There are certain appointments in government where the appointee is commissioned to scrutinize the government.
The conflict of interest commissioner is one of them. MLA John van Dongen pointed out that the current conflict of interest commissioner’s son was working in the office of the Premier and one would presume this would be a detrimental relationship to objectively examining if the Premier had any conflict in the BC Rail matter.
Another high-profile appointee is the auditor general. There is a lot of talk now about the BC Liberal government giving John Doyle his walking papers when his term expires. The only reason for this is likely because Doyle has been doing an effective job making the government look bad. It is likely that the BC Liberals also have a high incentive in making sure that the next auditor general will be sufficiently adverse towards the next (probable NDP) government.
Knowing what they know now, do you think the current government would have hired John Doyle in the first place? Not likely.
For many government appointment positions, there is a conflict of interest in government choosing people in these positions. Governments want somebody that can give the appearance of doing the job, but doing the job weakly (with the ideal of doing so in a non-adversarial manner that doesn’t generate front-page media headlines). Although there is a separate committee to selecting the next Auditor General, it is majority controlled by the government party (presently 3 BC Liberal MLAs and 2 NDP MLAs), this eventually divides along partisan lines.
Since it is clear that the government inherently has a conflict of interest – mainly having an incentive to selecting a relatively weak auditor general – inherently the selection of the auditor general should be delegated to the MLAs from the non-governing party/parties. If there is a change in government, the new opposition should have the chance to re-confirm the selection, or select a new auditor general. The public interest would likely best be performed under these circumstances.
Unfortunately, this idea has absolutely no chance of being implemented in a majority government situation.