13 September 2019

This year the United Nations Day of Democracy is September 15th, on the theme of participation. To mark this day, we are placing a spotlight on the work of two members of the Foundation community who have contributed to the advancement and preservation of democracy in Canada and the world.

Leah Trueblood is a 2013 Scholar whose research on direct democracy has been featured in numerous influential publications. She is a Career Development Fellow and Tutor in Public and EU Law at Worcester College. Recently, she authored “More Good Days for Democracy”, the report of the Independent Commission on Referendums for the United Kingdom Constitutional Law Organization. By conducting research on democracy and referendums, Leah Trueblood has demonstrated that ill-conceived referendums can be dangerous for democracy.

“When voting is properly understood as the tip of the democratic iceberg, it becomes clear that votes alone are not ways to address disagreement."

2019 Fellow and philosopher Christian Nadeau also serves as president of the Ligue des droits et libertés du Québec and actively supports social justice and democracy. Much of his research focuses on the importance of democracy. One of his numerous books, Agir ensemble (Take Action Together), pulls together theories and ideas exploring the concept of democracy in labour rights activism.

"Our democracies walk on one leg. It is difficult to make progress in such conditions. Indeed, a democracy cannot be satisfied with representative mechanisms. It needs to have a real participatory life."

The International Day of Democracy reminds us that democracy is about many of the values the Foundation upholds, including inclusion, equality and participation.