Sunday, December 25, 2005

Fighting Corruption Will Never Be a Trivial Pursuit

The terms “Culture of Corruption” and “Culture of Entitlement” has recently been used often to describe the federal Liberal party’s typical relationship to rampant corruption.

One thing that is certain is that so long as corruption remains an issue in the current federal election, it is one about which the Liberal party will have nothing to say. The reason for this is simple: this is a matter on which have no ground to stand on, and absolutely no credibility.

Once again, the federal Liberal apologists have formulated what they feel to be the most appropriate response: trivialize the matter.

Examples come to mind. The most recent comes from George Stroumboulopoulos, who on an episode of CBC’s The Hour this past week attempted to lampoon the federal Conservative party over their response to Adscam, saying: “Quick. Name one federal government that wasn’t involved in some sort of scandal. …We’re still waiting.”

While it wouldn’t be unusual (or even incorrect) to paint the CBC as a glorified mouthpiece for the Liberal party, the matter here is not really the political leanings of one journalist. What matters is the implication that corruption in this case doesn’t matter because every other government has allegedly been corrupt as well. Furthermore, it is also suggested that any other party would be equally corrupt.

Certainly, the case that many other governments have been corrupt is accurate. Brian Mulroney’s Progressive Conservative Government of the 1980s comes to mind, as does John A. McDonald’s Tory government of the 1870s. This, at least does demonstrate that other political parties (specifically, the Progressive Conservatives, who merged with the Canadian Alliance Party to form the modern Conservative Party in 2003) can be just as corrupt as any other.

On the other hand, in a recent top-ten list of the worst scandals in Canadian history compiled by (once again) the CBC, the current Liberal government was cited three times – Over the APEC Scandal, Shawinigate and the Jane Stewart Human Resources Development debacle. One should keep in mind this is before we have seen what the consequences of Adscam will ultimately be. In contrast, the Mulroney government was cited an equal number of times.— notably, over the Fisheries Scandal, the Airbus Scandal and various other Scandals related to his cabinet ministers. Also, this list was compiled before the recent revelations regarding the suspicious leak of information from Revenue Canada regarding the taxation of Income Trusts (which, interestingly, the Liberals don’t want to investigate). This means that at least two major cases of corruption that must be cited against the Liberal party remain at hand.

Some individuals, such as Calgary Grit (blogger Scott Ramson) seek to merely trivialize some of the details of Adscam. On October 15, 2004, Ramson wrote, “ … golf balls? Is this the worst they can do? Politicians use the government bank account for far more costly things: dinners, jet flights (for “political events”), the list goes on and on. The fact that the PM may have gotten a few freebies (and I don’t think that link has even been proven…just that they were used at an event he was at) is trivial. You’re telling me that CEOs don’t use company funds to get free jackets, sweaters, etc? That employees don’t use a company photocopier for private purposes?”

Ramson was referring to the production of name-branded golf balls by Jean Chretien, which was one of the questionable items being examined by the Gomery Inquiry. He goes on to refer to the matter as a “trivial non-story”, despite the fact that this at least suggests – raises reasonable suspicion – that Chretien possessed a personal link to the corruption at the heart of Adscam, just as he was personally linked to Shawinigate. But for those Liberal apologists who are afraid of what this may ultimately may mean for their party, the only way to respond is to confuse the issue, and ensure that the issue remains confused.

Questioning whether or not governmental corruption is absolutely ludicrous – of course it matters. However, it can be considered that the current batch of Liberal apologists are attempting to argue the matter with one of two very similar methods: in one case, it is proposed that all governments are corrupt (which is entirely false – Joe Clark’s reign as Prime Minster was clean, albeit short), so the corruption of one government doesn’t matter. In the other, it is argued that because all governments are corrupt corruption doesn’t matter at all. Both of these approaches are ridiculous, and reek of defeatism – if not outright loserism.

Adscam matters, and nothing the Liberal apologists have to say will change this. If, in fact, it was corruption thar resulted in the 1992 annhiliation of the Progressive Conservative party and not fickle anger over the GST, Canadians have no excuse to not visit similar wrath upon the Liberal party.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Deconstructing the Hidden Agenda

Welcome to Ottawa, where telling the truth, it seems, has become strictly verboten.

Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper was sent a letter of warning last week by the legal representatives of the Liberal Party. The subject of the warning? Harper’s assertation that Adscam demonstrates connections between the Liberal party and organized crime. The letter insisted that should Harper, or any member of the Conservative party repeat the comments outside of the House of Commons, the Liberal party would sue.

