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About the Citizens Centre Print E-mail

About the Citizens Centre


The Citizens Centre for Freedom and Democracy
is a non-profit organization that promotes responsible government. This means government that is honest, accountable and constitutional.

Honest government
Honest government is self-policing, transparent, open, respectful and impartial.

Accountable government
Accountable government is democratic. All public policies set by courts and cabinets are subjected to approval, scrutiny and amendment by the elected representatives of the people, or by referendum.

Constitutional government
Constitutional government is self-restrained, confining its activities and taxation to the responsibilities laid down by the Constitution Acts.

From its origins two centuries ago, the emphasis in Canadian democracy was on "responsible government," as defined above. Since the 1960s, however, the focus has shifted to "compassionate government," whereby the federal government now presumes to direct and fund social and economic development, both of which are provincial or private responsibilities.

Unfortunately, while "compassionate government" may sound attractive, it violates one of the most central principles of the original federal pact between Canada's provinces, and negates the concept of responsible (i.e. constitutional) government.

As a result, the effect over time has been to make government neither compassionate nor responsible. Instead it has become increasingly corrupt, unaccountable and coercive.

Ottawa forced its way into the provincial sphere of social and economic development, mainly by abusing its unlimited power to tax and spend, even in areas that are beyond its jurisdiction. Some provinces, notably Alberta and Quebec, resisted. However, Quebec was bought off and Alberta was looted. Alberta's net contribution to federal programs since 1961 is now over $200 billion.

The consequences of allowing Ottawa to negate the original scheme of Confederation have been bad for the whole country, not just Alberta.

It has created costly jurisdictional overlap, political confusion, high taxes, needless eastern dependency and western alienation, and a political culture that no longer understands the principle, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."

Instead we are constantly told that social entitlements like "free" medicare and unemployment insurance represent the core values of Canadians.

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