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Holding Our Government Accountable: We're Watching You, Trudeau

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

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Written by Jaimee-Lisa Cotter

This time next week, we’ll all be living under the newly sworn in Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau. While Canadians are quite obviously ready of change, clearly made efforts to be more informed, and made sure they took the time to hit the polls this election, it’s important that we don’t let this enthusiasm die out: there’s a level of accountability and transparency that an elected leader owes the democratic public who put them in office, which isn’t exactly something Canadians are used to if we look at the last ten years as a track record.

 

Not for the first time over the recent campaign period, discussions about how this election was so focused on making information accessible have graced numerous news platforms, mainstream and alternative. The huge push for people to invest even a minimal amount of time and effort to get informed was paramount, and online resources were abound on people’s Facebook pages and social media feeds.

 

Even though it’s partially frustrating to be known as the generation that needs everything instantly gratified and broken down for them, something good is borne out of this. We already discussed how important it is to have accessible information about each candidate and party in the Canadian electorate race, so why not create an accessible and informative way to make sure that the system we pushed so hard to change is working?

 

Enter TrudeauMetre.com, the non-partisan online initiative aimed at laying out and keeping track of the campaign promises and platform points made by the Liberal party and their leader. Self-identifying as a “collaborative citizen initiative”, the TrudeauMetre tracks the performance of the electoral platform that the Liberals ran during the 2015 federal election by recruiting “Promise Trackers”, seeking out folks who are interested in specific areas of the platform and willing to stay on top of current news, the progress of various legislations introduced, and where the Liberals are on making good on the things they said they’d do.

 

And quite honestly, it’s brilliant¾necessary, even.

It’s a problem previously identified by many Canadians that it’s hard to wade through the jargon and empty claims made on the race to lead our country, so why not have a system that monitors all of those things in one convenient location? While it obviously would be phenomenal to have everyone be just as invested in holding our government accountable outside of the campaign period, it just doesn’t always happen.

 

Without even being sworn in, TrudeauMetre has already been updated to show two initiatives that the Liberals promised are underway: the excitement surrounding Trudeau’s announcement that he would be putting an end to air strikes by Canadian CF-18s in Syria and Iraq was met by quite a lot of publicity, since it’s a controversial topic. The second initiative noted as “in progress” on the site is the promise to revert the plan of discontinuing door-to-door mail delivery by Canada Post. Understandably, the latter of the two received a lot less coverage than the fighter jet issue.

 

So make good on the promise you made at election time when you decided to vote and exercise that democratic freedom, because just like gathering information about the parties prior to election day, there’s no reason to not do so. Apathy doesn’t fit in to the democratic process very well, and whether you’re a supporter of the Liberal party or not, TrudeauMetre is a great resource to help us all keep them in check.

 

Don’t let the hype die down. Democracy is always fun. 

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