The Canadian Club of Halton Peel recently hosted Duff Conacher, founding director of Democracy Watch and the Democracy Education Network. His topic, “How Cleaning Up Politics Will Help Clean Up Everything Else” was very timely in light of the many scandals and controversies in which politicians, at every level of government, are involved.
As Conacher said, “Many governments are spending more time dealing with scandals these days than they are solving problems. Given that we have to pay for governments whether or not they solve problems for us, what do we need to do to clean up politics so that politicians will help clean up problems?”
According to Conacher, the honesty, ethics, transparency, independence and spending rules are all rife with loopholes that must be closed, and enforcement and penalties need to be strengthened in every area as well. Voter apathy is the result when politicians do not do what they said they would do.
His message was clear regarding what you can do to help “Clean Up Canadian Politics”. Never give up! Find an issue. Research it. Contact the people who can help. Write letters and make calls complaining to politicians. Write a letter once a month regarding your issue.
Get your children involved and have them write letters too. Each letter should end with this statement, “I am determining my vote in the next election dependent on your response and based on what you do.”
As the main Founder of Democracy Watch, Conacher was Coordinator from 1993 to 2011. He led the organization and its four nation-wide coalitions to win more changes to laws, regulations and government policies than any other citizen advocacy group in Canada – more than 110 changes in total, many of them world-leading. Duff also led Democracy Watch to win precedent-setting good government court cases, and regular national media coverage. He continues to be involved as a Director and as a spokesperson on many issues for the organization.
Conacher also heads the firm, GoodOrg.ca Consulting which provides advice and services to governments, businesses and citizen organizations in the areas of good governance, ethics, responsibility, communications and stakeholder & public relations. A graduate of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, he is an internationally recognized leader in democratic reform and government accountability. He is a former Ralph Nader’s Raider, co-author of Canada Firsts and author of More Canada Firsts (both best-sellers), and has worked as a researcher, community organizer and educator, legal intern and consultant.
Currently celebrating its 28th season of top quality, timely speakers, the not-for-profit, volunteer-driven Canadian Club of Halton Peel has been presenting guest dinner speakers on a wide range of subjects since 1986. Be sure to mark your calendar for Thursday, January 23rd 2014. Richard Gwyn will speak about his experiences as a historian and award-winning author, political columnist, radio and TV personality, and his most recent book, “Nation Maker: Sir John A Macdonald 1867-1891”, the second and concluding volume of his highly-praised biography of Canada’s first and most important Prime Minister, from Confederation until his death 24 years later.
For more information, contact Barry Wylie, CPA, CA, President, Canadian Club of Halton Peel at 905-827-6302. Reservations for the dinner at the Oakville Conference Centre, 2515 Wyecroft Road, Oakville, L6L 6P8 (QEW & Bronte Rd) can be made by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), by telephone (905-827-6302) or by mail (cheques payable to The Canadian Club of Halton Peel, 283 River Side Drive, Oakville, L6K 3N3.
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