Legislating Morality – Yes, We Can

Go Lean Commentary

We have always heard: “No one can legislate morality”.

But truth be told, that is a fallacy. With the proper application of best-practices, we can legislate – pass laws – and change people’s attitudes and actions about habits and practices. Follow-up, messaging and enforcement is key! In modern society, we have seen this repeatedly in one community after another. Let’s examine … with the experiences with some common vices.

The book Go Lean…Caribbean – available to download for free – present numerous examples of advocates and their advocacies where they have labored to change their community (or nation) attitude and actions towards certain causes. The book addresses this whole subject under the topic of “community ethos”. This is defined as the fundamental character or spirit of a culture; the underlying sentiment that informs the beliefs, customs, or practices of society; dominant assumptions of a people or period. Think of the derivative term: “work ethic”.

Can we change community ethos?

Yes, indeed …

… but it is not easy; in fact the Go Lean book identifies the effort as heavy-lifting, but the movement behind the book volunteers for the task of executing change for the Caribbean.

The Go Lean book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion and create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

We have seen changes to public morality: from bad to good; and from good to bad. We have seen the bad community ethos of “drunk driving” and “white supremacy” relegated to an “unbecoming” status in good citizenship. But we have also seen the good ethos of recreational drugs prohibition become accepted and demand for decriminalization and legalization. (In the US, Marijuana legalization is now the norm for 40 percent of the American population).

Change continues …

These changes have been duly documented by the movement behind the Go Lean book in these previous blog-commentaries:

http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=13882 Managing ‘Change’ in California
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=12703 Lessons from Colorado: Legalized Marijuana – Heavy-lifting!
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=9646 ‘Time to Go’ – American Vices, i.e. Marijuana. Don’t Follow!
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=1386 Puff Peace – The Debate  for Marijuana in Jamaica

This is not just a phenomenon in the Americas; success in legislating morality have also been experienced in the Old Country; consider this European example in France.

Imagine the French and their affinity for Red Wine (Bordeaux), and Champagne and Cognac and Sherry … (There is also the traditions of the French Caribbean islands and their mastery of the rum eco-system). See Appendix VIDEO below.

These are export products for the Republic of France and indicative of the complex French culture. Yet, this country has legislated morality and reduce their alcohol consumption, by means of Evin Loi or Evan’s Law; see summary here from Wikipedia:

The loi Évin is the French alcohol and tobacco policy law passed in 1991. It takes its name from Claude Évin, then Minister of Health, who proposed it to Parliament. …

Before the law, French advertising laws discriminated against non-French producers. However, Scotch whisky producers challenged France in the European Court of Justice and won. France was condemned and required to change the law in 1980 but did not produce satisfactory legislation until 1991, with the enactment of Loi Evin, which affected both alcohol and tobacco policies. …

The provisions of the law reinforce the restrictions placed on tobacco and alcohol and their advertising by its predecessor Loi Veil (1976), legalising abortion. …

Alcohol advertisements are prohibited on television or in cinemas. The law requires strict control over messages and images and the inclusion in all advertisements of a message to the effect that alcohol abuse is dangerous to one’s health.

So this French law regulated alcohol advertising; advertising affected alcohol demand; so the end result on alcohol consumption are as reported in the following article:

“It has had a huge impact on the consumption of alcohol in France,” says Dr Mick Loftus, the anti-drinks campaigner and a former president of the GAA. “In 1960, the average adult in France consumed 30 litres of alcohol. Today, that figure is down to 13.5 litres and it’s mainly thanks to Loi Evin.

See full article in Appendix below.

Related Article:
Alcohol policy in France – Between traditions and paradoxes

The movement behind the Go Lean book asserts that Caribbean community ethos can be changed; even further, that Caribbean societal defects can be assuaged. But before the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies of a roadmap to elevate a society can be deployed, the affected society must first embrace a progressive community ethos. This is where legislating morality becomes so important. Yes, we can effect change in our region.

The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to transform the societal engines of Caribbean society, regarding a lot of matters of morality. The Go Lean book cites (Page 122) one particular example of an advocate campaigning to legislate America’s morality. See this quotation here:

Candice Lightner
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
Ms. Lightner forged change in her country (United States) values and attitudes with her founding of this organization. She advocated change in attitudes, acceptance, laws and enforcement so that families would be spared the heartache she personally experienced with the tragic lost of her daughter to a drunk driver in the 1970’s. One woman made a difference!

The Go Lean book asserts that every community has bad actors – stemming from bad community ethos. There must be “new guards” to assuage any risks and threats in society. This point is pronounced early in the book with the Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13) that claims:

x. Whereas we are surrounded and allied to nations of larger proportions in land mass, populations, and treasuries, elements in their societies may have ill-intent in their pursuits, at the expense of the safety and security of our citizens. We must therefore appoint new guards to ensure our public safety and threats against our society, both domestic and foreign. The Federation must employ the latest advances and best practices of criminology and penology to assuage continuous threats against public safety. The Federation must allow for facilitations of detention for [domestic and foreign] convicted felons of federal crimes, and should over-build prisons to house trustees from other jurisdictions.

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes, including piracy and other forms of terrorism, can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

Societies change …

We have all seen it; think seat belts, smoking, high fat diets. Leaders can legislate change and morality. It works … eventually. There are heavy-lifting involved, like messaging and enforcement. But if the effort persists, the values, priorities and motivations of people in communities can transform, for the better or the worse. Let’s work for better!

