Sunday, October 18, 2009

Feeling the rage

Stephen Maher's column yesterday was a scorcher. Tore apart the utility of the website. Doesn't hold a candle to the U.S. site, lists of projects in provinces (or ridings) are unavailable, multiple government websites and departments must be contacted to make any sense out of the spending, etc. And the attitude from the government when questioned on it is contemptuous. A must read if you missed it. One excerpt for the flavour:
Last month in Oakville, when asked about the allegation — made by a Tory candidate — that one project was killed because the riding was Liberal, the prime minister said don’t worry: "We can give you a list of announcements made across the country."

Three weeks later, after repeated requests for that list, his office told me this week to stop bothering them. Turns out the prime minister was joking, or lying. They are not going to cough up a list. Instead, they directed me to the useless site, and suggested I click on 6,000 individual links and draw up my own list.


These people are either cynically withholding information that would allow voters to see where their tax dollars are beings spent, or they are idiots, or maybe both.

They think they are smart to hide this information — perhaps because it could be politically damaging if they are shown to be shovelling pork into Tory ridings nationwide — but they are not smart.

Canadians want their government to be accountable, and the Tories ought to know that.
They ought to but none of their conduct shows that they do. They're mocking us with these efforts. Why can't the government of Canada produce Excel spread sheets, at a bare minimum, providing lists of the infrastructure spending, by exact amount, riding by riding across the country? Treat us like adults. In this internet era, it's really quite remarkable that they can get away with this.

For those trying to minimize such complaints, they are about accountability and ethics, not website maintenance. Not surprising they wouldn't get it.