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Tyler Sommers

Coordinator, Democracy Watch

Tyler Sommers is the Coordinator for Democracy Watch and Assistant Coordinator for the Democracy Education Network. He is a student of Carleton's Master of Political Management, has written for the University of Toronto on the topic of youth civic engagement and is a co-found of the national non-profit, the Canadian Youth Assembly.
If Canada's a Democracy, Why Are We Ruled By the

If Canada's a Democracy, Why Are We Ruled By the Aristocracy?

Limiting who can be Canada's head of state to the children of one family in a foreign country is unfair and undemocratic. More than 15 million adult Canadians (and likely their kids as well) want to retire the monarchy and change to a democratically chosen Canadian head of state.
07/07/2013 10:30 EDT
Did Politicians Forget Their

Did Politicians Forget Their Manners?

Justin Trudeau's speaking fees affair, and the Senate and MP expense and ethics scandals, all reveal how negligent federal politicians have been in establishing strong, clear rules for their jobs and ethics. And as many other ongoing scandals reveal, politicians across Canada have been equally negligent.
06/25/2013 04:40 EDT
How The Parties Stack Up: Democracy Watch Report

How The Parties Stack Up: Democracy Watch Report Card

The Green Party receives a C-, the best grade of bad overall grades in Report Card on British Columbia Parties' Democratic Good Government Platforms -- Conservatives receive a D-, NDP a D-, and Liberals an F. A Dishonesty Downgrade of one full grade is also shown in the Report Card results -- usually only half of all promises are kept because of the lack of an honesty-in-politics law which is needed to effectively penalize promise-breakers and those who deliberately mislead.
05/13/2013 01:20 EDT
Canada's Ethics Commissioner Shouldn't Let Harper Off the

Canada's Ethics Commissioner Shouldn't Let Harper Off the Hook

It seems very clear that Prime Minister Harper's recent decisions concerning Mr. Penashue do not uphold the highest ethical standards and are not impartial in a way that enhances public confidence and trust, as they are favours that help Mr. Penashue.
05/10/2013 05:28 EDT
Forget Reform -- Let's Abolish the

Forget Reform -- Let's Abolish the Senate!

The recent scandals involving senators offer more reasons to question the Senate's continued existence. Senators currently control investigations into other senators' ethics, spending, attendance and actions overall. This is a completely ineffective system undermined by rampant conflicts of interest -- and senators are not even talking about changing it. While there are many proposals to reform the Senate, they all leave or create more problems than they solve, and all require changes to the Constitution (as Prime Minister Harper will soon learn when the Supreme Court of Canada rules on his reference case) -- so abolishing the Senate is no more difficult than any other option.
02/21/2013 05:29 EST
Liberal Leadership Race: Ready, Set,

Liberal Leadership Race: Ready, Set, Spend!

The Liberal Party of Canada recently revealed the rules governing their next party leadership election. Setting the entry fee at $75,000 poses an undue hurdle for many potential candidates and should have been replaced through allowing candidates to qualify by gathering signatures and support, not by buying their way into the race.
09/07/2012 05:18 EDT
Forget the Rules, Harper Won't Penalize You if You're

Forget the Rules, Harper Won't Penalize You if You're Conservative

The federal Conservatives responded to the influence-peddling charges that former Prime Minister Harper adviser Bruce Carson is facing by issuing a statement saying those who don't follow the rules face the consequences. This is a deeply hypocritical statement from the Conservatives whose leader has done nothing to penalize dozens of Conservative Cabinet ministers and MPs who violated federal good government rules.
07/27/2012 05:55 EDT