COMPAS asked the panel of CEOs and business leaders for their thoughts about how to acquire influence and how to protect the federal government against political corruption. The catalyst for the survey theme was the media report of a major bank urging its executives to give to the Liberals and Conservatives.
Few panelists thought the bank’s motives were anything but influence acquisition.
Most agreed that giving money to politicians or attending fundraisers are effective ways of eliciting influence but not the most effective. The single most effective method is to hire a lobbyist with friends in high places. The university textbook advice to work with public servants early in the development of an issue is not seen as especially effective.
As for protecting Canada against political corruption, the members of the panel see as effective all the options presented to them. At the top of the list of effective solutions are jail time and the glare of publicity from the Auditor-General. Panelists are divided about the effectiveness of rules. As one CEO put it, “I think you will always have a certain amount of corruption as long as you're employing people. Power leads to corruption.”
These are the key findings from the current web-survey of the COMPAS panel of CEOs and business leaders undertaken for the Financial Post under sponsorship of BDO Dunwoody LLP.