Conservative Stimulus

Via LPC: MP for Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe, Brian Murphy discovered that Stephen Harper’s September 28th speech on the government’s economic update was for Conservatives only.

Sadly, this isn’t an “unfortunate incident” at all, but an example of a pattern whereby the Harper Conservatives use public funds — billions of your own dollars in stimulus spending in this case — for partisan political purposes. Or at least, so it would seem. But has anybody actually spent the time to do the mathematical correlation backing up that assertion? It would certainly be more than a little interesting to see a graphic breakdown of the money expended to ridings held by the Conservatives relative to those represented by other parties.

Perhaps what may be another example of this closer to home, I noted a recent pitch that arrived in the mail the other week from the local Conservative candidate promising a multi-million dollar overpass that it’s claimed will ease traffic congestion on the main route between Victoria and the West Shore communities if he’s elected. Given this was the “central theme” in his last bid for the seat and is now a “commitment” for his next try at the seat, one logically presumes that it wouldn’t at all be in the interest of the Conservative party to exploit the “tremendous infrastructure opportunities” as Mr. DeSouza puts it until such time as he’s elected.

21 Comments

Filed under Liberal Party of Canada, STEPHEN HARPER Govrnment of Canada

21 responses to “Conservative Stimulus

  1. The Trusty Tory

    Considering I haven’t been following politics much since April of this year, I must admit that what I have been following has been about as fun as watching a librarian restock the shelves of a library. What I can say is that perhaps enough “stimulus” has been spent since the crisis. Personally, I benefit from have both a provincial MPP and a federal MP in government in my riding crawling all over themselves to yell about who’s been spending more. Regardless – I don’t think it would be any better with Ignatieff at the helm. In fact, it would be worse.

  2. Ted

    Sorry about the bad links there Red. I’ve re-posted here with them fixed. You can delete that earlier comment.

    ——————-
    “But has anybody actually spent the time to do the mathematical correlation backing up that assertion?”

    Yes. In fact, it has now been well documented. And not all of it by Liberal research, though Kennedy in particular has been very diligent in tabulating the Tory largesse and graft.

    – Gerard Kennedy has been reporting on how little of the stimulus is actually getting out despite Tory claims, but also on how much of it is going to Tory ridings. And unlike the Tories who refuse to provide their numbers to Harper’s own Budget Officer, Kevin Page, Kennedy’s reports provide the back up detail: here’s his full report (13 pages, pdf) which includes statistics for each region starting on page 4, and then specific reports for BC and for New Brunswick. No doubt the specific reports for other provinces are on their way too.

    it has been mapped out by a journalist in Nova Scotia.

    – Mike Savage reports on the abuse of the Accessibility Fund.

  3. TT — First of all, nice to hear from you! Hope all is well with you and the family.

    Good analogy. Yep, Canadian politics tends to be quite dull compared to the frantic circus our friends south of the border get to enjoy (maybe why so many of us up here follow it with such keen interest).

    And yes, this is just “politics as usual” in terms of what some called pork-barrel spending. Would it be worse under the Liberals? I dunno. Maybe not seeing as they’ll probably get left holding the bag trying to clean up the mess that’s been created by this latest recession in the economy. Should they be elected, that is. 😉

  4. Ti-Guy

    I don’t think it would be any better with Ignatieff at the helm. In fact, it would be worse.

    I seriously doubt any Liberal would be defending any of these assaults on democracy.

    Lisa Raitt got caught again, this time using her cronies at the Toronto Port Authority to resource a fundraising event.

    Can you imagine how much of this these ethically-challenged imbeciles are doing that we *don’t* know about?

  5. Ted — Thanks. I’ll try to check it out later. I’ve got to drive my daughter to work right now and then I’ve got a really busy day ahead, but am interested in following this up and finding more about these shenanigans. So I’ll try to pick up this thread sometime in the afternoon or this evening.

  6. Apprently, more money spent per capita in Newfoundland (not real Conservative friendly) than anywhere else in Canada. Though, I suppose, spending in Liberal ridings is also use of money for political purposes.. though, I’m not so naive as to discount the reality of political porkbarrelling. Not that the Conservatives are the only masters I suppose..

    Oh. And seeking to nakedly hijack your blog, with no appologies.. have you seen the video of young Johnathan McCoy. Very moving.. search Youtube for it.. if you see it, you’ll know why I don’t feel the need to appologize for the hijacking.

  7. novagardener

    Red – Check out http://contrarian.ca/2009/06/17/paving-the-way-for-tories/

    If the cons disagree with Kennedy’s assessment, why do they refuse to release the figures to the Parliamentary Budget Office?

  8. Ti-Guy

    Apprently, more money spent per capita in Newfoundland (not real Conservative friendly) than anywhere else in Canada.

    Assuming this is accurate, you can’t use the provinces/territories with the smallest populations to generalise about anything. They skew the data.

  9. TG.. hence my qualification suggesting that I’ve been around long enough to understand the reality of government pork barrelling.

    My comment, I suppose, is wait and see how it acutally shakes down (didn’t I hear that Gordon Landon’s constituency actually received approval of 14/14 stimulus projects, notwithstanding his desperate rant?)

    If, in say, a year’s time, it appears in fact there has been a preferential treatment of Tory supporters – the comment will be well taken, however, if it turns out that, god forbid, Liberal areas received more, I’m hoping I won’t be reading about Tories “buying” votes, a la the Sponsorship scandal.

