Global Integrity 2008 Report Drops Canada
From "Strong" to "Moderate" Level in World's Most Detailed Assessment
of Government Integrity and Democracy
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
OTTAWA - Today, the international organization Global
Integrity released its 2008 Report on the results of the world's most
comprehensive, detailed assessment (using more than 300 indicators) of
national government accountability and integrity (especially
anti-corruption measures) in dozens of countries, including
Canada. In total in the past few years, Global Integrity has
assessed the national governments of more than 90 countries.
The Report details what it will take to build real democracy and create genuine stability around the globe, and is available on the Global Integrity website at: http://report.globalintegrity.org
Each national government is assessed by Global Integrity’s
experts by providing answers to Global Integrity’s more than 300
questions in its
Integrity Indicators Scorecard. The Scorecard is divided into six
categories (with 23 sub-categories in total), as follows: 1. Civil
Public Information and Media; 2. Elections; 3. Government
4. Administration and Civil Service; 5. Oversight and Regulation; 6.
and Rule of Law.
As in the 2007 Global Integrity Report, Duff Conacher, Coordinator of Democracy Watch and Assistant to the Coordinator of the Democracy Education Network, was the Lead Researcher for the section of the 2008 report on Canada.
Canada's federal government just barely maintained its top 10
ranking overall of the national governments that have been assessed
since 2006, none of which received a "Very Strong" rating.
However, because of increasing problems with government secrecy and
lack of enforcement of key government accountability laws, as well as
with the arbitrary 2008 federal election call by Prime Minister Harper,
Canada dropped from the bottom of the group of governments with a
"Strong" rating down to head the group of governments with a "Moderate"
As a result, of the national governments that have been assessed since 2006, Canada still ranks behind Bulgaria, Latvia, Poland and Romania, as well as Germany, Israel, Japan, Spain, and the U.S. (with Bulgaria, Latvia, Poland and the U.S. comfortably at the "Strong" rating level, while Germany, Italy, Japan, Romania and Spain just barely made it into the "Strong" rating tier).
"Canada's federal government
has significant loopholes in its government accountability system when
compared to other countries, and has a lot of work to do to become the
world's leading democracy," said Duff Conacher, Coordinator of
Democracy Watch and Assistant to the Coordinator of the Democracy Education Network.
integrity continues to be undermined by loopholes that allow secret
donations to some candidates and to political party trust funds, and
allow for excessive government
secrecy including secret, unethical lobbying, and undermined by Cabinet
patronage appointments, arbitrary election calls, lack of judicial and
Senate accountability and
weak government accountability lapdog agencies."
See for details:
Overall, while Canada's Legal Framework mark increased from
89% in 2007 to 90% in 2008 (as the Access
to Information Act was expanded to cover 50 new government
institutions and the new, stronger Lobbying
Act came into force), its Implementation mark dropped from 70%
to 68% mainly because of an overall weak government accountability law
As a result, Canada's overall mark dropped from 81% in 2007 to
80% in 2008, enough to drop it from the Strong level down to the
In Global Integrity's six categories in its Integrity
Indicators Scorecard, Canada had its worst scores in categories (To
full report on Canada, click
[NOTE: See also Democracy Watch's 2008 Report Card on the Federal Conservatives' Accountability and Democratic Reform Record which details the federal Conservatives' 29 broken promises in the loophole-filled, so-called "Federal Accountability Act" (FAA) and other measures, which along with the inaction of past Liberal and Conservative federal governments have failed to close the 90 undemocratic and accountability loopholes and flaws in the federal government's accountability and decision-making systems (To see a summary of the 90 loopholes, click here)].
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For more information, contact:
Democracy Watch's Clean Up the System webpage