Monday, September 06, 2010

Nice Priorities

It's your tax dollars at work. A consistent refrain from fiscal conservatives, many of whom still defend this government vehemently, and in the process reveal selective outrage and patent hypocrisy. I've been somewhat amused, that this government has somewhat successfully spun the ludicrous advertising expenditure for the EAP. After all, it was this batch of Conservatives that used to rise to the pulpit, puffed up with moral outrage, ridiculing those bastard Liberals and their free spending ways. Remember, it was your tax dollars at work. And yet, here we sit, these Conservatives spending THREE, FOUR times the amount on self promotion, more than Liberals ever dreamed of at their HEIGHT of entitled arrogance. It's almost surreal when you compare and contrast.

Another core tenet, the idea of streamlined civil service, because, well you know, it's your tax dollars at work. We're in the midst of an economic meltdown, the government coffers running dry. There are threats of massive cuts, leaner times, and YET these Conservatives find the time to worry about the most mundane in the name of self interest. What a colossal waste of your tax dollars:
Tories demand bureaucrats produce weekly count on stimulus signage

Civil servants across Canada were ordered by the Harper government to document every single sign posted anywhere promoting the federal economic stimulus plan, The Canadian Press has learned.

They've spent countless hours tracking every one of more than 8,500 signs posted since last summer, when the urgent, weekly exercise was ordered by the Privy Council Office, the bureaucratic support arm of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's office.

It continues to this day.

Eighteen departments and agencies are involved, including the country's over-stretched food inspection agency, fisheries and oceans officials, health, public safety and environment workers and Parks Canada employees.

In the most stark terms, we see that priority wasn't making sure every dollar was stimulating the economy. But, more rightly we see that every MEANS POSSIBLE was employed to ensure YOU know who was paying for what, who was doling out the cash. Partisan ads, under the guise of the EAP. Forcing municipalities to pony up, partially pay for the signs, or risk not getting any funding. The civil service, distracted and wastefully used, with the only motivation- political self interest and partisan promotion.

How do these Harper fiscal conservatives still do it? How do they contort themselves so that they can someone rationalize selling their supposed "beliefs" to back this complete affront? We're paying for this, we're paying for 100 million in needless advertising per annum. We're paying for staged events, renouncements, announcements of reannoucements. We're paying our civil servants to effectively work on the government's re-election campaign. Yes, it's true and it only requires hind brain cognition to see it, in all it's glory.

It's all relative I guess. Your tax dollars at work, but it all depends on who is working the till I suppose.


Canajun said...

Just more examples of the biggest fallacy ever - that Conservatives are better fiscal managers. Ridiculous!

Steve V said...

It also proves most of this moral posturing of supporters was a mirage. With the exception of a Coyne, it's hard to cite to many fiscal conservatives that have spoken out against this reckless spending.

900ft Jesus said...

I was trying to figure out why Harper is so intent on counting the signs. What the hell? Can't figure how this would be of use to him. Reminds me of the minutia the nazis would get wrapped up in with useless record keeping while oblivious to the world outside their own bunkers.

Just bizarre. Any ideas?

Anya said...

The Auditor General wouldn't be at the door, would she?

Steve V said...

Word today, that the AG has already started sending out her findings. Might be part of the "Canadians don't want a needless election" line we are hearing.


It just the obsession with messaging I think.

Jerry Prager said...

What I started calling ActionPlanAdScam.

Jerry Prager said...

It's a throwback to Giorno/Harris and the advice they got from American republicans, back in the day, there wasn't a single bit of road work done in the province that didn't have Mike Harris' name on it.
And remember this is just the sign budget, the Actionplanadscam broadcast budget was massive.
Conservative supporters proved themselves to be complete hypocrites on the democracy. transparency, accountability mantra.
There is a reason right wing conservatives trend toward fascism, it's called power, power that requires prisons to enforce etc.

Tof KW said...

Jerry Prager is correct, I remember seeing these kind of "Your Tax Dollar At Work" signs back in the early 90's in a few US states, with the governor's name always quite prominently displayed. And yes it was usually the 'R' side of the US political spectrum.

Likewise everyone remembers the signage all across Ontario during the Mike Harris years. In fairness this all began here back under Bill Davis' government & the Ontario BILD (Building Industry & Land Development) program. David Peterson and Bob Rae both continued with it. However the signage was usually limited to large scale projects, and the premier's name was always quite small & in the lower bottom-right of the sign. Colours were also green, the province's official colour. That all changed under Mike Harris.

I've said before I'm not a big fan of McGuinty, but one thing the ONT Libs did right was to enact tough rules on this sort of shameless self-promotion to buy votes. I notice the ONT road construction signs are now in neutral browns and grays, and with nobody's names listed anywhere.

I've also said before the federal Liberals would be wise to adopt McGuinty's advertising rules as a policy for Ottawa also. It shows the difference between a truly responsible and fiscally accountable government ...and the gang from Hee-Haw that we currently have running the country.

Möbius said...

With the exception of a Coyne, it's hard to cite to many fiscal conservatives that have spoken out against this reckless spending.

Been doing so for more than a year. So have many others.

It's up to the LPC to offer an fiscally sensible alternative that we can vote for. I'm not holding my breath, and will likely vote for NOTA.

Steve V said...

The sheer hypocrisy should be enough. If not that, the relatively fiscal prudence should do the trick. These clowns are spending 3 or 4 times what the Libs did. More ministers, more money for the PMO, more polling, more advertising, it's a consistent sham.

Kirk said...

Has this made it onto any national newscast or local 6 o'clock news? Or the front page of a sizable number of newspapers?

If not it hardly matters.

Even if it does it still needs to become an "issue".

Hey, was about to post and it just came on The National.

Still needs to become an issue though.

Kirk said...

..."How do these Harper fiscal conservatives still do it? How do they contort themselves so that they can someone rationalize selling their supposed "beliefs" to back this complete affront?"

Simple. They've convinced themselves that the Liberals never eliminated the deficit or reduced the debt or ever cut a tax.

The surplus was not fiscal prudence, it was "over taxation".

The deficit wasn't eliminated, it was all EI money "stolen" by the Liberals.

And though Chretien/Martin were the only govt in 40 years to shrink federal spending as a percentage of GDP they persist in their belief that the Liberals are big spending socialists.

Reality is optional with a lot of people (not all of them Conservatives, unfortunately).