Tuesday, May 04, 2010

MP expenses, the no-brainer that no one will touch

Greg Weston makes some sense today. The Auditor General having access to MP and Senator expenses, that are already audited privately, is indeed a no-brainer. The Star had a more detailed report on the issue on the weekend. It seems to be ripening as an issue.

That those expenses remain off limits seems to be a hangover privilege from yesteryear that is sorely in need of updating. You can, however, understand the reluctance to disclose by politicians who already feel so under the microscope in the small little world of Canadian politics. They likely have visions of their receipts ending up on the front page of the Globe. But transparency and accountability should outweigh that discomfort in the decision making calculus about whether to make their private audit into a public one. There might be some initial pain and sensationalism, but over time it would become a second nature part of the system.

How does the public feel about the issue? This online poll appears in the Star today, talk about lop-sided:

Why no party is grabbing this issue for advantage, as Weston points out, is a mystery. Maybe they should all come to the conclusion to go for it, through the Board of Internal Economy, collectively. Take the plunge, the Canadian public would applaud them all.