Friday, May 4, 2012

An update

Well, what a day. An update on Robocalls that seems to put a very large nail in the Conservative coffin...As well as some provincial union suggestions that have a lot of people shaking their heads.

Then we have the ongoing F-35 fiasco, problems with armored vehicle procurement, and the continued use of time allocation to limit debate. Oh, and our Environmental Minister saying that environmental groups were nothing more than 'money launderers' for US cash.

Wow, that is a lot of stupidity, arrogance, and down right WTF to cover. For those of you unfamiliar with the phrase WTF, allow me to simply say that it allows me to use a type of language I've always tried to avoid on the blog. But at this point, there really is no other word or phrase for it.

So, let's start then with the latest on Robocalls. It came out today that Elections Canada has linked an IP address from the 'infamous' Pierre Poutine to a Conservative Campaign Headquarters in Guelph, Ontario.

More importantly, it links the computer to Andrew Prescott; who has long been the key choice for people trying to identify Poutine.

And now we have Conservatives who have long denied involvement directly linked to the Robocalls. This was a campaign computer, so it is not very likely that someone other than a conservative campaign worker who was behind the calls.

But that was not the only interesting thing to come out today. Seemingly ready for this eventuality, two other Guelph campaign workers have come forward and attacked disgraced former staffer Michael Sona.

Sona is now reportedly on record if endorsing "American style" politicking, involving misleading phone calls and active vote suppression; according to these two staffers.

Now, I don't like speculation and conspiracy thinking...But something doesn't sit right in all of this.

When Sona's name first came out, and he resigned, why didn't these two workers come forward immediately with this information?

The fact that these workers sat on this information until it came out that the campaign was directly involved...well, it just leaves a sour taste in my mouth. This is far too convenient and apt to come out on the same day.

Rather, this seems like another attempt to tie the entire affair to Sona, now that it can no longer be denied that the CPC were involved.

But with the CPC now directly tied, and months of information basically saying that one person couldn't have pulled this off, it is too little too late to pin this only on Sona. And yet again, we will be waiting to see just how high up in the CPC this goes, and just whose been fighting like hell to pin this only on Sona and who those people are protecting.

That brings us to the F-35s. Both the Auditor General and the Parliamentary Budget Officer have testified before a committee and basically confirmed that the government intentionally misled Canadians about the cost of the planes and even kept 'two sets of books' on the F-35 program.

I can't help but be reminded of Mel Brooks' "The Producers", when cops raid Max Bialystock's office and find two sets of books. One saying show to the IRS. The other saying NEVER show to the IRS.

And that seems to be the system this government has taken when talking to Canadians about the F-35s. It is more or less confirmed that Defence Minister Peter Mackay knew about the full cost, and the low ball figure being told to Canadians, for years.

This suggests that others in cabinet, and likely the Prime Minister himself, knew about the full cost if the F-35s and chose to say nothing of the true cost to Canadians.

And yet, no heads have rolled at the DND. Instead, Conservatives have chosen to continue to attack Parliamentary Officers, like the AG and the PBO.

To his credit, Kevin Page has done an amazing job as the PBO. And whoever follows him has big shoes to fill...though given his track record, Harper is unlikely to appoint anyone but a dyed in the wool 'true believer' to the post when Page's term is up. And that alone should scare a lot of us, as we will lose one of the few voices who had tried to keep this government accountable while having the cloak of impartiality.

Speaking if impartiality, that brings us to Peter Kent and his condemnation of environmental groups ahead of the closing of second reading on the omnibus budget bill that will effect those groups.

Kent has gone as far as to say that these groups have acted as 'money launderers' for foreign investors who want to undermine what is best for Canada.

Yet he's said nothing about news detailing multi-million dollar donations from ultra-conservative Americans the Koch Brothers to the right leaning Fraser Institute.

Nor would he say anything about investment from non-Canadian companies, who let's be honest have their bottom line ahead if Canada's best interest.

But yes, no mention of that at all.

And then there's the fact that the Conservative Party ACTUALLY laundered money in the 2006 Election. And they may have done it again in the 2011 Election, in Quebec. In-and-Out, anyone?

Pot, meet kettle. We all know that this is ideologically driven, regardless of what the CPC says. This is about selling out Canada to the highest bidder with little to no concern or forethought. Nothing more, nothing less.

And there should be more outrage about this throughout the country; as it will affect us all.

Top it off with the bill being time allocated, and this us a policy that is going to have a lasting impact on our country in a number of negative ways.

With all the federal stupidity, you almost wish you could look inward and not see the same lack of thought and consideration...But nope.

The Sask Party is committed to reexamining the way unions work in this province, namely by changing the way unions collect dues.

Wall is covering himself by suggesting he wants to find ways for people to opt out of unions, for disabled and young workers, and that he is not going to advocate complete reform...

But it doesn't seem that way on the follow through.

Rather, it seems that Wall is actively declaring war on unions; or more specifically, continuing the war his government started during their first term.

In fact, Wall's true motivations were revealed in a press conference he gave. Wall talked about how the unions, singling out the SGEU, campaigned against his government in the last election.

So, you are saying that you are targeting a group who campaigned against you, but not for that reason...Right, and people watch boxing for the 'sport of boxing', rather than to see someone get beaten to a pulp.

Whether this was an accidental slip, or some arrogance in Wall believing himself to be untouchable, we have seen the true motivation for Wall's actions against unions in the province.

On top of this, numerous people are speaking against this move; if only because this is the prelude to another costly legal challenge that the province will end up losing.

This is a government that was already condemned by the UN Labour Congress for anti-union legislation; as well as a government who had one of those bills overturned in a legal challenge.

If the Sask Party moves on this bill, it will only result in another legal challenge that the tax payers of Saskatchewan will have to pay for. And it will be a legal challenge that will likely result in the government being told to repeal the bill.

And it's a price we're going to pay just so a petty Premier can go after people who campaigned against him.

It's also a partisan price tag that taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for.

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