Shit or Get Off the Pot

That’s the less “politically correct” version of Parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page’s recommendation that his operation of monitoring Ottawa’s financial projections and performance be shut down if he can’t get adequate funding and staff resources to fulfill his prescribed mandate (explained in this TVO interview from earlier this year).

It’s completely unconscionable that Page has been, for lack of a better expression, incessantly jerked around by the government (with the tacit complicity of the Liberals, it should be noted) in every possible way to thwart his endevours… Or so it would seem.

If Stephen Harper actually believes in the indisputably worthy principles of “accountability” and “transparency” in the management of federal affairs (as he’s so often stated in the past) then surely the PBO is an essential aspect of this process — a complimentary bookend, if you will, to the role of the Auditor General who’s charged with objectively examining government performance and value for money after the fact.

So, the question here is… why don’t the Liberals make “accountability” a pivotal issue (stealing it back from the Conservatives) and support Page with whatever political influence they can apply to the matter?

31 Comments

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

31 responses to “Shit or Get Off the Pot

  1. The only problem with the Liberals going with that particular strategy, is that they would, finally, have to take a stance on a substantive issue…and actually hold to it. Which they seem to have had difficulty doing ever since Iggy stepped up to the plate.

  2. Your argument may be resting upon a false dilemma, Red. There’s a third option here, one the “Conservatives” take whenever given the opportunity: shit after getting off the pot.

    Now, Page must realise that Harper makes a habit a funding offices (though often niggardly) while rendering them useless. Aside from Page’s own office, Harper’s ludicrous “appointments board”–costing Canadians a cool million so far whilst doing absolutely fuck-all–is an excellent example.

    As to the lack of Liberal support for Page–you may rest assured that Ignatieff is no more eager than is Harper to give the man the resources he needs to be an un-ignorable boil on the PMO’s fiduciary ass, as Ignatieff clearly harbours some faint hope of someday occupying the prime-ministerial precincts (after having them fumigated, one supposes).

  3. SF — Quite so. 🙂

    And I would concur with you regarding the dubious motives animating (a term I use with reservation) the Liberals’ tentative support for the PBO.

  4. Walker — Point well taken. These days, the Liberal “position” (such as it may be) is one of muddled ambivalence. Perhaps there’s some coherency there that’s simply eluding me, but I rather doubt it…

  5. Yes – I hope it shows itself soon. Not that I’m a Liberal Party supporter, but it would be healthier over-all if the Party could sustain its workload.

  6. The second the Liberals say ‘accountability’ everyone else laughs.

    Who is Iggy accountable to? All those Liberals who voted for him? LOL.

    The Liberals should have starved themselves half to death outside the House last year demanding it reopen when Harper prorogued it. But, you know, they want it all for themselves, and, besides, now that Harper’s done it and gotten away with it, there’s Liberals who figure they can do the same one day.

    Truth is, I think these Liberals don’t have many ideological differences with Harper, and are just as ethically loose, so they don’t want to set themselves up for a fall down the road by opposing what they want to do later.

  7. Walker — Maybe it’s a naïve concept, but I’d prefer it if the parties’ policies were on the table for open debate and discussion.

  8. Mark — Truth is, I think these Liberals don’t have many ideological differences with Harper, and are just as ethically loose, so they don’t want to set themselves up for a fall down the road by opposing what they want to do later.

    Bingo!

    Rather sad isn’t it, that such is the case?

  9. counter-coulter

    O/T: They’ve identified the shooter at the US Military Base – Fort Hood: Major Malik Nadal Hasan

    So…how long before the wing-nuts declare that the caliphate, you know, when Sharia Law is going to be imposed on us all, is at hand? And even better, how long before they link this to Obama?

  10. Ti-Guy

    So…how long before the wing-nuts declare that the caliphate, you know, when Sharia Law is going to be imposed on us all, is at hand? And even better, how long before they link this to Obama?

    That’s they’ve done that is already old news.

