Harper’s Fake Lake

The overspending becomes tedious, doesn’t it? First, the delegates are fenced into a small area of Toronto, and not the most attractive area, except for the lake itself. No, not the one in the Convention Centre, the real one visible from the hotel windows for those lucky enough to to have rooms on the South side. Second, they are surrounded by 1 billion! dollars worth of security (and there still is no accounting for where all that money is going). Finally, they and the reporters for whom this stage set was constructed, are walked past a cardboard cut-out of cottage country. As someone pointed out in the Globe this morning, they didn’t import the blackflies.

The priorities of this government are strange and speak to an astounding lack of imagination at the top. And it comes from the top. This is a government run by micro-managers, with the supreme micro-manager at the top. Remember all the directives about staying on message. This was the guy who preferred a US style press conference, with all the reporters standing up respectfully when he came in the room, and controlled questions from hand-picked journalists to the hurly-burly of the scrum. When you are looking for the guy who spent all the money that the former government set aside for a rainy day, look no further. Remember all the fiscal pain when Paul Martin was in charge of the government purse. The pain produced surpluses. They are all gone, spent to buy votes, and now we are left with deficit for years ahead. There was nothing  for the rainy day that came 18 months ago. Remember Harper denying how severe it was going to be.

No fiscal conservatism here, no transparency, and no  sense, common or expert. No wonder they took the Progressive out of the party’s name.

Harper’s control central

Harper’s message control is unprecedented, critics say – The Globe and Mail.

The funding for a retirement home, a mere 12,000 or so, is cause for a script, “to make sure everyone stays on message.” The message, according to this article in the Globe and Mail is heavily controlled, in an “unprecedented manner” citing former staffers of the Privy Council Office.

It doesn’t sound unprecedented to me. It sounds like the kind of control exerted in countries who don’t have democratic regimes. Harper got elected by saying his would be transparent government. It doesn’t seem to be transparent; it seems to be murky as hell. Why do they have to control so heavily. What is happening that we can’t know about? If we knew it, would we be calling for an election to throw them out?

No wonder they are spending one billion or so on security at the G20, when a few months ago it was three or four hundred million. They were spending too much time worrying about the 12,000 in Edmonton in the retirement home to pay attention.

And what does one billion in security buy anyway? Does anyone really know? Don’t expect an answer. It wouldn’t be on message.