Canada: The Best Democracy Money Can Buy

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Voters Across Canada Have the Best Government Money Can Buy
by Democracy Watch
OTTAWA - Today, Democracy Watch lamented the fact that, no matter which party wins the Ontario election, wealthy interests will have been able to use too large donations of up to $31,000 to buy influence with the provincial government and during the provincial
election.

Democracy Watch criticized the Ontario Liberals for breaking their 2003 election promise to democratize Ontario's political finance system. 
 
The organization called on all the parties to make democratizing changes after the election, and to disclose every donation they have received during the election by Sunday morning so voters at least can find out who bankrolled them before they vote.
 
Parties in the other provinces, and the territories, should do the same, including for their municipal elections.
 
Because Ontario Liberals broke their 2003 election promise, Ontario election and government up for sale to wealthy interests
Federal government, other provinces, and the territories, have similar undemocratic flaws in their laws that must be corrected
TO SEE this news release with links to related documents, go to: http://dwatch.ca/camp/RelsSep2911.html
 

"By breaking their 2003 election promise to democratize Ontario's political finance system, Dalton McGuinty's Liberals are allowing
wealthy interests to continue to have undue influence over the next provincial government through too large and secret donations and spending during elections," said Duff Conacher, Coordinator of Democracy Watch and Chairperson of the nation-wide Money in Politics Coalition. "It is illegal for athletes to make large donations to referees, and as in some other provinces it should be illegal for
anyone to make large donations to politicians."

The Ontario Liberals' November 18, 2004 news release that echoed the 2003 election promise could be found on the website of the so-called Ontario Democratic Renewal Secretariat (which no longer exists) and it stated:

"The Premier also announced that a citizens' jury will be asked to make recommendations to the government regarding changes in how provincial political parties and election campaigns are financed. 'It's not enough for our decisions to be beyond the influence of
political contributions,' the Premier said.  'They must be perceived to be beyond the influence of political contributions.'"

Premier McGuinty never set up the citizen jury, and the only changes the Liberals made to the donations system was to require donations to parties (only) to be disclosed within 10 days.

The problems with Ontario's political finance system are clear, and it would have taken little time for a citizen jury process to
develop proposals to correct its many undemocratic flaws, as follows.  As noted below, other provinces, and the territories, also
have flaws in their laws that must be corrected, including for their municipal elections:
. . .
TO SEE the list of needed changes, and this entire news release with links to related documents, go to:
http://dwatch.ca/camp/RelsSep2911.html

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 29, 2011

NEWS RELEASE


FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Duff Conacher, Coordinator of Democracy Watch
Chairperson of the nation-wide Money in Politics Coalition
Tel: (613) 241-5179
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To see Democracy Watch's Ontario Election 2011 site, go to:
http://dwatch.ca/Ontario_Election_2011.html

To see the list of all the loopholes and flaws in Ontario's good
government system, go to:
http://dwatch.ca/camp/RelsDec0309.html

**********

Democracy Watch
1 Nicholas St., Suite 412
P.O. Box 821, Stn. B
Ottawa, ON  K1P 5P9
Tel: 613-241-5179
http://democracywatch.ca

 

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