Friday, March 09, 2007

Steve and Sandra's Gnu Accountability

The GnuGovs want to know if Canadians are cool with there being no accountability in their GnuGov Accountability Act. They have even set up a webpage, , to record our views.
Because, as we all remember from their campaign in the last election, there is nothing, repeat nothing, more important to Candians than cleaning up government by making lobbyists and their government contacts accountable.
In fact, according to the Glib&Mall :

" the Treasury Board Secretariat is now engaged in consultations with the lobbying industry to draft the regulations" and "lobbyists are being asked whether the reporting requirement would impede their dealings "

Yeah, well, we didn't elect those lobbyists anyway. Besides, it's the GnuGovs who, in this gnu spirit of accountability, will be reporting on all their contacts with the lobbyists, right?

Apparently not :
"A spokesman for the Treasury Board confirmed that the Accountability Act will not force federal officials to record their own contacts with lobbyists. “The onus is on the lobbyist to report,” said Robert Makichuk, chief of media relations at Treasury Board."

The onus is on the lobbyist? The whole burden of accountability is on the lobbyists ?
Well, not entirely. Formal verbal communications with federal officials will definitely be counted as lobbying. Any talks sporting a tux? -definitely. But “spontaneous” verbal communications with government officials, e-mail or other written exchanges? Well I guess we'll just have to see how tough the lobbyists are going to be on themselves here.

As Treasury Board Minister Vic Toews said when announcing the consultations with lobbyists this week :
"Canadians have told us that they want tighter rules. That's why the Federal Accountability Act promised new rules to provide Canadians with better information on the activities of lobbyists."

If they feel like it.
UPDATE : I don't know how I managed to forget about this.


Anonymous said...

Very amusing intro at that link you provide to the gov website :

"Lobbying is a legitimate activity and an important part of our democratic system."

Anonymous said...

It's especially legitimate when Harper's own lawyer is lobbying him.

"...Liberals pounced Thursday on reports that Montenegrino - a Conservative supporter who has represented Harper, Environment Minister John Baird and MP Pierre Poilievre in civil suits over the past year - is registered by a host of groups to lobby a variety of government departments, including the Prime Minister's Office and Environment..."

"...Harper confidantes such as John Reynolds and Ken Boessenkool, both of whom regularly meet with the prime minister to discuss party strategy, are also registered lobbyists..."

Alison said...

Jan : On second thought I really shouldn't have linked to that "Consulting with Canadians" gov webpage. People will take that dumbass suvey, which incidentally contains not one single question about gov officials not having to report contacts with lobbyists, and then the Cons will be able to claim it as public input.
(I always think I have to link or people will think I'm making this kind of outrageous crap up myself.)

Holly Stick : Wasn't that just hilarious/infuriating? When I read it, it occurred to me that lobbyists may well be the only people the Cons know - which would make reporting all contacts between Cons and lobbyists just that much more embarrassing.

Anonymous said...

You totally rock.
I love that you keep it Canadian too.

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