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Things you don’t see every day…

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation endorsing a Liberal’s plan? Yup. In this case, it is  Justin Trudeau’s proposed expense reforms for MP’s and Senator’s, as well as the unilateral decision starting in the Autumn of Liberals opening up their expenses for public scrutiny:

Liberal MPs and senators will be publicly posting their travel and hospitality expenses starting this fall as part of what leader Justin Trudeau is billing as a wider effort to bring openness to politics on Parliament Hill….Liberals will be introducing legislation in the fall to open up the secretive discussions of the Commons’ Board of Internal Economy, which makes most decisions involving finance and administration of MPs’ offices. They are also calling for the auditor general to do mandatory performance audits of the Commons and Senate every three years.

The second part of this announcement  will not likely pass, of course, seeing as I doubt the Conservatives will want anything to do with it,  but it will be a very good campaign plank for the LPC and Trudeau come 2015. The first part is just smart politics.

Oh, and the CTF? This is their statement in part:

Federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau is showing leadership on cleaning up the Senate expense scandal today..The other party leaders need to be asking themselves why they let the Liberal leader beat them to the punch…Justin Trudeau is the first federal leader to announce concrete proposals to make Senators and MPs more accountable. Trudeau’s announcement is an important step in the right direction.

In the case of expense reform, it is obvious that the CTF does not feel JT is “in over his head” on this.

(PS – That was an amusing attempt of distraction by the Conservative young staffers today. It must have been a slow day on the Hill).

UPDATE:  Interesting optics: Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party  introduces more open expenses for LPC, proposes open expenses legislation for bouth houses of Parliament, and last night,  MP Brent Rathberger resigns from the Conservative party to sit as an independent due to what he feels is the CPC lack of openness (and the fact his own party gutted his Private Members public disclosure bill to make it basically toothless).

4 comments to Things you don’t see every day…

  • Trudeau is finished.
    His own mother has mental health issues and he charges the Canadian Mental Health association 20 grand for a one hour speech?
    Harper will destroy him with attack ads on that.

    And unions hand him $112,000.00, which is illegal, but since they called it speaker’s fees they get away with it, and now Justin supports their opposition to the union transparency bill?
    Looks a little odd when the only group he doesn’t want transparency for is the only group who fed him buckets of cash.

    • You’re amusing Stan: If anything, the PMO is panicky.. and trying anything it can find to distract people from the Senate expenses issue, and Harper’s poor judgement in picking Duffy and Wallin (and Brazeau for that matter) as Senators. Plus with news tonight that the Grace Foundation never meant for this issue to go public, but was a “rogue” on their board – a partisan CPC member who was appointed by the government – looking to use it will do nothing to help the CPC against the leader of the 3rd party.

      Edit: to quote someone else, “The Conservative Party hacks who engineered this attempted take-down of Justin Trudeau and ended up sullying the charity’s name in the process should apologize”.

      http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2013/06/20/nb-grace-foundation-trudeau-fee.html

  • kwittet:

    Leaving aside your snark at Trudeau (saying a politician, especially a political leader is doing something so as to score political points is akin to saying water is wet no matter who the politician is or the party they lead) you do have to realize that your comment is almost totally blue sky incredibly low order probability anytime in the near to middle future, right? There are essentially two ways to get that level of change to a governing political system, either violent revolution causing traumatic changes or a long term movement gaining massive public support that not only forces politicians to respond but also shows that making such changes can be done and will be accepted by the bulk of the populace, because governments only retain power so long as the public allows them to, even in dictatorships that is true (granted that is because the cost of making the change is higher than in a democracy, but that does not negative its truth). For a good example of how it can be so difficult in this country to make fundamental changes revisit the Constitution repatriation and inclusion of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms history, it illustrates the point quite well, and what you are calling for is significantly more profound that even that was.

    Me, I prefer starting with incremental changes first to governing structures and only if it is shown that they fail to get the job done start going at it in larger and larger ways, when it comes to playing with fundamental governing processes I am rather conservative (in the non-political partisan sense of the word). It is far too easy to when playing with such fundamental power structures to through the best intentions create very dangerous and negative consequences that were not immediately apparent, history is replete with examples. While I am not a fan of the current Senate for example I am not in favour of abolition even aside from the difficulty in actually bringing it about. I do think a certain degree of unelected check on the House is useful so long as it is, as it is in our system already, not equal but inferior to the elected House. Because there are times where populist movements of whatever political flavour gain power and try to implement agendas that are radically divergent (again even allowing for best of intentions by these folks) from tradition and precedent and what already exists without giving it enough examination to see how well it would actually work out. That is part of the purpose/point of sober second thought after all.

    I am someone that believes that check and balances are important even on “the will of the people” (another example is the rule of law and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, just to underscore my point), because while I believe strongly in democracy and democratic principles I also am aware of how such can be abused and appropriated by those whose true goals are inherently opposed to such while being cloaked in the light of democratic rhetoric, again something history is replete with examples of. I am always distrustful of those that propose radical changes to governing systems, not so much of their good intentions (although in some cases like Harper’s that is also an issue for me) but because I am rarely convinced they have fully thought through or understand the ramifications of the changes they desire. On must always remember how much things ripple out from change, and the more powerful the change the deeper, longer, ad more profound the ripples by definition will be, which in turn makes it that much harder to easily see the ramifications from those changes and why such changes should be approach with some caution. For all its faults the system we have helped create a wonderful nation and society, and I am loathe to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

  • kwittet

    A small step in the right direction which I am sure he would have never taken if he didn’t think he could score some political brownie points from.
    The real fact is the senate is a dinosaur. We don’t need it and it should be scrapped. Our system is so antiquated from the lowest levels right to the top.
    We need a made in Canada system that works for us and not some old British system that is outdated and is hundreds of years old and does not reflect modern values.
    I don’t want to elect a senator. Lets add another cost to an election that is already over priced. We spend hundreds of millions of dollars electing a leader at the federal level and he represents the whole country yet with such regional diversity in this land of ours what is good policy for Ontario is not good policy for Alberta. Perhaps more people would vote if they thought the person they were voting for was going to best represent their region and not a general over all leader who is trying to spread out policy too thin to try to make every one happy.
    I would love to see the federal level of government scrapped and find a system that would allow the provinces to run their own affairs with some sort of upper level overlooking and handling such things as defense and making sure that the provinces all play nice together and share …ie transfer payments and I am sure there would be a few other things they could also do. Imagine the savings to the taxpayers by eliminating a whole level of government. Imagine not having to pay a federal level of taxation. People would actually have more money to spend and the economy would rip right along.
    Justin in this case is not thinking outside the box in this case. He is seizing upon the latest minor scandal in hopes of scoring a few points because as I am sure he is aware that as a green rookie leader he needs to grab what ever he can with a federal election coming fast
    Politics as usual in Canada

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