April 18th, 2014
|Posted by: * PACT|
Party for Accountability, Competency and Transparency - Political Platform
PACT For CANADA
Party for Accountability, Competency and Transparency (PACT) is the ONLY Federal political party that allows any Canadian Registered Voter regardless of their political affiliation or opinions, to vote and comment directly on every issue, and guarantees through the Accountability Oath signed by its representatives to fully respect the result of the Voting process. All other parties can only make promises and history shows that in most cases, those elected do not fulfill their promises but follow their own agendas instead. At PACT, your vote counts and it will never be ignored; you’ve got this as a signed legal document from each one of our representatives.
PACT proposes the following legislative initiatives seeking popular support in the General Elections in order to elect PACT Candidates in the Federal Parliament of Canada. This is the only way we can take these initiatives to the next step towards enacting legislation (Parliamentary debate) and to ensure that your vote really counts in the legislative process.
Based on the Participatory Democracy principle (see PACT Governing Principles) the platform issues listed here are subject to debate and they will be revised in accordance with the feedback received from the voters.
The Platform issues are organized in 10 different categories, and there are between 3 and 7 Issues per category. Existing issues can be removed from the Platform and re-opened up for debate and revision in the form of Forum topics if their support falls under the Tolerance Margin, while the most popular Forum topics will be incorporated as Platform issues. We encourage all Voters to participate in the public debates on various topics. You will see how your input really counts!
1. Sound Governance: Fight Corruption and Incompetence
through Transparency, Accountability and Competence of Government officials.
PACT believes that the biggest challenge our political system faces today is the endemic and pervasive corruption and lack of trustworthiness. Many scandals have disgusted Canadian voters for decades, engulfing the governing parties regardless of their colour, and determining many voters to turn away from politics. We believe that reducing corruption will save our taxdollars by eliminating waste, will restore the confidence and trust in Government and will ultimately foster economic growth and prosperity.
Here are the Platform issues under ‘Sound Governance’:
1.1 Anti-corruption legislation must be enacted to prevent corruption from happening, and to punish those who breach public trust. Any fraud involving public funds should be treated as high crime. We will also eliminate the legal immunity of elected officials and bring them back from their 'above the law' status to regular citizens.
1.2 Political lobbying must be banned. Elected officials must not maintain direct contacts with individuals or organizations that might be able to influence their legislative activities and decisions.
1.3 Transparency is the best way to fight corruption because corruption can only thrive in secrecy. All contracts, invoices, payments of any kind involving public funds, public servants’ expense reimbursements along with supporting documents must be made available online for any taxpayer to see.
1.4 We deserve a competent government. Elected officials must undergo formal training pertaining to the administration of public affairs and write periodic exams before and during their mandate in Parliament. There will be no pre-requisites, so any citizen still qualifies to be elected.
1.5 Accountability must be enforced. When an elected official loses the support of the voters in his/her own riding, he/she must be replaced. PACT suggests that the replacement should be Candidate who ranked next in the previous elections in order to save the cost, or via by-elections as it is currently done.
1.6 Revision of the political financing in order to remove the undue influence of money in the political process. The recent scandals in Montreal have shown us how rich people and corporations can funnel money into the Candidates’ accounts.
1.7 Senate Reform. Either switch to an elected Senate or eliminate it altogether. PACT has no definite answer, but something must be done because our Senate currently is not a democratic institution.
2. Economic Growth and Prosperity
through Responsible Fiscal Policies, Taxation Reform, Free Market.
PACT believes that the Government has a duty to foster growth and prosperity by adopting fiscal policies that balance the budget, reduce the public debt, and stimulate job creation in a strong economy that relies more on creativity and productivity than on exploiting natural resources. The tax code has to be simplified and cleared of loopholes, making it more balanced and fair. The influence of large corporations and oligopolies over our political system must be contained for the benefit of the less fortunate.
Here are the Platform issues under ‘Economic Growth and Prosperity’:
2.1 Balancing the Federal Budget must be legislated. We must live within our limits and stop mortgaging the future of our children, and at the same time we must start gradually paying off the public debt.
2.2 The Globalization and trade agreements have increased the contribution of the exploitation of natural resources to our economy. The policies of our Government should stimulate the growth in all industries, ensuring that Canada maintains its technological edge through innovation and creativity.
