Green Party receives C- best grade of bad overall grades in Report Card on British Columbia Parties’ Democratic Good Government Platforms — Conservatives receive a D-, NDP a D- and Liberals an F

Green Party receives C- best grade of bad overall grades in Report Card on British Columbia Parties’ Democratic Good Government Platforms — Conservatives receive a D-, NDP a D- and Liberals an F

Despite high voter concern about democracy and trust, all parties fail to promise many needed changes to have effective democracy, government ethics and accountability in British Columbia

Friday, May 10, 2013

OTTAWA - Today, Democracy Watch released its Report Card on the 2013 Democratic Good Government Election Platforms of the five main British Columbia political parties, the only election report card on these issues.

The Green Party receives a C- the best grade of bad overall grades in Report Card on British Columbia Parties’ Democratic Good Government Platforms — Conservatives receive a D-, NDP a D- and Liberals an F.  A Dishonesty Downgrade of one full grade is also shown in the Report Card results -- usually only half of all promises are kept because of the lack of an honesty-in-politics law which is needed to effectively penalize promise-breakers and misleaders.

"All the B.C. parties have failed to respond to high voter concern about democracy and trust issues so the party leaders should not be surprised by the lack of support they will receive from voters on election day and no one should be surprised by likely low voter turnout,” said Tyler Sommers, Coordinator of Democracy Watch and its four nation-wide coalitions. “One can only hope that the parties will actually address these concerns when the legislature opens again so that everyone in B.C. politics will finally be effectively required to act honestly, ethically, openly, representatively and to prevent waste.”

“Given the lack of a provincial honesty-in-politics law voters should be wary of trusting any political promises, but one good sign was that the B.C. Greens promised to enact such a measure, the first party to make such a promise in Canada,” said Duff Conacher, Founding Director of Democracy Watch.

The Report Card grades the four main parties' platform pledges based upon 16 sets of key changes in five areas that Democracy Watch and its coalitions believe are the changes that will most effectively require everyone in the federal government to act honestly, ethically, openly, efficiently, representatively and, if they don't act in these democratic ways, easily and thoroughly held accountable.  In total, the 16 sets of changes add up to 100 key changes needed to the British Columbia government's democracy, ethics and accountability system.

The measures are a compilation of the proposals of the five nation-wide coalitions Democracy Watch coordinates (Government Ethics Coalition, Money in Politics Coalition, Open Government Coalition, Corporate Responsibility Coalition, Canadian Community Reinvestment Coalition).  A combined total of more than 140 citizen groups with a total membership of more than 3 million Canadians belong to the coalitions, groups that work on anti-poverty, bank accountability, community economic development, consumer, corporate responsibility, environment, labour, social justice, women and youth issues.

Many national surveys over the past several years have shown that a large majority of Canadians support the 100 democracy, ethics and government accountability reforms set out in the Report Card, as do many commentators on democratic reform.  The federal government, and every province and territory and municipality across Canada, all have a similar list of 100 loopholes and flaws in their government systems (each with a slightly different set of loopholes flaws, depending on which have been closed or corrected in the past).

The 16 sets of changes, divided into five areas, all reflect the following five key elements for ensuring that large, powerful government institutions act responsibly and follow rules: 1. strong laws with no loopholes; 2. requirement to disclose details of operations and violations; 3. fully independent, fully empowered watchdog agencies to enforce laws; 4. penalties that are high enough to encourage compliance; and 5. empowerment of citizens to hold governments and watchdog agencies accountable.

The parties were given a grade ranging from A (Platform makes clear promise to implement proposal) to I (Platform does not mention proposal), with grades B for a vague or partial promise to implement the proposal, C and D for clear to vague promises to explore the proposal, E for mentioning proposal and F for mentioning the theme of the proposal.  Grades were averaged for each of the five sections, and the averages of section grades were used to calculate the overall grade for each party.

Democracy Watch graded the parties' election platforms by reviewing the platforms.  Statements by party leaders or representatives were not taken into account as they are not fully accessible to all voters, nor are they binding in any way on the party (as admitted by many party leaders) and as a result are even less reliable than promises made in the parties' platforms.

