The Democracy Cookbook

Recipes to Renew Governance in Newfoundland and Labrador

Alex Marland (Editor), Lisa Moore (Editor) 

View the Table of Contents


The Democracy Cookbook is a collection of short and snappy, non-partisan opinion pieces authored by a cross-section of opinion leaders, academics, creative writers and other citizens. It also features some politically-themed poetry and food recipes. A unique form of grassroots mobilization, the book brings together a wide variety of voices to speak to the matter of “fixing” democratic governance in Newfoundland and Labrador after a period of acute political turmoil. It can be a useful model for jurisdictions across Canada and for small polities worldwide seeking to engage the public in debate about how democratic structures and processes should evolve. The Democracy Cookbook promises to stir up conversations around cabinet tables and kitchen tables alike.


“Democratic reform is badly needed in our province as recent events show. This is of great importance to all members of the public.”

          · John Crosbie, PC, ON, ONL, QC

“A vital, engaging, and accessible contribution to public discourse in the province… easy to read and accessible”

          · Louise Carbert, Political Science, Dalhousie University

“It is not common to think either of cookbooks or books on politics as exhilarating – in reality or metaphorically. Yet when the approaches are combined (with actual recipes), as in The Democracy Cookbook, the result is indisputably informative and engrossing. Marland and Moore’s innovative treatment deserves emulation.”

          · David E. Smith, Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Ryerson University


ISERBooks. Softcover. Published in 2017. 390 pages. ISBN 978-1-894725-44-6 (Paperback).

$25.00 CAD

Subjects: Culture, Politics, and Identity


Download the entire The Democracy Cookbook PDF

Front Matter

Part 1: Introduction

How The Democracy Cookbook Came Together · The Editors 

Reflections on the Governance in Newfoundland and Labrador Project · Lisa Moore

How Democratic Government Works in Newfoundland and Labrador · Alex Marland

Why Focus on Provincial Politics? · Jared Wesley

Patriotic Correctness in Newfoundland and Labrador · David Cochrane

Begging to Differ in a Small Place · Robin Whitaker

Can Newfoundlanders and Labradorians Govern Themselves? · Drew Brown

Decolonizing Newfoundland and Labrador’s Democracy · Vicki Hallett


Part 2: All Politics Is Local, B’y

Renewing Democracy through Practice · Karen Stanbridge

10 Governance for the Rural Knowledge Economy · Ken Carter and Reeta Chowdahri Tremblay

11 Enhancing Democracy in Rural and Regional Development Governance · Kelly Vodden

12 Non-Profits Are a Resource Waiting in the Wings · Clifford Grinling

13 The Role of Neighbourhood and Community Groups · Kathryn Simonsen

14 Increasing the Competitiveness of Municipal Council Elections · Alison Shott

15 Ministers and Citizens Walking Together · Elizabeth Yeoman


Part 3: Captain Newfoundland & Labrador

16 What If Kids Ran the Government? · Paula Graham

17 What a Byzantine Historian Can Contribute to Newfoundland and Labrador Governance · Marica Cassis

18 The Hero’s Energy in Newfoundland and Labrador · Joel Deshaye

19 Artful Leadership · Ian Sutherland

20 Political Parties as an Essential Link to Better Governance Processes · Des Sullivan

21 Levelling the Field for Potential Party Leaders · Kelly Blidook

22 The Role of Public Service Executives · Robert Thompson


Part 4: Communication

23 Hogging Call-in Show Lines · Ramona Dearing

24 The Media as a Cornerstone of Shared Power in Newfoundland and Labrador · Erwin Warkentin

25 Conflicts of Dependence and Independence in the Press Gallery · Michael Connors

26 Governing in the Twitter Era · Sonja Boon

27 Real-Time Virtual Democracy · Peter Trnka

28 Towards a Poll-Savvy Citizenry · Scott Matthews


Part 5: Engagement

29 Youth Vote · Amelia Curran

30 Motivating Voter Turnout · Nahid Masoudi

31 Enhancing Democratic Engagement through Electoral Reform and Civic Literacy · James Bickerton

32 Literacy, Democratic Governance, and Political Citizenship · Raymond Blake

33 Educating Tomorrow’s Citizens in Today’s University · John Hoben

34 Empowering Young Newfoundlanders and Labradorians for Future Political Engagement · Simon Lono

35 “Following Up and Following Through” with Community Consultations · Ailsa Craig

