DEMOCRATIC GOOD GOVERNMENT CAMPAIGNS
Democracy Watch has 16 campaigns pushing for democratic good government changes and has won more than 140 democratic changes to federal and provincial laws since 1993. You will find an Action Letter to send to key politicians on each campaign page:
- (English) Democratic Head Campaign
- (English) Democratic Voting System Campaign
- (English) Government Ethics Campaign
- (English) Honesty in Politics Campaign
- (English) Money in Politics Campaign
- (English) Open Government Campaign
- (English) Protect Whistleblowers Who Protect You Campaign
- (English) Shut Down the Senate Campaign
- Stop Bad Government Appointments Campaign
- (English) Stop Fake Online Election Ads
- (English) Stop Foreign Interference in Canadian Politics Campaign
- Stop Fraud Politician Spending
- (English) Stop Muzzling MPs
- (English) Stop PM/Premier Power Abuses
- (English) Stop Secret, Unethical Lobbying Campaign
- (English) Stop Unfair Law Enforcement Campaign
CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY CAMPAIGNS
Democracy Watch has 5 campaigns pushing for corporate responsibility changes, and has won more than 45 corporate responsibility changes to federal and provincial laws since 1993. You will find an Action Letter to send to key politicians on each campaign page:
The System is the Scandal
The system is the scandal and no one should be surprised that Canadian governments, politicians, government employees, corporations and big business executives act dishonestly, unethically, secretively, unrepresentatively or wastefully — the system allows them to do so through weak rules, weak enforcement, and weak penalties.
This is not at all to say that all, most or even many politicians, government employees or corporate executives are dishonest, unethical, secretive, non-representative or wasteful — but if any of these people act in these ways they will often not be caught, let alone penalized, because of loopholes in laws and rules and weak enforcement systems.
No matter what issue concerns you, strong good government laws will help ensure that the government addresses your concerns. History has shown that we won’t likely have a good country until we have good governments, we won’t have a clean environment until we have clean governments, and we won’t have a fair and just society until we have fair and just governments.
Incredibly, the laws and enforcement of parking a car illegally are stronger than most government accountability and corporate responsibility laws and enforcement systems in Canada, and in some cases the penalties for parking illegally are higher than for government officials or corporate executives who act dishonestly, unethically, unrepresentatively, secretively or wastefully!
For the past more than 140 years, since Canada became a nation (and section 91 of the Constitution of Canada empowered politicians to “make Laws for the Peace, Order, and good Government of Canada”), politicians and government officials have not been passing strong good government laws, but instead have been playing a game by sometimes strengthening laws, but then weakening enforcement, or strengthening enforcement at the same time as creating loopholes in laws, and in almost every case penalties have remained too weak to discourage violations.
While governments and corporations do bad things for many reasons, often it is because they are operating in bad ways. Especially when governments operate in bad ways, they usually do not require corporations to act in good ways (because they make secret deals behind closed doors with corporate lobbyists).
And unfortunately, the public always pays one way or another when governments or corporations act in bad ways.
See set out on this page Action Alerts about Democracy Watch’s campaigns to increase government accountability and corporate responsibility in Canada — to ensure governments, politicians and their staff and appointees, and government employees, and corporations and corporate executives, all pay a price for acting irresponsibly.
Politicians, government officials, and big business executives are resisting changes to the system that would increase their accountability for wrongdoing. Canadian politicians have control over their own rules, and Canada’s biggest corporations spend $25 billion annually on their lobbying and promotion efforts, so Canadians have to push hard if there is any hope to counter the corporate lobby and win key corporate responsibility changes. They just don’t get it, so we have to give it to them until they do!
We know the ongoing lack of response by governments and big businesses to Canadians’ concerns is discouraging, but if we give up pushing then bad politicians and governments and irresponsible big businesses will do even more to hurt people, communities, the environment and the Canadian economy.
You can help clean up the system to prevent future scandals by simply writing letters to politicians making it clear that you are part of the large majority of Canadians who are concerned and want changes to clean up and democratize Canadian governments. Never assume that no one else is writing a letter, because if everyone assumes that then no one will write a letter. Politicians actually get very scared when only a small percentage of voters write them, because they are very concerned about losing the next election.
Democracy Watch welcomes your support — thank you for doing your part for democracy and corporate responsibility in Canada!
If you think Democracy Watch is exaggerating how much Canada’s government accountability and corporate responsibility systems are the scandal, and how much Canadians want democratizing changes, consider the following survey results and reports:
- The Fall 2007 Ipsos Reid poll found that more than 70% of Canadians believe large companies have too much influence on the decisions of their government and they want a more aggressive crack down on the activities and influence of national and multinational corporations;
- The 2010 Global Integrity Report (archive website) which ranked Canada 19th overall out of more than 100 countries assessed since 2006, with an overall score of only 75;
- Democracy Watch’s List of much-needed federal government inquiries (archive website);
- The Fall 2011 Nanos Research survey (PDF) showing that a majority of Canadians do not trust federal and provincial governments;
- The 2011 Angus Reid survey that found 70% of Canadians want a more democratically accountable Senate;
- The 2007 Transparency International poll found that almost two-thirds of Canadians believe that Canadian governments have not been effective at stopping government corruption, and almost one-half believe corruption is increasing;
- The 2006 Nanos Research survey (PDF) that found that 62%-76% of Canadians felt that the federal Conservatives’ so-called Federal Accountability Act represented positive change (NOTE: the survey did not describe the Act‘s promised measures accurately — the measures are full of loopholes because the Conservatives broke their 2006 election promises);
- The 2005 SES Research survey (PDF) that found 61% of Canadians want more input into Canadian government decision-making;
- See pages 21-22 of 1999 Ekos Research Associates presentation on Citizenship Engagement and Globalization (PDF) that found a large majority (80%) of Canadians want government decision-making processes changed to engage with them more.