Today, I read the following:
The federal cabinet has named a Toronto pharmaceutical distributor with close ties to Health Minister Tony Clement and a company division in India to a government agency that promotes trade and business contacts between Asia and Canada.
The appointment -- which a New Democratic MP says fails the "smell test" -- was included in a round of patronage appointments Prime Minister Stephen Harper has approved over the past three months.
The other plums in the latest round include a second government posting for Barbara McDougall, a cabinet minister in Brian Mulroney's Progressive Conservative government, a $107,000-a-year post for former Progressive Conservative MP Angela Vautour and agency posts for four former provincial Progressive Conservative legislative members from three provinces.
Here is what gets a rise out of me, more than the actual patronage itself. The Conservatives ran the last campaign in a morally arrogant way. Harper put himself on this ethical pedestal, while simultaneously scolding the Liberals as the "party of patronage and cronyism". The claims of moral superiority bother me, especially when they fail to recognize basic human nature. This tendency is largely the domain of the right, the claims of infallibility that affords them the right to pass judgment on others.
The Conservative patronage appointments demonstrate clearly that nothing has changed, this group is consistent with past governments. "New" is actually "quite old". All I ask, pick qualified people and keep the practice within reason, nothing too obscene. What have we learned, the Harper government doesn't tower above us in angelic light, it walks amongst the ordinary others, flawed and imperfect. The horror.
More shocking revelations. Oink, oink!