posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 03:41 PM
On the patronage issue, there are no good guys in Canadian politics.
Nobody even campaigns on this issue unless things get way, way out of hand. The Toronto Star made an attempt to find out where 1.1 billion dollars of
patronage money spent on the last G8/G20 conference went and found that Harper's government had made agreements with contractors that stipulated that
some contractors names could not be revealed, (That should be a Ripley's Believe It or Not item.) . . . and has still not been able to track 247
million dollars that seems to have just vanished.
But here's the kicker. Nobody made an issue of this in the last federal election.
Not Ignatieff. Not Layton.
Why? Because nobody intends to do anything different as far as patronage spending goes.
Brian Mulroney's government was so bad in this area that Stevie Smith
(Real, not fake, Order of Canada member, in my mind anyway.) wrote a book
about it that should be required reading for Canadians: On The Take
All political parties in Canada are operating this way, the party of big business, the party of big platitudes and the party of big unions.
Originally posted by ipsedixit
Gubmint 101: A Primer for Cherries
There is a great line in the Steven Seagal movie "Above the Law" spoken by character actor, Henry Silva, who plays a CIA doctor, expert in "chemical
interrogation" who is about to cut the foot off an uppity Viet Cong captive, when the Seagal character, a Special Forces "observer", starts to
Silva, looks over his shoulder, knife in hand, and says, "Who is this cherry?"
Well, life as they say, is "just a bowl of cherries", and we elect them to office, every election.
The Star had a good article recently about the reactions of some former MPs to their time "on the hill".
Former MPs say life on the Hill no party
Based on “exit interviews” with 65 former MPs, the latest report from the Samara democracy-research organization offers a warning to would-be
parliamentarians: their dreams of public service could be repeatedly dashed by their own political parties.
“The greatest frustrations they (former MPs) faced during their political careers came from within their own political party,” says the report,
titled, “It’s My Party: Parliamentary Dysfunction Reconsidered,” which was obtained by the Star in advance of its release on
These people, despite their confidence, their optimism, their willingness to serve and desire to do their best for their constituents and the country,
really didn't understand how the system works. They were "cherries".
“Decisions from their parties’ leadership were often viewed as opaque, arbitrary and unprofessional and . . . parties’ demands often ran
counter to the MPs’ desires to practice politics in a constructive way.”
MPs who see the situation that way have a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of "gubmint". They are cherries, who don't know that "government"
in the people's interests is an afterthought, a low priority in the system of "gubmint".
To understand "gubmint", it is best to think of it as some kind of wacky TV game show, the sort of thing the Japanese do better than anyone else on
earth. The object of the "game" is to carve up and control as much of the national budget as one can. "Gubmint" is really a feeding frenzy on tax
Any kind of statesmanship, idealism, high mindedness, ethic of service, generosity or honesty is a liability in that game.
"Gubmint" programs are not designed for their utility or pertinence to the needs of people, communities or the nation. They are designed and tailored
to conveniently and efficiently carve out chunks of tax dollars in such a way as to be compatible with the removal of other chunks of tax dollars.
These chunks of dollars can have any weird shape or application, much like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
For most MPs, getting money for some project is a lot like coming to a potluck dinner. What you get, in what amount you get it, largely depends on
what is available.
For this reason, policy making is driven by considerations which have nothing to do with policy.
Political parties are the major players in the "gubmint" game.
“The biggest message I took from these MPs’ stories is the need to re-examine the role of a political party in our democracy,” she says.
“They are extremely important organizations that perform essential democratic functions — engage citizens, select candidates for office, develop
and aggregate policy ideas and contest elections — and are heavily supported by public money, yet we rarely ask ourselves if they’re performing
these functions in the way we’d like.”
Political parties set the tone. They are responsible for all the evils of "gubmint". They are the ones who deal with organized criminals, lobbyists,
pals of pals, unscrupulous contractors and con artists, their own low achieving, knuckle dragging, unemployable relatives, etc.
It's all about soliciting contributions (bribes) to get elected, in return for access to the vast treasure chest of tax dollars represented
by the national budget.
A new MP might have a fundamental understanding of how the "gubmint" game is played, a few do, but most of them will not realize just how far behind
the eight ball they really are when they jump for joy on the platform of their own riding association, victorious in an election.
Most of the money they plan to spend to make a better country for their contituents is already spent in obligations to a host of big
contractors, con men, pals of pals, pimps, thieves, underachieving relatives and scum who payed in advance to get a party elected in return for a
manyfold return on their original contribution.
That's how "gubmint" works.
When your MP is elected, in the vast majority of cases, he or she is fighting for scraps left over from the secret, behind the scenes feeding frenzy
that happened before the election.
Read Stevie Cameron's On the Take. It's all explained in documented detail.
It doesn't matter how you vote until that system is brought under control. You can't get rid of it. It's the way people are. But it has to be
controlled, or the whole system founders and we wind up living in Mexico north.
edit on 16-4-2013 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)
edit on 16-4-2013 by ipsedixit because: (no reason