Dom | October 26, 2015
I started this website because I felt it was a great time to do it. After almost ten years of Conservatives in Ottawa, we now have a brand new government in power. This is a big change, and on the campaign trail big changes were promised. Everyone pays close attention before voting day, but what about what happens after that? What about the next weeks, months, years?
That's the whole point of this website. It has no political affiliation whatsoever. It's just a platform for people to exchange ideas, and for the public at large to see what has been achieved by the government.
Of course comments posted by people can be political and everyone is free to agree or disagree with a promise - it's a free and open platform, and is open to everyone. However, the status of a particular promise is solely based on evidence - news articles, official government documents, or anything that everyone will agree is concrete evidence of what's being done.
I like to start with the thermometer analogy. We Canadians should all be pretty familiar with it. Whether it shows -30 or +35, a thermometer does just that: show the temperature. We can complain about it, be happy about it, or joke about it - but the thermometer doesn't care. The temperature is what it is - period.
Yet the analogy stops here - the temperature cannot be changed, but what our government accomplishes actually depends on us. If we truly care about what was said and committed to during the great election campaign we went through, then it's our job as citizens to track the progress of our own government. Politicians are accountable - but so are we.
I'd even be willing to go as far as to say that while this website tracks what the government does, it's actually more a reflection of our own performance as Canadians. In a country like ours, with all the rights we enjoy and the well-managed public institutions that work for us every day (and please believe me when I say I've seen a lot of them on all continents, and ours are among the best in the world), we as Canadians have no excuses - our government truly is as good as we are.
The inspiration for this website comes from a similar one that was done by Egyptian activists back in 2012. I've had the great opportunity to travel to the place several times and try to keep up with the news coming from there. At the time, Egyptians had just chosen their first democratically-elected president - Mohamed Morsi - and some smart people started a website called the Morsi Meter. I modeled this website after theirs. What struck me at the time was that no Western country that I know of had ever done something similar - simple, collaborative, unbiased, and user-friendly. Maybe it's because we take our democracy for granted - maybe it's because we don't care - but whatever the reason was, I felt we were missing a great opportunity to come back to the roots of what living in a democratic society means. It often takes the courage of those who face difficult circumstances to inspire the rest of us to action, and this is what happened in this case.
Thank you for being a part of it. Let's keep Canada awesome!