Saturday, November 20, 2010

One struggle among many

It's well and good that Paul Wells is continuing to highlight the continued obfuscations at Rights and Democracy. And I'll encourage readers to join in the effort to demand that we get some answers through the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development since it's clear none will be forthcoming from Rights and Democracy itself.

But at the same time, it's worth noting that what's happened at Rights and Democracy looks to be an entirely normal practice for the Harper Cons. From stimulus reports turned into infomercials to the systematic abuse of MP mailout privileges, from ignoring the will of Parliament on Afghan detainee documents to denying Kevin Page the information he's requested to accurately cost out crime policies, the Cons have made absolutely clear that their idea of transparency is using every means they can think of to spread political messages while hiding all other information from the public.

Of course, the situation at Rights and Democracy has received more attention than most - due to both some particularly damning facts, and a determined effort from one of Canada's top political reporters. And it's worth at least trying to show that public pressure can result in information coming to light, since the alternative is for Harper and company to conclude that they're absolutely home free.

But while a single runaround might be dismissed as an isolated incident, the bigger issue is the certainty that there are countless similar cases where nobody's even started to meaningfully chase down the Cons. So in making the effort to write in on Rights and Democracy, take some time as well to work on ensuring that Harper's vision of government serving the PM's interests alone doesn't endure any longer than we can avoid.

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