Mr. Speaker, this is the whole point, that the dependence on two particular interest sectors, namely the corporate sector and the union sector, is one that needs to be bridled in, controlled and reduced. I think that a party that is in power ought to be actually congratulated for taking that measure, which I would doubt very much the Alliance Party would take under consideration if it were in power.
Second, the Alliance Party has a tremendous amount of confidence in and quotes the National Citizens' Coalition as being the ultimate in democratic procedures and democratic values. We did some research, at least in the limited time available, and this is what we found out about the National Citizens' Coalition, which is the organization to which the hon. member and other members of that party have frequently made reference in very supportive terms. This is what I read:
...Many of the [National Citizens' Coalition's] fiercest critics have pointed out the incongruity of an organization which attacks others for supposedly undemocratic practise while organizing itself along similar lines. Claiming a membership of some 40,000-45,000...it has consistently refused to release any list of names. Even more striking is the fact that it is neither a citizen-based grassroots organization nor a coalition of any traditional kind. Its constitution actually distinguishes between “voting” and “public members”; as so-called public members, ordinary citizens are not entitled to vote, attend meetings or even be informed of meetings...voting members, by contrast, are entitled not only to attend meetings but also to select the four members of the board of directors. Only two voting members are required for a quorum, and only three directors are necessary to conduct NCC business...Nor has the secretive lobby group ever explained its sources of funding, despite its obvious affluence...while the NCC is not a charitable organization whose contributions are tax-receiptable, its contributors--mostly businesses and large corporations--can deduct their payments as a business expense...the organization's budget in 1997 was nearly $3 million dollars...[a] detailed analysis of advisory-board members revealed ties to “thirty-nine major corporations...eight major insurance companies, seven advertising agencies and more than fifty lesser corporations--
This was written by Dr. Brooke Jeffrey in Canadian Forum in June 1999.