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Eyeball,
So some boats were monitored for overfishing and some weren't ?

On-board at-sea monitoring didn't start until early this decade.

That sounds suspicious. Where did this end up ? What was the "big deception" that you seem to allude to ? Was there a single incident you can relate here ?

The suspicion, shared by virtually every fisherman on the coast, is that DFO routinely manipulates its scientific data. Most suspect the manipulation/deception is primariy political with a view to favouring one sector or gear type over another or by senior bureaucrats to cover their butt(s) in the wake of mistakes or to smooth things over in negotiations with the US etc.

2 For example, in a June 1996 article in Vancouver’s Georgia Straight, journalist Terry Glavin writes: ‘For all the company-sponsored mob scenes over Ottawa’s alleged surrender of salmon to Aboriginal people following the supreme Court of Canada’s 1990 "Sparrow" decision, Weston and Pattison’s share was greater than the entire sockeye allocation to all the Aboriginal communities of British Columbia combined. (Galen Weston and Jimmy Pattison being the owners respectively of B.C. Packers and Canadian Fishing Co.).

This is an interesting example given the source. These two companies have long histories on the coast and Fraser River sockeye allocations in particular have always been extremely contentious due to the high value of the fishery.

“Do you want to go fishing next year? Be prepared to buy that right from a fishing organization, union, BC Packers or any friend of the government they want to give the fish to,” the BC Wildlife Federation tidal waters fishing committee said today. That’s what section 43 of the proposed changes to the fishery act allows.

Source

This acrimony between sectors and distrust for government goes on and on and on back into the dim mists of time as near as I can tell. In addition to the old divide and conquor comments you often hear there is another saying on the coast, 'governments lie, fish die'. I'm sure there are many similarities to be found in many sectors of our economy all across Canada. Canada's DFO though seems to have a real knack for making things FUBAR.

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Revisiting this thread...

Eyeball, why wouldn't other fishing vessels have their catches audited as well ?

Are there independent (non DFO) studies of the situation as well ?

Sayings such as 'governments lie, fish die' are - to me - evidence that the current situation isn't engaging everyone. But, those who are disengaged may be doing so for the wrong reasons. Kind of like people not voting - everyone seems to assume that it's the politicians' faults when most the reasons I hear amount to laziness/carelessness.

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Eyeball, why wouldn't other fishing vessels have their catches audited as well ?

Are there independent (non DFO) studies of the situation as well ?

Sayings such as 'governments lie, fish die' are - to me - evidence that the current situation isn't engaging everyone. But, those who are disengaged may be doing so for the wrong reasons. Kind of like people not voting - everyone seems to assume that it's the politicians' faults when most the reasons I hear amount to laziness/carelessness.

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Perhaps it is time to form a new political party. One in which fiscal responsibility and social justice are the paramount concerns of the party. The justice system keeps letting criminals out of jail and the governments keep spending more than they have. It is time to reduce bureaucracy and eliminate much of the public sector upper echelons. It is time to start making folks accountable and responsible, from the lowest citizen to the highest elected official.

The old school conservative is very strict and functions almost with military vigor. The have a lot of control over social issues - because most of them come from money they can not concieve the idea of not having a bus ticket. The live in a dream land and believe that there is still great opportunity for all. The glitch in this thinking is that they fail to realize money is opportunity and funding makes all things possible. If you have always had it you assume that everyone has it.

The up side is that the old conservative financiers are tough and frugal and don't gamble within the market - mostly because a relative sits on the board of the TSE and they know that it's not wise to take chances with the lucre. The MAJOR problem these folks have as far as social justice is that their system and enterprise has become so large, vast and complex that it is unmanagable and fallen into a monoply that is corrupt...wonder if they have the will to fix it? There heirs are ill equiped to deal with the problem..and are conditioned by the very monster the conservatives created - Liberalism - they did not expect the social prevasivness to back fire on their own kin. :lol:

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Hello Michael.

Where were we...

