• September 18, 2014

    Fiscal Accountability

    Many governments are operating beyond their resources and some, such as Detroit and Montreal, are now experiencing the calamitous situation that occurs when debt is too great.

    Government is obliged to set an example. Government has a moral obligation to operate within its financial resources and set an example of fiscal prudence for its citizens. Borrowing from the financial health of its children, as is now occurring, is an immoral act. The average taxpayer is feeling tapped-out. In addition to government debt, Canadian citizens are accumulating personal debt. Nationally, according to BMO (national debt report),  average household debt rose from $72,045 last year to $76,140 in 2014, and increasing this debt-load will impact negatively on government’s capacity to raise taxes for paying down government debt. The average… Continue Reading

  • September 12, 2014

    City Council Accountability: Here’s One Idea

    There was a time in our history when governments lived within their means. A Canadian study (IBM Corporation using Globescan data), shows that peoples’ trust in government was relatively high in 1968 at approximately 60% or “C+.” There were no annual deficits and no accumulated debt.

    The world has changed The world has changed. Annual government operating deficits are routine and virtually all levels of government are in debt. Coincidentally, public trust in government across Canada has plummeted to less than 30% (IBM 2009 presentation). In other words, trust is now at an “F.” Milton Friedman, one of America’s most respected economist, statistician and the recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, wisely observed that we spend our own money on ourselves very carefully. We spend other people’s money less carefully. Deficits and debt happen because politicians lack courage to say “no” and live… Continue Reading

  • September 04, 2014

    Campaign Transparency: Should Voters Know Who Funds Whom During An Election?

    Do voters have a right to know?
    Candidates running for public office should have the right to solicit a reasonable amount of funding support from anyone wishing to contribute. At issue is the degree to which these financial gifts should be transparent and whether voters have the right to know who the significant donors are.

    Campaign donations serve to drive-up the costs of running for election and a few substantial donations can provide a significant advantage to recipient candidates. Do election contributions mean favour? However, it is not unusual for donors to expect that their contributions will have some influence on the recipients’ decisions while fulfilling their political role. The public, then, should have access to information regarding who has provided funding and who may expect some favour. It is not uncommon for governments to limit the amount one citizen can contribute. This stipulation is not currently applicable to this year’s civic elections. How open… Continue Reading

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