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FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Tyler Sommers, Coordinator of Democracy Watch
Duff Conacher, Board Member of Democracy Watch
Tel: (613) 241-5179
info@democracywatch.ca

British Columbia Conservative Party platform webpage - Party Policy document
Green Party of British Columbia platform webpage - Party Policy document
British Columbia Liberal Party platform webpage
British Columbia NDP platform webpage


Report Card on the 2013 Democratic Good Government
Election Platforms of the British Columbia Political Parties
(Set out below are quotations from the British Columbia parties' platform documents upon which the Report Card grades were based for each of the 16 sub-categories graded in the five issue areas categories)

GRADING SYSTEM
A - Platform makes clear promise to implement proposal
B - Platform makes vague or partial promise to implement proposal
C - Platform makes clear promise to explore proposal
D - Platform makes vague or partial promise to explore proposal
E - Platform mentions proposal
F - Platform mentions theme of proposal
I - Platform does not mention proposal

British Columbia Conservative Party platform webpage - Party Policy document
Green Party of British Columbia platform webpage - Party Policy document
British Columbia Liberal Party platform webpage
British Columbia NDP platform webpage


OVERALL REPORT CARD GRADES
best to worst

Party

Grades

Dishonesty Downgrade*
(one full grade)

Green Party

C-

D-

Conservative Party

D-

E-

New Democrat Party

D-

E-

Liberal Party

F

I

* Dishonesty Downgrade applied because past performance of all parties shows that they usually break half their promises, and the lack of an honesty-in-politics law means they can't be held accountable.


I. Honest, Ethical Government Measures
1. Requiring honesty-in-politics
2. Strengthening ethics standards . . . and ethics enforcement
3. Making the political donations system democratic
4. Closing down the revolving doorII. Open Government Measures
5. Strengthening access-to-information system
6. Exposing behind-closed-door communications
7. Strengthening lobbying disclosure and ethics, and the enforcement system
III. Efficient Government Measures
8. Increasing powers of Auditor General
9. Restricting government and campaign advertisingIV. Representative, Citizen-Driven Government Measures
10. Increasing meaningful public consultation
11. Restricting power of Cabinet to make appointments
12. Making the legislature democratic
13. Ensuring free, fair and representative elections

V. General Government Accountability Measures
14. Facilitating citizen watchdog groups over government
15. Ensuring effective whistleblower protection
16. Ensuring loophole free laws and strong penalties for wrongdoers


I. Honest, Ethical Government Measures

SECTION I OVERALL GRADES
Conservative Party - E
Green Party - D
Liberal Party - I
New Democrat Party - E-


1. Requiring honesty-in-politics - Pass a law that requires all Cabinet ministers, MLAs, political staff, Cabinet appointees and government employees (including at Crown corporations, agencies, boards, commissions, courts and tribunals) nomination race and election candidates to tell the truth, with an easily accessible complaint process to a fully independent watchdog agency that is fully empowered to investigate and penalize anyone who lies. (Go to Honesty in Politics Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Conservative Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Green Party - B
- Pledge to ". . . introduce voters’ rights legislation that requires political parties to live up to their election platforms. Platforms would be submitted to Elections BC and posted publicly. An audit conducted between elections would report on how well the political parties meet their commitments" (Governance platform backgrounder)" and to "Require that all political parties participating in an election declare their election platforms to Elections BC three weeks before the election date; Establish an Independent Platform Commissioner to perform an audit between elections and issue a report to the public; Have Elections BC post the declared platforms online, with one hard copy available at each public library and each Service BC location, no less than two weeks before the election date" (p.38 of policy document)

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

2. Strengthening ethics standards for politicians, political staff, Cabinet appointees and government employees, and ethics enforcement - Close the loopholes in the existing ethics rules (including closing the loophole that allows Cabinet ministers, MLAs, their staff and Cabinet appointees to be involved in decisions in which they have a financial interest, and including requiring resignation and a by-election if an MLA switches parties between elections) and apply them to all government institutions (including all Crown corporations), and as proposed by the federal Department of Finance place anyone with decision-making power on the anti-corruption watch list of the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (Fintrac) so deposits to their bank accounts can be tracked, and; strengthen the independence and effectiveness of all the newly created politician and government employee ethics watchdog positions (the Integrity Commissioner for Cabinet and MLAs and lobbyists, the Conflict of Interest Commissioner for government employees) by giving opposition party leaders a veto over appointees, having the legislature (as opposed to Cabinet) approve their annual budgets, prohibiting the watchdogs from giving secret advice, requiring them to investigate and rule publicly on all complaints (including anonymous complaints), fully empowering and requiring them to penalize rule-breakers, changing all the codes they enforce into laws, and ensuring that all their decisions can be reviewed by the courts.  (Go to Government Ethics Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Conservative Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Green Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

