Respect for Democracy
Democracy is healthy when discussions and debates surrounding the future of our communities happen within a climate of understanding and mutual respect. When people have the ability to participate in local decision making and do so enthusiastically.
The Respect for Democracy stream of work will engage with AMO members and member municipalities to support initiatives that encourage more participation in local decision making. This stream will work towards a shared commitment with the training and resources needed to encourage and develop a climate for more respectful two-way dialogue between elected officials and residents (of all ages), municipal staff, and other elected officials.
Respect for Democracy Objectives
- Increase trust in local government as an institution where people can safely, actively, regularly contribute to the decisions that impact their community.
- Municipal leaders are aligned and committed to improving the tone of discourse between elected officials and community members, municipal staff and other elected officials.
- Establish AMO as a thought leader on participatory democracy.
Relevant AMO Training
AMO continues to offer and develop training opportunities that include examining issues related to respectful dialogue and participatory democracy. Here is an excellent course aligned with this stream of work. As AMO continues to work through this project we will identify and create new training opportunities where gaps are identified to meet the needs of our members.
Respect for Democracy Resources, Videos, Articles
- The Walrus, May 30, 2022—Why is politics getting nastier?
- CBC News, June 21, 2022—MPs describe threats, safety fears as they're issued panic buttons
- Ottawa Citizen, August 15, 2022: Trolling is a major barrier for women considering politics, conference hears
- City of Kingston CAO LinkedIn message about lack of decorum and respect
- Global News, October 27, 2021: Wasaga Beach, Ont., disables comments on its social media to prevent spread of hate, misinformation
- CBC News, February 13, 2023: Governor General's office closes social media comments after a wave of hateful remarks
- CBC News, January 16, 2023: Threats against Quebec's premier during pandemic part of 'violent' trend: terrorism agency
- University of Toronto Press, August 2022: Sustainability, Citizen Participation, and City Governance: Multidisciplinary Perspectives
- Apolitical Foundation: The Political Leadership Impact Path
- The New Yorker: The Future of Democracy
- PBS News Hour, May 31, 2023—What’s driving America’s partisan divide and what might be done to reverse it
- New York Times, Sept. 7,2023—From Hoover to Nixon to Obama, Presidential Centers Call to Protect Democracy
- CBC News podcast, August 2, 2023—What’s driving polarization in Canadian politics
- Caledon Enterprise, August 3, 2023—Caledon mayor replacing town CAO using strong mayor powers
Respect for Democracy resources:
- Centre for the Future of Democracy from University of Cambridge—Global Satisfaction with Democracy 2020
- Centre for the Future of Democracy from University of Cambridge—Youth and Satisfaction with Democracy
- Unlocking Democracy/Dave Meslin—Ontario 2021 Municipal Democracy Index
- Unlocking Democracy—#LondonLeads How one Canadian city switched from first-past-the-post to ranked ballot elections, and how yours can too
- OECD (requires registration)—Innovative Citizen Participation and New Democratic Institutions : Catching the Deliberative Wave
- BC's Responsible conduct of locally elected officials
- Alberta’s Common Ground Politics
- Tamarack Collaborative Leadership and Governance resources
- Policy Options—The rising threats to democracies
- Public Policy Forum—Far and Widening: The Rise of Polarization in Canada
Tools to combat online abuse:
- Informed Opinion—Be an ally
- Glitch—How to be an online bystander
- Ted Talk from Seyi Akiwowo—founder of Fix the Glitch in the UK
- #ShePersisted is committed to tackling gendered disinformation against women in politics. They research digital harms, support women leaders to build digital resilience and advocate for improved digital standards
- Informed Opinion’s online abuse toolkit
- Informed Opinions and their self reporting online harassment tool and guide viro-online-harassment-tr (in the process of being launched)
- Informed Opinions video: A PEOPLES’ TRIBUNAL: EVERY WOMAN’S RIGHT TO SPEAK FREE FROM ONLINE HATE
- Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund
- The Canadian Race Relations Foundation—Reimagining a path to support all Canadians: A review of services for victims of hate in Canada
- SAMbot from the Samara Centre for Democracy
- ParityBot by Areto Labs
- Equity Guide for Nonprofit Technology
- Canadian Centre for Nonprofit Digital Resilience
Disclaimer/About these links:
The articles, videos, resources, and organizations listed here do not necessarily reflect AMO positions or policies. They are intended to continue our collective learning and act as the basis for good, healthy conversations about how to foster a healthy democracy in Ontario municipalities.