  11. C:C — A: No time at all.

    In fact, the Malkinettes are all over this already like a fat kid on a Hershey bar… (momentarily distracted from the stated objective of Malkin’s post of denouncing Speaker Pelosi as an eeeeevil Nazi dictator or whatever…)

  12. counter-coulter

    T-G: I meant it in the context of them using this tragic event as “proof” of their cockamamy conspiracy theories. Not only that, but that this will somehow prove that Obama is a “secret muslim”.

  13. Tomm

    Great Post.

    I would offer Kevin Page the same advice you are suggesting in a different manner,

    …shit or get off the pot.

    A letter to Kevin Page….

    Dear Mr. Page;

    A $2 million budget and some additional professional accountants/economists for you to selectively pick at whatever federal budgetary scabs you choose to pick. Further, an open and ready access to commons’ committees and the media in saying whatever thoughts come into your pretty little head.

    If you are unhappy, leave. Undoubtedly, Deloitte and Touche are looking for good people. If not, shut your pie hole and enjoy what is likely the best job you will ever have.

    Sincerely Yours,
    Tomm

    p.s. You are right, but being right isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

  14. It has not yet been established that Hasan was, indeed, Muslim. But the possibility that he was merely makes me wonder what took so long for an American Muslim soldier to snap.

    Really–given the brutish Islamophobia that now passes for common discourse in the States, one can only imagine how exponentially deeper and darker is the Islamophobia that courses through America’s military. How do we expect an American Muslim to react after having sat through hour upon hour of listening to his no-necked, dungwitted comrades brag about chain-sawing scads of “hajis” and “rag-heads” in half with .50 cals? Would one not feel somewhat like the black cooks and labourers who, after being impressed into service by the Confederate Army, were forced to overhear tales of “niggers” being methodically whipped, raped and killed for supporting the Union?

    It would take exemplary discipline and uncommon valour to overcome the burning resentment such exposure would instil in most men, and the U.S. military’s recruitment methods are, sadly, notoriously unselective for exemplary discipline and uncommon valour.

  15. CWTF

    Tomm you really are a sad excuse….

  16. …being right isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

    I think your obiter dictum is stated far too coyly. Let us be more explicit: in Stephen Harper’s Canada, being right is about as useful as a candy-floss condom.

  17. counter-coulter

    Sir Frances

    It has not yet been established that Hasan was, indeed, Muslim.

    Doesn’t matter to the right here in the States. To them his name will “sound muslim” which would be all they’ll need to feed their fellow conspiracy theorists. Facts find no quarter within the wing-nut realm and serve no more than an annoyance of farting flies.

  18. counter-coulter

    Oops…”Francis”, that is. Sorry about that chief.

  19. Tomm

    CWTF,

    Glad to be of some small entertainment.
    You pitch’em, and I’ll hit’em.

    Sir Francis,

    Of course Kevin Page, you, I, all of us, can just lift our voices in protest to all the things that aren’t exactly the way we want. But of couse, the noise just becomes a cacophony (is that the right word?), and nothing will change except we would all be hard of hearing, crabby, and have bleeding ulcers.

  20. …nothing will change except we would all be hard of hearing, crabby, and have bleeding ulcers.

    Something tells me you have hit that stage already, Tomm. I’m not sure you’ve much to lose at this point…

  21. Tomm

    Some days are certainly better than others…

  22. jkg

    The cynical in me would think that should the Liberals go the accountability route, they would just abandon it or provide an empty gesture if they got back into power. The problem is that unlike the Harper conservatives, the Liberals would not be able to weasel their way out of such commitments without being lambasted for it (most likely people will scream in unison Adscam, Adscam! Followed by a “NEP!” coda). For some reason, the convoluted Accountability Act, which has an ethics commissioner who reports to the PM, was perfectly satisfactory for the populist chest thumpers who were seeking ‘transparency’ and ‘accountability.’ Yet, when we are faced with evidence to the contrary, there is no short list of apologists who rationalize away the missteps of Harper’s Canada’s New Government.

    As long as the Tory Tu Quoque Talking Point Brigade can deflect any questions of their own accountability , they will continue to be the default owners of that issue, and no amount of party renewal on the Liberals will be able to change that.

