you? While they don’t need the youth vote to retain power, they don’t seek it.

  7. It is not up to politicians to get voters out to exercise their democratic responsibilities irregardless of their age or demographic – it is up to the citizen. One of the problems nowadays too many people seem to disregard is that is not anyone elses issue if you do not vote or get engaged in the management of your country. This is a complete cop out and is more than likely an effect of citizens growing up in a left wing nut nanny state that robs the citizen of the reality of persoanl responsibility in life. It is up to the citizen to get involved and change the system not the other way around as that will quite simply never happen. It is one thing to sit around blogging away about all the problems in politics and post on web forms about how brilliant your ideas are and how they would fix everything but this is just a form of a sort of mental masturbation and though it might be a pleasant way to waste a little time it just as fulfilling and ultimately avoids the real issue which is ourselves and not the politicians at all as they are but a reflection of how much we as citizens are involved. Garth Turner giving any political advice what so ever is a oxymoron.

  8. I think Putin is doing ok?

    LOL~! Sword cuts both ways…and who would know better about using media as a state-sponsored soporific than the former USSR?

    Problem is that while the amount of information available on the internet has increased exponentially, people’s ability to filter it has not.

    And so the medium again becomes the message.


    BTW…What I do find more disturbing is that while the USSR in some ways usurped Pravda and I-forget-the-other-one, our vaunted free-media actually chooses to act as a de-facto organ of the state. Has financial survival become so dependent on latching onto the government for table scraps?

  9. Wayne,

    I have to disagree. Lets shift and think of a teacher standing before 35 students. A teacher is a professional working in an area that is one pillar of democracy. As a professional, if a teacher’s government-accredited training cannot equip him/her to engage students in the government-directed curriculum they are paid to deliver, then where does the responsibility rest for acheivement and results? Surely teachers is better equipped than students to describe more fully to government and the general public the problems related to student engagement in education. Surely a teacher who fails to engage students (whatever the difficulities in doing so) is not a good teacher in the final analysis.

    Likewise politicians are professionals paid by the public purse. If politicians fail to engage all demographics represented by their system, they have failed. Politicians are more able to tell the rules of political engagement than are the general public. Think also about what the qualifies an individual to be a politician. It is first and foremost, their ability to engage the public. First the narrow and politically invested public with a political party. Next they solicit 100 signatures on a nomination (and this is door-to-door handshaking work) to earn a position in an election race. Next a tally of public engagement to prove their mandate to govern. If I win an election with a pathetically small number of votes, how do I interpret my mandate?

    Citizen involvement in activism and causes and lobbying can actually thwart productive involvement of those same citizens in the political workings of government. Youth do not have much of a chance to win elections for a number of reasons. There are not many of us who can appreciate and advocate for all until we have reached personal milestones of pyschological and emotional and maturity.

  10. At the request of the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, will conduct a state visit to Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Slovenia from November 24 until December 6, 2008. She will be accompanied by her husband, His Excellency Jean-Daniel Lafond, and a delegation of Canadians representing civil society.

    Their Excellencies will follow a program of events that will strengthen the ties Canada has with the four countries. They will meet with heads of state and government in all four countries and will take part in cultural events, discussions and meetings with academics and representatives from a wide cross-section of civil society. Civic engagement, youth, culture and diversity will be important themes of the visit.

    I think we all know who is the Head of State in Canada, right? Who is ultimately responsible for the engagement of citizens (of all ages) in government? Our Obama. Our Queen. Our Unelected Leader. The GG.

  11. Garth Turner had a great following during the election run and posted many truths that the MSM turned a blind eye to for whatever reason to the bewilderment of our youth . The MSM wonders still continues to wonder why over 40% + never bothered to vote. We share 5 1/2 times zones and two distinct cultures coupled with a dislike for the East or West or Toronto. All this is couched in a common dislike for Ottawa and has not gone unnoticed or unread on the Blogs by our youth. Can we really expect a large turn out for any election after the sharp right turn from those who stood on their stumps and said they would invoke change fully knowing it would not be Canadian to do so. We are Canadians and to try and be American beit by locking a million people up ( $80-120K ea/yr) or dismantling those social structures that have served us so well (we were for many years the #1 rated country in the world even with Mulroney and Chretien) is not our path for a good future for our children and grandchildren and they know it but are drowned out by a old age media stream who appear to be beholding to a self appointed King.

  12. I don’t know that Turner had a “great following”, rather he had a relatively small number of regulars who generated a large number of comments, both pro- and anti-Garth, at his website. The folks in his riding gave his Conservative opponent a landslide victory over him so I guess that’s the ultimate comment on his performance as an MP.

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