Voters should demand enforcement of fiduciary promises made during election campaign

Dear Editor,

Our political parties, prior to getting into government (regardless of which party or combination of parties in power), made/make promises to the electorate that they then conveniently forget and inevitably fail to deliver when in office.

For example, they commit to less taxation. But in government, they find different ways to increase collection of revenues (higher taxes, user fees, penalties, etc.). And they proceed to increase spending while promising the opposite during the campaign trail. And there is hardly any transparency in expenditure and virtually no accountability on how the revenues collected are spent and who gets what.  When asked for an audit or a public investigation into how money was spent, we are told secrecy is necessary and that one act of signed contracts is not to divulge information on the expenditures. The politicians pursue their self-interest once in government ignoring the public interests.

Voters are hardly serviced and they play virtually no role in how and why they are taxed. We become victims of what in colonial America was known as taxation without representation. So while they play a role in electing the government, they have no role in how they are governed and how they are taxed – undermining a basic tenet of democratic governance.

Since the people have a fiduciary obligation to pay taxes, should they not also have a right to query how their taxes are spent? Shouldn’t the government have a fiduciary obligation to tell the people who/what received money, how much and when – and what for? Shouldn’t the public have a right to monitor their money to prevent financial abuse and corruption?

It has been noted that once elected, parties or politicians are a law unto themselves.  They don’t care about the voters any more until the next elections when it is time to fool them again with empty promises. Voters should wise up and demand enforcement of promises made during the election campaign especially over fiduciary matters. This would reduce corruption and make more revenues available for public works, services, and job creation.

Yours faithfully,

Dr. Vishnu Bisram

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