The currency plunge of information
Every reporter who comes to Ottawa is told: "information is currency" here in the capital. It's become a cliche. I'm not sure the public agrees.
Look at public reaction, for instance, to the ongoing controversy about disclosure of MPs' expenses. If I read the polls and the commentary correctly, Canadians want to know every single detail of where MPs spend their money. Anything less than full disclosure is unacceptable.
We don't see the same reaction, however, at the repeated suppression of information here in Ottawa by this government. The fact that the Conservatives have moved this week to prevent staffers from testifying at committees is not stirring popular outrage, as far as I can see. Hiding money, now that's one thing. Hiding information? Big shrug. Barbara Yaffe usefully links the two types of non-transparency in her Vancouver Sun column today.
Remember too, there wasn't any huge reaction when the government waited more than three months to even respond to a Commons order to produce Afghanistan documents. But proroguing Parliament? That did get the public riled, but again, a lot of the anger revolved around suggestions that MPs were being paid to do nothing.
It's the money thing that gets people upset when it comes to politics -- information, not so much. So maybe that old cliche isn't all that accurate?