Group Challenges Candidates to Support Greater Transparency

By Joan Delaney, Epoch Times
September 24, 2008 Updated: September 24, 2008

In an effort to make government more accountable, a Montreal-based organization is challenging candidates running in the federal election to take the “I Believe in Open” pledge. 

Created by the non-partisan VisibleGovernment.ca , the pledge challenges candidates to commit to five key improvements in government transparency.

These include making campaign promises measurable, publishing their MP schedule on the internet, allowing public access to government scientific and survey data, and making it easier for Canadians to obtain government information.

The campaign website, ibelieveinopen.ca, is collecting pledges from MP candidates supporting the call for greater government transparency. The group is also calling on voters to register their support for the goal of increased transparency in their federal government.

“Few Canadians believe campaign promises, and even fewer know what their governments do on a day to day basis. Our goal is to open up government and let citizens see what their taxes are paying for,” said Jennifer Bell, Executive Director of VisibleGovernment.ca, in a news release.

“Per capita, Canadians are the most web-savvy people in the world, yet our federal government isn’t using web 2.0 technologies to open up government to Canadians. It’s time to change this,” Bell said.

ibelieveinopen.ca is modeled after the change-congress.org campaign in the U.S., which was founded by Lawrence Lessig and Joe Trippi.

The site collects signups from voters who choose which pledges they support. It also shows running totals of provinces and ridings where voters “Believe in Open.” Candidates are notified when the number of voter sign-ups in their riding passes set levels, and voters are notified when candidates in their riding take the pledge. 

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