Monday, June 23, 2014

MINISTERIAL ACCOUNTABILITY IS A JOKE IN NL

It would appear that I yanked on the tail of the tiger on Friday afternoon on VOCM Backtalk, by suggesting that the current provincial government has a history of not accepting responsibility for many of the socio and economic challenges facing the province.

The facts, not a partisan spin, are that the education, justice, child youth service, healthcare system are failing  us despite the most significant financial investments in our history. As a shareholder in the governance of our province, I think there needs to be some political accountability for the failures affecting the delivery of justice, education, healthcare and child youth services. 

It used to be that politicians took the doctrine of Ministerial Responsibility with the seriousness the role demanded in our democratic system.  The confidence of the people in government rests on the the ministers  ability to discharge their    personal responsibilities as the political head of the departments they are appointed to.

Those personal responsibilities as defined by the publication Governing Responsibly are defined as:

 Ministers are individually responsible to Parliament and the Prime Minister for their own actions and those of their department, including the actions of all officials under their management and direction, whether or not the Ministers had prior knowledge. In practice, when errors or wrongdoings are committed by officials under their direction, Ministers are responsible for promptly taking the necessary remedial steps and for providing assurances to Parliament that appropriate corrective action has been taken to prevent re-occurrence.
The inability to take appropriate corrective action to prevent the re-occurrence of  serious public policy issues, including decisions not to act, should be borne by the Minister responsible.

In our province, the doctrine ministerial accountability has been cast aside. There is no real answerability or political implication for failing. When was the last time a minister accepted that he or she was accountable for mistakes? 

What we get in the place of accountability is hyper political spin and partisan plants attacking the reputation of those of us that are prepared to call a spade a spade.



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