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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Government Inaction vs. Government In Action

It’s amazing how quickly the political machine in Ottawa can move when a politician’s butt is on the line.

Yesterday the House of Commons passed four separate bills which are now before the senate for approval. One of these bills approves a much talked about home heating rebate for low income Canadians. During the session debate was simply a formality and all parties nearly tripped over one another in their attempts to jump to their feet and show approval.

In addition to this lightning fast action, word on the Hill is that the senate will put in many late hours, streamline processes and even have cabinet ministers sit in on their review of those bills this week. All in an effort to ensure that they move swiftly through the Senate and are put before the Governor General for royal assent on Monday.

I’m used to commenting on government inaction, but I have to admit it’s pretty rare to be actually reporting on government in action.

It’s just too bad elected officials can’t move this quickly during the normal course of their duties, you know that quiet period of federal hibernation between elections that usually lasts about four years. A bustle of activity like this hasn’t been seen on the Hill since, well, I don’t know if there has ever been a bustle of activity like this on the Hill.

A word of advice folks, don’t let the spin doctors for the various parties fool you on this one. The rhetoric coming out will of course take the direction of, “Well we all wanted to ensure this money got into the hands of those who need it and didn’t get held up by the pending election.”

Nothing could be further from the truth so don’t believe it for one minute.

The reality of the situation is that the Liberals want to get the money out the door so they can score election points by claiming they have once again acted in the best interest of the public and worked diligently while in office for all Canadians. On the other side of the coin, as much as the opposition parties would love to take this plum away from the Liberals, none of them can afford to be nailed to a cross during this election campaign for having stopped those bills from passing. It’d be political suicide for them.

No matter how they try to spin it, all of this fervour is nothing more than a simple case of the good old boys (and girls) covering their behinds and safeguarding their political future, plain and simple. It’s a case of survival instinct taking over in a political jungle, a situation where only the fleet-of-foot can outrun defeat at the polls.

I have to give them all credit on this one though. It used to be that the Liberals were the undisputed masters of buying votes with the public’s own money. Now even the opposition parties have found a way to buy a few with it as well. Maybe it’s just me, but it sure seems like a dollar buys a lot more in Ottawa these days than it does around my neck of the woods.


Patriot said...

Well folks John Effortless has just made it official. He won't be running in the next election.

Merry (early) Christmas Newfoundland and Labrador.

Patriot said...

Well folks, Ralph "Goodies" Goodale just announce that he is cutting taxes on dividends from income trusts. According to FPI this was what was keeping them from setting one up and sticking to thier committments in places like Bonivista. Lets see what happens next.