Corporate Big Beasts Stick Their Necks Out for Democracy
Can the actions of corporate America in the recent election inspire genuine global action on civil society space?
In America, business leaders are no strangers to elections, whether contributing to and endorsing candidates, or trying to influence positions that may translate into policy. But the electoral process itself and its outcomes were largely taken for granted until the recent presidential election, when many felt compelled to make unprecedented statements supporting first the process, and then the outcome.
But can such a strong response by business to the pressures on the society in which they operate go further in 2021, and translate into action in support of civil society space at a time when it is fast deteriorating around the world?
In the run up to the US election, Donald Trump’s questioning of the mail-in balloting, attempts to restrict funding for the United States Postal Service (USPS), assertions the process was ‘rigged’, and refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, all stoked uncertainty and anxiety over the conduct of the election and the acceptance of its results – a concern shared by CEOs who identified with either or neither party.