36 A Democratic Process for Informing Public Safety and Justice · Rose Ricciardelli

37 Learning from Public Consultation about the Proposed Closures of Libraries · Anne Graham


Part 6: Power to the People(s)

38 Alba and The Old Woman · Mary Dalton

39 Direct Democracy · Jonathan Parsons

40 Enhancing Indigenous Women’s Participation and Formal Representation · Carol Lynne D’Arcangelis

41 Breastfeeding in the House of Assembly · Christina Doonan

42 When the “Other” Becomes a Proud Newfoundlander · Valérie Vézina

43 Building an Inclusive Democracy in Newfoundland and Labrador · Tony Fang and Kerri Neil

44 Reshaping an Inclusive Vision for Governance in Newfoundland and Labrador · Elizabeth Davis

45 Disability and Civic Engagement in Newfoundland and Labrador · Aleksandra Stefanovic-Chafe

46 Enabling the Political Participation of Persons with Disabilities · Mario Levesque


Part 7: Oh Me Nerves, the Opposition Got Me Drove

47 Electing Women to the House of Assembly · Nancy Peckford and Raylene Lang-Dion

48 Reserving Seats in the House for Aboriginal MHAs · Dimitrios Panagos

49 The Downfalls of Debate · Taylor Stocks

50 Democratizing the Legislative Branch · Paul Thomas

51 Institutionalizing a Strong Opposition through Electoral Reform · James Feehan

52 Strengthening the Opposition through Proportional Representation · Sean Fleming

53 The Benefits of an Alternative Transferable Vote Electoral System · Glyn George


Part 8: Scrutiny

54 Improving Newfoundland and Labrador’s Access-to-Information System · Stephen Power

55 Public Policy Think-Tank · Steven Wolinetz

56 Taking Politics Out of Governance · Alison Coffin

57 The House of Assembly Needs a Legislative Budget Officer · Jeffrey Collins

58 Auditing Equity and the Environment · Robert Sweeny

59 Efficiency Committees · Jill Power

60 Governance and Appointments · Lynn Moore

61 Appointments to the Boards of State-Owned Companies · Jeffrey Pittman

62 Re-Democratizing School Governance in Newfoundland and Labrador · Gerald Galway


Part 9: Spend and Spend and Spend and Never Get Back Change

63 The Debt · Andreae Callanan

64 Taking Corporate and Union Influence Out of Politics · Peter Cowan

65 A Start for Tackling Pay to Play · Ashley Fitzpatrick

66 We Need to Discuss the Fairness of Public-Sector Pensions · Gordon Cooke

67 Strategic Philanthropy · Jennifer Dyer

68 Helping Rural Newfoundland and Labrador Flourish through Social Enterprise · Natalie Slawinski

Part 10: Orders of the Day

69 The Politics of Energy Sources · Fiona Polack

70 Engaging the Public to Avert the Risks of Oil Dependency · Angela Carter

71 Muskrat Falls · Vick Allen

72 Creating Spaces for Indigenous Labradorians in Provincial Governance · Erin Aylward and Elizabeth Zarpa

73 An Increased Role for Indigenous Citizens in Decisions Affecting Labrador · Scott Neilsen

74 Defensive Expansionism in Newfoundland and Labrador · Stephen Tomblin

75 Democratizing Environmental Governance · Mark Stoddart


Part 11: Conclusion

76 What the All-Party Committee on Democratic Reform Should Do · Alex Marland


Food for Thought: Recipes

77 Transparent Snow Crab Rice Paper Rolls · Andrea Maunder

78 Baked Cod Worth Crossing the Floor For · Margaret Burden

79 Filibuster Fried Cod · Caroline (Kay) Young

80 Multiparty Moose Stew · Timothy Charles

81 Red-Hot Lobsters – In Hot Water Again · Rex Gibbons

82 Right Honourable Rabbit Stew · Christopher Welsh

83 Seafood Chowder that Will Leave the House Speaker Speechless · Colleen Hiscock

84 By-Election Bakeapple Dessert · Judy Manning

85 Patriotic Partridgeberry Cake · Sharlene Hinz

86 Poli-tea-cal Tea Buns · George Murphy

87 Strawberry and Rhubarb Political Fool · Jill Curran


Back Matter