Restoring Confidence in Government

Some politicians won’t like what I have to say, but they are too often focused on getting reelected rather than telling the truth or making tough decisions. This kind of bad judgment has resulted in the public losing confidence in the democratic governance we have paid a price in blood and treasure to build and protect.

The answer to the destructive effects of “politics as usual” is, for political office seekers and voters alike, to stop accepting that the rules of the game are the way politics must be done.

It’s time to change the rules of the game.

Changing the Rules of the Game: Passing an Honesty in Politics Law

The need to restore confidence in our democratic institutions is the reason I propose an Honesty in Politics Act, which would hold politicians legally accountable for promises made which voters reasonably take as solemn. 

An Honesty in Politics law would sanction politicians and political parties that make dishonest statements or promises. Politicians must be held responsible for the things they say -- and be held so in law, enforced by courts, and come at a cost to them (rather than the taxpayer!) if they break their word.

Introducing Recall Legislation

Voters should not have to wait for a general election to have their voices heard. If promises are broken, or support for a politician is lost, voters should have a way to recall that individual from their elected duties. That is why I support recall legislation.

Recall legislation would allow voters to petition to have their local MHA removed from office. If the petition reached a reasonable threshold of voters within the district, an immediate by-election would be triggered in that district. The existing MHA would have to then win the support of their constituents in order to be returned to their legislature or be replaced.

Auditing Muskrat Falls

Dwight Ball's Liberal government is doing nothing to deal with controversy surrounding Muskrat Falls. We need an immediate forensic audit to identify underlying issues with the project and restore confidence in our provincial institutions.

A forensic audit follows the paper trail to determine, to a high level of reliability, who knew what and when. A forensic audit takes place in the back rooms and need disturb no one directly concerned with efficiently finishing the power dam at Muskrat Falls.

But audits are not alone suited to evaluating the credibility of information from witnesses. If determination of the credibility of witness testimony is necessary, then a public inquiry, which hears testimony under oath and subject to cross-examination, is the way to obtain the truth.

Reforming Lobbying Laws

There is an ethical need to ensure the activities of public sector are done in the interest of the public good. To prevent conflicts, I want to introduce a cooling off period for lobbyists before they can work in the public service – such as the Office of the Premier.

When MHAs or senior public servants leave the Provincial Government, they are forbidden to lobby government for a period of time. The ethical need to prevent conflicts is equally strong for lobbyists entering the public service.