  10. h/t The Iceman

    Here’s an example of Tory stimulous:

    Today in the National Post John Ivison hypothesizes that there may be a stimulus “boondoggle” in the near future, on two different fronts. One on poor decisions for infrastructure funding and the other on a potentially disproportionate distribution of funds to Conservative ridings.

    On the main charge that a 150 student private school in Helena Guergis riding received half a million dollars when proposals for similar public projects were rejected; I am not going to pretend that half a million dollars for 150 kids to have a soccer field was a sound decision. Stimulus spending should be distributed such as to spread the greatest amount of utility to the most people. If you rewind to the main drafting and passing of the federal budget, it only took about a week for the Liberals to start complaining about the money not getting out fast enough.

  11. Omar

    It irks me to no end to see Ignatieff use the Conservatives handling of the economy as his center piece to bring down Harper’s government. Sure they are economic bozos sailing on a ship of incompetence, but it is outside the economic realm that has me seeing non-confidence on parade: Laundering campaign funds to circumvent Elections Canada regulations. Breaking their own fixed-date election law. Cutbacks to food safety inspections that resulted in the deaths of numerous citizens. The treatment of Canadian persons of colour abroad. Draconian changes to our penal laws. Labelling anything and anyone with differing social views from their own as “fringe groups”. And on and on and on…
    And leading this sad parade is a Prime Minister who is a narrow-minded, petty, incompetent, control-freak who possesses a grim underside of intolerance and bigotry! Wonderful!
    No, Mr Ignatieff, when it comes to my feelings regarding this scurrilous government, it is definitely NOT the economy, stupid.

    ~Hey, DBT. How’s it goin’?

  12. Ti-Guy

    hence my qualification suggesting that I’ve been around long enough to understand the reality of government pork barrelling.

    It’s a bit different now in the context of an economic collapse (not seen since 1929) that has seen massive amounts of public fund directed to the private sector.

    In fact, the Harper government’s ability to distribute public funds widely to Tory friendlies who then cough up a pittance in donations to the CPoC has the potential, in terms of absolute sums of money, of making Adscam look like a dime-store shoplift and much more analogous to organised crime.

  13. Ted

    The sheer volume of dollars is what makes that all the more egregious, Ti-Guy.

    And some of the choices are pure graft designed to curry favour, like half a million for a private soccer field for a 150 student private school in Guergis’s riding. Or the highest spending in Baird’s riding where unemployment is among the lowest in the country.

    And as far as “waiting a year” to analyze this, we actually have. In January Kennedy provided a similar report on infrastructure spending in 2007 and 2008. He concluded the same thing: the Conservatives had made announcements and budgeted and took credit for infrastructure spending of which only about 4% had actually been committed and of that 4%, 90% – yes, 90% – had gone to Tory ridings. And that was from before the election when they had only 124 seats (40% of the seats).

    All of this is just more of the same for Conservatives. No wonder they insisted on getting rid of the accountability requirements and refused to tell us where money was going to go, and continue to refuse to provide us and the Budget Chief with the numbers.

  14. So the defence of this so far from Con supporters is the Liberals did the same thing?

    Gosh, I though the CPC was different than the LPC?

    I guess not.

  15. Ti-Guy

    Gosh, I though the CPC was different than the LPC?

    Oh, they are. They find ways to make theft look legal and are very good at distributed perfidy.

  16. Omar — Well said. I’ve missed your comments, btw.

    Those are are certainly some of the more salient or egregious spikes of the Harper regime that people following this stuff find intolerable, but the plain fact of the matter is that the vast majority of people are completely unaware (or unconcerned) by any of this.

    Why? Because it doesn’t affect them personally, so why should they care? So, I’m said to say that Carville was right — it’s the economy, stupid.

    In perhaps unrelated “news” I happened to be reading the local CanWest fishwrapper and the story below the fold on the front page was, get this… about a guy who is mourning his dog and has the animal (that’s dead) laying in state in his living room (which is kind of ironic when you consider the terminology involved). Yes, it’s starting to smell a bit and his other dog is feeling “kind of depressed” (or so he thinks) about the passing of his companion, but he feels it’s important to go through this process.

    That was the FRONT PAGE STORY. Arghh!!!

    Oh, and then when you go to the obit page — which is huge now, unsurprisingly — there was a lengthy obit for this dog.

    I presume the idea here is to get people to post obits of their dogs, cats, ferrets or whatever in order to generate revenue for the paper.

    And then we wonder why “journalism” has gone in the tank and our papers are in such a financial mess.

    But I digress…

  17. Gayle

    “Or the highest spending in Baird’s riding where unemployment is among the lowest in the country.”

    I think this is the most important point. People might be jaded about political parties spending tax dollars in their own ridings, but when the government goes into a deep, deep deficit in order to stimulate the economy and create jobs, and then spend that money in ridings where job stimulation is not necessary, people are going to get upset.

    Hammer on this point.

  18. Bob

    Watching you Liberals is like watching monkeys in a cage ceaselessly throwing feces at a wet wall, all the while hoping that something might stick.

    Absolutely pathetic is the depth to which the Liberals have sunk since 2003.

  19. If you don’t have anything worthwhile to contribute to the discussion “Bob” maybe you should just fuck off, okay?

    Yes, you don’t like Liberals — we get it. Zzzz.

    You’re free to say whatever you like, but could you try to be more interesting and/or funny?

  20. Ted

    Red, does it occur to you that Bob is kinda like a monkey in a cage ceaselessly throwing feces at a wet wall, all the while hoping that something might stick?

  21. Ti-Guy

    It occurs to me that the Conservative Party of Canada is a wet, slimy, wall with traces of feces on it.

    Why that occurs to me, I have no idea.

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