Why wouldn't other fisheries be monitored or audited - the real question is why shouldn't they be especially in the face of mounting pressure from the public over concerns about sustainability and by-catch? The answer should be obvious enough. Many still resist being monitored for much the same reason people in the fishery I'm getting back into did, they fear what people might think if they see what's really happening. Of course you also have the usual Orwellian fears that have been so deeply ingrained in people. Like I said earlier though many fishermen subject to electronic monitoring (E.M.) now see the value in being able to now account for every single fish they catch and more to the point prove it.

I heard a sport-guide the other day who was all pissed off about his guests only being able to keep one halibut a day this year instead of two. He thought us commercial guys should be forced to stop fishing before he was reduced because his fishery doesn't have anywhere near the impact that commercial fisheries have. He was convinced that DFO were a bunch of liars and were in cahoots with big commercial fishing interests. I pointed out the growing public concern about just how many fish sporties actually catch and discard and suggested DFO was being more cautious in the absence of any hard evidence. You should have seen his face when I suggested his fleet be subject to the type of monitoring I am. I asked how will we ever know if a guest of his who caught a 20 pounder in the morning throws it back after catching a bigger one in the afternoon?

Am I supposed to trust the word of a competing fishery that would rather lobby the government to put me out of business or an independant audit of their E.M. record? Who do you think the public should be more concerned about, a fishery that can verify what it says or one that avoids having to?

Just for the record, my fisheries quota's were also cut and I have to make do with less too.

Edited by eyeball
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Perhaps it is time to form a new political party. One in which fiscal responsibility and social justice are the paramount concerns of the party. The justice system keeps letting criminals out of jail and the governments keep spending more than they have. It is time to reduce bureaucracy and eliminate much of the public sector upper echelons. It is time to start making folks accountable and responsible, from the lowest citizen to the highest elected official.

So what about Conservative economic justice? How do we ensure economic justice in the face of the secrecy our present Conservative government has displayed? How can I be ensured that economic justice is occuring in the face of such secrecy and that I'm not being dealt out of the economy by some sectoral lobbyist who represents a group that is avoiding the same sort of monitoring I'm subjected too?

Why shouldn't the monitors be monitored?

Edited by eyeball
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Am I supposed to trust the word of a competing fishery that would rather lobby the government to put me out of business or an independant audit of their E.M. record? Who do you think the public should be more concerned about, a fishery that can verify what it says or one that avoids having to?

eyeball,

Ok. So you have some sectors that are forced to submit to electronic monitoring (EM). And there are some that are not.

There is a suspicion that sport fishing could have an impact, and they don't submit to EM. I can understand, somewhat, the rationale that the volumes involved in sport fishing are too low, and that the government still is trying to limit their catches without EM.

Are there any other competing sectors that do not submit to EM ?

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Are there any other competing sectors that do not submit to EM ?

Not in the Pacific Integrated Groundfish Strategy. E.M. is basically used to keep everything that longliners and trawlers catch within the TAC (total allowable catch). The different players within the fishery track and trade quotas as they need through the season. These players target different species such as dogfish, halibut and sablefish etc but inadvertantly also catch species they are not targetting. In addition to the quota each vessel has of the species they target vessels are also allowed a percentage by weight of other species they take as bycatch. If I exceed the limit of halibut I'm allowed as by-catch for example I have to buy or lease halibut quota from someone else and likewise for a halibut boat that exceeds its sablefish by-catch limit and so on.

The groundfish fleet basically came up with this system of monitoring and reporting on its own because of the pressure it faced to be more accountable. Its expensive and complex but it works. Other competing sectors such as the sport fleet and First Nation's allocations do not have anywhere near the level of oversight but then again they haven't been required too. Further to these are other stakeholders that don't fish themselves but insist on being involved in our management such as environmentalists and coastal communities that depend on fisheries. Communities would include the business and labour associations that service the fishing fleet and process their product. There is also a new class of stakeholder that is often overlooked and these are the individuals and companies that own the quota that most fishermen now have to lease to keep fishing. Quota holders emerged as a new force to be reckoned with when governments went down the privatization road some fifteen years ago. Of big concern is the possibility that the entire TAC can and one day will be owned by a small group of very wealthy individuals or companies. Right now there are caps in place on how much quota one individual can control but quota owners are constantly lobbying to have this cap eliminated. The Fraser Institute is a big booster of the quota system if that gives you any idea of who's interests are best served by a quota system. I think the government likes the idea of only having to deal with a few millionairs and billionairs. Needless to say, as quota holders demand more and more money for leasing there is less money paid to the people who actually do the work of fishing, like me.

