TUNE IN Today! Elizabeth May to give 2014 Mallory Lecture at McGill University

TUNE IN Today! Elizabeth May to give 2014 Mallory Lecture at McGill University
Posted on March 24, 2014 | Elizabeth May | Written on March 24, 2014
Letter type:

Author's Note:

Author's Note:

The video of Elizabeth May's speech can now be viewed online at: http://bcooltv.mcgill.ca/Viewer1/?EventID=201403219377. You will need Microsoft Silverlight to watch it.

Elizabeth May, Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands and Leader of the Green Party of Canada, will be giving the 2014 Mallory Lecture at McGill University on Monday, March 24.

The Mallory Lecture is an annual event hosted by the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada (MISC), in honour of the late McGill History Professor J.R. Mallory. Past Mallory speakers include Noah Richler, John Gomery, and Bob Rae.

May’s lecture, entitled The Crisis in Canadian Democracy, will address the decline in youth participation in Canada’s democratic process, and what can be done to prevent a slide into “elected dictatorships".

“I am truly honoured to have the opportunity to address the McGill community and to be part of this venerable academic tradition,” said May. “The Mallory Lecture series is an important example of the important role that universities must play in fostering debate and engagement with democracy.”

The 2014 Mallory Lecture will take place Monday, March 24 at 5:00 P.M. EDT, at the McGill Faculty Club. The event is free and open to the public, and can also be viewed online: http://bcooltv.mcgill.ca/Viewer1/?EventID=201403219377

About The Author

Elizabeth May's picture

Elizabeth May is an environmentalist, writer, activist, lawyer, and the former leader of the Green Party of Canada. Elizabeth became active in the environmental movement in the 1970s. She is a graduate of Dalhousie... More


Sam Hersh

Amazing woman, very lively passionate and down to earth; the least political politician i've seen in a long time, it was a treat going to see her speak. Even though I am an NDP member I admire May's hard work and her support for a proportional representation system is very encouraging! We gotta get rid of that first-past-the-post system!

Thanks you for sharing your thoughts on Elizabeth's speech last night. Yes, the Greens have always supported Proportional Representation. Do you know that of all the first world nations, only Canada, the US and Britain don't use some form of PR? We may have come up with the first parliamentary system but that was 800 years ago. Its time for an upgrade!

Pat McG

many thanks to McGill Univ and Mallory family for this very timely speech. Elizabeth May was. as usual, brilliant and provided many good insights into Canada's democracy (a dead parrot nailed to its perch, Zimbabwe run by the Queen). May tells us that you can no longer effect any change by lobbying the government - this is a chilling condemnation which confirms what we have been thinking but afraid to voice. Her citation of all the civil servants who have been dismissed or resigned was a painful reminder of the abuses of the Harper government (Parliament still has not received budget details despite Contempt motion, election, Kevin Page's win at court. May calls budget a "really thick brochure").

May laid to rest the fallacy that the PMO, as it currently operates, was a creation of the Liberals. Also, there have never been omnibus bills of any significance prior to Harper. The decimation of the Privy Council and the secondment of civil servants to manufacture evidence to support predetermined policy, the partisan operations of the many PMO staffers who are unaccounted for are all evidence of how low our democracy has sunk. Best quote was from former PC Senator, Lowell Murray, (see below).

Interestingly, when asked about corporatocracy, May did not want to go there. Questions focused on how to fix all this showed desperation of all and the limited remedies available. Youth must vote no matter what obstacles are put in their way by the Fair Elections Act. Only a brief mention of PR in that context. Elizabeth can always be counted on to give the lay of the land in Parliament.

From former PC senator, Lowell Murray, ".. the “Harper government’s” trademark (literally) innovation has been to superimpose on this existing, centralized system a tightly-run communications regime in which “message control” is the very essence of governance. Under this system, even strong ministers often become passengers on their own departmental ships, their destination and course set by remote control from Message Central at PCO/PMO. Parliament is not even in the picture." I found the following article in reference to this quote: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/harper-is-too-controlling-b...

Thanks for your feedback Pat. I would add that EMay's assertion that the public can no longer influence government is why I created UnpublishedOttawa.com... Ie. because our letters get no response when they remain private, if we make them public and share them with our friends and contacts then they can't control the message. This is the key... Public opinion can be swayed through many avenues... If the gov't and media won't allow the public to engage directly in the public policy making process, then we need to seek out other options. UnpublishedOttawa.com is one of those other options...