  23. Navvy

    Well, the reason for the shooting seems to have been notice of deployment to Iraq… but the military has already put it out that he shouted “God is great!” before opening fire. Interesting. Wonder if we’ll ever find out what, if anything, he says in the hospital.

  24. It’s certainly true that the Liberals have only themselves to blame for their lack of ethical stature, and it all has to do with the nature of coalition politics that make up each and every political party on the planet: especially in a corporatist age, in which the conscienceless pursuit of personal benefit has become a cancer in what used to be known as moral fibre. Since Harper in Sudbury announced that a recession is no time to practice Con economics, and since their Accountability policies and all those years of faux Reform outrage about ethics were clearly a cyncial move to galvanize voters, about the only thing that appears to be real and deep-felt about these Lack of Common Sense Reactionaries, is their desire to destroy Liberalism. Personally I’d rather see these nascent fascists destroyed, because at least we won’t have to live through the social authoritarian Con if they ever win a majority. The real politik of the Liberals could thus use a serious reconsideration: the public is waiting for some genuine common sense, and common decency in government, and since all parties are coalitions, it is time the Liberals went seeking a politically philosophical alliance, in which principles like Greatest Equal Liberty inform what they do, rather than letting their own right wing edit the song book.

  25. WHAT BIG LIARS THOSE CONSERVATIVES SPIN DOCTORS, STATISTIC CANADA NOW STILL ARE

    http://thenonconformer.wordpress.com/2009/11/06/the-major-news-this-week/

  26. Nonconformer — You need to learn how to promote yourself without coming across as inconsiderate SPAM. Also, your site isn’t engaging in the least. Just sayin’…

  27. sapphireandsteel

    Whaddya mean Red? That fountain pen on the header looks like it was made for King Kong 😉

  28. Reality! What real governing skills does it take for anyone merely to spend the taxpayers money? None! But now also making sure it is properly spend and not stolen firstly still requires valid managerial skills. The civil and public servants remain remarkably unruffled, even as Ottawa and the provinces rack up close to $100-billion in new debt this year also. For the Public and civil servants in Ottawa but also those in Ontario remember their raises profoundly but not rather more the poor work they too often do . For most of them, it was the raise they alone also do think still they deserve the raise. If you’re a Stephen Harper fan or Dalton McGuinty government , yes you’ve seen them given more money to public employees at a time of deflation, fear, market panic and widespread carnage in the private sector Most of Ottawa’s Ontario’s budget winds up in the hands of municipalities, school boards and hospitals and health authorities, which makes it harder to track who’s getting it too and to know now know much of it was rather abused too.. Anyone reading the news lately has heard not just about the too often useless civil and public servants but also about the mafia connections on porkjects that raises the taxpayers costs up to 40 percent now as well even in Quebec. We all already could be facing much more taxes, severe service cuts as a direct result while the federal and provincial governments do brace some more for a “long, slow grind” to economic recovery that included already unacceptable government wastes, high deficits that even will take years to overcome. All, all of this is unacceptable!!

    Here is what also rightfully bothers me, it is an undeniable fact now that too many Politicians in Canada, both Members of the provincial legislatures, and members of parliament, do lie, they make false claims that they the servants of the people, they thus are mainly looking after the needs, concerns of the citizens of Canada but mainly instead wrongfully do now use tax payer’s money, do use governmental resources and personnel to distribute unsolicited material to others to promote firstly their own re-ELECTION and TO PROMOTE their own political party as we clearly all have seen the New Conservative Ministers wrongfully also now doing OFTEN NOW as well.

    it’s all quite simple to me..

  29. sapphireandsteel

    yeah right, explain it in 25 words or less then.

  30. Nonconformer — I don’t have quite as jaded a view of the civil service as you seem to, but there’s no question that a day of reckoning (more like years, actually) will be coming before too long when all the billions of dollars currently buoying up the economy will have to accounted for… then things should get quite interesting, to say the least. There will be a lot of uncomfortable decisions that have to be made in order to balance the books and restore some fiscal discipline at all levels of government. It won’t be pretty…

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