Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Go Harpocrits go!

The Ottawa Citizen has a morning smile today far better than anything those latte-sipping yuppies at the Globe could ever offer up: Conservative MPs are attending Ottawa Senators playoff games in corporate luxury suites as the guests of corporate lobbyists.

But wait you say, didn't the Cons lambaste Liberals for doing the very same thing when they were in government? Didn't Conservative MP John Williams say it should be outlawed, and call it "influence peddling at its most obvious"?

Harsh words indeed. But hey, the Liberals did it; campaigns are campaigns, it's not (yet) against the law, pragmatism, yada yada.

But here's my absolutely, positively favourite justification for this obvious flip-floppery. It comes from a Conservative communications thingy, responding to questions about government whip Jay Hill attending a game as a guest of Bell Canada:

Charmaine Crockett, a spokeswoman in Hill's office, confirmed the whip had attended the game as a guest of Bell Canada, but said Hill received approval from ethics commissioner Bernard Shapiro to attend the game.
(Emphasis mine.)

Well, if Bernie said it was alright then go to town guys, because we all know how much the Conservatives respect the opinion of our esteemed Ethics Commissioner, and hold him in such high esteem, now don't we?...

Conservative MPs accepting perks
Despite Harper's former criticisms
Jack Aubry, CanWest News Service; Ottawa Citizen
Published: Tuesday, May 09, 2006

OTTAWA -- Accepting gifts, including free Ottawa Senators playoff tickets in luxury corporate boxes, continue to be acceptable for Conservative MPs in Stephen Harper's government, despite criticism of the practice when the Tories were in opposition.

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Anonymous said...

There's a huge difference between being invited to attend the odd game in a luxury box versus BUYING a luxury box through an advertising agency to use as your own. Big difference.

A BCer in Toronto said...

There's a huge difference between comparing apples to apples (Liberal MPs being invited to an odd game in a luxury box, which Cons in opposition attacked, and Con MPs being invited to the odd game in a luxury box, which is now suddenly kosher) and comparing apples to completly unrelated oranges.

That's two minutes for not addressing the actual issue and instead attempting to distract with an unrelated tangent, my anonymous friend.

Bob The Red said...

Unbelievable. Of course Harper had front row seats himself.

The only good thing is that you can bet it won't happen again this year. That was the last hockey game in Ottawa for the season!

Anonymous said...

I'm going to have to argue the 2 minutes you assessed me. They are related. I don't agree with either but I see no difference.

I think you might be "tripping" on your own bias. If you "check" the facts you'll see that the two are related. And in hockey now there is no "red" line but the "blue lines" are still in play. That's just "icing" on the cake.

I do know that some of my friends who are public service workers cannot accept anything remotely resembling a perc so it should be applied fairly to all public servants.

Alberta Report said...

Nonny Mouse deflected yet again.

The issue is directly related to words that the conservatives whined while in opposition, that they are doing the EXACT same thing while in government. The term Hypocrite will be rewritten in webster's this year to see also: Stephen Harper.

Unbelievable how the conservative trolls try to deny the obvious.

A BCer in Toronto said...

Careful, you don't want another two for unsportsmanlike conduct. But I would be happy to briefly explain to your coach why I made the call.

I'm aware of the buying box/ad agency thing, it's part of ad scam. It's bad.

Seperate, though, is the issue of MPs attending games as guests of lobbyists. Nothing to do with sponsorship, just lobbyists attempting to curry favour bu schmoozing politicians with free hockey, food and booze. When the Liberals did it, the Cons were shocked, appaled and called it influence peddling. Now that they're in government though, they have no problem doing the same thing. That's my point. Harpocricy.

Yes, there is a big difference between the adscam thing and this. But the article wasn't about the adscam thing, it was about this.

Hence, two minutes for distraction.

Anonymous said...

We'll have to agree to disagree. So give me my puck. I'm going home.

Steve V said...

It's funny that the Tories reference the "partisan hack" to justify their actions.

Chuckercanuck said...

Your all offside and there are too many men on the ice!


Great post. Very funny. Funny responses too.

Anonymous is making a fine point: its a little early for Liberals to pretend that the reason Canadians sent them to the golf links was for things more serious than hockey tickets.

Still, I would do away with that practice permanently.

Chuckercanuck said...

wasn't! wasn't! sorry.

Scotian said...

Good post. This is the downside of spending the last two years and especially the last election campaign on a morals campaign in politics. The danger in doing so is that you set an very high standard that you must meet yourself or you are going to get what happened here. What really got to me was listening to Conservatives telling us that this was fine because they followed the rules and broke no laws. Wasn't that the type of excuse they said was unacceptable from the Liberals?

Indeed, these are rules the Liberals set down, yet I distinctly recall hearing CPC MPs telling we Canadians about how unethical and corrupt those rules were and how they badly needed tightening up. Yet suddenly these same rules are fine and dandy and the important thing is that they were followed?!? Cognitive dissonance at it's finest. I mentioned this back in the Emerson buyout and the Fortier disgrace that the more the CP relies on Liberal precedents to justify their actions the more they look like total hypocrites for all their rhetoric while in opposition. Given the CPC branded itself as the moral party, the party of honour and ethics they are particularly vulnerable in this area and this was shown yet again with these hockey tickets.

The problem isn't whether the rules were followed, it is that the CPC and Harper have gone on and on about the sins of corporations buying favours/access with money and gifts, yet within their first four months of government they get caught doing exactly that and justify it under the same Liberal rules they condemned as totally corrupt and unethical last year.

The CPC wants to be able to have the advantages of the morals campaign they ran without any of the drawbacks inherent in such when one finally forms a government. Yet one more example of their wanting to be able to eat their cake and have it, a very common CPC trait I have found, much to my sorrow.