Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My Preliminary Views on Axworthy Advisory Panel Report on the Canadian Democracy Promotion Agency

Agency ("The Canadian Centre for Advancing Democracy") would have a specific focus on sustainable party development

The 2008 Speech from the Throne made the promise that, "a new non-partisan democracy promotion agency will be established to support the peaceful transition to democracy in repressive countries and help emerging democracies build strong institutions"

The 2007 report of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development (SCFAID), Advancing Canada’s Role in International Support for Democratic Development, recommendation 15:
"The Parliament of Canada, following consultations with all parties represented in the House of Commons, should consider setting up a centre for multi-party and parliamentary democracy, with a parliamentary mandate."

Relevant Points:
p. 9 "For historic reasons, the Centre should view countries of the Francophonie and Commonwealth, as well the Americas, as priority areas for the Centre to invest in."
p 10 "Rosters of Canadian party activists, able and willing to work overseas should be assembled by the new Centre."
p. 14 "An appropriate mission for the CCAD [Canadian Centre for Advancing Democracy] would be to support the process of democratization by helping to establish or to strengthen pluralistic democratic institutions, particularly political parties, in countries where they are absent or in need of further encouragement and development.  .  . to assist political actors in repressive regimes to participate in the transition to a democratic system."

My initial observation:  I do not see how this Advisory Panel report conceives of what the CCAD would actually do. It is unclear to me how its activities would be distinct from work of The Parliamentary Centre, Rights and Democracy, and CIDA.  I am concerned that it could turn into something of a boondoggle for out of work Party activists and retired Parliamentarians.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Take a look at the 2007 parliamentary committee report, which emphasized research, proper evaluation, and careful program design. It's much more sophisticated than the 2009 report. This CCAD idea seems to have gone downhill in quality. No doubt it will be funded anyway.