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pork barrel

My Canada does NOT equal the CPC, Mr. Harper!

Again, who is really surprised to see that the Harperites are trying to brand “stimulus” funding as a CPC initiative by emblazoning that ugly “C” on some of those big novelty cheques when making new pork-barrel announcements.

Clearly against ethics legislation, the ReformCons are once again doing exactly what they vowed not to do in the last campaign. The PMO quickly said that the MP in question, Gerald Keddy, was out of line in photoshopping out the Canada logo and replacing it with the CPC brand.

David Johnson, a professor of political science at Cape Breton University, said no one disputes that government politicians can gain visibility by distributing funding in their ridings. But he believes Mr. Keddy crossed a major line.

“It is a crass and manipulative use of public money for partisan advantage,” he said.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know the Libs have done similar things in the past, but at least THEY didn’t make the elimination of these manipulations a part of their election platform and THEN cynically turn around and do exactly what they campaigned against!

To paraphrase an insightful comment on the site:

Rebranding Canada and the Canadian Government as the Reformed Conservative government of Harper is not OK. Canada does not equal Stevo’s ReformCons… and it never will (except for the rednecks out west).

Constant campaigning via unethical behavior and partisan tricks is the best the Harper party have to offer Canada. And the polls are showing it. No growth despite an ill-defined opposition. This as good as it gets for the Harperites.

They are so arrogant they don’t even think of being subtle. Of course, that has never been Harper’s way, has it?

The Harper government thinks Canadians are so stupid we won’t see through them. But they are so transparent with their lies and tricks we can’t help but do just that.

I have more or less given up on Alberta and Saskatchewan, but for the rest of you – wake up!


Pork barrelling – deuxième partie – spas and schools…

There are some great observations out in the blogosphere about how some of the Harperite’s crazy cash (aka Economic Stimulus Funding) is being doled out.

I wrote a note about this last week with regards to Clement’s refurbishing of public washrooms in Muskoka. One commenter to that post rightly pointed out that it is the habit of politicians to roll out the ol’ pork barrel when they have the opportunity. I agreed but noted that the ReformCons seem to do it more than the Grits did while in power.

Happily,  we (as in you and I) are giving the spa industry a much needed massage:

The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, today announced the awarding of $200,000 in repayable funding to Spa Le Montagnais under the Community Economic Diversification Initiative – Vitality to undertake the work necessary to establish a Nordic spa… The coexistence of a Nordic spa with other local attractions is bound to attract novelty-seeking visitors.

But giving 4 million smackeroos to a private christian school? Well that takes the cake and it strongly offensive for a hell-bound(1) atheist like me.
I thought we were a secular nation… you know… all that separation of church and state and stuff.

If so, why are Canadian taxpayers footing part of the bill for this project? IMO, this is clearly a case where the religious right is being thanked for its unwavering support for the Harperite socially conservative agenda.

Thanks to Paulitics for pointing this out.

Question – who goes to these schools? There does seem to be a lot of them. Especially out west.

Anyhow, we’re gonna see a lot more of this crap, so I am already planning out the 3rd pork barrelling post, and the fourth and the fifth….

1. As an atheist, I obviously don’t believe in the existence of a heaven or hell, or valhalla… or leprechauns either. But christians sure think I’m destined for fire and brimstone!


Pork barrel politics in Cottage Country

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.