Takin' care of business as usual?

"There's no indication it will be anything but business as usual in politics this year." That's what I said last Sunday, in an editorial on this show. But, two days, provincial Liberal leadership candidate George Abbott, Christy Clark and Mike de Jong set out to prove me wrong, rolling out proposals to reform government. Mr. Abbot has promised to put in place a caucus charter that will lay out the rights and responsibilities of its members. He also wants to the modernize the province's antiquated conflict of interest law. And he's committed to regular accountability sessions between citizens and elected officials.

Ms. Clark is also promising greater accountability for MLAs - and a greater role for them at the legislature - while Mr. de Jong wants cabinet ministers to disclose their expenses, as well as who they meet with, on a biannual basis. But the question British Columbians should be asking themselves is whether any of those proposals will result in lasting political change.

Will any of these proposals encourage MLAs to put the interests of their constituents ahead of their party? Will any of these proposals curtail the government's power to bully its bills into law? Will any of these proposals increase the chances of third party and independent candidates being elected to the legislature?

So will it be business as usual if Mr. Abbot, Ms. Clark or Mr. de Jong succeed Gordon Campbell as premier? Well, I'll let you answer that question.

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