Tuesday, April 11, 2006

PM Harper's Anti-Corruption Bill.

In an attempt to be as honest as possible, I will freely admit I have a real disdain (and I use this word deliberately) for current Prime Minister Stephen Harper. I arbour his arrogance and his blatant disregard for process; case-in-point, the defection and subsequent ministerial appointment of former Liberal MP David Emerson immediately after the 2006 federal election and the Cabinet appointment of Michael Fortier, an unelected official. Both came on the heals of his diatribe about party loyalty and the inherent lack of morals of members of the Federal Liberal Party. And, let us not forget his venomous attacks on Belinda Stronach for her crossing of the floor in 2005.

His hypocrisy is legendary.

You must, therefore, appreciate how difficult it is for me to admit the following: I see promise in Prime Minister Harper's recently announced Anti-Corruption Bill. The Federal Accountability Act (tabled by, dare I say, my favourite Tory MP, John Baird) is far reaching and touches on dozens of federal statutes, including parts of the Access to Information Act and Elections Act. My favourite component of the proposed Bill is the provision that prevents political staffers and senior 'crats from lobbying government for a period of 5 years after their service, bravo!

That said, I have learnt to keep my enthusiasm and expectations in check. I eagerly await the debate of this Bill in the House. Moreover, if implemented, I look forward to seeing how quickly a Party finds itself in breach and how government disciplines those in violation.

Establishing a set of rules is easy. Having people (nee politicians) follow them, well, that is a whole other story.


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