Old-time Politics

Auditor blasts lack of transparency in doling out generous G8 funds – The Globe and Mail.

In the Ottawa Valley, prior to elections, the spending on the roads, where unemployed men could find some summer work, increased so much that locals knew before the writ was dropped that an election was coming. All of those men were expected to vote and did, for the party in power, that had bought the votes with road work, much of it un-needed–or so it was said.

The Globe and Mail article above gives details from the report, some of which are below, along with my opinion.

The Conservatives have taken it to a new level. In the Auditor-General’s report on G8 expenditures, tabled conveniently after the election, it becomes clear(as the process of funding was not) that large sums of money were dispensed by politicians alone. Not one civil servant was involved in the decisions. The civil service of course has to follow the rules. As Bob Rae said, quoted in the Globe ¬†article above, “they just basically go ¬†in a back room and cut up the funds.) They hid it, burying it in a bill to provide funds to relieve border congestion.

Now the Minister who spent all that money in his riding, Tony Clement, is the Minister responsible for forcing governmental cuts so they can balance the books. First they spend the money, then they use the deficit as an excuse to cut programmes they don’t like. It’s your money they’re playing these games with, and your services they’re going to cut. Does it sound fiscally prudent to you?

About that new level, it’s low. And it’s for four more years.

Just an old boys appointment

Critics blast ‘dead-of-night’ rights appointment – The Globe and Mail.

I don’t know enough about Mr. Latulippe to know if he is going to destroy Rights and Democracy, as Mr. Ignatieff is quoted as saying; however, it doesn’t look all that good. Three senior managers fired, a late night appointment, a disregard for the controversial nature of the appointee who apparently has strong opinions on the immigration of people who are Muslim, buddy of the responsible Minister: all make for very bad “optics”. Perhaps the throne speech and the controversy over the lyrics to O’Canada were supposed to overshadow this item. I didn’t know much about the agency, but there is a very good website.

About the lyrics, I have been listening to “all thy sons command” all my life. Recently I and many others have been singing “all of us command.” Anyone have a problem with that? I understand the lyrics were changed at the time of the first world war as part of a recruiting drive. Along with the income tax, we were stuck with them.
But changing them should not be a major focus of this parliament. We are at war; we have just started to come out of economic turbulence; we have a huge deficit, uncushioned by the savings that Paul Martin had set aside for just such an eventuality( the Harper government spent them to buy our votes ie lowering the taxes).