3. Making the political donations system democratic - Prohibit secret, unlimited donations of money, property or services by anyone for any reason to nomination and party leadership candidates (only such donations are now only prohibited if given to election candidates); limit loans, including from financial institutions, to parties and all types of candidates to the same level as donations are limited; require disclosure of all donations (including the identity of the donor's employer (as in the U.S.) and/or major affiliations) and loans quarterly and before any election day; limit spending on campaigns for the leadership of political parties; maintain limits on third-party (non-political party) advertising during elections; lower the public funding of political parties from $2 per vote received to $1 per vote received for parties that elect more MLAs than they deserve based on the percentage of voter support they receive (to ensure that in order to prosper these parties need to have active, ongoing support of a broad base of individuals) and; ensure riding associations receive a fair share of this per-vote funding (so that party headquarters don't have undue control over riding associations).  (Go to Money in Politics Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Conservative Party - B+
- Party policy is to "2.1.12. Enact legislation relating to political donations to registered British Columbia political parties, limiting such donations to those received only from individuals and banning donations from corporations, unions and all other similar entities" (p.5 of policy document)

Green Party - B+
- Pledge to ". . . implement electoral finance reform to cap the amount of money that can be donated, to restrict donations to British Columbians and to get rid of corporate and union donations" (Governance platform backgrounder) and to "Implement campaign finance reform that limits political donations from any one organization or individual to $2,000 per political party per year; Institute an annual subsidy of $2 per vote per year until the next election for any political party receiving at least 10% of the total votes cast in an election. This public subsidy is to compensate parties for the loss of union and corporate donations" (p.39 of policy document)

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - B-
- Pledge to "End corporate and union donations to political parties, and refer related issues to an all-party committee, including parties which are not represented in the Legislature" (p.47 of platform)

4. Closing down the revolving door - Prohibit lobbyists from working for government departments or serving in senior positions for political parties or candidates for public office (as in New Mexico and Maryland), and from having business connections with anyone who does, and close the loopholes so that the actual cooling-off period for former Cabinet ministers, ministerial staff and senior public officials is five years (and three years for MLAs, senators, their staff, and government employees) during which they are prohibited from becoming a lobbyist or working with people, corporations or organizations with which they had direct dealings while in government.  Make the Integrity Commissioner and Conflict of Interest Commissioner more independent and effective by by giving opposition party leaders a veto over their appointment, by having the legislature (as opposed to Cabinet) approve their annual budget, by prohibiting the Commissioners from giving secret advice, by requiring the Commissioners to investigate and rule publicly on all complaints (including anonymous complaints), and by fully empowering and requiring the Commissioners to penalize rule-breakers, by ensuring all decisions of the Commissioners can be reviewed by the courts. (Go to Government Ethics Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Conservative Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Green Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

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II. Open Government Measures

SECTION II OVERALL GRADES
Conservative Party - E
Green Party - C-
Liberal Party - I
New Democrat Party - E-


5. Strengthening access-to-information system - Strengthen the federal access-to-information law and government information management system by applying the law to all government/publicly funded institutions, requiring all institutions and officials to create records of all decisions and actions and disclose them proactively and regularly, creating a public interest override of all access exemptions, giving opposition party leaders a veto over the appointment of the Information and Privacy Commissioner, having the legislature (as opposed to Cabinet) approve the Information and Privacy Commissioner's annual budgets, and giving the Information and Privacy Commissioner the power and mandate to order changes to government institutions' information systems, and to penalize violators of access laws, regulations, policies and rules.  (Go to Open Government Campaign and Stop Muzzling Scientists Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Conservative Party - B
- Party policy is to "2.1.8. Establish a truly open and comprehensive Freedom of Information Act which would be reflective of costs of delivery of such services." (p.3 of party policy document) and to "2.1.9. Ensure that salaries and expenses of MLAs, Cabinet ministers and all senior officials of the government are made public annually and are easily accessible to all British Columbians" (p.4)