2.3 The tax code has been loaded over the years with loopholes that profit the rich and powerful people and corporations. We need a new, modern and simplified tax code that is free of loopholes, leaves more money in the hands of taxpayers and protects the low-income citizens, children and elderly.
2.4 Large corporations and oligopolies such as telecommunications, oil, pharmaceuticals, banking etc. have consolidated their position on the market by eliminating competition and fixing prices. Canadians pay significantly more for lower quality services than citizens of other countries that we consider part of the ‘third world’, and our goods and services cost significantly more than they do just south of the border. The Government must act to ensure free market and to break the oligopolies.
3. Healthcare Reform
true Universal Healthcare for all Canadians.
We Canadians are very proud of our ‘Universal Healthcare’ system, comparing ourselves to USA which ranks very poorly. Our Healthcare system is broken, Canadians don’t enjoy the same privileges across the provinces and they’re treated as foreigners in their own country if they need services outside of their home province. The system is burdened by inefficiencies, abuses and unnecessary administrative layers. The system is open to abuse; every Canadian knows at least one case.
Here are the Platform issues under ‘Healthcare’:
3.1 Healthcare should be standardized across Provinces, and should be equal for all Canadian citizens regardless of the province or territory they call home.
3.2 Eliminate loopholes that drain the budget to the benefit of a few. The system lacks basic Internal Controls that should be monitoring every dollar coming out of the budget.
3.3 We need to train more doctors and nurses. There’s no excuse for shortages since there are many students interested to pursue healthcare careers if there were more classroom seats. Our higher education system must open more seats to produce the resources we need.
4. Social Justice
Reduce Poverty, Protect those in need, Protect Consumers
Canada has experienced a significant increase of the gap between rich and poor, with more billionaires and millionaires at one end, and more poverty at the other. This is a direct result of a flawed tax code, an increased cost of living, lack of protection for those in need and a cultural shift towards glorifying profit at the expense of compassionate care. PACT believes that the Government has a role in maintaining Social Justice.
Here are the Platform issues under ‘Social Justice’:
4.1 Reduce Personal Debt by regulating long-term loans and capping credit interest rates. More and more Canadians become enslaved by their own debt, made worse by the extremely high short-term loans interest rates such as credit cards and payday loans (20% - 60%).
4.2 Stronger consumer protection bodies, easily accessible to the consumers and more powerful in relation to the suppliers of goods and services. These bodies should monitor quality and combat oligopolies, price fixing and gauging practices.
4.3 Indexing the salaries of Government-funded organizations and crown corporations would eliminate the income discrepancies created over decades. The compensation of federal government employees should be expressed as a percentage up to a maximum of 100% of the salary and benefits of the top executive (prime minister), arguably the position with the highest responsibility in a public office.
4.4 Fair taxation. The current loopholes in our tax code allow wealthy individuals to avoid paying taxes, while the salaried worker has the taxes withheld.
we need a National Strategy for Transportation and Communications
As many other developed countries who have thrived in the 20th century, Canada has an aging infrastructure in desperate need of funding to rebuild and modernize. Our cash-strapped cities struggle to maintain motorways in working condition. Our highways and bridges are decaying, the railways are no longer reliable, and air travel is burdened by unreasonable taxes. Many Canadians do not have access to affordable quality communications (internet and cellular phones). Canada is ranking very poorly in the world in terms of quality and cost of internet services, which is significant because the future relies so much on the internet.
Here are the Platform issues under ‘Infrastructure’:
5.1 We need a National Strategy for upgrading Airports, Roads, Railways and Waterways. This is no longer just a local or provincial matter. A country with poor transportation infrastructure has no place in the future developed and successful nations. Federal funding and coordinated modernization projects must ensure Canada regains its status among developed countries.
5.2 Breaking of the Telecommunications industry oligopoly in order to bring back the free market, foster competition, quality and affordability of communications services. There can be no real competition while the wires and antennae are the property of a few corporations which. We must find a way to make it a free market.
5.3 Eliminating the ‘Digital Divide’. Universal Broadband Access must be considered a civil right of every Canadian citizen. The Government has a duty to ensure that the access to internet does not create advantages or disadvantages to any segments of our population.
5.4 The Government must do more to ensure that our Internet service is more reliable, free of fraud, bullies, misconduct and criminal activities. Our criminal code must be modernized to include mischief and criminal activities committed via Internet, and the new technologies must be utilized to catch the perpetrators.
