star.GIF (2250 bytes) Readers!
Register  your
opinions  here /
Enregistrer vos
commentaires ici!


Lip Service  ~ Qui est vraiment responsable?

Despite lip service
to environmental protection,
once politicians are in power
they seem to be listening
to corporate voices, not
communities. Has
government simply
become the middle man?
Are environmentalists better
advised to negotiate
directly with industry to
gain needed changes?
Who is really in charge?



Malgré un intérêt de pure forme
envers la protection de l'environnement,
une fois au pouvoir, les politiciens
semblent écouter beaucoup plus aux
propos corporatifs qu'à ceux des
collectivités. Est-ce que les
gouvernements seraient simplement
devenus des intermédiaires?
Serait-il avantageux pour les
environnementalistes de négocier
directement avec les entreprises afin
d'obtenir les changements désirés?
Qui est vraiment responsable?

Andrew Hawkins,
ucto NB
January 15, 2005
Without large corporate donations political parties would fail to have sufficient funds to run a successful election campaign and therefore be out of a job. Why are we surprised that they then bow to the hand that feeds them?
Janice Harvey
Nov 2, 2004
NEVER, NEVER let politicians and public servants off the hook.  They have a legislative responsibility and they were elected/hired to carry out that responsibility. The point at which we start negotiating with industry to achieve what our legislators are supposed to do is the day we walk away from democracy and accept a corporate state.  Even if governments are ineffective, to continue to push them to prosecute their proper duties is to stand up against the movement to a corporate state and the labeling of citizens as either clients or stakeholders.  We have no power in the corporate board rooms.  We only have power as citizens who demand that the laws be written to protect the public interest and the public trust, and that those laws be enforced.

Alan Weatherley
Oct. 28, 2004

Your question is important. My own view is that there may be instances when industry or business are genuinely interested in affairs that concern a wide public -- though most of this interest will come from some instrumentality that a business has set up which is essentially at arm's length from the profit-making part of their operation. Thus the Fords, the Rockefellers, the Carnegies and -- perhaps -- the Irvings have operations they have set up which are supposed to function for the public good. But in general, the way businesses have looked at conservation matters tends at best to be "objective, detached" or from a "cost/benefit" perspective -- which in today's savage market conditions seems to more or less guarantee they will be in opposition to conservationists' concerns. Therefore, while taking a quite realistic look at any beneficial arrangements that may be entered into with businesses, and certainly not treating everything with total scorn or toxic suspicion, I think we must redouble our efforts to get
governments to play a strong and legitimate role in conservation matters in the public interest. I agree that they are in general failing in this mission, but the reason is a large one, which though it is part of the neglected responsibilities of governments and their public service departments, must really be answered through renewed efforts to awaken the public to the dire necessity to pressure governments. Only governments can
enact conservation laws and have the power to make them stick.
The reason governments pay lip service to conservation is because a great number of the public when questioned will agree -- with apparent enthusiasm -- to the great need for it. But the reason that governments so often proceed to betray what conservationists have taken to be this trust is that governments recognize, with cool perception, that in the response to the determination of businesses to associate conservation with job losses and great costs, public insistence on conservation soon melts away. In other words, public empathy with conservationists may be "real" but it is also "soft." For all their efforts, conservationists are failing to get the message out to the public in a form that will make them absolutely demand that conservation be taken seriously. It has to reach a level at which politicians really see it as something that will endanger them at the ballot box is they do not show hard and consistent regard for it. And businesses
have to know with certainty that there are laws to protect conservation interests that will be effectively activated when needed. Unfortunately, we are far from this situation, but it's now that conservationists have to start rethinking their doctrines and their strategies -- and to do so soon if they want to bring about dramatic effects and change public awareness and attitudes forever.
If and when the populace is sufficiently resolved to hold politicians to be responsible for environmental conservation then politicians will also have to be responsible for ensuring the jobs that business and industry so often insist will be lost will be safeguarded or
replaced by other equivalent employment. These are precisely the times when the usefulness and effectiveness of governments can best serve the ordinary wage-earner and citizen. This is where industries usually fail and consequently gives them the power to threaten conservationists and environmentalists.

John Crompton
Oct. 27, 2004
I think you're right they are often bought men .They are often under a lot of industry pressure .During the wood supply committee hearings they did eventually listen. this should be encouraged. You can't tell by the party at least the 2 dominant ones, who will be receptive therefore we should speak to your local MLA & make it an issue. I have taken 2 of them up flying to see the forest. Peter Mesheau at least was attentive .For over a year now I have been speaking with a liberal about the same deal, despite several conference calls & innumerable requests it has not come together I wont bore you with the excuses however the fact that were on there case may have some value If you can help please call Lastly when they do the right thing let's not forget to encourage them; you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
Sonia Lavoie
27 oct. 004
Je suis dacord avec l'hypothèse que le gouvernemt agit désormais en tant qu'intermédiaire. Parler directement avec les compagnies est une excellente idée!


Jerry Cook
Balla Philip, NB
Oct. 27, 2004

We thought we lived in a democracy. Huh! What is it then? According to a Finnish professor our form of "government" has migrated to what he calls a corpocracy. Defined simply as a once in four or five year period during which the "government" we elect serves its corporate masters until the next time around.
The recent changes to the elections process to ban large donations by corporate interests to political parties has been heralded as a victory for democracy. It will however drive the corporate money into the hands of lobbyists who have direct access to politicians and more importantly to the bureaucracy who advise the political "mouth pieces" as to policy initiatives.
Absolutely, environmentalists (ecologists) need to use this process to cause change. The question always has been: "Who is the target?". The target is the person or entity that can effect change. Then the question is: "Who advises the target?". These are the individuals or entities with whom environmentalists need to dialogue and negotiate.

Register your opinions here
Enregistrer vos commentaires ici

Comment / Commentaire
Name / Nom:
Location / Endroit: