Honesty is always the best policy

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.

2 Comments

Totally agree.

Even better when done by a gent in black!

Campbell made that early and fundamental promise but then conducted his government oppositely. Another was the promise to stop growth of government sponsored gambling.

Duplicity was his strategy from the beginning. Inevitably, as time passed, constraints fell away. BC Liberal arrogance and over-confidence swelled even as the effects of improprieties compounded and public confidence eroded.

Lately, citizen have been asked to believe too many improbable scenarios. The $175 million Olympic security budget became $1 billion. The $500 million convention centre cost $900 million. BC Rail files were lost, destroyed or given to a co-conspirator. Kinsella has nothing to hide but will fight to the death to hide it. etc., ad nauseam.

BC Liberals are like a pack of chocolate smeared children claiming no knowledge about how the cookie jar came to be empty.

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