A blog to give a voice to our concern about the continued erosion of our democratic processes not only within the House of Commons and within our electoral system but also throughout our society. Here you will find articles about the current problems within our parliamentary democracy, about actions both good and bad by our elected representatives, about possible solutions, opinions and debate about the state of democracy in Canada, and about our roles/responsibilities as democratic citizens. We invite your thoughtful and polite comments upon our posts and ask those who wish to post longer articles or share ideas on this subject to submit them for inclusion as a guest post.
Contact us at democracyunderfire@gmail.com

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Frustrated Voter!

It is frustrating listening to all the promises as to what our politicians will do if elected when we cannot even get a clear picture of what they did when in power. With the previous government having been the most secretive and controlling in Canadian history it is hardy surprising that such information is hard to come by. With that in mind here are a few reports that may surface after the election and some that you can view now. Knowledge is power, which is why the public is kept largely in the dark!

Reports you wont see

Auditor general's report on G8 spending -

Industry Minister Tony Clement’s local constituency office collected applications for a G8 Legacy Fund seven months before Parliament approved the spending.
The funding, nearly $50-million in beautification and civic projects for the Tory minister’s Parry Sound-Muskoka riding, was brought before Parliament in November, 2009. A draft report by Auditor-General Sheila Fraser says the Conservative government misled Parliament by making it part of a border infrastructure fund.

Any report arising from the initial study of the first few documents relating to the Afghan prisoner fiasco :-

Despite a multi-party request to cough them up, the panel of judges overseeing the release of long-secret documents related to the Afghan detainee abuse scandal say a report and an initial set of documents would be ready for release as early as Friday — if only Parliament was still sitting.

The report regarding the Integrity Officers lack of integrity:-
Canada's interim integrity commissioner is the blaming the federal election for refusing to disclose a highly-anticipated report, making it the third document that has been shelved because of the campaign.
The Office of the Integrity Commissioner came under intense scrutiny last year after Auditor General Sheila Fraser issued a scathing report into Christiane Ouimet's tenure in the position.

There are a few reports you can see and perhaps should see:-

First up Samara's MP exit interviews:-

Today we released the third installment of our MP exit interview reports. Entitled It’s My Party: Parliamentary Dysfunction Reconsidered,it highlights the frustrations that former MPs feel about the way politics is practiced in Parliament.
The MPs said that decisions from party leadership were often viewed as opaque, arbitrary and even unprofessional.  Furthermore, those decisions often ran counter to MPs’ stated motivations for entering public life in the first place: the desire to practice politics differently. 

Its well worth reading this report and the 2 others that preceded it if for no other reason than to see how little the Actions of individual MPs in the HoC followed their actual beliefs and how much power the 'party' had over their actions. Remember these are EXIT interviews, in other words most of these MPs were not part of the Rrcent government. We wonder how much worse it has got since these individuals left the House? We also wonder however if the MPs disliked the power the party had over their actions, why they did nothing to change things, but in fact enabled yet more abuse of our parliamentary system whilst in office by not speaking out at that time?
Then there is this one on the arts:-

On April 5, the Canadian Conference of the Arts (CCA) sent the leaders of the five major federal parties a series of questions relevant to the arts, culture and heritage sector. We are publishing the responses we received in their entirety, without any edits or commentary. In order to facilitate comparison among the parties' responses, we have formatted their answers in a table format, according to each individual question asked. An empty table indicates that we did not receive an answer to that particular question.
NOTE - The Conservative party declined to comment on ANY of the questions, apparently they have no policy on such matters! I note also that the Greens were asked for and provided their position on such matters, nice to see them included in such dialog!.

And how about The Parliamentary Budget Officers take on the F35 costs

DND maintains that the average unit acquisition cost of the F-35A will be $75 million—including upgrades and overhaul.
The PBO forecasts that the average unit acquisition cost of the F-35A will be approximately US$128 million—excluding upgrades and overhaul.

There are a number of other less published reports by the PBO that may be worth a look regarding other spending estimates, which can be found at -
Also Mr Page's report to the Standing Committee on Finance back in February can be seen here -

Also for those who believe that everything is just rosy and we can just carry on without worry, here is something that most of us knew instinctively and is particularly troubling for the thousands of Canadians STILL looking for work :-

Consumer prices rose 3.3% in the 12 months to March, the largest year-over-year increase since September 2008. This advance follows a 2.2% increase in the 12 months to February.
Energy prices increased 12.8% during the 12 months to March, following a 10.6% advance in February. Gasoline prices increased 18.9% in March, following a 15.7% gain in the 12 months to February. Prices for fuel oil and other fuels increased 31.3%, while electricity prices rose 4.3%.
Prices for food purchased from stores rose 3.7% in March, the largest year-over-year advance since August 2009. This increase follows a 2.0% gain in February.

The first thing to do is elect people who give a damn about integrity, open government, the jobless, the small businesses that provide so many of the new positions, and those who would strengthen our social fabric. I will not say who you should vote for, but will say it cannot be someone who supports King Harper if you have ANY regard for democratic governance. Vote, vote for the person of your choice, but please vote ABC.

Remember if the information on your voter card does not match your current address you have until 6pm on April 26th to change it at your local Elections Canada Office or you may be unable to vote. Go to http://www.elections.ca/ for more information.

Vote – Vote – Vote – Vote – Vote – Vote - Vote

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