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.This really burns me up. I haven't checked in (yet) with many other Canadian bloggers. Does anyone share my outrage?
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.
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.
The RCMP and the Ethics Commissioner: Do they sing from the same Book of Ethics?
More on Harper's ethics hypocrisy from some letter-writers to the Globe And Mail.