A Fully Democratic Commitment to British Corporate Governance

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposals to reform corporate governance are making news. She has put at the top of her list the challenge of ensuring that large corporations are more responsive to democratic and political accountability. She has targeted two particular issues – the need to make annual shareholder votes on executive pay binding and to add employee representatives to boards of directors. Both of these initiatives have rattled the British business community, and so they should – they represent a relatively radical move (by a conservative politician) that Canada would do well to take seriously. Corporations wield enormous power and influence in society. Under the guise of being private bodies, they have a great effect on the public and what counts as the public interest; the scope for abuse and self-serving behaviour is vast.

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