Thursday, January 20, 2011

Where Has the Integrity Gone?

I have been trying to find the time to do a blog post on the Annual Report of Alberta's Privacy Commissioner, Frank Work.  Making a living keeps getting in the way.  However,  Graham Thomson had covered the salient points in his Edmonton Journal column today.  It is worth a read.

My political concern is the general decline in good governance in Alberta.  We know from random sample research that the dominant values Albertans want to see drive and guide public policy in our province are integrity, accountability, transparency, honesty along with environmental stewardship with fiscal and personal responsibility.

With the continuing decline of the Alberta to respond to Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy that aligns with these values is becomes apparent that citizens have to one of two things.  Either we make the current government change to align with those values or we change to a new government that will align with those values. We have a political culture that values spin over substance and loutishness over values.

The Thomson column provides a strong example that explains the propaganda tactics that has become the staple diet of modern politics.  The recent rehash of reheated rhetoric by Dr. Ted Morton that Alberta is being ripped off by the federal government because we pay more taxes to Ottawa than services in return is pure political propaganda at its apogee.

We pay more federal tax money than others in Canada BECAUSE we make more money than anyone else in Canada.  The sense that Confederation is we versus them relationship the right wing in Alberta always trots out when it is in trouble in the polls or wants to precipitate an election is not good government and really bad politics.

If we can't assume political integrity in our government, we citizens can at least keep them honest.  We do that by calling them on transparency and accountability breaches and  telling them loud and clear that things better change in government or we citizens will change the government next election.  The status quo is not good enough.  Anyone who thinks counterclockwise and wants to turn Alberta back in time is not a viable alternative either.  Time for some thinking for a change.