Democracy Dialogue: A CCD Blog

The views on Democracy Dialogue are intended to provide the opinion and insights of Board members and friends of CCD on a broad range of challenges confronting democracy. Opinions expressed are not intended to reflect the views of CCD or its Board of Directors but are those of the individual authors. It is our hope that these occasional columns shed light on important issues and provoke discussion. Accordingly, we invite readers to enter the dialogue by providing their own views on these issues.

Robert R. LaGamma
President, Council for a Community of Democracies

 

Wed, Nov 12,
2014
David Kilgour,
CCD Board Member

Terrorism in Canada: Improving National Security Should Not Come at the Cost of of our Civil Rights

While democracy can certainly be a shield for those wishing to use our freedoms to destroy us, a vigilant population, vibrant democratic institutions and constitutionally enshrined human rights remain the bulwarks of our personal and collective security.

Mon, Nov 10,
2014

Jeremy Kinsman,
CCD Board Member and
Canadian Ambassador (ret.)

Berlin’s Joy: Unprecedented, a Bit Naive and Yes, Justified

Since 1989, transition hasn’t been a pleasure cruise for anybody. The Czechs seem disappointed in their whole political class and the Hungarians have elected a leader who extols “illiberalism.” These are bumps in the road of passage. The world’s exuberance in November, 1989, celebrated the end of systemic trauma to whole peoples.

Fri, Oct 12,
2014
David Kilgour,
CCD Board Member

East/Central Europe, the West, and Vladimir Putin

Mr. Putin must be persuaded by “smart” and progressively tighter sanctions and NATO to end support for the rebels in eastern Ukraine. He must come to see that a collaborative engagement with the larger European community is necessary in today’s world or that Russia will be completely isolated by European neighbours.

Thu, Sept 4,
2014
George Mathew,
Chairman, Institute for
Social Sciences (India)

Melting "Vote Banks"

An extraordinary social transition that has been evolving in India over the last six decades found clear expression during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.   Of course, the 16th Parliamentary elections were epochal in many ways due to factors like the highest number of eligible voters in the world, highest percentage of voter turnout, efficient Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), relatively peaceful campaigning and polling.   But from a sociological perspective, the most far-reaching positive impact felt by the country has been, what this author calls, the “melting of vote banks.”... Although ideology and commitment to democracy should be the twin pillars of any political party, in India other variables like caste, religion, language and ethnicity shape the origin and development of political parties as well.

Mon, Aug 11,
2014
David Kilgour,
CCD Board Member

The Putin Problem: Sanctions Can't Stop Russia, the West Needs a Forceful NATO Strategy

This past week, the EU, US, and Canada approved dramatically stronger economic sanctions to pressure Putin to end support for rebels in Ukraine. More than sanctions are necessary. Ukraine needs much assistance and will for some time. The German experience with integrating East Germany will be helpful to encouraging an economic boom in Ukraine in two or three years. To help fund it, the West should become serious about finding and seizing the billions of dollars Yanukovych stole from the country. NATO should buy the war ships built in France for Putin.

Wed, July 30,
2014
Mark Lagon,
CCD Board Member

Fighting for Civil Society's Space

There is an emerging geopolitical contest between forces of repression and expression. A battle for civil society space, a space race of sorts, is becoming increasingly intense in countries like Venezuela, Ecuador, Zimbabwe, Bahrain, Iran, and Thailand. Focusing on indigenous, nonviolent movements as the most effective engine of durable change, the United States must forge a new diplomacy engaging these groups even if it means upsetting authoritarian governments seen as allies.


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