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transparency

Non-Con MPs are being treated like mushrooms…

…kept in the dark and fed crap.

According to the Budget watchdog Kevin Page, the ReformCons are not providing non-Con MPs with enough information with which make informed decisions.

When it is finally released, budget watchdog Kevin Page’s costing of one of the Conservative crime bills will suffer the same problem as his probes into First Nations schools and the war in Afghanistan — no hard data from the government.

MPs too can’t get data on stimulus spending, the impact of departmental freezes or the financial impact of legislation and other things.

“There has been a deterioration in the level of transparency over time that’s not good,” said Page. “It’s not like it happened all of sudden. It’s been a steady drift since the 1990s as we lost more and more, but we’re now living in difficult time when we need transparency.”

This is not new to the Cons, but they have made a bad situation even worse with their religious fervour for secrecy and the centralization of decision making.

The public service used to be the research and evaluation powerhouse for policymakers, but that has changed. The first blow came when the Mulroney government disbanded the Economic Council of Canada. In the 1990s, long- and medium-term policy research took a hit when the Chr√©tien Liberals hollowed out departmental evaluation and internal audit shops to help wipe out the deficit without cutting services. Then, as one long-time bureaucrat said, “came the Conservatives with their mania for secrecy and they cut off access.”

And this isn’t going to change anytime soon, I reckon…

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Why the secrecy?

The G&M is reporting that, despite the Auditor-General requests, MPs and Senators are refusing to submit their expenses for scrutiny.

I don’t get this. Why doesn’t Sheila Fraser push the issue?

Ten months ago, Auditor General Sheila Fraser formally asked two committees for permission to audit Parliament’s expenses, including the expenses of MPs and senators. She still hasn’t received a reply. Silence equals no.

Similar audits in Great Britain and Nova Scotia resulted in major scandals after revelations of major abuse.

In Ottawa, MPs and senators are determined to prevent anything like that from happening.

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So, if the CRA decides to audit me (again), I can just ignore them?

Cool.

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But I somehow think that it wouldn’t turn out good for me.

Yeah, I do realise that all of the parties are reluctant to release this information and this is abhorrent to say the least. BUT the Harperites have trumpeted transparency-this and accountability-that since they rode their horses into Ottawa. So where are they now? I mean, what a great way to prove to nay-says like me that they really are going to carry through with all of that talk!

However, we have been down this road before, haven’t we?

Remember the Harperites when they tried to destroy the credibility of:

Now which direction do you think¬† Sheila Fraser’s departmental budget is going to dive toward?

LOOK OUT BELOOOOOWWWWW!!!!

But Fraser has already been warned by the PMO to play nicely. New directives from the PMO prohibit Sheila Fraser from to speaking directly to the public without vetting her comments through the PMO first. All communications must be approved by political staffers. Here in town, they are called MEPs (Message Event Proposals).

You can read about them here in The Hill Times.

In the meantime, will someone on the Hill stand up and say something about this cloak of secrecy?

Anybody?

Beuller?

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Keeping the Harperites on track – good for the Grits

The Grits have come up with a pretty clever idea… setting up a website in the name of holding a government to account on specific promises is not new – but it is indeed novel here in the land of the ice and snow.

onprobation.ca is exactly what the name implies – keeping the neocons in line and to account. This is especially useful since these same purveyors of all things Victorian have campaigned on the sacred notions of transparency and accountability (too bad the budget watchdog -an independent and non-partisan office – is not towing the company line…. though the government of the day is going to suffocate this useful initiative through underfunding).

I especially like the timeline on the site. It points out the dates of release of key economic indicators and other dates that are of importance when assessing the Harperites’ (non) progress in mitigating the worst effects of the current financial shitstorm.

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YES, IT IS TIME FOR A CHANGE

A comment on cbc .ca today

Yeah “Every Canadian” can hire a lawyer and sue when they are mistreated. Absolutely, we are all rich in Canada. The government hands out gold to everyone, every month, hundreds of kilograms of gold..

Harper, you made a bribe and got caught. You went the Roger Clemens route, instead of blaming someone and firing them.

There will be an election; the Conservative Party of Canada keeps calling me for support.

It is time to change this government; they are too closed up for Canadians. I do not believe Canadians are interested in a government resembling the United States in secrecy.

And that is the crux of the matter folks. The Harper government is about secrecy – not democracy. It is about control and not about transparency – it is that simple.

Yeah – I’ve been a politician in the past – a lot of you know that. But this ex-politico has never been as scared as he is now about the idea of this one person having absolute control in this country. We have to stop him. Now.

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