Sunday, May 24, 2009

A more cost effective way to profile your Member of Parliament's performance?

Good Day Readers:

Upon reading the article (below) in today's online version of the Winnipeg Free Press our initial reaction was what a worthwhile project. However, when we went to the link provided to read the full story red flags immediately shot up. A split screen appeared - on one side in tabular form the required information to create an account. We have only reproduced what was on the other.

Was there a cost for this service and if so what? Supposing an individual registered an account assuming the information was free - then what? Although the application process notes there is no expense associated with opening an account, it does not provide any other specifics so we contacted the WFP and received the response shown in blue.

It would seem to us a much more cost effective way to obtain this information would be through the federal government's Access to Information Act ( on an as required basis. Better yet, why doesn't the government make this data available on its website

Each access to information request costs $5. There may be additional charges if copying, computer processing or search and preparation time is required. (The first five hours of search and preparation are free.) Most requestors pay no fees beyond the initial $5 charge.

Clare L. Pieuk
PERSPECTIVE: A report card on Manitoba's 14 MPs
Staff Writer
May 22, 2009

OTTAWA - They earn six figures a year and are among the highest profile citizens in the province.

But do you really know what your MP does every day?

Even in the era of 24-hours news shows and a blog for every subject imaginable, it’s not always easy to figure out what any individual MP does to earn his or her paycheque.

With a view to giving Canadians a better idea, the House of Commons last month began posting online how MPs voted on various bills. The change - which moves closer to the American system which has documented how individuals voted in both Congress and the House of Representatives for years - will give Canadians a much easier way to see how their MP is voting, and even whether or not they showed up to vote at all.

This month a parliamentary committee decided to take the issue one step further and will launch hearings into whether or not MPs should have attendance taken every day, not just during votes.

Individual caucus whips may keep records on MP attendance in the house or committees, but those figures are not made public unless the party chooses to do so.

Here then, we have a brief look at what the 14 MPs from Manitoba have done lately.

For the full story, see today's newspaper or our fpNews electronic edition.

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Blogger The Mad Bomber said...

Another fascinating blog, dealing with a fascinating legal prosecution that raises familiar issues, for you especially -

5:53 AM  

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