Gavel (Courtesy photo)

Gavel (Courtesy photo)

EDITORIAL: High marks for Canada’s democratic process

Accusations of widespread corruption do not hold up

Not every decision made by a governing body will be well received by all.

This is as true of decisions at municipal councils and regional districts as it is of decisions made at the federal and provincial level. Some outcomes, particularly those affecting land use and taxation, will generate harsh criticisms.

Too often, the most vocal opponents will talk of corruption, deception or a flawed decision-making process. Such allegations are extremely serious as they cast doubts on the foundations of our democracy.

READ ALSO: Summerland to examine municipal council transparency

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More importantly, such accusations do not hold up to a more careful examination. The process we have in Canada works well, no matter what people think of the decisions made using our process.

And around the world, Canada has received high praise for the strength of our democracy.

The most recent Democracy Index, compiled by the U.K.-based Economist Intelligence Unit, has ranked Canada fifth worldwide out of 167 countries in its analysis of political culture, freedoms, civil liberties and governmental checks and balances.

Similarly, U.S.-based Freedom House gave Canada a score of 98 out of 100 in its most recent rankings. This study includes numerous personal freedoms, integrity of elections, technology and the strength of democracy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both studies examine government transparency and accountability, and in this category, Canada scores well.

While there are countries around the world without open, transparent government, Canada is not among them. Our governing system, at all levels, is the envy of people in many other parts of the world.

In Canada, we are free to speak out about the decisions affecting us. In fact, doing so is encouraged. It is easy to contact an elected member of a council or regional district board if there are issues to address.

Similarly, there are ways to contact one’s elected member at the provincial or federal level.

Not everyone will applaud all decisions, but the democratic process we have in Canada is one that functions well.

– Black Press

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