For Policy Options, Executive Director Sabreena Delhon writes about the Samara Centre for Democracy’s SAMbot project and how online toxicity takes a toll on civic engagement. The article examines how a key way forward lies in establishing a higher standard of engagement between political parties and the electorate.
“The figures presented in this commentary are a strong warning. Undeniably, online toxicity is making our democracy sick. Political parties must take immediate action by holding those in their direct circles to account. Doing so would increase their relevance and start a new chapter for voter engagement in Canada. Such a step would also increase the chances of retaining and attracting the best possible candidates and MPs, increase voter trust in politicians and the political process, and bring back some elements of the reasoned discourse that is essential to democracy.”