The most powerful stakeholders of all of course are the DFO officials and bureacrats that are found everywhere throughout this socio-economic matrix and they're almost universally and very deeply mistrusted by all the others. It goes without saying that they don't have to submit to any meaningful oversight at all. Its not so much the competing sectors that do not have submit to oversight that bothers me but the fact the government can meet with all these stakeholders in secret or "privacy" does. The phrase divide and conquor always come to mind.

For me it always comes back to the lack of government transparency. I regard it as being the single most destructive hurdle our society and economy faces. There can be no lasting social or economic justice for anyone as long as the government is allowed to continue operating from within its culture of secrecy.

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eb,

Not in the Pacific Integrated Groundfish Strategy. E.M. is basically used to keep everything that longliners and trawlers catch within the TAC (total allowable catch). The different players within the fishery track and trade quotas as they need through the season. These players target different species such as dogfish, halibut and sablefish etc but inadvertantly also catch species they are not targetting. In addition to the quota each vessel has of the species they target vessels are also allowed a percentage by weight of other species they take as bycatch. If I exceed the limit of halibut I'm allowed as by-catch for example I have to buy or lease halibut quota from someone else and likewise for a halibut boat that exceeds its sablefish by-catch limit and so on.

Ok. Sounds complicated, but necessary.

The groundfish fleet basically came up with this system of monitoring and reporting on its own because of the pressure it faced to be more accountable. Its expensive and complex but it works. Other competing sectors such as the sport fleet and First Nation's allocations do not have anywhere near the level of oversight but then again they haven't been required too. Further to these are other stakeholders that don't fish themselves but insist on being involved in our management such as environmentalists and coastal communities that depend on fisheries.

Ok. So we have a few competing sectors, and a few extra stakeholders in the mix.

Communities would include the business and labour associations that service the fishing fleet and process their product. There is also a new class of stakeholder that is often overlooked and these are the individuals and companies that own the quota that most fishermen now have to lease to keep fishing. Quota holders emerged as a new force to be reckoned with when governments went down the privatization road some fifteen years ago. Of big concern is the possibility that the entire TAC can and one day will be owned by a small group of very wealthy individuals or companies. Right now there are caps in place on how much quota one individual can control but quota owners are constantly lobbying to have this cap eliminated.

Makes sense.

The Fraser Institute is a big booster of the quota system if that gives you any idea of who's interests are best served by a quota system. I think the government likes the idea of only having to deal with a few millionairs and billionairs. Needless to say, as quota holders demand more and more money for leasing there is less money paid to the people who actually do the work of fishing, like me.

Right. This sounds like a parallel of the situation with farming, with large corporations owning large tracts of land. The 'quota system' that you refer to, though, is the system whereby large players can own quotas up to a legislated maximum, right ? Not the idea of quotas per se.

The most powerful stakeholders of all of course are the DFO officials and bureacrats that are found everywhere throughout this socio-economic matrix and they're almost universally and very deeply mistrusted by all the others. It goes without saying that they don't have to submit to any meaningful oversight at all. Its not so much the competing sectors that do not have submit to oversight that bothers me but the fact the government can meet with all these stakeholders in secret or "privacy" does. The phrase divide and conquor always come to mind.

For me it always comes back to the lack of government transparency. I regard it as being the single most destructive hurdle our society and economy faces. There can be no lasting social or economic justice for anyone as long as the government is allowed to continue operating from within its culture of secrecy.

Aha.

Ok, well the situation is much more clear to me now.

