EDMONTON — Representatives of Public Interest Alberta today released a proposal for democratic reform related to the province’s electoral system and its campaign and party finance legislation, and called for strong citizen engagement in the coming months to make democratic renewal a reality.
Public Interest Alberta Executive Director Joel French stated, “The prospects for genuine democratic reform are brighter than they have been in decades, and we urge citizens to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the Ethics and Accountability Committee which has a mandate to recommend changes in this vital area.
”Larry Booi, Chair of Public Interest Alberta’s Democracy Task Force, outlined the reasons for optimism: “The new government has already moved with Bill 1 to ban campaign contributions by corporations and unions, has established an all-party legislative committee to suggest further changes, and has recently appointed a Minister Responsible for Democratic Renewal to ensure ongoing action. These are important and promising steps. In addition, democratic reform is not a costly item, which is particularly significant in light of the government’s current financial constraints.”
The Public Interest Alberta proposal, entitled Strengthening our Democracy, is in the form of a submission to the all-party legislative committee, and is available here.
French also commented on the importance of citizen engagement in turning the promise of democratic reform into a reality: “It’s a great opportunity, but Alberta’s democratic deficit is deep and wide, and there is a great deal to be done. We are asking citizens who agree with the need for democratic reform to act now by contacting the Committee and their MLAs to make their views known.”
The Legislative Committee is accepting written submissions until February 26, 2016 but will be continuing its work until September of this year. Citizens are urged to send their submissions to [email protected] and to their MLA.