2020- 2022 Policy Process | Green Party of Canada
Where GPC membership collaborates to develop our policies
G21-P044 Establish Participatory Economic Democracy
Ratification Vote Results: Adopted
The GPC will work to establish Economic Democracy through community organizing, popular education, federal legislation and revisions to international treaties, empowering workers to participate directly in all decisions affecting their lives, including but not limited to:
- purpose and conditions of work;
- distribution and/or reinvestment of surpluses;
- environmentally sustainable growth.
To reform the economy to enable citizens to directly participate in economic decision-making about the purpose and conditions of work, distribution and/or reinvestment of surpluses; and ensure that all have the means to pursue their self-development to its fullest, limited only by their responsibility to society and ecology.
- Promotes wellbeing and solidarity by removing the authoritarianism inherent in capitalist firms;
- Concentrates wealth, power and responsibility in local and regional communities;
- Grounds economic decisions within limits of ecological sustainability;
- Harnesses technological progress for the social good by redistributing benefits of increased automation while reducing necessary labour time.
Supporting Comments from Submitter
1. Global Greens Charter (2012) / Constitution of the Green Party of Canada. The fundamental commitments laid out in the Global Greens Charter and enshrined in the Green Party of Canada’s constitution as our “Basis of Unity” call for the creation of a “social, economic and political structure that embraces and supports Green Values,” outlined in Appendix A. First in our list of values is Ecological Wisdom, which takes a holistic view of the relationship between the individual, society and ecology, with the implication that all our values, like all members of an ecosystem, are interdependent and inextricably linked.“Participatory Democracy” is defined as “all citizens” being able to "directly participate in the environmental, economic, social and political decisions which affect their lives.” This participatory democratic value should apply to the workplace, where the majority of adults will spend most of their waking lives and upon which they depend for their income, quality of life and sense of self worth. The value of “Social Justice” commits Greens to "equitable distribution of social and natural resources, both locally and globally, to meet basic human needs unconditionally". Participatory Democracy in the economic sphere includes “the distribution of goods & services and/or reinvestment of surpluses.”
2. Jeremy Rifkin. The Third Industrial Revolution: A Radical New Sharing Economy (2018).
Rifkin enumerates the interrelated and endemic crises arising within our global capitalist economy: ecological collapse, declining productivity, slow growth, rising unemployment, and accelerating inequality, which Rifkin believes constitute an existential threat to human civilization that requires us to rethink our economic system. Meanwhile, he points out that a “Third Industrial Revolution'' is unfolding via the convergence of three pivotal technologies: an ultra-fast communication internet, a renewable energy internet, and a driverless mobility internet, interconnected through the Internet of Things. These technological transformations are enabling us to meet more human needs with less inputs of labour, energy and matter, thereby reducing the marginal cost of production towards zero. Rifkin argues that this is an already accelerating technological trend that will undermine the capitalist basis of production and both enable and necessitate the free production and provision of goods and services. We must harness these technological trends for the good of society and ecosystems through public policy, as they hold the potential to either intensify or overcome the socioeconomic and environmental crises that now threaten our civilization.
3. Richard D. Wolff. Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism (2012).
Wolff argues that the internal organization of production and distribution, namely how the surplus generated by workers via the wage labor contract is appropriated within the workplace, is the defining relation of production in capitalism. It is the structure of decision-making power over the surplus, more than the outcome of the decisions, that define an economic system as capitalist or otherwise.
He proposes ending economic exploitation by reorganizing our economy via “Worker Self-Directed Enterprises” (WSDEs), where workers who directly create the surplus directly appropriate it to plan for social needs and environmental sustainability. Wolff cites the Mondragon Corporation as an example of a successful WSDE.
4. Economic Democracy; direct decision-making power by workers over the purpose and conditions of work, distribution and/or reinvestment of surpluses, and not merely redistribution of wealth, has been the central and well defined objective of socialist movements for two centuries.
Ecological Wisdom, Sustainability, Participatory Democracy, Social Justice, Non-Violence.
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