The culture of secrecy, even as it is, has its limits I think. All of the decisions are made in secret, but they must be based on published facts, right ? Decisions need to be validated, and explained even in the culture of secrecy.

However - you're in the unfortunate situation of having to trust people with specialist knowledge. These people, the scientists and biologists, have to be trusted to tell the truth in order for the system to work. There are ways to audit that, but ultimately no way to legislate them to act morally. The bureaucrats can say whatever they like, but they can only follow what the scientists tell them, or at least that's how it works on the surface.

I can see now why you want to monitor the bureaucrats, but I think that there must be more realistic ways to deal with the problem.

Ultimately, the best way would be for people on the whole to give a crap about Pacific fish stocks. And for the scientists to be held to what they say, for bureaucrats to explain the rationale their decisions, for all parties to be honest under penalty of punishment.

It might sound fantastic to you, all of this, but I assure you it's less fantastic than trying to tape everything that a bureaucrat says.

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Aha.

Ok, well the situation is much more clear to me now.

The culture of secrecy, even as it is, has its limits I think. All of the decisions are made in secret, but they must be based on published facts, right ? Decisions need to be validated, and explained even in the culture of secrecy.

However - you're in the unfortunate situation of having to trust people with specialist knowledge. These people, the scientists and biologists, have to be trusted to tell the truth in order for the system to work. There are ways to audit that, but ultimately no way to legislate them to act morally. The bureaucrats can say whatever they like, but they can only follow what the scientists tell them, or at least that's how it works on the surface.

I can see now why you want to monitor the bureaucrats, but I think that there must be more realistic ways to deal with the problem.

Ultimately, the best way would be for people on the whole to give a crap about Pacific fish stocks. And for the scientists to be held to what they say, for bureaucrats to explain the rationale their decisions, for all parties to be honest under penalty of punishment.

It might sound fantastic to you, all of this, but I assure you it's less fantastic than trying to tape everything that a bureaucrat says.

Aha you do indeed get it! What you suggest doesn't sound fantastic to me at all unless I have to rely on a pool of people who give a crap that is as big as this entire nation. I've been explaining our specific situation to you for at least 10 years or more and you've only gotten it now. This is why I've suggested that local community based management is the only alternative to the deep monitoring of centralized governments. The only people that really give a crap are the people and communities that rely the most on the fishery or the foresty or the farming, mining manufacturing industries that form the basis for their livelihoods. The best way to make our governments accountable is to localize them to the greatest extent possible. The best way to make governments understand the needs of local people is to embed them there. Look at it this way, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is located 1500 miles from the nearest ocean-based fishery its responsible for managing. Is it any wonder they are so out of touch with the people who most rely on them to manage our resources?

Its a lot harder for Buddy to knife me in the back when he's sitting directly across the table from me at a regional management board meeting but when he's sitting in a deputy ministers office in Ottawa he can simply get the government to snuff me with a policy change and the stroke of a pen before I even know what's happening. I think this sort of thing happens all the time, but I can't prove it. More to the point however, no one seems to give a crap.

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eyeball,

Aha you do indeed get it! What you suggest doesn't sound fantastic to me at all unless I have to rely on a pool of people who give a crap that is as big as this entire nation. I've been explaining our specific situation to you for at least 10 years or more and you've only gotten it now.

I don't think you've ever been this specific, nor have I ever understood these specific circumstances as the rationale for your ideas on monitoring individuals in government.

If I've "only gotten it now" then that's not my fault.

This is why I've suggested that local community based management is the only alternative to the deep monitoring of centralized governments. The only people that really give a crap are the people and communities that rely the most on the fishery or the foresty or the farming, mining manufacturing industries that form the basis for their livelihoods. The best way to make our governments accountable is to localize them to the greatest extent possible. The best way to make governments understand the needs of local people is to embed them there. Look at it this way, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is located 1500 miles from the nearest ocean-based fishery its responsible for managing. Is it any wonder they are so out of touch with the people who most rely on them to manage our resources?

On the other hand, the story has some attributes that would be of interest to all Canadians. Corruption, and environmental threats do play well and we hear these stories quite often.