Green Party - A-
- Pledge in party policy document to "Make government information easier and less costly to access" (p.38 of policy document) and to "Make Freedom of Information (FOI) requests more affordable and responses more timely" and to "Establish the administrative legal requirement for detailed documentation in key decisions of government" and to "Establish appropriate penalties of noncompliance in the duty to document" and to "Amend FIPPA to empower the Commissioner to investigate the inappropriate destruction of government documents" (p.38)

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - C+
- Pledge to "Restore openness and accountability -- Strengthen Freedom of Information laws . . ." (p.47 of platform)

6. Exposing behind-closed-door communications - Require in a new law that Ministers and public officials and MLAs and their staff disclose their contacts with all lobbyists, whether paid or volunteer lobbyists.  (Go to Government Ethics Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Conservative Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Green Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

7. Strengthening lobbying disclosure and ethics, and the enforcement system - Strengthen the Lobbying Registration Act by including in it a Lobbyists' Code of Conduct, by closing the loophole that currently allows corporations to hide the number of people involved in lobbying activities, and by requiring lobbyists to disclose their past work with any Canadian or foreign government, political party or candidate, to disclose all their government relations activities (whether paid or volunteer) involving gathering inside information or trying to influence policy-makers (as in the U.S.) and to disclose the amount they spend on lobbying campaigns (as in 33 U.S. states), and; strengthen the ethics and enforcement system by extending the limitation period for prosecutions of violations of the Act to 10 years, and; by giving opposition party leaders a veto over the appointment of the Integrity Commissioner for lobbyists, by having the legislature (as opposed to Cabinet) approve the Commissioner's annual budget, by prohibiting the Commissioner from giving secret advice, by requiring the Commissioner to investigate and rule publicly on all complaints (including anonymous complaints), by fully empowering and requiring the Commissioner to penalize rule-breakers, by ensuring all Commissioner decisions can be reviewed by the courts.  (Go to Government Ethics Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Conservative Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Green Party - C-
- Pledge to "Require that all lobbyists declare their lobby status when providing information and recommendations to public agents" (p.38 of policy document)

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

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III. Efficient Government Measures

SECTION III OVERALL GRADES
Conservative Party - B+
Green Party - E
Liberal Party - E
New Democrat Party - C-


8. Increasing powers of Auditor General - Increase the independence of the Auditor General by requiring approval of appointment from opposition party leaders; increase auditing resources of the Auditor General by having the legislature (as opposed to Cabinet) approve the Auditor General's annual budget, and; empower the Auditor General to audit all government institutions and also audit projected spending (like the federal Parliamentary Budget Officer does), to make orders for changes to government institutions' spending systems, and empower the Auditor General to penalize violators of Treasury Board spending rules or Auditor General orders or requests for information.  (Go to Stop Fraud Politician Spending Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Conservative Party - B+
- Pledge to create a new Legislative Budget Office with the same powers as the federal Parliamentary Budget Officer, but more independent, to provide MLAs with assessments of proposed government spending (p. 22 of platform), and also pledge to increase scrutiny of the government budget by MLAs through committee hearings in the fall (p.23 of platform), and also party policy pledges to increase spending accountability in various ways (p.3 and p.5-6 of policy document)

Green Party - D
- Pledge to ". . . cap the compensation level of senior executives in ministries, Crown corporations and other public bodies established by acts of the legislature (universities, health authorities, etc.) to reflect a reasonable salary for public service. We do not subscribe to comparisons with the private sector or with private sector compensation strategies like bonuses. The income of the highest paid employee in a ministry or Crown corporation will be tied to the lowest paid employee on a ten to one ratio" and that "We believe in lean government and guarantee that there will be no more executives than needed by reviewing the number of executive positions of all public bodies" (Governance platform backgrounder)

Liberal Party - D
- Pledge to work with the Assembly to have an independent annual audit of spending by the Assembly (p. 73 of platform) and to protect with legal measures a proposed B.C. Prosperity Fund from being used to pay for wasteful government initiatives (p. 78 of platform)

New Democrat Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

9. Restricting government and campaign advertising - Empower a government watchdog agency to preview and prohibit government advertising contracting out if there is no reason to have the advertising developed by a contractor, and to restrict all advertising by the government and opposition parties and third parties in the six-month period leading up to an election.  (Go to Stop Fraud Politician Spending Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Conservative Party - B+
- Party policy is to "4.2.2. Advertising programs for government departments, Crown corporations, and all other organizations owned, controlled or supported by the Government of British Columbia, should be limited to nationally-competitive areas such as tourism promotion, and to those instances where there is a clear requirement to inform the public" (p.6 of the policy document)

