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6 From Barriers to Ballots: Participating in Electoral Systems Electoral participation is foundational to liberal democracies and to our understanding and lived experiences of political rights of citizen- ship. Voting is about many things, participation in elections to be sure, but also choosing representatives through a legitimate process, con- necting with parties and the wider political and governmental systems, exercising democratic rights, as well as learning about, and debating social issues and public policy choices. If certain groups, because of


Contents Preface vii Introduction: Disability, Politics, and Citizenship 3 PART ONE: AMBIGUITIES, EXCLUSIONS, AND DIVISIONS 1 Pride and Prejudice: Canadian Ambivalence towards Inclusion 31 2 City Life and the Politics of Strangers 51 3 Social Stratification, the State, and Disability 68 PART TWO: CAPACITIES, ENGAGEMENTS, AND INCLUSIONS 4 Mainstreaming Disabilities in Public Policies 91 5 The Canadian Disability Community: Five Arenas of Social Action and Capacity 112 6 From Barriers to Ballots: Participating in Electoral Systems 134 7 Engaging in Policy

Royal Commission on the Electoral System reported in December 1986. A year later, New Zealanders a government circular with information on the find- ings and recommendations of the Commission as a prelude to the referenda we A Vigorous Vigilance 121 would be involved in. These would be held to determine if New Zealanders wanted a change in their voting system and, if so, what system they preferred. The dice were already loaded to push the Mixed Member Proportional system favoured by the Commission. Did you read your copy of The New Zealand Voter in the mailbox

, accentuating the official meaning of membership within a state. Institutions here include the legal system and judiciary, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the electoral system, the legislative, executive, and administrative branches of gov- ernment, and disability organizations. The concept of social citizen- ship is associated with programs and benefits in education, equaliza- tion, and other transfer payments, health care, housing, income Disability, Politics, and Citizenship 17 security, social services, and tax assistance. Citizenship as economic integration refers to

, 150 absent citizens: analytical approach, 10–14 passim; concept of, 227–8n1; as excluded Others, 66; institutionalization, 209; persons with disabilities, viii, 3, 15, 188; persons in mainstream, 13; pro- duction of, 48; varied experi- ences, 212 access: attitudes toward, 11, 189; to benefits and services, 8, 19, 46, 74, 81, 85, 116, 196, 208, 225; Conser- vative Party promise, 218–19; dis- ability movement goal, 10, 158, 163, 180, 183, 194, 207, 221; to electoral systems, 21, 142–3, 146–53 passim, 231n2; to employ- ment, 40, 182, 223; health care, 190; to

people. Formerly, they had been able to participate in Indian life through their shared culture and through their hereditary tribal institutions, regardless of the Indian Act. After the introduction of the so-called democratic electoral system, however, they found no place in band society. Non-status Indian people were also excluded from the national and provincial Indian organizations on the assumption that the only bona fide Indians were those recorded on the band lists. This, of course, was a racist assumption based on the white man's legislation. Many Indians


disability groups look to federal and provincial governments, along with city governments, as defenders of human rights, providers of public services, and enablers of social inclusion. In this vein, chapters that follow examine policy and administrative practices, electoral system reforms, revitalized roles for governments, xii Preface accessible urban public spaces, and a national act for persons with disabilities. The main political outlook of the disability movement, I suggest, is a version of social liberalism and I outline key features of this per- spective, comparing

disability community. For Canadian case studies on specific disability organizations, groups, or campaigns, see Boyce et al. 230 Notes to pages 72–113 (2001), Driedger (1989), Enns and Neufeldt (2003), Enns (1999), Lord and Hutchison (2007), Panitch (2007), Reaume (2000), and Stienstra and Wight- Felske (2003). 6. From Barriers to Ballots: Participating in Electoral Systems 1 See Eldridge v. British Columbia (Attorney General) [1997] 3 SCR 624. 2 Adopting quotas for increasing the number of persons with disabilities as candidates and elected members is an idea largely

actions, such as voting behaviour, are shaped by television. Even if television is influential only at the margin, the changes it brings can be very important in first-past-the-post electoral systems, such as those of Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. If the institutions of television (and the other mass media) are not symmetrical with those of the nation-state's political system, then, it is assumed, television will transmit inappropriate signals to viewers, signals that do not fit the political system and, as viewers act politically, are in turn

: public opinion and atti- tudes; social programs and other state provisions; civic spaces in urban Canada; government policy techniques and processes for mainstream- ing disability issues; multiple arenas of action in the disability com- munity; electoral systems and voting; and state structures at various levels and branches. Encounters between Canadians with disabilities and the Canadian state are numerous, complex, and often contested (Boyce, Krogh, and Boyce 2006; Cameron and Valentine 2001; Hutchison et al. 2007a, 2007b; Moss and Teghtsoonian 2008; Pothier and