Gazebogate

Posted on April 11, 2011

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This is not particularly surprising. Lefties have been complaining about the overspending on unnecessary G8 crap like a hundred thousand dollar gazebo since the G8/G20 fiasco last June.

One Hundred Thousand Dollars.

Isn’t it nice, however, to see the issue revived by the unsurprising revelation that the Conservatives lied to parliament about this spending?  Isn’t it even nicer that the normally docile mainstream media has decided that this constitutes a  ‘bombshell’?

“The Conservative election campaign is scrambling to deal with the fallout of a bombshell draft report from the Auditor-General rife with concern about pork-barrel largesse, dubious spending and misinforming Parliament.

The confidential draft by Sheila Fraser concludes the government misinformed Parliament to win approval for a $50-million G8 fund that lavished money on questionable projects in Industry Minister Tony Clement’s riding. And it suggests the process by which the funding was approved may have been illegal.”

Firstly, let’s applaud the Auditor General for holding onto the report until the next parliament. It’s the responsible thing to do, and the RCMP would have done well to have exercised such prudence back in 2006.

I really shouldn’t take very much joy in the fact that this scandal is our best hope to date of turning the tide of the election. The fifty million dollars lost to this little bit of corruption pales in comparison to the $30 billion being lost to an untendered and unnecessary fighter jet contract. Unfortunately, the Conservatives’ aggressive, mean-spirited, dirty campaign tactics require that sensible people respond in kind. I am, therefore, quite happy that the Tories have given us this hammer with which to hit them over the head. So if you are the sort who, like me, likes to argue on Twitter and ruin social engagements whenever a Conservative shows up, just keep this simple script in mind:

Conservative: Stephen Harper’s Government will spend responsibly to get us out of this recession.

You: Gazebogate.

Conservative: The Liberals under Chretien and Martin betrayed Canadians with the Sponsorship Scandal.

You: Gazebogate.

Conservative: The Conservatives are a good, honest government that is here for Canadians.

You: Gazebogate.

You get the idea.

The hammer metaphor is quite apt: It’s like a game of rhetorical wack-a-mole. Have fun!

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