Thursday, May 19, 2005

What does it take?

What the hell does it take in this country (I'm talking about Canada for those of you new to this site or just not paying attention) to get MPs to put partisan politics aside and take a stand on the issues?

If you haven't seen the latest news out of Parliament, the Opposition's attempt to force the collapse of the minority Liberal Government through a vote of non-confidence has failed with the Speaker of the House being forced to break a tie (while not a formal guideline, tradition calls for the Speaker's vote to support the Government).

Honestly, how can any ethical person vote in favor of keeping the current government in power. While NDP MPs have some reasoning behind their vote, as the Liberals added a 4.6 billion dollar addon to their budget to buy their votes, even that shouldn't excuse the act of looking the other way to Liberal corruption. Here just some of the more recent examples of Liberal management of Canada over the last 11 years:
  • Fact: A 2 million dollar self reliant gun registry has now cost upwards of 1 BILLION dollars* with little or nothing to show. Estimates place the final total as high as 2 Billion dollars.
  • Fact: Another accounting error within the Human Resources Ministry lost track of another 2 Billion dollars with little or no paper trail.
  • Fact: Since taking office 11 years ago, several billion dollars has been funneled away in special funds which under Liberal order, the Auditor General has no authority over and are not required to make their records public.
And now finally when we have Adscam**, a situation where several Liberal party members are facing actual criminal charges, the straw that should break the camels back, we still cannot get them removed from power.

Several excuses were used to explain why certain people voted for the Government (I think the votes against the Liberals are obvious) but I'd like to just focus on the 3 most used.

1)The most bizarre was Belinda Stronach's claim that she switched to the Liberals because she thought they were the best choice to bring 'fiscal responsibility" to the government. (Read above for some examples of the Liberal definition of 'fiscal responsibility'.) I guess she also hasn't noticed the 24+ Billion dollars in promises they've made in the past 4 weeks alone in a blatantly obvious attempt to buy support to keep in power. Or did her decision have more to do with the fact a rookie politician, with less than a year in office, who as long ago as Monday was a member of the opposition is now the Minister of Human Resources, a senior Cabinet position? That couldn't be it.

2)"They should do their jobs and just pass the budget". This is usually put forward by either political novices or Liberals attempting to make themselves look good. In fact the budget, even if passed will most likely never be implemented. Since last years budget has not even made it past the Senate yet, the odds of this budget getting final approval before Martin's already promised election (at the end of the Gomery Commission investigating Adscam) would require a political miracle. Even so, the budget they passed was designed more for vote buying than for any actual thought toward building a better Canada.

3)The third one is the most popular one I've heard to date: "the majority of the electorate doesn't want an election." Since only about 60% of registered voters will even bother to show up in a regularly scheduled election, it's pretty easy to see that Canadians as a whole are pretty apathetic about democracy in general. I'm pretty sure that a similar number, or even more, would say they would not try to interrupt an armed robbery in progress either, but if the police tried to use a similar line of thought as above to shirk their jobs, I'm pretty damned sure those same people would be very upset. Just imagine the chief of police saying we would try to stop the robbers but "the majority of the electorate doesn't want to stop thieves". In this case the thieves are standing right in front of us but the 'police' are using just that logic to let them go on their way and even going so far as to hold the door for them on the way out of the bank.

It is every MPs job to hold the government responsible if they abuse the publics trust. There can be no doubt in anyone's mind that the Liberals have passed the point of abuse long ago.


* For a little insight into what these numbers mean, 1 billion is approximately 0.7% of the total expenditures of the Canadian government. Compared to the us that same 0.7% would equate to approximately 16.5 billion dollars. So in just a few short years, they have publicly lost what would equate to over 82.5 billion dollars (in American government spending) and no one knows what has been lost behind the scenes.

**Adscam is the name given to the latest Liberal scandal in which several high level Liberals as well as several Liberal friendly companies have been under investigation (with several charges actually filed) for illegally accepting/paying out millions in government monies for little or no work. Much of this money was allegedly paid directly to the Quebec wing of the Liberal party, of which the current PM is a member, to help pay off debts as well as for campaign workers, in violation of Elections Canada regulations.

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