My name is Keith Johnson, and I am one of the new volunteers with the Right to Know Coalition of Nova Scotia. As a second year law student, I am fascinated with systems, such as government systems, and how they operate.
With the advancement of anti-democratic movements close to home and around the world, it is important for democracies to demonstrate why their system of governance should be trusted by their citizens. One of the ways to do so is through open governance, in which governments of all stripes shift their policies so that their actions, and the rationales for their actions, can be demonstrated for all to see.
The underlying mechanisms that drive governments can be chaotic, but purposeful. Every small, individual decision that is made as a project moves up the chain of command, can result in one plan or contract winning over the other. In order for society to maximize the efficiency of this process, it is important for citizens, potential bidders, and other interested parties to see the clear line of reasoning for the government’s final decision. It has the added bonus of reducing political corruption and favouritism, as it is harder for government actors to explain away fraudulent undertakings.
As someone that was involved with the planning and execution of government projects, working with the Right to Know Coalition will allow me to see the other side of the story, and see how government decisions that seem pretty obvious on the inside can appear opaque from the outside. By lifting the hood on the mechanisms of the government’s policy decisions, trust is built between citizens and their government, leading to a greater belief in democratic systems. Not only is this a goal for Canada, it should be the goal for all democracies around the world.
Open governance is a noble goal, and one that the Right to Know Coalition aims to achieve. I am proud to say that I will contribute in any way that I can to this outcome.