Which would probably be all fine and dandy… if it wasn’t true. The Sponsorship Scandal reflects practices common in much of white collar crime… which is, by its very nature, premeditated and organized. In other words, organized crime.

To the Globe and Mail, this affair apparently qualified as front page news, as they reported “Liberals Threaten to Sue Over Harper’s Rhetoric.” Which is what Harper’s assertations may well have been… if they weren’t, you know… true. This also came on a day when the rest of the national media was focusing on the Liberal party’s steadily dropping polls, and the backlash against the party’s proposed bribery of Canadian voters. So, if one suggests that the Globe and Mail is manipulating the news to the benefit of the Liberal party, they probably are not all that far from the truth.

In fact, they’re probably spot-on. It’s no secret that the Liberal party practically owns many of Canada’s high-profile media personalities (Rick Mercer, anyone?). The only question that remains is thus: did Jean Chretien pay cash or credit when he bought these people? And has Paul Martin been keeping up with the bills? Evidently so.

With today’s calling of a January 23rd election, one can expect some of Canada’s more unscrupulous “journalists” to begin lining up to take shots at any opponents of the corrupt Liberal regime. We can expect to hear the same old rhetoric (actual rhetoric, not demonstrated truth dismissed as rhetoric) over and over again.
Including that same propaganda lie fed to the Canadian public over and over again: the Hidden Agenda.

The idea of the Hidden Agenda has been a reliable lie for supporters of the Liberal party, used to counter virtually everything the Conservative party has ever proposed. “End corporate welfare”… HIDDEN AGENDA!!! “Tax relief”… HIDDEN AGENDA!!! “Gomery Inquiry”… HIDDEN AGENDA!!!

Unfortunately for these liars (or, perhaps, unfortunately for the Conservative Party), the Conservative Party has no hidden agenda. The Liberal party, however, does have such a hidden agenda, and they have shown us this time and time again.
Through various state endowments, the Liberal party has repeatedly laid the frame work for an ideological brainwashing of Canadians. The country’s most prominent think tanks are all Liberal party-friendly, and have all consistently worked toward entrenching the values allegedly espoused by the Liberal party as “Canadian values”. Meanwhile, a monopoly on political power has made the Liberal party increasingly corrupt. Even as the air is cleared from the last major scandal (Shawinigate?), the next scandal emerges, painting a picture of a political party that has brainwashed the country so thoroughly that it doesn’t matter what the truth is: the federal Liberals have, in effect, issued themselves a license to be as corrupt as they wish: and they’ve invented the perfect lie to make it possible.

Perhaps the most telling fact regarding the hidden agenda is the fact that those screaming it at the top of their lungs can’t seem to agree on what it is. Depending on which pro-Liberal drone you ask, it amounts to almost anything, from turning Canada into a puppet state under U.S. control to legalizing discrimination against gays and other minorities, to even “a Canada ruled by rednecks”.

Which is all fairly interesting, especially when considering that the Conservative party has, election in and election out, sent forth the most ethnically and racially diverse range of candidates out of any of Canada’s political parties. Oops.

Those responsible for spreading the “hidden agenda” lie have often grasped at any straw they can find. For example, the nomination of three candidates with links to Christian activist groups led to the pronouncement that “religious zealots are hijacking the Conservative party”. Those spreading this particular bit of propaganda all took care to bury the pertinent facts – the mere three out of more than 200 candidates nominated by the Conservatives – as deeply in their respective “journalistic articles” as they could.

In another case, an article exploring the “anti-abortion” hidden agenda of the Conservative party alleged that 20 anti-abortion MPs attended a “March for Life” rally in Ottawa. The article noted that “most of them” were Conservative MPs – then failed to mention how many of them were, or how many of them were from other parties – or who, or which.

If ever forced to produce concrete proof – not rhetoric – those supporting the hidden agenda lie would be unable to produce it. But this is not something they are meant to support – it’s a propaganda tool, designed for one purpose: spreading hysteria for the purpose of demonizing political alternatives, essentially turning Canada into a one-party state.

Take one look at Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, or Communist China. It isn’t hard to figure out what the ultimate consequences for establishing a one-party state are.
Unfortunately, there are those in Canada who are simultaneously so ambitious and so unscrupulous that they are willing to stop at nothing in order to do this.