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News Release


Thursday, November 10, 2005

OTTAWA - Today, Democracy Watch detailed the federal Liberal’s negligent record of delays and deceptions on democratic reforms since Paul Martin became Prime Minister in December 2003.

The Liberals’ most recent negligence involves the incredible delay in the promised release of reports on five consultation meetings held in April-May 2005 on democratic reform issues.  Called the “Regional Roundtables on Democratic Renewal,” attendees were promised that meeting reports would be made public by the summer, and that a second-stage consultation would begin in October.  The “Welcome statement” to the roundtables by Mauril Bélanger, Minister Responsible for Democratic Reform, claimed that the Liberals are “dedicated to ensuring that our political institutions and democratic processes reflect the evolving values of Canadians and their desire for a vibrant democracy and effective governance.”

In fact, Paul Martin’s Liberals have been dedicated only to denying democratic deficit problems, delaying actions, deceiving Canadians and attempting to distract them, and trying to discredit opposition parties and other organizations broadly supported democratic reform proposals.  A telling symbol of the Martin Liberals’ poor record is that their democratic reform website has changed four times (it is now out of service), and it is also unclear whether Bélanger or Belinda Stronach is responsible for the democratic reform portfolio.

“Given Paul Martin’s record as a promise-breaking Prime Minister, and past record as a member of a promise-breaking Cabinet, no one should believe Paul Martin’s Liberals will keep any democratic reform or government ethics or accountability promise unless Martin commits in writing to resign if the promise is broken,” said Duff Conacher, Coordinator of Democracy Watch. “The media must fulfill their primary watchdog purpose by detailing gaps in each party leader’s promises and parties’ election platforms, and asking party leaders the key accountability question -- will they resign if they break their promises?”

Among the many undemocratic, promise-breaking actions by Paul Martin’s Liberals are the following:

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Duff Conacher, Coordinator of Democracy Watch
Tel: (613) 241-5179

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