This week we’re pleased to welcome Dave Meslin to the podcast. Dave was described by Andrew Coyne as ‘a force of nature – a one man think tank/pressure group who won’t stop until he sees his ideas for better democracy put into action’. He’s also been called a ‘wizard’, ‘mastermind’, ‘ultimate ideas guy’ and a ‘mad scientist’. His Ted Talk, “The Antitdote to Apathy” has nearly two million views.

Dave has been the most prominent voice encouraging the adoption of ranked ballots in municipal elections, something that both Burlington and Mississauga are currently considering adopting, and which is coming to committee stage in Burlington this Thursday. His book “Teardown: Rebuilding Democracy from the Ground Up” is an entertaining look at both the massive systemic problems with how our democracies currently work, and the well established solutions that already exist, if we can only have the courage to adopt them.

Joel, Roland and Dave discuss the huge potential in Ontario’s medium-sized cities to act as leaders in democratic innovation and renewal, and Dave restores a little bit of Roland’s faith in municipal governments’ abilities to change.

Later in the podcast we talk about jobs, tax and Amazon’s new facility coming to Hamilton; Inside Halton’s problem with statistics gets a stern dressing down, and it wouldn’t be the 905er podcast without at least another quick look at schools and Covid.