Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama Introduces Transparent, Accountable Government - Same Thing Once Promised by Harper

Remember when Stevie Harper pulled our leg by promising us transparent, accountable government? Instead he pulled a shroud over the federal government, gagged sensitive departments including National Defence and the Environment Ministry, appointed political commissars to the Prime Minister's Office to filter and skew information Canadians could get and threw an iron-fisted veil of secrecy over his administration.

Barack Obama promised the American people transparent, accountable government. It took him precisely one day to deliver. From The New York Times:

Every governmental agency or department should know, Mr. Obama said, that his administration stands not “on the side of those who want to withhold information but those who seek to make it known.”

Some of the changes he discussed will be made through executive order, and others by changes in regulations.

In his first day in office, Obama plainly hit the floor running. It's safe to say he achieved more governance before dinner time in Washington today than Harper has managed in nearly three years. Reminds me of one of my favourite passages from Shakespeare:

"Yea, there thou makest me sad and makest me sin in envy that my Lord Northumberland should be the father to so blest a son; a son who is the theme of honour's tongue; Amongst a grove the very straightest plant, who is sweet Fortune's minion and her pride; whilst I, by looking on the praise of him see riot and dishonour stain the brow of my young Harry."
-Henry IV, Part I.

Sorry, Steve, I couldn't resist.

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