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If you can’t fool them, be openly blatant about it.

That seems to be Deceivin’ Stephen’s motto on patronage appointments:

When Stephen Harper became prime minister, he pledged to end most patronage appointments by creating an independent commission that would select people based on merit, not political party ties. That pledge is now just one more of Harper’s broken promises…Harper’s flip-flop on patronage has been stunning, given that his Federal Accountability Act, enacted in December, allows for an independent commission to control appointments. But after a fight with opposition parties over who should head the agency, Harper opted not to set it up. Since then, he has made hundreds of appointments. In just one week in March, he gave jobs to 10 party faithful.

What this editorial tells me if you read between the lines is that Harper’s pick for the proposed commission was designed to be put there to make sure that the majority of his picks would be people with Conservative Party ties under the illusion of being based on merit. It makes little sense if he was that strongly committed to the principle of merit-based appointments that he’d suddenly turn around and start appointing political cronies merely because he was in a huff that he didn’t get his way on the proposed Commission’s leader. Even I don’t think Harper’s that vindictive.

He was merely mad that he wasn’t being allowed to fool people into thinking he kept that promise, so he threw that illusion out the window and instead started to be blatant about it.

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6 comments to If you can’t fool them, be openly blatant about it.

  • Lord Kitchener's Own

    Scott,

    You conclude that "Harper’s pick for the proposed commission was designed to be put there to make sure that the majority of his picks would be people with Conservative Party ties under the illusion of being based on merit", and essentially I agree but may I tweak the suggestion?  How about the idea that Harper's pick was put there to make sure the commission never got set-up in the first place.

    You see, what you do is, you recommend thaat an independent commission be established to make bureaucratic appointments based on merit, and then you put forward someone you know the other parties can't accept to head that commission.  That way, when the other parties shut down the process, you can pretend that you were sincerely trying to setup and independent comission, and the opposition got in your way, and since citizens rarely look too deeply into these things many of them will believe that it's the OPPOSITION being obstructionist and not you (after all, why would you obstruct your own plan?).

    Why indeed.

  • Jay

    The only thing Harper has been successful in is pointing out problems with our system of government that has to be fixed. No government that I can recall, even Chretien and Martin, have utilized every loophole like Harper has and in my opinion he has run our parliament into the ground.  He ignores the majority of Canadian representation, refuses to answer questions in the house, and lies. Nothing new but hes getting away with it. The PM has too many powers and they need to be reduced severely.

    The liberal party would do well if it were to pick up "conservative" issues that have been killed by its own party or put through in a half ass way. What better way to show the Conservatives lied than to run on some of the very things they said they would do but didn't, really.

  • Like...really

    So Harper is carrying on a favourite liberal tradition, funny the hue and cry back then was not quite as loud. 

  • Timothy Webster

    The only thing worse than blatant corruption is blatant corruption hidden by people in a position of trust. And the only thing worse than blatant corruption hidden by people in a position of trust is blatant corruption hidden by people entrusted with preventing or uprooting corruption.

    Thanks to Harpers antics we can see our system needs a lot more checks to prevent people in positions of trust hiding their own corruption, because rules don't apply to them.

    The best way to prevent people in positions of trust hiding their own corruption is an independent anti-corruption group such as the proven ICAC in Hong Kong. And the best way to keep the people entrusted with preventing and uprooting corruption honest is public disclosure of the anti-corruption cases after they are heard and investigated.

    Harper has convinced me that we really need a system like ICAC in Canada.

  • I really don't trust Harper as far as I could throw him.  He recently appointed one of his political friends to be our ambassador to Ireland, replacing a career diplomat in Dublin.  What hypocrisy.

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