Its a lot harder for Buddy to knife me in the back when he's sitting directly across the table from me at a regional management board meeting but when he's sitting in a deputy ministers office in Ottawa he can simply get the government to snuff me with a policy change and the stroke of a pen before I even know what's happening. I think this sort of thing happens all the time, but I can't prove it. More to the point however, no one seems to give a crap.

What would be an example of a policy change that would snuff you, or damage you, that wouldn't damage a larger operator with influence ? I still would like to discuss specific examples where the existing democratic mechanisms wouldn't work as well as your monitoring idea.

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On the other hand, the story has some attributes that would be of interest to all Canadians. Corruption, and environmental threats do play well and we hear these stories quite often.

So often they don't even impact people anymore, they've become comfortably numb.

What would be an example of a policy change that would snuff you, or damage you, that wouldn't damage a larger operator with influence ? I still would like to discuss specific examples where the existing democratic mechanisms wouldn't work as well as your monitoring idea.

The development of individual transferable quotas would be one. These disenfranchised thousands at the stroke of a policy pen while turning some individuals into instant millionairs. They were done at the behest of government officials who were following the same prescription for the privatization of common property resources that the World Bank and IMF handed down to New Zealand. These are amongst the least open and transparent institutions on the planet.

The tragedy of the commons has been replaced by the tragedy of enclosure, instead of too many boats chasing too many fish we now have too much capital chasing the same fish. The result is the same.

"It's absolutely clear that one of the great market failures of modern times

is the management of the world's fisheries, and there are examples from

almost every fishery across the globe where the fishing effort exceeds the

available catch," Nuttall said.

Two years ago, a team of ecologists and economists warned in the journal

Science that if current trends of overfishing and pollution continue, almost

all seafood sources could face collapse by 2048.

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eyeball,

So often they don't even impact people anymore, they've become comfortably numb.

I don't believe that. Even the sponsorship scandal brought down the government and it was a relatively minor thing.

The development of individual transferable quotas would be one. These disenfranchised thousands at the stroke of a policy pen while turning some individuals into instant millionairs. They were done at the behest of government officials who were following the same prescription for the privatization of common property resources that the World Bank and IMF handed down to New Zealand. These are amongst the least open and transparent institutions on the planet.

The tragedy of the commons has been replaced by the tragedy of enclosure, instead of too many boats chasing too many fish we now have too much capital chasing the same fish. The result is the same.

Ok. Bear with me. Aren't individuals afforded the same rights of transfer as large operators ?

I don't see this as an advantage that large operators have over individuals, except possibly that a large operator can bear to have many years of bad catches where an individual can't.

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Creating quotas involved assigning amounts to individuals that were too small to make it worth the effort. This was coupled with licence stacking which means you needed 2 - 4 licences plus the quota assigned to them to stay in the game. You had to buy out other fishermen in a process that was colloquially known as fleet cannabalization which was as brutal as it sounds.

Aren't individuals afforded the same rights of transfer as large operators ?

It was described as being a market-based approach, even democratic. The key word here though is afford so its obvious who would have the advantage. This is old news however, quotas are a reality and we have to make do with what we have.

There are so many other interconnecting factors in the overall management of our fisheries, too many to go over in here but the bottom line is most of our fisheries are still in decline despite all the top-down regulatory policies and devices that were supposed to reverse this trend. The whiff of corruption and secret back-room wheeling and dealing and selling out hangs like a miasma over it all. You could cut the mistrust with a knife.

The only fisheries that appear to have any sign of hope involve far more local management using democratic and consensus-based models of fleet integration and E.M. that B.C. groudfishermen have developed. Not everyone is happy with it of course but the majority are. Its a model of management and monitoring that is now being introduced by fisheries managers and the company that wrote the monitoring and auditing software to other fisheries around the world. It is a model that took thousands of hours of meetings amongst fishermen and almost inhuman effort by a small dedicated core of individuals to develop.

