Friday, June 05, 2015

Useful Scapegoats


There is much about Mike Duffy that makes the blood boil. His ego is as large as the man himself. And that ego is the source of his troubles. But, Michael Harris writes, Duffy's standard operating procedures have been the same procedures the Harper government has operated under from the very beginning:

Back in 2008, for example, then-minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Rona Ambrose went to Whitehorse to announce millions in mining training for aboriginals. But she was also the star attraction at a Conservative fundraising event at the Mountain View Golf Course that had been scheduled for weeks before the official business. Bottom line? Taxpayers subsidized CPC fundraising — period.

And they continue to do it, as evidenced by the track record of that Energizer Bunny of partisan politics, Jason Kenney. Back in 2014, when he was Employment minister, Kenney went on a coast-to-coast-to-coast road trip to advance “the skills shortage agenda” of the Harper government. By day, he was busy with his official duties, but by night he mixed duty with fundraising like rum and Coke. Guess who paid the freight for the partisan stuff?

If Stephen Harper were truly interested in cleaning up government, a lot of people and things would receive the same kind of public scrutiny Duffy is receiving. But that's not going to happen:

Of course, Harper is not big on getting to the bottom of things, especially his own messes. Despite repeated requests, he refused to call a public inquiry into robocalls — which remains a serious unsolved crime.

He didn’t call a public inquiry into the thousands of missing and murdered native women, though First Nations peoples and the Canadian people are demanding it.

He didn’t call a public inquiry into the shootings on Parliament Hill, though recently released reports show that many serious questions need to be answered before this government hands over Hill security to the Mounties who failed to get the job done that tragic day.

So it’s not remarkable that Stephen Harper has no interest in seeing parliamentarians scrutinized on their expenses; he and his colleagues are too busy helping themselves to public funds to advance the partisan agenda of the government and the Conservative Party of Canada. It’s doubtful that the government’s advertising spending — taxpayer-funded and largely partisan — could stand the test of an independent audit.

It's only when word leaks out about how those in the Harper Kingdom operate -- think  Patrick Brazeau, Bev Oda, Helena Geurgis -- that people get thrown under the bus. All the residents of the kingdom are useful scapegoats.


Lorne said...

the pit seems bottomless, Owen, when it comes to the Harper regime's corruption and perversion of the national trust.

Rural said...

You may be sure that as all Harpers Ministers spread out across the country this summer promoting the Cons proposed measures that are already being touted by taxpayer funded advertising that most if not all of their travel expenses will be billed to the taxpayer also. Is it any wonder that politicians of all stripes and from all level of government now feel they can do the same. It a case of monkey see, monkey do, Owen

Owen Gray said...

It's bottomless and it's shameless, Lorne. When you enter their world, you check your conscience at the door.

Owen Gray said...

We are being treated to an exposé of just how thoroughly our system has been corrupted by money, Rural. And the Corrupter-in-Chief claimed he was going to clean out the barn.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

Owen, there was a time when politicians were conscious of spending tax payers money. Diefenbaker and Pearson would eat in the parliamentary cafeteria simply to save taxpayers money. Now politics seems to be where the money is as politicians line their pockets and resign with ridiculous high pensions.

Owen Gray said...

And then they rail about runaway public spending, Pam.

Anonymous said...

Now don't you be using our Mountain Goat as an analogy for the Harper-cons you have offended the Goats deeply. Bad Owen bad [he-he] Mountain goats are incredibly clever I rarely see them because they are reclusive mammals. They can climb up sheer cliffs mountain climbers need ropes chock blocks and pitons to get to the summit. By then the Goat is already down the other side in a lush valley.

We need to be like mountain goats and climb out of Harper's Hell to greener pastures.


Owen Gray said...

If we're wise, Mogs, we'll take a lesson from the goats.