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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sleaze, slush funds and the Auditor-General's report: This is supposed to make a difference?

With the release of Sheila Fraser's report detailing a record of malfeasance and misdirection regarding G8/G20 spending, a whole raft of familiar patterns re-emerges.

Sleaze, slush funds, money earmarked for border infrastructure spent in Huntsville (which, one hates to point out, is nowhere near the border). No transparency. No accountability. Blaming public servants. A fig for the public trust.

Government doesn't bother to inform Parliament that it's ladling out public monies for boondoggles – er, porkbarrel – er, sorry, projects! – in Tony Clement's riding. No paper trail explaining how the projects were chosen.

Interim Auditor-General John Wiersema says the government didn't follow its own rules, and that the findings of the report are "troubling."

Pardon me if I don't go through all the dreary details, because really, what's the point? Does any of this come as a surprise? Has something changed since the election? Has shit suddenly started sticking to these people? If the last few months have made anything clear, it's that no one cares. Or at least not enough for it to make any difference. Oh, look, more sleaze, corruption and contempt. Yawn. Whatever.

Does anyone remember the days when the sponsorship scandal was enough to bring down a government? Nowadays it's a new scandal or sleazy revelation every week, almost, and the response is a collective shrug and a majority government. If Parliament wasn't holding this bunch accountable when they were in a minority, how effective is it going to be now?

It's yet another demonstration of how four years of Harper has diminished Canada. It's as if we don't even expect honest governance any more, let alone demand it. This is what we've allowed him to reduce us to: we don't even aspire to anything better any more.

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  1. I believe most Canadians are puzzled by the disconnect, but the reason is the media has not been pumping this, and it has no main stream legs. Maybe we do have scandal fatigue, I dont know, but it is in any case a bad omen.

  2. Scandal fatigue - good term Steve. Absolutely agree about "no legs".

    The media made the sponsorship scandal into the major event. They drilled it into every little outraged head across the country until it became a piece of meat that would make Pavlov's dog drool.