In April 2001, the Canadian government established the Romanow Commission to deliberate with citizens on the future of healthcare in Canada. However, the commission overlooked the serious issue of engaging marginalised groups such as Aboriginal people, and did not provide separate participatory spaces for such groups. While some Aboriginal people participated in the dialogues, the outcomes did not fully reflect Aboriginal health issues.
The financial and economic crisis, of which we have heard so much discussion since 2007-8, is only one aspect of a whole series of underlying political trends which have been apparent for much longer: a crisis of (in)equality and of increased precarity of the workforce, a human rights crisis, a demographic crisis, an ecological crisis, a crisis in civil liberties, and above all a crisis in democracy.
The Countywide Community Forum’s mission states its three main reasons for creating themselves: engage, educate, and inform public officials. For the engagement mission, King County officials want to know the main issues that citizens of the King County are most concerned about. The forums are placed anywhere within the King County area, generally within a public space where forums are designed to be convenient gather spots. However there can be forums in living rooms or workplaces since individuals who are leading the forums can be anyone.