Democracy is more than just voting for one figurehead or another every couple of years. It’s more than simply slapping some bumper sticker on your car or sticking some sign in your lawn. There’s more to democracy than what happens on election day and at the ballot box.
Real democracy is about taking issue with what’s most important to you. It’s about starting or joining a movement. It’s about getting people involved, out in the streets and on the interwebs, in big enough numbers to force change on to the political system itself.
The Arab Spring. The Occupy Movement. Even the Tea Party. All of these are fine examples of democracy in action where hundreds of thousands – even millions – of engaged individuals worked diligently towards a shared goal. And the best part is that they’ve all made a lasting impact on the world’s political system.
Now this very essence of democracy – this coordinated will to power by the masses – has sprouted up on the streets of China. Outraged at the prospect of a giant sewer running through their backyards, angry citizens clashed with police and rioted in the streets, offering a rare glimpse into China’s ripening revolution.
But here’s the kicker – the protests worked! Officials have scrapped their plans for a waste pipeline. Wow! If only the Quebec government was that quick to fold under pressure, student’s would have free tuition by now.
Here’s hoping for more protests in the days and years to come. Not just in China, but everywhere on earth as our world’s people comes together and rises up against the forces of injustice and inequality that have persisted for far too long.