We're likely to be in an election campaign this spring, and I suspect the Harper Conservatives are going to have a much harder time getting Canadians to take their sanctimonious piety at face value, or believe much of anything they say.
Take, for example, this recent story on the Conservatives and access to information requests (Steve also has thoughts):
Public requests for documents are being slowed by lengthy reviews in the central department that reports to the prime minister, the Information Commissioner says.
While Stephen Harper's Conservatives campaigned on opening up the access-to-information system, Information Commissioner Robert Marleau said the government's own statistics show that responses to the public's requests for information are slowing down “across the board.”
A far cry from what the Conservatives promised in their last election platform:
Strengthen Access to Information legislation
The Liberal government has consistently rejected attempts to provide Canadians with better access to government information. The present Information Commissioner has gone to court several times to force the government to open its windows.
A Conservative government will:
• Implement the Information Commissioner’s recommendations for reform of the Access to Information Act.
• Give the Information Commissioner the power to order the release of information.
• Expand the coverage of the act to all Crown corporations, Officers of Parliament, foundations, and organizations that spend taxpayers’ money or perform public functions.
• Subject the exclusion of Cabinet confidences to review by the Information Commissioner.
• Oblige public officials to create the records necessary to document their actions and decisions.
• Provide a general public interest override for all exemptions, so that the public interest is put before the secrecy of the government.
• Ensure that all exemptions from the disclosure of government information are justified only on the basis of the harm or injury that would result from disclosure, not blanket exemption rules.
• Ensure that the disclosure requirements of the Access to Information Act cannot be circumvented by secrecy provisions in other federal acts, while respecting the confidentiality of national security and the privacy of personal information.
As Judge Judy would say, Stephen, I wouldn't believe you if your tongue came notarized. Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers