Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A test of responsibility

Kady has already pointed out one of the obvious corollaries if the Cons had any actual belief in ministerial responsibility, as Stephen Harper would then be responsible to explain and justify the policy personally rather than forcing the likes of Dimitri Soudas to serve as the public face of an anti-accountability strategy. But let's note that there are other areas where it'll be easy to test the Cons' commitment to the principle.

For example, a government actually intending to encourage ministerial responsibility would have to allow the minister responsible to answer the opposition's questions about any matter within the scope of departmental responsibility - and to actually discuss what the department is doing, rather than attacking the questioner or changing the subject in accordance with centrally-driven talking points. So will we see the Cons abandon their strategy of sending up the likes of John Baird to serve as all-purpose spokesparrots in favour of having ministers actually allow themselves to be held to account?

This is where we pause for laughter.

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