Thursday, November 19, 2009

Brian Mulroney Must Feel Pretty Good with the Reform Conservative Scandal Boiling Over Stimulus

I read a little blurb the other day about Jim Flaherty and his projected financial update for January. He will be proposing some cuts, wrapped into a confidence motion. The suggestion of course is that no one will want to bring down the Ref-Con government just before the Olympics.

But what if they want someone to bring them down?

Their good polling numbers right now might be their best chance, though with the current scandal over possible war crimes, that could be fleeting.

I can almost guarantee that one of the things Flaherty will hide in this budget, will be an end to voter subsidies. Steven Fletcher has been working on this behind the scenes.

If he is able to get this through it could be devastating to the NDP, Bloc and Green Parties, who rely on those subsidies to keep going. And of course we always tell people that even if they feel their vote won't get their candidate elected, at least it will help to finance future campaigns.

The Reformers count on keeping people home on voting night, and this will be one more reason for them to do so.

However, James Travers thinks there may be another reason. With a major scandal brewing over the stimulus money, and public servants saying that they won't take the fall, everyone is going into damage control. Maybe they'll want to get an election over with before the you know what hits the fan.

Travers: Bracing for a stimulus scandal

OTTAWA—Public scrutiny of billions in stimulus spending and a private struggle over where the buck stops are putting a best-before-date on Stephen Harper's government. Auditor General Sheila Fraser's winter look at the Economic Action Plan, along with the refusal of top civil servants to be blamed for politically tainted projects, means voters will almost certainly go to the polls before she reports late next fall.

Controversy over giant cheques, flattering signs and lavish advertising are only a taste of what Conservatives can expect if, as is widely anticipated here, abuses are found in the way the ruling party is distributing more than $35 billion. Fearing what's ahead, deputy ministers are protecting themselves by taking advantage of
stronger accountability safeguards put into place after Justice John Gomery's inquiry into the Quebec sponsorship scandal ....

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