Biking for direct democracy

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Lisa Goudy
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Government of Canada

Garrett Hippy is pedalling across Canada to Ottawa to raise awareness for direct democracy.

“In a nutshell, it basically means that we not only vote on our leaders or candidates for leaders, but we also vote on the issues,” said the cyclist who began his journey in Nelson, B.C. “So laws don’t get passed until they’re approved by the citizens through the use of referenda.”

Although Hippy is not a member of any political party, the Online Party of Canada (OPC), a newly registered federal party advocating for direct democracy or participatory government, supports him.

The OPC would like to use technology to make democracy a more affordable and accurate system. Right now the federal government is a representative system.

Once Hippy arrives in Ottawa, tentatively set for Sept. 15, there will be a pro-democracy rally on Parliament Hill. He is expecting to arrive around 10 a.m. in Caronport on Wednesday and in Regina on Thursday, which is a day behind his initial schedule because of the prairie heat.

“If I had my way … the leaders wouldn’t have to guess what Canadians want,” said Hippy. “They would literally have a very clear list of what they have to do.”

For more information, see an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.

Organizations: OPC, Times-Herald

Geographic location: Ottawa, Canada, Nelson Caronport Regina

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