Green Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - B+
- Pledege to "Ban taxpayer-funded partisan advertising, and pass legislation to ensure all government advertising is reviewed and approved by the Auditor General. (p.47 of the platform)

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IV. Representative, Citizen-Driven Government Measures

SECTION IV OVERALL GRADES
Conservative Party - E
Green Party - B+
Liberal Party - E
New Democrat Party - D


10. Increasing meaningful public consultation - Pass a law requiring all government departments and institutions to use consultation processes that provide meaningful opportunities for citizen participation, especially concerning decisions that affect the lives of all British Columbians.  (Go to Voter Rights Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Conservative Party - B-
- Pledge to consult with a variety of stakeholders about a variety of policies throughout the platform and party policy document, and party policy is to "2.2.3. Amending current legislation so that municipalities are required to hold referenda for borrowing for capital projects and to ensure the “alternative approval process”, also known as the “counter-petition” process, is prohibited. (p. 4 of policy document)

Green Party - B+
- Pledge to consult in a variety of policy areas and sectors in their platform backgrounders, and specifically to ". . . decentralizing decision-making and to expanding the authority of local governments. We will propose new funding formulas for municipal and regional governments. By transferring power and resources, the Green Party of British Columbia would strengthen the role of local government. We would implement elected Regional Resource Management Boards, Regional Health Trusts, and Local Social Trusts that would have local government representation" (Governance platform backgrounder)" and to "Require that all-party parliamentary committees hold public hearings on draft legislation" (p.38 of policy document) and to "Amend the Initiative and Recall Act to add clarity related to conduct, decision-making, and criteria for both Initiative and Recall and to make this an effective tool for both citizens and legislators" (p.38)

Liberal Party - C-
- Pledge to consult with a variety of stakeholders about a variety of policies throughout the platform.

New Democrat Party - B-
- Pledge to consult with a variety of stakeholders about a variety of policies throughout the platform, and to ". . . empower legislative committees to undertake meaningful consultation with British Columbians (p. 47 of platform) and to "3. Improve local autonomy: - Recognize local governments as an independent, responsible and accountable order of government, and empower them to enact municipal finance reform. Repeal the Significant Project Streamlining Act, end the P3 requirement for projects over $50 million, and reinstate local decision making on the creation of resort municipalities. Reform TransLink to allow elected municipal representation on the decision-making board (p. 47)

11. Restricting power of Cabinet to make appointments - Require approval by opposition party leaders for the approximately 2,000 judicial, agency, board, commission and tribunal appointments currently made by the Premier, especially for appointees to senior and law enforcement positions, after a merit-based nomination and screening process.   (Go to Democratic Voting Systems Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Conservative Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Green Party - A
- Pledge to ". . . create an independent office to appoint board members to public bodies and crown corporations" (Governance platform backgrounder)

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

12. Making the legislature more democratic - Change the law to restrict the Premier's power to shut down (prorogue) the legislature to only for a very short time, and only for an election (dissolution) or if the national situation has changed significantly or if the Premier can show that the government has completed all their pledged actions from the last Speech from the Throne (or attempted to do so, as the opposition parties may stop or delay completion of some actions).  Give all party caucuses the power to choose which MLAs and senators in their party sits on legislature committees, and allow any MLA to introduce a private member bill at any time, and define what a "vote of confidence" is in the law in a restrictive way so most votes in the legislature are free votes. (Go to Democratic Voting Systems Campaign and Stop Muzzling MPs Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Conservative Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Green Party - B+
- Pledge to ". . . strengthen the role of the individual Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) including the use free votes and strengthening the importance of committees. We will reduce the concentration of power in the Premier’s office" (Governance platform backgrounder) and to "Institute a system of free votes in the Legislature for all matters, including the budget. The BC Greens will not “whip” party members" (p.38 of policy document) and to "Delegate to committees the power to modify the legislation and to have the modified version considered in the Legislature" (p.38) and to "Establish fixed dates for sittings of the Legislature (p.38)

