Saturday, July 19, 2008

I'd Like To Access Some Information Please

The Parliament website is a logistical labyrinth at the best of times, but one thing I find particularly bothersome is the lag between proceedings and public disclosure. The ETHI Committee met on Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss the "in and out" affair, and as of this moment, nothing, nada, zip, published on the website.

Generally, you can access things like Question Period the day after (which is still too long), but when it comes to Committee business, it can take forever to read the transcripts. Generally, much of what happens in Committee's aren't reported by the MSM, or we are just given soundbites, like the Ethics Committee this week. If it wasn't for Kady O'Malley, or the rare ability to sit home and watch live, you are pretty much SOL.

Now, I'm sure Canadians aren't generally drawn to the mundane proceedings, but that's not the point, we should have the ability to access our public business in short order. Whether this delay from the Ethics Committee is deliberate, which is possible, or just the "way it goes", it impedes one's ability to inform themselves (or blog about stupid things Pierre said, as the case may be).

It's time to update the Parliament website, so people can have almost real time information. As it stands now, by the time an ordinary citizen can access anything, it's already old news in a sense, particularly with something like Parliament business, which progresses daily. The Parliament website is a DUD.


knb said...

I completely agree. I've written to them and the answer I get back is that they have to translate and edit.

That said, the MSM do have access pretty quickly, but you are right, they too edit the facts for both practical and partisan reasons.

I'm not sure what risk the MSM would face if we the people had the same info at the same time, but that's the dialogue of our time isn't it?

I watched the hearings, but I didn't record them and there is much more I want to comment on.

I'm with you on this push and I'm not sure what is the best way to go about changing it, but I support putting our heads together to come up with a plan to do it.

It's time for parliament to catch up with the times.

SUZANNE said...

I have experienced the same thing you have. I agree with you 100%.

Not only that, but some of the meetings are in camera. And they shouldn't be, unless there are matters of national security involved.

I think the Parliamentary website should make the video available right away. There is simultaneous translation, so translation is not the issue.

Our Parliament should be a lot more transparent than it is. The people should have access to parliamentary deliberations.

knb said...

suzanne, the in camera, (isn't that an oxymoron) meetings are usually planning meetings, but I agree, we should know how those are decided.

I don't care how standing oders are employed however...or maybe as dry as that is I do.

To open all of this up may open a can of worms, but who cares? It's the right thing to do.