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Partisan games above and beyond the checks

Conservative MP’s putting their names and party logo on what are supposed to be official government of Canada cheques for economic stimulus funding is bad enough, but now we’ve got another farce showing up on official Government of Canada websites. Susan Delacourt of the Toronto Star explains:

Say you’re looking for information from your federal government about the economic-stimulus plan. You go to the government’s website.

And then you notice that things are a little quiet at the old computer. Some piano music might be nice. Considerately, the federal government has thought about this — just click on the YouTube link on the top corner, and you can be serenaded by Stephen Harper, singing a Beatles tune at the National Arts Centre.

What does this have to do with economic stimulus? I have no idea.

It’s called doing the same thing as the Conservative MP’s are doing with all these cheques – they are trying to blur or stamp out the lines that are between political partisans and the federal civil service. So, if I were the media, I think a good question to ask the Conservative Party spokespersons is who authorized this particular video of Harper to appear on the Government of Canada economic action plan website, and how can that be justified as appropriate? I won’t be surprised if another ethics complaint on the Conservatives behaviour is coming the Federal Ethics Commissioner’s way over this.

(I’ll also H/T Steve for being the first one to catch this)

UPDATE: There are a lot of folks – including to their credit, conservative media commentators and normally supportive conservative bloggers – who are outraged over the cheque thing. I wonder if this latest example of partisan chicanery will also stir their outrage.

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10 comments to Partisan games above and beyond the checks

  • Stan

    The liberals are unsure what a cheque is, they generally hand money out in brown paper bags in sleazy restaurants.

  • Stan

    Chretien bragged that he always made sure the voters knew which party was handing out the loot.
    I didn’t see the liberals whining about it then, why the sudden change?

    Let me call the whaaaaaaaaaaaambualance for you.

  • kwittet

    The polls must be showing that the liberals are way behind..so we have to dig up non stories~~

  • Roll Tide

    Liberal MP David McGuinty said Friday there’s only one possible reason for linking the website to the Harper video: To soften the prime minister’s chilly image.

    “There’s only one reason you do that: To drive up the perception of Stephen Harper as a centrist, as a man of the people for political benefit,” McGuinty said in an interview.

    “He will use anything, anything at his disposal, including public monies, to achieve . . . his ultimate objective, which is a majority government.”

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5hwKDw-gvDAHppTGQLhFcTI5R92sA

    The Liberals should take credit for this, they moved him to the center.

  • Christina Monroe

    Reply to the two people who do not understand there are basic fundamental differences between the USA and Canada.

    The president of the USA is not breaking any laws by having things up he does on the Whitehouse Website. The structure of their government is different from ours.

    WAKE UP THIS IS CANADA NOT THE USA.

    The Conservatives have their own website to state how great they think they are. We also provide a website for the Prime Minster for whom ever holds the office to show how “great and wonderful” they think they are.

    http://www.pm.gc.ca/eng/default.asp

    Therefore they are breaking rules by having up partisan things on an separate government action plan website.

    • Roll Tide

      @Christina Monroe,

      The White House is the executive branch of the federal government.

      The Harper government is taking credit for the economic recovery.
      This is an annoyance to the Liberals. I actually sympathize with them. If Harper had a majority the stimulus would have been much less.
      The Liberals hounded Harper to spend, spend, spend, spend.
      Harper responded, with Liberal support, by spending,albeit less then the Liberals insisted, and took credit.
      This is politics. It irritates the Liberals to no end.

      “Former Liberal prime minister Jean Chrétien told visitors recently that Prime Minister Stephen Harper calls him for consultation – they talk about foreign affairs – more often than does Mr. Ignatieff, the leader of his own party!”
      This quote from the Globe’s Lawrence Martin.

      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/how-iffy-and-the-liberals-dropped-the-ball/article1307580/

      Some how I think Harper got some domestic advice as well.

  • Nick

    The link is there because this is the twenty first century and there’s things thing called the Interweb and Web 2.0 and social networking tools are built into EVERYTHING now. So much, that sites look odd NOT having small links to various social networking devices.

    There’s even this really popular politician who does it on a much larger government website than Canada’s Economic Action Plan: Yes. A Much Larger Government Site With Social Networking Links. Wow. What A Shocking Scandal.

    • Roll Tide

      @Nick,

      Well done sleuth.
      Ignatieff was the one who insisted on the web site in the first place, allaa Obama, I remember the parliamentary debate. It was part of the “on probation”.

      Harper has just thrown it right back, using Obama’s idea with the social network links. Brilliant!
      Its fair game, Fox news does not make it an issue, but the Toronto Star does. Hilariousness!
      Thanks Scott!

    • @Nick, That’s a nice try at being clever, Nick.. except the Whitehouse site is an organ of the President… it’s not an organ per se of the federal government. What the Conservatives are doing is quite different.. which is attempting to use the non-partisan sites of the Canadian government for their own partisan purposes.

      Nice try though Nick.. keep trying to justify Conservative unethical behaviour.

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