Color Legend: Violet refers to countries with exceptional electoral systems Red refers to countries with very satisfactory electoral systems Orange refers to countries with unsatisfactory electoral systems Green refers to countries with failed electoral systems Black refers to countries with completely failed electoral systems Gray refers to countries with transitional electoral systems Blue refers to countries without a FDA electoral fairness audit
The Foundation for Democratic Advancement (FDA) concludes that the Canadian federal electoral system is mediocre as determined by the overall unsatisfactory passing audit score of 64.49 percent (out of 100 percent). FDA auditors measured
Failing score for legislation pertaining to media election coverage (47.35 percent)
Unsatisfactory score for legislation pertaining to candidates and parties (58.93 percent).
Satisfactory score for legislation pertaining to voters (73.52 percent).
Very satisfactory score for legislation pertaining to electoral finance (78.15 percent).
In its analysis, the FDA factored in 32 independent variables, matrix examination, and financial analysis to inform calculations and conclusions. Based on its measurements, the FDA believes that Canadian federal election outcomes are not truly reflective of the voice of Canadians from electoral constituencies. Although there is sound legislation relating to voters and electoral finance, various provisions concerning candidates, parties, and media function to favour certain large and established parties over new and small parties and even other large and established parties. The FDA identified several elements in the Canadian electoral system that, when combined, undermine significantly electoral competition and thereby election outcomes. The FDA believes that the degree of electoral competition is an indication of the health of a democracy, and competition whether in the marketplace or elections produces the better societal outcome. Therefore, the FDA recommends a number of reforms to the Canadian electoral system that would eliminate biased electoral legislation and uncompetitive electoral processes.
“If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in government to the utmost.” – Aristotle
Nicolas Maduro, President Chavez’s chosen successor, wins Venezuela’s April 14, 2013 Presidential election
Revised as of April 15, 2013. Revision number 1.
The Venezuelan federal electoral system is very satisfactory as determined by the overall audit score of 78.83 percent (out of 100 percent). The FDA auditors measured
one unsatisfactory passing score for legislation pertaining to electoral finance (52.5 percent);
one very satisfactory score for legislation pertaining to candidates and parties (77.9%);
two exceptional scores for legislation pertaining to media election coverage (100 percent) and voters (84.9 percent).
The FDA audit focused on 52 variables, and it utilized matrices, financial analysis, and scoring scales. The most notable areas of the system are Venezuela’s commitment to complete and balanced election coverage, thereby supporting a fair playing field for candidates and parties, and a commitment to people’s right to vote and the act of voting through various innovative and progressive measures. However, electoral finances of candidates and parties are only transparent to the state, and there are no direct caps on campaign contributions and no direct limits on expenditures. The lack of public financial transparency creates the potential for pro-government parties to pursue corrupt financial practices and leave anti-government parties subject to unjust assessments of their finances including targeting their contributors. The lack of caps and limits on electoral finances may create an unfair playing field in the realms of billboards, flyers, posters, and campaign events, because these media are not covered by the complete and balanced coverage requirement. The FDA has no evidence of electoral financial wrongdoing, as does no one else, because only the Venezuelan State through the National Electoral Council is privy to party finances. The FDA recommends reforms that will bring about public electoral finance transparency, caps on campaign contributions and limits on campaign expenditures. If implemented these reforms would make the Venezuelan electoral system a model for the rest of the world. As it stands, these limitations have the potential to allow for corrupt financial practices and create unfair playing fields for candidates and parties.
Overall the FDA recommends that the public get continuously and actively involved with the government legislative process and implementation if they want to protect and advance their democratic voice, and create a society of their choosing.
The Foundation for Democratic Advancement (FDA) measured severe deficiencies in the Alberta municipal processes with regard to the Bingham Crossing development application. The FDA measured both individual and cumulative impacts of the Alberta municipal processes on the democratic welfare of Rocky View County residents and users of the area. Although the individual effects were in some cases insignificant, the accumulation of these impacts raises questions about the consistency of the Alberta municipal processes with a free and democratic society. The FDA determined that overall; the municipal processes give a greater voice to special interests over the voice of the citizenry. In addition, the FDA identified municipal processes that unreasonably limit the democratic rights of citizens and do not include adequate offsetting mechanisms; and are therefore in conflict with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The FDA concludes that the Bingham Crossing development application requires an inspection by the Alberta Municipal Affairs Minister and a provincial government-initiated referendum to determine whether this controversial development application should pass or fail. The purposes of the referendum are to compensate for the deficiencies in the Alberta municipal processes and accurately measure the voice of the Rocky View electorate concerning the Bingham Crossing development. In addition, the FDA recommends amendments of the Alberta Municipal Government Act and Local Authorities Election Act. The measurements and findings of this report have implications for all Albertan municipalities. Finally, the report’s overall purpose is to ensure that Albertans become more knowledgeable about the outcomes of Alberta government processes, and can then make decisions that are more informed.
This report is in no way an evaluation of the merits and deficiencies of the proposed Bingham Crossing development.
The FDA recommends that the public get involved with the government legislative process and implementation if they want to protect and advance their democratic voice, and create a society of their choosing.
“If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in government to the utmost.” - Aristotle