So...this is why I've become a believer in E.M. The Orwellian overtones can be overcome by carefull planning and execution and the data that is clean can be kept private. The genius in the system is the manner by which audits or increasing levels of monitoring are triggered. As I've mentioned the digital cameras and GPS plotter start recording as soon as the hydraulic system that works the fishing gear turns on. All these events are recorded in a computer you cannot access and following your trip auditors pick two random plots and examine the recording. If the number of fish caught or discarded or things like your position are out by more than a certain percentage of what is recorded a full audit of your trip is triggered. If inconsistencies continue to occur you are compelled to take a human observer. These are very expensive penalties. If everything checks out your data for that trip is wiped.

I can think of a few other applications where potentially destructive environmental practices could be electronically monitored. I've suggested heavy earth moving equipment of the type that often wrecks the salmon habitat that salmon and salmon fishermen and their communities depend on would be a good candidate. A local contractor I know was appalled at the suggestion. As you may know, I'm also employed sometimes as an environmental observer on developments around salmon habitat.

I fail to see why potentially socially or economically destructive practices shouldn't likewise be monitored if the stakes are high enough. I'd say monitoring things like financial regulators or fisheries management officials would be really good candidates, but I bet they like fishermen will point above them and say, "you haven't seen anything yet and the real buck stops upstairs". An old school excavator operator I was monitoring once pretty much told me the same thing. I believe it.

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I fail to see why potentially socially or economically destructive practices shouldn't likewise be monitored if the stakes are high enough.

eb,

The answer is because it's not practical, and it's not reasonable. It won't stop corruption, and it will place unreasonable limits on people who might want to work in these jobs.

Monitoring boats on the ocean for their location is sooooo.... much easier than monitoring what a human says 24/7. And if you're not going to monitor them, videotape them 24/7 then your system will fail as the lobbyists and corruption types will visit them wherever they can.

Your idea is on the money - openness and above board dealings, but your method is mixed up. It sounds like the collaborative process you described above isn't really all that different from the other process. The real byproduct of the non-collaborate process is suspicion.

I have worked in secretive environments, and the big secret isn't usually corruption, it's ineptitude.

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eb,

The answer is because it's not practical, and it's not reasonable. It won't stop corruption, and it will place unreasonable limits on people who might want to work in these jobs.

You just have to try harder. I think volunteers might be the answer.

Monitoring boats on the ocean for their location is sooooo.... much easier than monitoring what a human says 24/7. And if you're not going to monitor them, videotape them 24/7 then your system will fail as the lobbyists and corruption types will visit them wherever they can.

Your idea is on the money - openness and above board dealings, but your method is mixed up. It sounds like the collaborative process you described above isn't really all that different from the other process. The real byproduct of the non-collaborate process is suspicion.

I have worked in secretive environments, and the big secret isn't usually corruption, it's ineptitude.

I think that goes without saying doesn't it?

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eb,

You just have to try harder. I think volunteers might be the answer.

On that point, we're almost on the same page. Maybe we're on the same page, but different paragraphs.

The trend for new organizations is for open collaboration. Much like the situation you described with locally managed resources, these organizations are healthier and more productive.

But, I would argue that our system is supposed to be like that anyway. 'Empire building' and ineptitude has caused government departments to turn into shops that operate primarily behind closed doors.

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eb,

On that point, we're almost on the same page. Maybe we're on the same page, but different paragraphs.

The trend for new organizations is for open collaboration. Much like the situation you described with locally managed resources, these organizations are healthier and more productive.

But, I would argue that our system is supposed to be like that anyway. 'Empire building' and ineptitude has caused government departments to turn into shops that operate primarily behind closed doors.

I would argue the opposite, that our governance was always supposed to be a top down affair. We may still be in different books.

I don't think you'll find any shortage of volunteers at the local level willing to participate in new organizations and processes that are intended to manage local issues but we still need a way to penetrate the back rooms behind the closed doors. I was thinking more along the lines of a new political party that is committed to total transparency and who's candidates volunteer or commit to being wired if elected and they assume power. Collaborative processes will always be vulnerable to special interests who lobby against them outside of the community they're embedded in. I'm afraid divide and conquor are still the hallmarks of distant governments and even the supposedly better ones like ours appear unable to rise above this. There may indeed be a great deal of ineptitude in government when it comes to doing the right thing but I think it's nearly perfected the art of doing the wrong things.

