Tim Powers pretty much nails the hypocrisy and lack of democracy surrounding the Kangaroo Court happening in Ottawa right now – Pot meets Liberal kettle at contempt hearings:
…You see the Speaker said his rulings needed to be studied further by a parliamentary committee. The first set of those committee hearings began Wednesday. However, before the sun even set the Liberals had issued a press release condemning the government, which brought forward new information and a legion of witnesses to address the concerns raised by the Speaker. It is hard to conceive how the Liberals, if they were serious about reviewing the material and testimony to make democracy work for Canadians, would be blasting the government before dusk on Day 1. I am a speed-reader myself and am not bad at multi-tasking, but what the Liberals did in terms of reflection must set some Guinness Book record…
And don’t forget that the Conservatives are in the minority in committees against the opposition so getting at the actual truth is difficult.
Aside from the fact that the Harper Government was never going to get a fair trial here because as Tom Lukiwski said “All they were looking for is a vehicle to try and force an election”, I have to ask the Coalition what they’re ready to offer to Canadians as an alternative government?
Serendipitously, today’s National Post reminds us what a real scandal looks like – Jean Chrétien’s final scandal:
The commission heard testimony from bureaucrats, political staffers, Liberal Party operatives and advertising executives about elaborate plans to funnel money to individuals and companies with party connections. In turn, these people helped the Liberal Party of Canada in Quebec by putting campaign staff on their payrolls (thus circumventing Elections Canada spending limits), and doing undocumented campaign work for the party.
Chuck Guité, the bureaucrat who ran the program, admitted that he received political direction from both the PMO and the office of Public Works Minister Alfonso Gagliano as to which advertising agencies and designers to work with in Quebec. Jean Brault, head of Groupaction Marketing, provided vivid testimony that envelopes stuffed with cash were left on chairs in restaurants so there would be no paper trail for Elections Canada.
Under the guise of promoting national unity in a province that came within 54,300 votes of separating, the sponsorship program served as a type of money-laundering scheme for federal Liberal Party operations in Quebec. Sheila Fraser said the program was designed to pay commissions for middle men rather than promote national unity. As one newspaper headline put it, “Your money, their friends.”
Chretien was able to shrug off his various scandals because he had majority governments – thanks to a divided opposition.
So now it appears that we are headed for an election – courtesy of an irresponsible coalition of opposition parties that really don’t care about ethics or truth as demonstrated by their own behaviour this week – and taking away focus from the critical world events going on right now. [Please be sure to read both of those links.]
And after it’s all over, how will we be better off?
And perhaps the bigger question – How do we make our Members of Parliament work for us instead of acting in their own political self-interests?
* * * *
A top defence department bureaucrat jumped into the dogfight Thursday over the cost of the F-35 fighter program, accusing Parliament’s budget watchdog of pulling numbers out of thin air when he tried to tally up what the controversial program will cost taxpayers…
Harper government to be found in contempt; could trigger election call – Steven Chase, Globe (H/T NewsWatchCanada):
…The Canadian Department of Defence, however, stands by its much lower estimates of $70-million to $75-million a plane, saying the U.S. figures include costs that Canada is not paying.
The Defence Department also questions Mr. Page’s predictions that buying 65 F-35s would cost $29.3-billion over 30 years, including maintenance. The Forces say a 20-year life cycle for the fighters is more realistic and the total bill would be about $15-billion.
I think in the real world there would be enough doubt here to declare a ‘mistrial’ regarding charges of contempt. But this is the Ottawa Bubble.
It appears that Chantel Hebert and I agree that there is a disconnect – Our federal politicians are mired in trivia (Star):
This was the week when the opposition parties had hoped to focus public attention on the Conservative government’s cavalier approach to Parliament.
Instead they unwittingly ended up providing voters with another vignette of the growing disconnect between parliamentarians and the public…