Government should be more open – before the leaks
A concern that arises from the Liberal ethnic vote scandal is transparency of government.
Since the public received information of the scandal through a publicized leak, citizens have made their voices heard, which forced the political party to take action and be accountable.
However, what if the information had not been leaked? Then the scandal would likely have continued, as nothing was mentioned until after the “hand was caught in the cookie jar.”
Relying on leaks to inform the public is unreliable. The concern is why is this, and other information in the public’s interest, not publicly available in the first place?
Any political party in power, not just the Liberal party, is able to keep what’s done in our name, as Canadian taxpayers, a secret from us. As Canadian citizens, we should be wary of the current freedom-of-information process. There is too high an onus on citizens requesting information, which enables many government institutions the ability to keep information a secret.
If government is able to withhold information, then there is a lack of government transparency. Transparency, on issues of public interest, is a necessary element of a representative government.
As the adage goes, “knowledge is power.” If a political party in power is able to withhold information (knowledge), then they are withholding power from the citizens.