Does Democracy Work?

img_1508This is a special edition eNewsletter designed to help learners think about the upcoming Glassen Essay (Does democracy work?), the recent US President’s inauguration, and about how we can carve out an argument effectively. This task is for all Grade 9 and 10 learners at the Met.

On Friday, as many of us watched at school, Donald Trump became the 45th president of the United States of America. The following day, Saturday, people across the world protested — including in Winnipeg as evidenced by the above photo.

Both events speak to the state of democracy in both the United States and throughout the world. Our friends at KQED, a National Public Radio station in California, have asked students around the world to participate in a larger conversation about democracy. The Met School is part of a special pilot this week to try a new form of technology. We will be joining about ten other schools in the US.

This week’s KQED DoNow asks students to respond to the following question:


We will be using FlipGrid as a means of responding to the question and to engage in a conversation with other students. This week’s FlipGrip Code is 71bfcc.Parents and guardians are encouraged to become involved in the conversation as well. Have fun, think hard, and be precise in your response.Sara’s advisory sent a bunch of questions related to democracy to Matt to see what he thought. Here is his response to those questions in podcast form:

Are We Too Dumb for Democracy?

Photo taken from

Photo taken from

With recent events in the House of Commons involving Question Period, most notably Mr. Calandra’s antics and Mr. Mulcair’s calling out the Speaker of the House, there has been a great deal of talk over the past few weeks across the country looking at whether certain parts of our democracy are dysfunctional.

Below, I have linked a few radio programs and a couple of articles which look at various parts of our democracy. What do you think? Are there certain things we should change within our democracy?

CBC 180: Can Question Period be Fixed?

CBC Sunday Edition: How to Fix Question Period — Michael’s Essay

CBC Ideas: Too Dumb for Democracy

The First Past the Post System Doesn’t Work for Canada