Wednesday, June 18, 2014
OTTAWA -- There is an elite club running Canada – the SuPremos. They are almost all powerful, unchecked by anyone, and restricted by few laws. Even the Constitution doesn’t stop them from abusing many of their powers. Most watchdogs can’t touch them, and their actions often strike fear in the hearts of Canadians.
The SuPremos have the power to make decisions that can change the cost of everything Canadians pay for, and can affect whether the air they breathe and water they drink are clean or dirty, what kind of car they can buy, what kind of clothes they can buy, what they are allowed to eat and drink, and many other things in the lives of Canadians.
The SuPremos abuses of power can only be stopped if many Canadians demand it, so Democracy Watch is launching today its summer blockbuster StoptheSuPremos.ca campaign.
“Surveys show that a large majority of Canadians want changes to stop the SuPremos abuses of power, and Democracy Watch’s summer blockbuster campaign is aimed at getting Canadians to send a letter to party leaders across calling for these changes,” said Duff Conacher, Co-founder of Democracy Watch. “Many other countries including Britain, Australia and New Zealand have stopped abuses of power by their SuPremos with constitutional rules and other laws, and even Nunavut and the Northwest Territories have systems to stop their SuPremos, so there is hope that these changes can be won across Canada.”
Democracy Watch’s past campaigns have led to tens of thousands of Canadians sending letters to key politicians across Canada. Its goal with the StoptheSuPremos.ca campaign is to have hundreds of thousands of Canadians send a letter.
The SuPremos are a loosely connected band of powerful people. Many of them (known as the “Premiers”) control a network of supporters in a province called either MLAs or MPPs or MNAs, and one national member (known as the Prime Minister or “PM”) controls two groups of supporters that come from all parts of Canada, one called “MPs”, and the others called the “Senators”.
Almost all of them have enormous power even though only a minority of voters support them (and even many of the voters who support them are concerned about their abuses of power).
There is hope for changes to Stop the SuPremos -- the elite clubs that run Britain, Australia and New Zealand and many other countries have had many of their powers restricted by clear, written rules, and so they are much more in the control of local politicians who are more free and empowered to represent voters’ interests than politicians in Canada are.
A large majority of Canadians want the powers of the SuPremos restricted. A national survey of more than 2,000 Canadians by Harris-Decima in November-December 2012 showed that 84% of adult Canadians want enforceable rules to restrict key powers of the PM and the Premiers. And a national survey of 1,007 Canadians by Environics in May 2013 found that 71% want legal restrictions on party leader powers to ensure politicians in each party have more power and freedom to represent voters.
Already in Canada there are examples of how the SuPremos powers can be restricted. In parts of the north known as Nunavut territory and the Northwest Territories, the Premiers’ clubs have been broken up (there are no political parties in those two territories) and they can’t impose decisions on their supporters (the legislatures in those two territories make decisions by consensus).
The SuPremos are challenged across the country by other elite clubs led by politicians who want the powers the SuPremos have. They are known as “The Opposition Parties”. Currently, the only power the Opposition parties' leaders have is control of the politicians in their club (also known as MPs or MLAs or MPPs or MNAs). But they want more – they want to have the power to impose whatever law they want on Canadians; appoint whomever they want to organizations that control the lives of Canadians; and to open up Parliament and close it down whenever they want.
Some of the Opposition leaders have promised to act differently if they win power and become a SuPremo – but none of them have promised to change the Constitution or any laws to ensure they can’t abuse their SuPremo power. They, like the SuPremos, have to be pushed to pass strong rules to restrict their powers and stop abuses.
It won’t be easy -- nothing worth doing ever is – but all together Canadians can restrict the powers of the SuPremos and stop their abuses. Democracy Watch will keep leading the campaign until these key democratic reforms are made across Canada.
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FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Democracy Watch's Stop PM/Premier Power Abuses Campaign