Friday, April 15, 2005

RESPONSIBLE

When considering the sponsorship debacle, there are two types of responsibility. There is the direct and criminal responsibility of those who stole and embezled public money, those who knowingly accepted it, and those who immediately facilitated or covered up the illegal and innappropriate activity. The people who are directly and criminaly responsible will be held accountable by the justice system.

The second type of responsibility is political. The activities of the sponsorship program represent a massive betrayal of the public trust. This betrayal was perpetrated and directed by members of the Liberal Party of Canada under the government of prime minister Jean Chretien. Politicians must be held accountable for the illegal activities that went on within the sponsorship program.

Our parliamentary democracy relies on the principle that the cabinet is responsible for the acts and decisions of the government. While the worst of the sponsorship program likely occurred without the knowledge of many members of the government, they still must be held responsible. Cabinet members must be held responsible, even for actions they did not directly commit, because they were elected and appointed as guardians of the public trust. When that trust is violated, no matter how secretly, the cabinet is responsible.

Canadian parliamentarians generally, are already facing a huge level of public mistrust as a result of the sponsorship scandal. Parliamentarians can only do their jobs well, they can only fullfill their obligations as representatives of the general will, if they hold the trust of the public. Canadians have to believe that whomever is elected as their MP, that the member who is elected will protect the general intersts of Canada.

Members of cabinet must be held to the highest standard possible. Obviously, as I have said, Jean Chretien holds the most responsibility, but he can no longer be brought to account at the polls. However, there are many MPs who were members of cabinet at some point during the operation of the sponsorship program who can still be held electorally accountable.

Consequently, the following is a list of current MPs who served in cabinet under Jean Chretien during the period of the sponsorship program. To maintain the standards of responsible government, all of these members must be defeated at the next opportunity avilable to their constituents.

ANDERSON, David - Victoria
AUGUSTINE, Jean - Etobicoke—Lakeshore
BEVILACQUA, Maurizio - Vaughan
BLONDIN-ANDREW, Ethel Dorothy - Western Arctic
BOUDRIA, Don - Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
BRADSHAW, Claudette - Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe
BYRNE, Gerry - Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte
CHAN, Raymond - Richmond
CODERRE, Denis - Bourassa
DEVILLERS, Paul - Simcoe North
DION, Stéphane - Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
DROUIN, Claude - Beauce
EASTER, Arnold Wayne - Malpeque
FRY, Hedy - Vancouver Centre
GOODALE, Ralph Edward - Wascana
GRAHAM, Bill - Toronto Centre
KILGOUR, David - Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont
MACAULAY, Lawrence A - Cardigan
MARLEAU, Diane - Sudbury
MARTIN, Paul Edgar Philippe - LaSalle—Émard
MCLELLAN, A. Anne - Edmonton Centre
MINNA, Maria - Beaches—East York
MITCHELL, Andrew (Andy) - Parry Sound—Muskoka
OWEN, Stephen - Vancouver Quadra
PARADIS, Denis - Brome—Missisquoi
PETERSON, James Scott (Jim) - Willowdale
PETTIGREW, Pierre S. - Papineau
ROBILLARD, Lucienne - Westmount—Ville-Marie
SCOTT, Andy - Fredericton
THIBAULT, Robert - West Nova

Posted by Matthew @ 5:02 PM