Government Transparency: So far Justin Trudeau has my vote

I tend to be very 'left leaning' and haven't always been a big fan of the Liberals, but for the last year or so Justin Trudeau has continued to shine while Thomas Mulcair seems primarily interested in Thomas Mulcair.

I have been apprehensive about Mulcair from the start and his recent actions haven't eased my fears. Since the NDP began slipping in the polls, Mulcair's primary policy goals have seemed to involve making it easier for the NDP Members of Parliament to get elected and giving the party leader more power.

It's not that I don't think that the electoral system needs reform, it certainly does. However I do not like mixed member proportional systems, because it puts too much power in the hands of the party leader, I'd rather see a preferential ballot system. I also think that the senate should be reformed, not abolished. If the Harper government has taught us anything it's that we need more cheques on power in Canada, not fewer.

Meanwhile Trudeau has proposed legalizing marijuana, which would save the government millions, while boosting revenue from taxes and keeping otherwise innocent people out of the legal system. Today he proposed sweeping reforms to the way government deals with information:

The private members bill would make government information open to the public by default and force government to come up with some compelling reasons for making it secret.

From the CBC:
"Trudeau says Canada's information commissioner should have a mandate to enforce access-to-information laws and that requests for such information should cost only the initial $5 application fee. Trudeau also said the board of internal economy, the committee of MPs that meets in secret to decide on House administration issues like some spending, should meet in public... Trudeau said the information commissioner now acts as an ombudsman and has to take the government to court if it refuses to release information that she believes should be made public. The commissioner should be able to direct civil servants to release records, Trudeau said, and if civil servants aren't sure whether something falls under an exception, they should automatically release it."
While I'd like to see Trudeau take on electoral reform and I'm a bit appalled at his support for Keystone XL, he is at least addressing issues that are important to me instead of, as Harper and Mulcair are, simply trying to increase his own power.

As an aside: The big knock on Justin Trudeau, especially from the Conservatives, has been that he is 'young and inexperienced' but Wikipedia informs me that Trudeau is 42. When Stephen Harper became Leader of the Opposition in 2002, he was 43 and the election isn't until next year. 
Previous
Next Post »