The Caribbean wants (or should want) to be an elevated society; to be a better homeland and a better place to live, work and play. So we urged everyone in the region to lean-in to this roadmap for change, and to pay more than the usual attention to other communities and their developments and manifestations for change. Let’s study their successes and failures. 🙂

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix: Alcohol Action – Advocating to reduce alcohol harm in Ireland

Title: How To Tackle The Drink Link To Sport? Just Ask The French

We know it as the Heineken Cup, but in France they call European rugby’s leading club competition the H Cup.

And when Liverpool FC played there in the Europa Cup some years ago, they had to wear shirts free of their then sponsor Carlsberg.

These are just two examples of the very strict anti-alcohol policies that have been in place in France for more than two decades.

From Indpendent.ie

While Irish people are used to drinks companies sponsoring a diverse range of sports, music festivals and arts events, as well as extensive alcohol-related advertising across the media, a whole new generation in France has grown up never seeing a single drinks ad or attending an event sponsored by a drinks company.

It’s thanks to Loi Evin (Evin’s Law – named after the then health minister Claude Evin) and it has been a feature of life in France since 1991. Advocates keen to curb binge-drinking in this country believe it is a model that we should adopt.

“It has had a huge impact on the consumption of alcohol in France,” says Dr Mick Loftus, the anti-drinks campaigner and a former president of the GAA. “In 1960, the average adult in France consumed 30 litres of alcohol. Today, that figure is down to 13.5 litres and it’s mainly thanks to Loi Evin.

“If you go to France now, you’ll rarely see the sort of drink-to-get-drunk culture that’s so prevalent here. There, there isn’t the same emphasis on consuming alcohol in order to have a good time that’s long been the case in Ireland. The fact that alcohol is not associated with fun events like music festivals and sport has helped shift the perception French people have with alcohol. Generally speaking, drinking alcohol is seen as something to do with food.”

The origins of the law are rooted in old French protectionist polices of curbing the promotion of “foreign” goods in order to give their indigenous products an advantage.

UK drinks firms took the fight to European courts in the 1970s and ’80s, and French lawmakers were eventually forced to level the playing field by also banning the promotion of home-grown alcohol companies.

The ruling continues to outrage the country’s wine industry. “They treat us as if we were making a dangerous product,” Burgundy winemaker Pascale Chicotot told The New York Times. “We are not terrorists. Wine is not a dangerous product. Wine is a noble thing.”

Yet, anti-alcoholism advocates in France believe it is this very restriction that is helping to reduce consumption across the board. Leading campaigner Dr Alain Rigaud says Loi Evin has had a significant positive impact: “The law has been efficient in correcting excesses in the form and the content of advertising messages and it is essential for the implementation of an overall and coherent preventative effort.”

Yet, he contends that it is still too soon to gauge its full consequences.

“The effectiveness of the law on younger generations will not be felt for several decades,” he says.

Despite the restrictions, there is evidence of growing alcohol misuse among teenagers in France since Evin Law was introduced. A recent survey there shows a rise of 17pc in this age group who said they had consumed five or more drinks in one session in the previous 30 days.

It’s a problem that is causing French authorities considerable disquiet, especially as the 2009 ruling that raised the legal purchase age from 16 to 18 does not appear to have had an impact.

Meanwhile, some lobbyists who favour the retention of alcohol’s relationship with sport, argue that sponsorship simply gives one brand a competitive advantage over another but does not influence consumption trends.

“We analysed consumption, sponsorship spend and disposable income per head in all the major markets,” said the authors of a report on behalf of the Sponsorship Today consultancy.

“There was a very clear correlation between consumption and disposable income, but no clear pattern regarding sponsorship spend and consumption.

“In Germany, for example, beer consumption per capita is among the highest in the world, but sports sponsorship spending is comparatively low, whereas in Portugal sponsorship spend is high, but consumption is low. The findings are not definitive proof of no impact, but they add to the body of research that suggests that sponsorship is not a major contributory factor in increasing alcohol consumption.”

Mick Loftus does not agree.

“If we want to protect the health of our young people, we need to have a blanket ban on all promotion of alcohol, including the sponsorship of sports event and we should look to France for a model. We simply won’t be serious as a nation about coming to terms with our alcohol problem until we do that.”

Source: Alcohol Ireland – Posted June 2013; retrieved February 27, 2018 from: http://alcoholireland.ie/how-to-tackle-the-drink-link-to-sport-just-ask-the-french/


Appendix VIDEO – Is French Wine the Best in the World? | #WineWars | French Guy Cooking – https://youtu.be/4u_PRozZsWw 

Jamie Oliver – Drinks

Published on Jan 26, 2015 – Alex – AKA Food Tuber French Guy Cooking – enters the #WineWars ring to fight the corner for French wine. Alex thinks French wine is the best in the world – but is he right? In this video he shows us three of his favourite French wines – a red (J. Boutin Saint-Joseph), a white (Alsace Gewurztraminer) and a rosé (Coteaux du Cap Corse: Domaine Pieretti Rosé).

Which country do YOU think produces the best wine in the world?

Leave a comment and get involved on social media using the hashtag #WineWars.

Share this post:
, ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *