Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Scandals are Non-Partisan

If the Duffy/Wright/Senate controversy has proven one thing, it’s that scandals are a non-partisan affair.

This news might shock many Conservative Party partisans who were certain that greed and arrogance were traits that formed part of the Liberal Party's DNA.

Indeed, Conservative Party dogma was that only Tories, free as they were of Liberal taint, could provide honest and accountable government.

Well, the Duffy affair has blown that theory to smithereens.

And that shouldn’t surprise anyone.

To paraphrase Friedrich Hayek, honesty and integrity in government are not a function of which party is in power but of the power over economic decisions possessed
by those in government.

In other words the Liberals had corruption problems while in power, not because they were Liberals but because they succumbed to the corrupting influence of government.

That same influence has now infected the Conservatives.

My point is, when it comes to corruption, the real bad guy is government, or rather the power of government.

As long as government has the power to influence and direct our economy, corruption will be inevitable.

It doesn’t matter who is in power.

That’s why Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s stern warning in response to the Duffy controversy, that “anyone who wishes to use and have public office for their own benefit should change their plans or better yet, leave this room” is simply empty rhetoric.

Decrees and rules and regulations won’t halt those in government from wrong doing.

The only true way to bring about cleaner government is to reduce its scope and its power.

The less influence government has over our lives, the less temptation there will be to do wrong.


The Mound of Sound said...

Any Conservative who thinks that corruption is the preserve of Liberals has a very short memory.

Mulroney had such a rich history of corruption, it became the stuff of a popular book "On The Take." Corruption was endemic within that Conservative government even to the point of Mulroney pocketing cash-stuffed envelopes from Karlheinz Schreiber.

And let's get something else straight. The corruption in the Harper government isn't within the Senate. Yes a few senators were padding their expenses and allowance claims but the Senate moved to investigate that and called in independent auditors.

The corruption came from the PMO, the Prime Minister's Office. At the very top levels of the PMO, it was decided to bring Duffy in-house.

It was the offer of free money, under the table, to get himself out of his jam that lured Duffy to the PMO. The Senate didn't do that, the Harper PMO did.

It was the PMO that undermined the Senate investigation, ordering Duffy not to speak to the auditors, to spurn their requests for cooperation. The Senate didn't do that, the Harper PMO did.

It was the PMO that strong-armed the Senate audit committee into laundering the report on Duffy's difficulties, as promised. It was the Harper PMO that saw to that, not the Senate.

Almost all the real corruption in this scandal emanated from Stephen Harper and his closest aides. The beating heart of corruption in the Canadian government today is the Prime Minister's Office. And, if you think that can't be true, ask Bruce Carson, adviser to the prime minister, convicted swindler, ex-con, disbarred lawyer - a natural fit for Mr. Harper's PMO.

Anonymous said...

my my the mound of sound is a mound of knowledge
Please do not let the facts get in the way of your fairy tale