Sunday, April 23, 2006

Martin lives, Harper Doublethink, and Harriet Miers

Let me be perfectly clear: it sounds like Stephen Harper is starting to channel Paul Martin. He forgot the ‘perfectly’ part, but while I haven’t seen video I’m sure the hand gestures are coming along. Could it be the mole's influence?

“Let me be clear: governments should be able to appoint people who support their agenda.”

That was Harper’s response to why he “nominated” a long time party loyalist, and fundraiser for the Reform, Canadian Alliance and now the Conservative Party, as the head of the new Public Appointments Commission.

Here’s the 411 on the PAC from the Conservative platform:

The Liberals have repeatedly appointed insiders, in some cases completely unqualified, to important public offices. Liberal insiders, candidates and MPs have received appointments as heads of Crown corporations, board members, and ambassadors. Liberal staffers, including some of those responsible for the sponsorship program, have worked their way into key positions in the public service.

A new government is needed to make sure that important public appointments are filled on the basis of merit and not simply as favours to friends and political supporters.

The plan

Stephen Harper will:

Establish a Public Appointments Commission to set merit-based requirements for appointments to government boards, commissions and agencies, to ensure that competitions for posts are widely publicized and fairly conducted.

Umm, “Stephen Harper will”? And they said Martin was creating a personality cult with all that Martin Team stuff. It takes a village, Stephen.

Any-ho, here’s Harper’s main thrust “The Liberals have appointed insiders to important public offices, so we need to create this new buracracy to change that, and I’m naming a Conservative insider to head this important public office.”

Classic Conservative logic, and classic doublethink. In fact, I’d say it’s doubleplusgood doublethink.

I’m also reminded of this amusing SNL bit from a little while back, on the topic of cronyism and W. Bush’s failed appointment of his good pal, Harriet Miers, to the U.S. Supreme Court:

President George W. Bush: I don't get it, Dick. You know, I don't know why everyone says that cronyism is a bad thing. You know, I'm a crony. You're a crony. This is what we do. Cronyism. Do you think I got into Yale because of my grades? No. I cronied my way in there. You think I got to own a baseball team because I'm a good baseball team owner? Big time crony on that one. Now, hey, you know, look at me now: I'm the President of the United states. You can't get cronier than this.

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decoin said...

Regrettably the CPC has learned too well from the Liberals the art of clinging to power.

GoodGrief said...

I don't think the CPC has learned anything from the Liberals. If they had, they wouldn't be perpetrating this nonsense and attempting to explain it with flimsy excuses. The Conservatives have a long history, as do the Liberals, of promising one thing and doing another. It's not limited. One party is not cleaner than the other, which is what we are witnessing today. Politics is an ugly, corrupting business. Harper is merely the latest Mr Clean to fall by the wayside.