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

13. Ensuring free, fair and representative elections - Change the current voting law and system (the Elections Act) to specifically restrict the Premier's power to call an unfair snap election, so that election dates are fixed as much as possible under the parliamentary system.  Change the Act also so that nomination and party leadership races are regulated by Elections British Columbia (including limiting spending on campaigns for party leadership), so that Elections British Columbia determines which parties can participate in election debates based upon merit criteria, so that party leaders cannot appoint candidates except when a riding does not have a riding association, so that voters can give a reason if they decline their ballot (ie. vote for "none of the above") and so Elections British Columbia is required to educate voters about their legal right to decline their ballot, and to provide a more equal number of voters in every riding, and a more accurate representation in the legislature of the actual voter support for each political party (with a safeguard to ensure that a party with low-level, narrow-base support does not have a disproportionately high level of power in the legislature).  (Go to Democratic Voting Systems Campaign and Stop Fraud Robocalls Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Conservative Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Green Party - B+
- Pledge to "change the voting system from First Past the Post" (Governance platform backgrounder) and to "Require by law that political parties use democratic means to nominate candidates and that these democratic processes are made public" (p.38 in policy document) and to "Appoint an Independent Debates Commission to ensure fair rules for the televised Leaders' debates

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - C
- Pledge to "Increase youth voter turnout by lowering the voter registration age to 16" (p. 47 of platform)" and to "Move the next provincial election to the fall of 2017 so voters will have complete and accurate information about provincial finances.

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V. General Government Accountability Measures

SECTION V OVERALL GRADES
Conservative Party - D
Green Party - C-
Liberal Party - D-
New Democrat Party - C-


14. Facilitating citizen watchdog groups over government - Require provincial government institutions to enclose one-page pamphlets periodically in their mailings to citizens inviting citizens to join citizen-funded and directed groups to represent citizen interests in policy-making and enforcement processes of key government departments (for example, on ethics, spending, and health care) as has been proposed in the U.S. and recommended for Canadian banks and other financial institutions in 1998 by a federal task force, a legislature of Commons Committee, and a Senate Committee.  (Go to Citizen Association Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Conservative Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Green Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

15. Ensuring effective whistleblower protection - Require everyone to report any violation of any law, regulation, policy, code, guideline or rule, and require all watchdog agencies over government (for example: Auditor General, Information and Privacy Commissioner, Integrity Commissioner, and Conflict of Interest Commissioner) to investigate and rule publicly on allegations of violations, to penalize violators, to protect anyone (not just employees) who reports a violation (so-called "whistleblowers") from retaliation, to reward whistleblowers whose allegations are proven to be true, and to ensure a right to appeal to the courts.  (Go to Open Government Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Conservative Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Green Party - B-
- Pledge to "Introduce effective “whistle-blower” legislation" (p.38 of policy document)

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

16. Ensuring loophole free laws and strong penalties for wrongdoers - Close any technical and other loopholes that have been identified in laws, regulations, policies, codes, guidelines and rules (especially those regulating government institutions and large corporations) to help ensure strong enforcement, and increase financial penalties for violations to a level that significantly effects the annual revenues/budget of the institution or corporation. (Go to Democracy Watch's Campaigns for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Conservative Party - B
- Pledge to strengthen funding for provincial justice system (p.10 of platform), and to increase accountability in the education system (p.15) and state that they believe social responsibility for businesses, and "in equality of opportunity in the workplace, in political institutions, and in society" (p.18 of platform, and p.20 of the policy document); and also pledge in the party policy document to increase accountability in the health care system (pp.7-8 of policy document), the education system (pp.8-9), in some areas of environmental protection (p.10) and natural resources (pp.12-15), in the justice system (p.10)

Green Party - B-
- Pledge to strengthen accountability in a variety of areas of society in their platform -- http://www.greenparty.bc.ca/backgrounders -- and in their policy document -- http://www.greenparty.bc.ca/greenbook -- including health care system, environmental protection system, energy, mining, transportation, agriculture and forestry sectors

Liberal Party - C-
- Pledge to strengthen access to justice in a variety of areas (pages. 56-60 of platform) and to strengthen environmental protections in some areas

New Democrat Party - B-
- Pledge to strengthen worker rights laws (pp. 31-33 of the platform) as well as environmental laws (pp. 39-42 of the platform) and to "Conduct a judicial inquiry into the sale of BC Rail" (p. 47).


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