Monday, April 19, 2010

When Does Freedom of Information Cross the Line?

The opposition and the media have been screaming for the government to release all information concerning the treatment of Afghan detainees.
They're demanding all unredacted documents even though it may put our troops in greater danger. The government has released some but not good enough. They want everything. You need to be able to trust those looking at those docs as not to leak them. We have such a partisan parliament, you can't trust any opposition member not to leak anything to the media that could be sensitive and put our soldiers at greater risk.
Now they want all information concerning the Jaffer/Geurgis issue before even RCMP have concluded their probe.    They should just shut up for now until an investigation if there will be an investigation is concluded.  We will all know then.  Right now it's all based rumors and innuendo destroying a couples reputations.The Mounties will determine if there's legitimate evidence to proceed. So we should all relax and wait.

 I think there is a fine line where freedom of information is concerned between the need to know so that changes can be made to improve something and just to use for gossip.  Angelo Persichilli  lays out perfectly.  Freedom of information can be easily abused for partisan purposes to play gotcha politics and embarrass the government to score some political points instead of hold a government to account (which is legitimate.)

Freedom of information is the essence of a democratic system, but the misuse of this freedom can damage democracy almost as much as its absence.
We resort to the Freedom of Information Act to find out how much a minister spent for a dinner but we don't ask why many of Canada's native people live in Third World conditions despite an annual budget of $12 billion, or how the banks gouge consumers with quasi-hidden fees, or how multinational corporations bleed medicare with huge, out-of-control profits. 
Using demands for information to document gossip is not accountability but a parody of it.
Watching Question Period lately I feel like I'm watching ants swarming around a dead bone while the flesh and soul of our country is being devoured elsewhere.

Yeah, I understand the concept of holding the government accountable. That should absolutely by done but when it crosses the line, the other side should be held accountable. After all we pay ALL of the Members of Parliament and they should be working on issues that matter most to us, the bread and butter issues not wasting our money on foolish witch hunts as a way to gain a political advantage. They should ALL be held accountable.

How about helping the government work on pension reform?  They've asked for your assistance, all you Honorable Members. Now get to work, that's what your employer expects. Anyway that's what all of you were griping about during prorogation, you wanted to work.  So well, stop the games and work!