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A transparent politcal party would not work because politics is directly connected to big buisness. To expect a party of honesty and honour to exist in a monetary climate such as ours is not feasable or realistic. The very nature of artifice or buisness is deception ---in order to do buisness successfully you have to our shrewd the next fellow. Much like successful warfare...it should be rapid and decisive...so blind siding an apponent from behind is the best strategy. Money is of utmost importance and a truth party would be frowned up by the average person...who when questioned "What is more important...the economy or justice?" Most say money - to heck with justice...good luck on your dream....you are going to need it....I do agree with you but I really have no hope in the worst parts of human nature changing for the better soon.

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eb,

I would argue the opposite, that our governance was always supposed to be a top down affair. We may still be in different books.

I think that the system, as stated, is supposed to be "rule by the people". If you're being cynical, then ok.

I don't think you'll find any shortage of volunteers at the local level willing to participate in new organizations and processes that are intended to manage local issues but we still need a way to penetrate the back rooms behind the closed doors. I was thinking more along the lines of a new political party that is committed to total transparency and who's candidates volunteer or commit to being wired if elected and they assume power.

Sorry but this "wired" idea is still impractical to me.

The examples that we've been discussing haven't yet yielded a single concrete example where somebody in power did something inappropriate behind closed doors. The people have been whispering, and are suspicious and so forth - but the counter example you gave seems to address that issue. Collaborative decision making, along with published Quotas, scientifically verified monitoring, and EM seem to be the way to go with the fisheries example.

So... if we have collaborative and responsive government, why would we still need EM on politicans ?

Collaborative processes will always be vulnerable to special interests who lobby against them outside of the community they're embedded in. I'm afraid divide and conquor are still the hallmarks of distant governments and even the supposedly better ones like ours appear unable to rise above this. There may indeed be a great deal of ineptitude in government when it comes to doing the right thing but I think it's nearly perfected the art of doing the wrong things.

Well, it's up to us to respond to it - I concur. But EM of politicians still isn't the answer as far as I can see.

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Statesmen and woman make statements and toss caution to the wind if they are truely committed to serving the national family. What we have now in parliment are people that rule by poll and the lust for re-election is stronger than the urge to serve...if you want change you will have to plant the seeds of goodness at the cost of your carreer - at least you will have done your duty.

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The examples that we've been discussing haven't yet yielded a single concrete example where somebody in power did something inappropriate behind closed doors.

Gathering concrete examples of back room malfeasance is like gathering evidence of insider trading, which is where E.M. would come in handy. The suggestion of corruption is a little more than overwhelming and the inability to prove its not occuring definitely didn't help Canadians who's lives and livelihoods rely on trust in our public officials. In the case of DFO in this light Tunagate comes to mind. Some of our military friends might be interested in watching this clip to its conclusion.

Star-Kist Canada Inc. and New Brunswick Premier Richard Hatfield were pressuring Fraser in order to protect the 400 jobs at the St. Andrew's, N.B., plant.

This sort of pressure on the topmost levels of fisheries management never stops, its relentless and endless. I'd suggest and so would many others that the evidence of corruption in fisheries management can be measured by the decline of fisheries and much of the habitat fish depend on around the planet.

So... if we have collaborative and responsive government, why would we still need EM on politicans ?

Because corruption like rust never sleeps, ever. Why is it such a stretch that we base our governance on the certain knowledge that power and weath corrupt?

Do you have any examples of other collaborative management models that have overcome such contentious issues as I've raised that succeeded in the absence of E.M.? How about any that explored or tried E.M. and gave it up as being to impractical? I've provided one that's proven and tried, can anyone provide one's that's been tried and proven not to work?

Of course, who could forget this concrete example...recall that Conrad Black was largely incriminated on the basis of evidence that was captured by surveillance cameras. ;)

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