Monday, September 29, 2008

You had a choice, sir!

Brian Mulroney would be proud:

Harper government opened patronage doors before election

OTTAWA - The Harper government approved 148 appointments to federal boards and agencies, long used as rewards for supporters of the party in power, as the election neared, The Canadian Press has learned.

Cabinet handed out the pots in three rounds, the first only two days before Parliament recessed for the summer, the second on July 30, at peak holiday time for politicians and political journalists, and the third less than a week before Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the election for Oct. 14.

Harper, who railed against Liberal patronage in the 2006 election, later failed to deliver on a campaign pledge to put an independent commission in charge of vetting cabinet appointments. He angrily shelved the idea after opposition MPs refused to ratify his nomination of Gwyn Morgan, a Calgary oil baron who is also a friend of the prime minister, as the commission chair.

It's difficult to determine exactly how many of the recent appointments went to members of the federal Conservative party or to provincial Progressive Conservative parties.

Many have had no comment on their new jobs, but interviews and public records outlining the backgrounds of others suggest Harper was courting the party faithful in a number of cases.


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Beijing York said...

From the article:

"We don't believe political involvement should preclude people from serving in these capacities," said Mike Storeshaw, the communications director for Treasury Board President Vic Toews who is on leave to act as a party spokesman during the election.

This gang of thugs and bullies really are something else. I'm sure those appointed to the refugee or parole boards are not tainted by the new conservative government's anti-immigration and pro-tough on crime positions. I'm sure they will act totally non-partisan (tongue in cheek).

Barcs said...

Its almost like they keep doing things like Martin, Chretien, Mulroney and turner... and and and....

"You had a choice sir"

And they made the same one as all the rest. After making the same noises that they wouldn't that all the rest made.

Are you surprised?

Barcs said...

"refused to ratify"

(read assassinated the character of.)

"It's difficult to determine exactly how many of the recent appointments went to members of the federal Conservative party or to provincial Progressive Conservative parties."

(read: we don't actually know if ANY of them were patronage... but the right wing is evil so we will assume and report as such... who needs facts)

And finally why only 148? didn't the liberals claim that thousands of positions were vacant at one time? Seems he did it rather sparingly to me even if I don't like the fact that he did it.

Jeff said...

By assassinated the character of, do you mean called attention to his past actions, writings and speeches? I suppose you could call that character assassination, but it would more appropriately be called character illumination. And putting forward the name of an avowed Conservative partisan with a history of hostility towards other parties for what Harper himself said was to be a "non-partisan position" was a joke. Harper never intended to have him confirmed.