I take a particular interest in the political goings-ons in Parry Sound Muskoka. After all, I grew up there, all of my family (save moi) still call it home and I ran as a candidate there in the ’93 General Election. So I do retain an emotional attachment to the place.
A place that is now represented by Tony Clement at the Federal level… a ReformCon from a time when the party wasn’t even yet birthed. A key part of Mike “The Monster” Harris’ Common Nonsense Revolution, Big Tony moved over to the Harperite bunch a while back and has had a few plum cabinet appointments.
Seems like Big Tony has become Uncle Tony to many of the riding’s folks as he is handing out big bags of moolah to almost everyone who asks! And all in the name of the G8 Summit due to take place outside of Huntsville, Ontario next year... Huntsville is one of the larger centres in the riding.
Funny thing is that much of the largesse (as noted in the article) is not really targeted toward the Summit at all. The Summit is being used as a convenient excuse to practice some good ol’ pork barrel politics.
Now, you may say, so what? Don’t they all do it?
Well, no. Not to this degree.
Big Tony unseated Grit Andy Mitchell a couple of elections back and before him was the legendary Tory, Stan Darling. Both were very, very good constituency MPs. Looked after their folks well and found money when needed and warranted. But never was present this flagrant and cynical misuse of the public purse in order to buy votes! Yeah – Parry Sound gets some new infrastructure and street work. Baysville gets some new washrooms. And many other small communities in the riding will get some cash infusions.
And none of these places will have anything to do with next year’s Summit.
Are the ReformCons worried about their prospects here in the next election? Probably not – it’s just another example of the Politics of Cynicism.