And then there was none...
Open the cash register and bribe the voters with their own money – it must be election time in Ottawa.
In a wave of spending shocking in its depth and breadth, the Federal Liberal government in Ottawa has blown through over $20 billion in a couple of days on issues as diverse as native residential school compensation, new planes for the military, loan guarantees for softwood lumber producers, and labour training for the provinces, starting with vote-rich Ontario.
This comes on top of paltry personal tax cuts announced last week in an attempt to duck criticism that they had lost whatever aura of fiscal responsibility they had gained during the Chretien years.
Not that I’m one to quote Jack Layton, but he actually had it right this time when he commented yesterday that the Federal Liberals had hoped to stretch these announcements out until they dropped the writ in February, but were now having to cram three or four of them into each day as the opposition maneuvers to bring down the government.
It’s bad enough that the Liberal Party stole tax dollars to finance their political operations, but this flood of cynical, win at any cost, spending only hurts the political process in Canada.
Now, your Liberal friends and neighbours will tell you that all of this spending is important, and deals with issues of critical importance to our nation.
If that’s the case, why are the Liberals jamming it into a one week period right before their government collapses under its own corrupt weight?
Surely issues of this magnitude should have been dealt with sometime in the last, say, 12 years of majority Liberal government. To leave it to the dying days of this minority regime only serves to insult those Canadians who actually care about the military, the condition of Canadian First Nations and those who owe their livelihoods to the softwood industry.
Let’s not forget the Liberals have been in government since 1993. Come Election Day they will have held Parliament for almost thirteen years. Funny how none of these warranted so much a head nod from the Liberals in all that time – they were much too busy buying off Quebec federalists with our cash, But now, in the dying days of their government, we get to witness Paul Martin, Ujjal Dosanjh, Belinda Stronach and Ralph Goodale throwing money around like it grows on maple trees.
The worst of all of this is that it reduces the value of these issues in voter’s minds. Instead of having a legitimate discussion about residential school victims and how best to compensate them for the horrors they endured, their pain becomes a political tool wielded by the Liberals in a disingenuous attempt to hold onto their core voters in urban Canada.
Fortunately, Canadians are growing very weary of a directionless government in which every decision is plotted based on the number of votes it can garner. Paul Martin’s Liberals are facing a day of reckoning – and Canadians will march through the snow, hail, fog and sleet to deliver it.
(As seen today in 24 Hours)