Pro­tect­ing the party and its in­ter­ests

This process would also re­quire that the At­tor­ney Gen­eral re­port to the as­sem­bly, not the gov­ern­ment

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - OPINION - BY WAYNE CARVER Wayne Carver of Long Creek is a sup­porter of elec­toral re­form and com­ments fre­quently on so­cial is­sues

Many Is­lan­ders have come to the re­al­iza­tion that the present po­lit­i­cal sys­tem as we now know it, is not demo­cratic or sus­tain­able. There is far too much crony­ism, nepo­tism and cor­rup­tion in pol­i­tics. The se­cret deals, give­aways, in­ter­fer­ence in com­mu­nity af­fairs and in­cre­men­tal im­ple­men­ta­tion of con­tro­ver­sial or un­pop­u­lar ini­tia­tives against the pub­lic’s con­cerns, are in­di­ca­tors of just how un­re­spon­sive and in­dif­fer­ent our ma­jor po­lit­i­cal par­ties have be­come. Pol­i­tics is all about the power and the money, not good pub­lic pol­icy.

We have wit­nessed the mis­man­age­ment of bil­lions of dol­lars in tax­pay­ers’ funds in the past decade. The PNP, the egam­ing fi­asco, the loan write offs, the back room deals, the high speed in­ter­net farce with its un­der­stated costs, and much more. Peo­ple have won­dered and won­der still, why the fed­eral po­lice force did not ac­tively in­ves­ti­gate sev­eral of th­ese mat­ters.

The an­swer is sim­ple. The fed­eral po­lice force will not in­ves­ti­gate such ac­tives un­til called upon by the first min­is­ter or the At­tor­ney Gen­eral of the prov­ince, which in our prov­ince is one and the same. Ob­vi­ously, that did not hap­pen.

One would ex­pect that in this day and age, in a mod­ern civ­i­lized so­ci­ety, cit­i­zens would have some re­course, some one or some arm of gov­ern­ment we could turn to in­ves­ti­gate such mat­ters thor­oughly. Not so in this po­lit­i­cal cli­mate and the rea­son is po­lit­i­cal. As long as we con­tinue to al­low the First Min­is­ter to hold the of­fice of Pre­mier and Min­is­ter of Jus­tice and Pub­lic Safety and At­tor­ney Gen­eral, the cit­i­zens of this fair Is­land will never have a demo­cratic gov­ern­ment.

The prac­tice of com­bin­ing the min­istries is not with­out ul­te­rior mo­tives, that be­ing to give the rul­ing party ul­ti­mate po­lit­i­cal, and law­ful con­trol. That is part of the rea­son the rul­ing par­ties on the Is­land have ruled with an iron fist for sev­eral decades.

That is why we do not see the fed­eral po­lice forces en­gage in any in­ves­ti­ga­tions into ne­far­i­ous gov­ern­ment deal­ings or out­right gov­ern­ment abuses. The main role of the rul­ing party is to pro­tect the party and the party’s in­ter­ests.

It would bet­ter serve the peo­ple if the of­fice of the At­tor­ney Gen­eral, who is the chief law en­force­ment of­fi­cer and guardian of the pub­lic in­ter­est, were ap­pointed by the Lt.-Gov.-in-Coun­cil, on the rec­om­men­da­tion of the leg­isla­tive as­sem­bly, not the rul­ing party.

This process would also re­quire that the At­tor­ney Gen­eral re­port to the as­sem­bly, not the gov­ern­ment, which would al­low all mem­bers of the as­sem­bly and the gen­eral pub­lic to ex­am­ine the gov­ern­ment’s ac­tiv­i­ties and hold it to ac­count.

It would also al­low the op­po­si­tion mem­bers an av­enue to pur­sue ques­tion­able par­ti­san ac­tiv­i­ties of con­se­quence. Per­haps then our rul­ing po­lit­i­cal par­ties would not be able to run amuck over the cit­i­zens right to open­ness and ac­count­abil­ity.

When elec­toral re­form comes about, I ex­pect that fu­ture po­lit­i­cal lead­ers will con­sider the merit in mak­ing the law en­force­ment branches ac­count­able to the leg­isla­tive as­sem­bly. The no­tion of the Pre­mier or At­tor­ney Gen­eral ig­nor­ing ques­tion­able po­lit­i­cal prac­tices in the name of par­ti­san­ship or mon­e­tary ad­van­tage is un­set­tling to say the least. Yet, it hap­pens and will con­tinue to do so un­til we change the po­lit­i­cal process.

Cit­i­zens have not lost sight of elec­toral re­form and will con­tinue to pur­sue this goal un­til it has been achieved. Right now the Con­ser­va­tive Party of P.E.I. is search­ing for a new leader in hopes of win­ning the next elec­tion. Doubt­less they are be­gin­ning to re­al­ize the vot­ers do not want more of the same in a new face. Vot­ers want to see mean­ing­ful change in the po­lit­i­cal process. Hav­ing our po­lit­i­cal lead­ers sub­ject to the laws of the land seems like a good place to start.

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