1.27.2006

hypocrisy

More on Harper's ethics hypocrisy from some letter-writers to the Globe And Mail.
As a rule, public servants should avoid interfering in the electoral process. It's a good rule, but one that was violated twice in the last month.

First, in December, the RCMP announced an investigation into whether Ministry of Finance staff leaked information on an income trust ruling. The Mounties offered no smoking gun; neither did they justify publicizing an unsubstantiated accusation at so critical a time.

In a much different example, Ethics Commissioner Bernard Shapiro waited until the election was over to announce that, for four months ending in November last year, Stephen Harper dodged an ethics investigation. Even as Mr. Harper campaigned on ethics and accountability, Mr. Shapiro kept secret Mr. Harper's own refusal to stand to account.

In the first instance, the RCMP shared speculation without cause. In the second, Mr. Shapiro withheld factual, and relevant, information. In so doing, both parties failed to protect the impartiality of their positions and the interests of an informed electorate.

Richard Littlemore
Nanaimo

*

So, the Ethics Commissioner delayed releasing his report on Mr. Harper's failure to show for interviews regarding the Gurmant Grewal affair. If only the RCMP had been so circumspect.

Jack Troughton
Kingston

*

The RCMP and the Ethics Commissioner: Do they sing from the same Book of Ethics?

Frank Felkai
Toronto
This really burns me up. I haven't checked in (yet) with many other Canadian bloggers. Does anyone share my outrage?

7 comments:

James said...

It's completely hypocritical of the Harper, no doubt. I hope the Grits & NDP jump all over him for this. Fortunately, our opposition is a little livelier than the one in the US, so that's actually likely. Time to bring out some of the old Liberal fuddle duddle.

Off-topic, relating back to the mine disaster discussed previously (from No More Mr. Nice Blog):

Although the bill is stalled in the Senate, last year the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation raising the top fine for a single incident of broadcast indecency. Top fine under the House bill? $500,000 for a broadcast company and $500,000 for an entertainer involved in the indecency.

Right now, the Bush administration is proposing to raising the top fine for an "egregious" mine safety violation. How high?

$220,000. Less than half what you'd pay if you offered a peek of nipple at a Super Bowl halftime show.

Nice to know we've gor our priorities straight.

sharonapple said...

Sorry, about the above delete. I keep on hitting post when I really want to preview. :P

As for anger on the RCMP, I've seen a few bloggers -- a few express anger. The media doesn't really seem to have picked up on it. Still, Dosanjh is considering "legal options" for having his name defamed, so it's possible that the story might not die. And it shouldn't -- to be honest, the Conservatives really did try and defame Dosanjh in the situation.

http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/News/2006/01/26/1412082-sun.html

And the news would have had a changed the results of the election because according to an Environic's poll, only 41% of people who voted for the Conservatives did so because they backed the Conservative Party. More of the breakdown here:

http://restotstory.blogspot.com/

What's really interesting though, is how Harper's going to handle Ralph Klein's health care reforms, which apparently may violate the Canada Health Act.

Harper said he supports the Canada Health Act, but at the sametime he says he believes in giving the provinces more freedom. So, what happens next?

To be honest, I wondered if this was a set-up. Klein would do something crazy. Harper would stop him and then improve his standing in the rest of Canada as the defender of health care. But then this is Ralph Klein, not known for really helping anyone out politically, and these reforms are things that he's wanted for such a long time. And he's picked the best moment to push for more private health care because Harper hasn't named a cabinet yet. It's because Harper is so new on the job that I thought this exchange, as reported from the CTV website, funny:

Klein said he had a telephone conversation on Thursday with the incoming prime minister, a fellow Albertan, and the province's health-care reform plan was the main topic of discussion.

The premier said his conversation with Harper was brief.

"I advised him that we'll keep the lines of communication open and we'll advise his minister of health, whoever that might be, of the situation. His reaction was, 'Fine,' that was good."

G said...

It's the same in any government, though. For example, had Layton won, similar dirt would have been dug up for the papers. Indecision and flip-flopping are just a part of the game. I'm no CPC fan, as my own readers are no doubt already aware, but at this point, ethics hypocrisies really don't bother me anymore. We'll see them time and again with any gov that comes to power, be it the CPCs of now, later incarnations of the Liberals, or even the NDP should they ever rise to power.

In other words, big deal. I think there are greater concerns regarding Harper's government than this, such as his party's view of women (the childcare plan/handout suggests a woman-should-stay-in-the-kitchen mentality), his views on participation in international conflict, gay marriage, abortion and privatization in the health-care field.

Remember how the Liberals originally got back into power after the Mulroney 80s? Scandals and hypocrisies in the Conservative government. Now the CPCs are back in, due to scandals and hypocrisies in the Liberal government. Round and round we go, until a scandal in the CPC government arises, and the Liberals get back in. And then the game begins anew. Again.

Echo Mouse said...

Lots of bloggers are upset about it. Have you checked out LibLogs? They're tracking all this stuff in detail. I'll try to find some specific links and come back and post them.

L-girl said...

Thanks, all.

In other words, big deal. I think there are greater concerns regarding Harper's government than this

There are greater concerns, to be sure.

But it is a big deal - because Harper made it one. 90% of his campaign was based on "the Liberals are corrupt, we need ethics, we need accountability". Since he only won by a slim margin, and since it's likely the knowledge of Harper's own unethical conduct would have changed many voters' minds, the outcome of the election may have been different, had all the facts been known. Facts that were known during the campaign, but purposely withheld from public knowledge.

And that is a big deal.

For a more concise rendition, see Lone Primate's comment here.

Echo Mouse said...

I agree L-girl, that's exactly why it's a big deal. Here's some links to posts by bloggers who are also upset about it:-

http://gritpatriot.blogspot.com/2006/01/harper-lied.html

http://themorayreport.blogspot.com/

http://restotstory.blogspot.com/

L-girl said...

Thanks again, EM. I'll check those out and post the links.