Thursday, November 03, 2011


Tony Clement was grilled yesterday by a parliamentary committee  reviewing spending for "border security" in his riding. But, as Lawrence Martin writes this morning, "It's John Baird who is on the hook for G-8 money games." The trouble is that Baird sees only a picayune bureaucratic transgression:

It should be noted that the $50-million was more than just a top-up. It was the bulk. The border fund was only $33-million. Baird’s add-on made it $83-million. 
Baird explained that the border fund was used as a way of trying to expedite things. He wanted the legacy fund projects – which included things like new sidewalks, outdoor furniture and landscaping, some of which was far away from the Huntsville summit site – to get rolling quickly. But what kind of morality is at play when a senior minister of the Crown feels it’s justifiable to camouflage a major expenditure under a different budgetary category for the sake of hurrying things along?

Remember, these were the folks who were apoplectic about the Sponsorship Scandal. They howled about the rot which had engulfed the Chretien government. But this, says Mr. Baird, is small potatoes. The two transgressions -- both uncovered by the auditor general -- were not of the same order of magnitude.

Baird is effective at disarming critics and was so again at the hearings. It was like, ‘Ah well, we made some mistakes, we agree with the Auditor-General, we’ll do better next time, let’s move on.’

Baird's  hypocrisy is extraordinary. It's so egregious it deserves a name of its own. Call it "Harpocrisy."


thwap said...

But as with Rob Ford's colossal ignorance (i believe it's genuine) and incompetence: "No cuts. Guaranteed."

There is no bar too low to maintain the harpercons' voting base. They will tolerate any and all corruption and incompetence because it's "their team" and they have no shame.

When we win power democratically and legitimately, we should respond to every single one of their questions and complaints with silent contempt.

They should have no say on committees. None of their suggestions should be considered. And the full power of the executive should be used (legally) to deny them and their organizations with funding, jobs, contracts, whatever.

We should destroy them as an organization and legislate away all their sources of strength.

If a new movement of genuine, respectable "conservatives" wants to replace them, fine. But this gang is criminal and incompetent.

Anonymous said...

He's totally right. They aren't of the same order of magnitude.

The Conservative gazebo slush fund is an order of magnitude GREATER than the money that actually went missing in adscam. The guilty parties of adscam weren't Liberal politicians, but rather a few public employees, one of whom was hired under Mulroney.

So yes, totally different order of magnitude in quantity, and totally different type of person responsible.

Owen Gray said...

These folks have a habit of pointing fingers at others -- whether it's Jim Flaherty lecturing the Europeans about getting their act together, or Dean Del Mastro announcing that Justin Trudeau is a "bad Catholic."

They pride themselves in what they think is their own righteousness, like Pharisees from the Old Testament.

Owen Gray said...

Indeed, thwap, they are absolutely incompetent. But to freeze them out is to follow the same playbook they have used against progressives.

The answer is to make their incompetence an issue. They will always have some support. Stupid people will always vote for other stupid people.

But a truly informed electorate will marginalize the incompetent.

The task is to inform the electorate -- in the face a corporate media which supports Harper, Ford et al.

kirbycairo said...

Unfortunately, what this government has managed to teach future governments is that by never admitting anything, never ever calling a public inquiry into even the worst scandals, and by simply ignoring any scandal with the realization that the news cycle is increasingly short, a government can get away with almost anything.

Any present or future politician in Canada will surely realize that the mistake of the Liberals was in their effort to be too honest and try to get to the bottom of a scandal. The terrible legacy of the Harper government will be that you can be dishonest to any degree, break any and all rules, flout the laws, and just wait it out and ignore it, and change the page so to speak, and you can get away with it.

Owen Gray said...

In my darker moments, I agree with you, Kirby. I can only hope that citizens are smarter than that.