The Harper Government, Michael Harris writes, is running scared. It's now patently obvious that its claim to fame -- competent management -- is unadulterated flap doodle:
The PM and his government are not good managers. The nauseating repetition of the claim that the Tories know what they’re doing with the country’s finances will not make it so.
They’ve pissed away more money than Madonna on a shopping spree — a billion on the G 8-20 meetings that put a dent in the world’s Perrier supply and little else.
They just plain lost $3.2 billion and the guy in charge over at Treasury Board is still there, rumoured to be on his way to Finance.
They are such good fiscal managers that we now have the highest deficit in our history. I know, I know, it’s the fault of those damn Europeans who didn’t listen to Steve about austerity.
Nor has the man who came to Ottawa to trim big government delivered on that commitment. According to the Parliamentary Budget Office, the Conservative government has added 34,000 jobs to the public service between 2006 and 2012, raising the federal payroll by 14 per cent.
And, therefore, the prime minister now insists that secrecy is the order of the day:
Secrecy over budget numbers, secrecy over the sticker price for new jets, secrecy over where cabinet meets — all secrecy, all the time. As Jim Bronskill recently reported, the PM is now trying to enforce blanket secrecy over eleven federal agencies — retroactively and for all time.
The jig is up. The survival strategy is to hide. But it's too late for that.