In 2001, the Liberals promised to be the most open and accountable government in Canada. So it's a pity they didn't keep that promise. Because, if they had, their government might not be in the mess it is today. Let me explain.
Last week, Finance Minister Colin Hansen and Premier Gordon Campbell said they knew the government's revenues were under pressure during the election. But, despite being public officials, both of them kept that information private.
Minister Hansen and Premier Campbell have said they believed those pressures wouldn't have prevented the government from meeting its $495 million deficit target - a target that's now been missed by more than $2.2 billion dollars. But, assuming that's true, why didn't they tell British Columbians about that four months ago?
Perhaps it's because the Liberals have always worn a smile when talking about the economy - even when everyone else is frowning? Perhaps it's because they thought those frowns would make make the New Democrats happy - increasing the opposition's election chances. But perhaps they should have instead remembered their 2001 election promise.
Because when public officials appear to act in their own private interest it irrevocably damages their credibility and the credibility of the system they supposedly serve.