Monday, November 10, 2014

Tony Clement's Orwellian "Open Government" Plan

I suppose we should have known that anything Tony Clement proposes would be hideously flawed, so rotten is his record.

And his so-called "Open Government" plan" is no different.

The Conservative government has rejected calls to reform the Access to Information Act as part of a new openness plan. The final version of the federal blueprint on open government for 2014-16 remains silent on updating the 32-year-old law despite public pleas during several consultations — including a recent round of public feedback on a draft version.

Doing nothing to improve access to government at a time when the situation couldn't be more dire or desperate.

The federal information watchdog is almost broke, weathering a cash crunch Suzanne Legault says threatens her ability to protect the rights of Canadians. Legault’s office had just $37,000 left at the end of the last fiscal year — or 0.2 per cent of her overall budget.

And as we might expect from a Con like Clement, his plan couldn't be more Orwellian or more FARCICAL. 

Seeking to combat his government’s reputation for secrecy, suppression of information and closed-door decision-making, Treasury Board President Tony Clement unveiled an ambitious “action plan on open government” last week. It was so totally disconnected from reality that the initial reaction in the nation’s capital was incredulity.

Promising one thing while his government has been doing exactly the opposite:

He pledged to “maximize access to federally funded scientific research,” with no explanation of how this will happen when all 20,000 scientists on the federal payroll are muzzled by his government.

He promised to “publish expanded information on federal spending to help Canadians understand and hold government for the use of public monies.” Meanwhile, his government refuses to provide parliamentarians, the Parliamentary Budget Officer and members of the public with basic budgetary information.

He said the government would “strengthen the openness and transparency of its procurement process.” Ottawa’s procurement process prevents the disclosure of any commercially sensitive details about its contractors. 

And he undertook to “improve public services” even as he slashes departmental spending and eliminates thousands more jobs in the public service.

And of course let's not forget the way him and his filthy Con regime government gutted the census...

Nor did the treasury board president board mention restoring the mandatory, detailed census – the most comprehensive source of reliable information about this country – that he axed in 2010; renouncing the use of mandatory, detailed census bills that jam together dozens of pieces of legislation preventing proper scrutiny; producing comprehensible versions of basic documents such as the national accounts and the inventory of corporate hand-outs; or allowing federal agencies to release factual information without the approval of the Prime Minister’s Office.

But then why should we be surprised? When Clement's Dark Lord Stephen Harper once promised "open and transparent government."

Only to do exactly the opposite...

Making it the least transparent and most sinister and secretive government this country has ever known.

And leaving Canadians floundering in the dark, and scoring high on the Index of Ignorance. 

Britain’s Royal Statistical Society hired pollsters Ipsos-MORI to survey 11,000 people in 14 countries on their knowledge of the facts behind everyday economic, civil and social issues.

It ranked Canadians seventh among 14 in the so-called Index of Ignorance, which is ingloriously led by Italians, followed by our self-absorbed friends in the United States. The Swedes rated best, just ahead of the Germans.

Which is of course just how Stephen Harper likes it ...

And all I can say is that a people who do not know their own country, or know what their government is doing, are not really living in a democracy.

And that we will not be living in one, until the truth sets us free.

And we fire that beastly Big Brother...

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  1. “Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?... Has it ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?... The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact, there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking--not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.” ― George Orwell, 1984

  2. hi David...although I was predicting that the U.S. was heading for fascism way back in my university days, it never crossed my mind that it could happen here. There are days when I still can't believe what has happened to my Canada. And the fevered militarism that is sweeping the country only makes me wonder even more where we are going....