We are the Stewards of our Planet’s Resources.
Canadians are very concerned about the environmental impact of our society and activities. They have expressed their concern over the years. However, due to the influence of those interested in making profit at any costs, our Government has failed and continues to fail to address these concerns. The Environment issues expose the different views of citizens vs. government, and reveal the scope of the undue influence the lobby groups of large corporations have on our elected officials.
Here are the Platform issues under ‘Environment’:
6.1 Sustainable Energy; clean sources, safe transport and safe energy waste disposal. The Government must consider and address the concerns of the citizens. The increased rush to secure and exploit our country’s natural resources must consider the environmental impact.
6.2 We need a National Strategy for Water Conservation, as the planet’s water resources are threatened by an increased demand due to an increase of population and industrial development.
6.3 We must contain our waste production. Simple measures can go a long way to drastically reduce the record quantities of garbage we produce. PACT suggests banning junk mail, excessive packaging, educating citizens to recycle properly, sorting and compacting recyclables, and safe disposal of hazardous materials.
6.4 PACT recognizes the real possibility that Global Warming may be partially the result of human activities and suggests that our Government would be one of the leading nations in the fight to contain the spread and potentially disastrous effects.
7. Human Rights
Referendums for hot-button issues. Sensible approach.
When it comes to Human Rights issues such as Abortion, Same-sex Marriage, Assisted Suicide, Death Penalty, legalization of Marijuana or Prostitution, nobody is an expert but everyone has the right to vote directly, and not through representatives. Other topics: with a few millions of Canadians still living in poverty, Canada ranks very low among developed countries. The Indian Act must be replaced to address the grievances of the First Nations people.
Here are the Platform issues under ‘Demographics and Human Rights’:
7.1 PACT supports a Referendum on Human Rights issues such as Abortion, Same-sex Marriage, Assisted Suicide, Death Penalty or legalization of Marijuana or Prostitution. All the arguments have been presented, it is time to count the votes. These are issues we should not leave up to our elected officials because they are imposing their own views through Parliamentary action, exposing the huge disconnect from voters.
7.2 At the federal level, Canada does not yet have an official definition of poverty, nor robust indicators of poverty’s incidence and depth. PACT wants to start to address poverty by recognizing and evaluating its scope nationally, then working with provinces and communities across the nation to address the root causes and gradually lift the people affected into a dignified, fulfilling life.
7.3 Indian Affairs constitute a significant social and human rights issue in the present Canadian society. Decades-long grievances have not been properly addressed. The Indian Act clearly does not address the issues. PACT has no definite answer but proposes an opening of negotiations that would address the core issues.
Building tomorrow’s success today.
For several decades Canada has imported human resources and skilled workforce to counter the low childbirth rates, amid expensive daycare, increased cost of living and other hindrances. PACT believes that Canadians need and deserve a better education system, affordable at all levels for students who perform well to be able to reach the highest levels of education. We also need a better connection between workforce demand trend estimates and the education system, ensuring that we enroll today the students we need to graduate 5-10 years from now and take the jobs that will then be available.
Here are the Platform issues under ‘Education’:
8.1 Increased social assistance for families with young children would complement the free elementary and secondary education and would stimulate increased childbirth rates, reducing our population growth reliance on immigration for the purpose of population growth.
8.2 PACT supports subsidized or free Post-Secondary education for those students who perform well. This will stimulate competition among students, will yield better results and a better qualified workforce for future. It would also give students from low-income families a chance to reach higher education.
8.3 Once in a while the education system is brought to a stand-still because of students or teachers / professors strike actions. PACT suggests that Education is an essential service and strikes have no place in our education system. The grievances must be resolved without interruption of work.
8.4 Canada needs National standards in Education. Currently the Provinces are responsible for this but the standards are not uniform across Provinces. All our students are Canadians and it should not matter to the quality of their education what Province they call home.
9. Elections and Government Reform
We inherited a flawed government system from UK.
Our House of Commons side of the Parliament is elected based on the ‘first-past-the-post’ system that is arguably not the most representative. Our Voting process is slow, expensive and rudimentary, still using the same paper ballot system for many decades. The unelected Senate is in fact a repository of old friends of former prime-ministers. Lastly, corruption runs deep in our politics.
