Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Tessellation Made of Supervisory Boards

It is a rare occasion when we have the opportunity to witness the fallout of stupidity, and be able to genuinely assess where we went wrong and correct for the future, especially in situations where government accountability and possible corruption are under review.

We have this opportunity from a mistake that we made back in 2006, after the "Liberal sponsorship scandals" made it clear that Lobbyists needed to be monitored, which is a sensible plan. Any time people stand to benefit from giving money in exchange for a vested interest, there should be somebody keeping tabs on the situation. The problem was planted back when we organized the system for watching it, and we are now reaping its rotten fruit.

A system of appointed commissioners were brought in to monitor for suspicious or illegal activity surrounding lobbyists donating to campaign funds and what-not. The main problem is that we did not consider what success would look like. This comes in two-fold issues: one, if they found anything, we had reason to party, but if they found nothing, we became mired in the introspective, self-conscious, shame spiral that our Canadian culture has lifted to an art-form,  thus leading to the problem number two, if we didn't find anything, we gave ourselves an instant safety "blame"; the commissioners were appointed. In the ideal case that the board found no wrong doing, we were saved from feeling good about our government (a Mortal Canadian Sin)  because we still had reason to believe they were corrupt and faulty and oh-so-naughty.

So, to be honest, where exactly did we go wrong? We needed to set up the board in such a way that we Canadians trusted, that when they came back with nothing we could sigh, pat ourselves on the back, and start paying attention to the garbage that we like to pay attention to, like what facility Lohan checked herself into, instead of wringing our hands and thinking of creating a board to police the board that's policing the government lobbyists. Ah, Canadians, even when we succeed, we fail.

1 comment:

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