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clean government initiative.

Just days before their party policy convention, the Alberta Liberals unveiled a new package of democratic reform proposals branded as the “Clean Government Initiative.”

1) Establish an independent commission with binding powers to set MLA pay, benefits and bonuses.
2) Make all MLA expenses and compensation publicly available online.
3) Lengthen and strengthen cooling off periods to prevent senior civil servants from flip-flopping between high-level public and private sector jobs.
4) Strengthen the Lobbyist Act.
5) Strengthen the power of Officers of the Legislative Assembly.
6) Reduce power of the Premier’s Office.
7) Protect whistleblowers.
8 ) Ban all corporate and union political party donations.
9) Lower election donation limits for individuals.
10) Reform elections.
11) Increase ministerial accountability
12) Establish fixed election dates.

Most of these ideas are not new, and many of these policies have also be found in the manifestos of the New Democrats, the Wildrose Alliance, and the Conservative Party of Canada, but I believe that the Liberals have done a good job packaging them.

Not surprisingly, the most controversial proposal is included in step 10, which proposes offers tax credits of $50 per election to Albertans who vote. I do not necessarily agree that monetary incentives would be the best way to increase meaningful engagement in our electoral system, but could does help spark the debate about creating incentives to vote – a debate that the governing Progressive Conservative Party appears reluctant to participate in.

I also noticed that while releasing this policy package, Liberal leader David Swann has spruced up his wardrobe, abandoning the older worn suit for a more crisp and professional looking image. I get the distinct feeling that recent changes inside the Official Opposition caucus may have allowed Dr. Swann more time to focus on other things, like improving his and his party’s image.

6 replies on “clean government initiative.”

Oh goody! More vapid platitudes. Just what the ALP needs to turn around its fortunes.

The one on donations particularly cracks me up. Looking back to the last election campaign, can someone please tell me where the ALP would have been if it weren’t for the donations of one individual, through a series of corporate shells, who ponied up well over 100k?

Kettle, meet pot. Pot, meet kettle.

PS: They forgot “cure cancer”. That would have nicely wrapped up the awesomeness.

Fail.

Perhaps instead of constantly offering up ideas of “what we’ll do if/when we’re elected”, the opposition could gain more traction by actually implementing some of these sorts of ideas right now.

In particular the Liberals, being almost debt free, could impose on themselves the no corporate & no union donation rules. Likewise, they could establish an MLA pay committee and have their caucus members donate to local charities any excess pay above what their commision decides all MLAs should get.

They should also commit to having fully open leadership races, if they have not already. Do not allow for hidden or anonymous donations to any leadership candidates.

I think that kind of real action would speak much louder to voters than a list of things they might do whenever they happen to form government, a goal not really on the horizon.

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