Here are the Platform issues under ‘Elections and Government Reform’:
9.1 Reform or eliminate the Senate. The Senators must go through an election process similar to the MPs. PACT suggests that the Senate be eliminated, or be re-purposed to include elected representatives that are politically unaffiliated, in order to provide a non-partisan review of legislation.
9.2 Crowd-sourcing the Federal Budget; as taxpayers, Canadians should have a say in how their taxdollars are distributed and spent. Our current system treats the Government as a corporation, and our tax payments as the ‘income’ of this corporation, which is entitled to spend at the prime minister’s discretion. Taxpayers must have a say in how the Government distributes the budget.
9.3 Replace the ‘First-Past-the-Post’ election system with ‘Proportional Representation’, whereby the political parties are assigned seats proportional with the result of the popular vote. The elected candidates will be simply determined according to absolute number of votes received rather than being handpicked by the party leaders.
PACT supports ‘Action for Proportional Representation’ (simplychange.ca)
9.4 Equal access to media for all political parties. Media has a huge influence on how people get information and ultimately vote in elections. While political spending is limited by law, nothing prevents TV, radio, print or web-based media outlets to broadcast large segments of political news, in essence positive or negative advertising. This puts a handful of individuals, private owners of media corporations, in position to literally select our Candidates for us. Elections legislation must force media outlets of any kind to provide reasonable access to all political players within their area of coverage as well as rebuttal rights.
9.5 Online Voting; We believe the technology allows us today to replace the old-fashioned paper-ballot based system that is expensive and used once every 4 years, with a real-time, responsive online voting system that is cheap and allows voters to vote constantly from the comfort of their homes, and vote directly on issues, rather than a party, a platform or an individual. Online voting can be secure and secret. A paper based system must continue to co-exist to serve those relatively few who prefer it or do not have Internet access.
10. Foreign Affairs
Canada needs to regain the status of neutral peace broker.
Canada’s foreign policies have shifted in the last couple of decades from a respected neutral peace broker to what many nations see a more aggressive military power. Our policy should be focused on resolving conflicts through United Nations, in respect of international laws, leading developed nations in a fight against poverty, social injustice, genocide, totalitarism, organized crime and all other sources of conflict and unrest.
Here are the Platform issues under ‘Foreign Affairs’:
10.1 Canada must take a more balanced, sensible approach when getting involved in disputes between other nations, and only support actions authorized by United Nations’ Security Council.
10.2 Canada must lead the world’s most developed nations in a global fight against poverty and social injustice, addressing the cause of many conflicts.
10.3 Canada must take a leading role in the fight against international organized crime, money laundering, arms proliferation, genocide and totalitarism.
Note that in some cases the Platform does not have definitive answers. Instead, PACT recognizes that certain issues must be resolved, and while some suggestions are made, it will be up to the voters (represented by their elected officials) to propose, debate and choose solutions.
Party for Accountability, Competency and Transparency is a non-partisan organization and it does not require voters to become PACT members in order to be allowed to vote on these Platform issues or any other issues, petitions, legislative initiatives or parliamentary bills that we make available on our website. We will verify each website user's identity to ensure that only Canadian Registered Voters have full, secure and unique access, but otherwise everyone is welcome to participate in the political process, regardless of their political view or affiliation.
Note to the Reader:
This Platform addresses a large number of Issues and it is very likely that you may not agree with each and every one of them. It is virtually impossible to build a platform that would be supported in it's entirety by millions of Canadians, because we all have different views, opinions, affiliations, beliefs or cultural particularities.
But unlike any other Party, here you are given the opportunity to vote and comment DIRECTLY on each and every Issue, essentially shaping up the Platform along with your fellow Canadian voters!
Please evaluate the Platform only in comparison with the platforms of the other political parties and decide for yourself if this is the closest to your wishes.
Christian Heritage Party's Platform | Libertarian Party's Platform
Marxist-Leninist Party's Platform | Radical Marijuana Party's Platform
Progressive Canadian Party's Platform | United Party's Platform
The rest are either not there or located somewheres not obvious.
There are 18 federally registered parties. Find the entire list here.
All these Issues are in the process of being written up and posted as 'Platform' Issues (under the same Tab) so anyone can comment and vote. Based on the vote results, some Issues will be removed and sent to the Forum area to be reconsidered, and at the same time, popular Forum topics will be added to the Platform.
This is how we understand 'Participatory Democracy'!
This is a Level 1 issue. Guests (and higher) can vote and comment on this issue.
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