A blog to give a voice to our concern about the continued erosion of our democratic processes not only within the House of Commons and within our electoral system but also throughout our society. Here you will find articles about the current problems within our parliamentary democracy, about actions both good and bad by our elected representatives, about possible solutions, opinions and debate about the state of democracy in Canada, and about our roles/responsibilities as democratic citizens. We invite your thoughtful and polite comments upon our posts and ask those who wish to post longer articles or share ideas on this subject to submit them for inclusion as a guest post.
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Sunday, April 21, 2019

Lies & Spin (repost)

In a political landscape where lies and spin is the norm we must thank and support those individuals who do not fall prey to this insidious trend, and condemn and publicly identify those who do.”
The above quote from the following 2010 article is just as relevant today as it was then, perhaps more so and applies to ALL levels of government!

Here is James Travers this week on the ever decreasing “truth” of information coming from our politicians of all stripes:-
It’s a revealing quirk that the word that best describes how politics is practiced here is banned from Parliament. The words is “lie” and in any other place it would be firmly fixed to everything from the flimsy justification for gutting the census to the bogus boast that the country is tracking towards balanced budgets.
Let’s be perfectly honest: Sometime before the Millennium, “spin” crept into the political vernacular as an elastic substitute for “truth”. Old promises were recycled as new, brush was furiously dragged across the money trail and governments flying both red and blue colours found ever more inventive ways to frustrate the public’s right to know.
Since then little lies have grown into the Big Lie. This fall alone Conservatives have been exposed here for grossly inflating wispy resistance to the mandatory long-form census and caught out at the United Nations for making the imaginative declaration that Canada is back up front on the world stage.”

The article continues to say that its not just the Conservatives “spinning” the truth but that the opposition is party to this troubling trend in our nations capital. Indeed the term “Honest Politician” is rapidly becoming an oxymoron, and that’s a shame and a disservice to the few MPs who truly do try to be honest, open and accountable.
This week we also had another indication that fact and information must not get in the way of spin and lies. Those civil servants that attempt to make public their concerns on such matters were supposed to have at least a little protection against political pressure to dismiss or demote them should they point out some wrongdoing or misinformation by the government of the day. To that end a Public Sector Integrity Commissioner was appointed some 2 or 3 years ago to listen to, and rule upon complaints by the civil service regarding such matters, but now it would seem that even within this office something very fishy is going on.

The country’s public sector integrity commissioner has retired from her post just as the federal auditor general has launched her probe into the commissioner’s office amid operational complaints.
Christiane Ouimet, the federal whistleblower watchdog who hasn’t produced any recommendations or found any wrongdoing in her three years on the job, announced Wednesday she is “retiring” four years before her term is set to expire. “
Ouimet's job was to protect public service whistleblowers, and investigate complaints of wrongdoing. But she found no evidence of any wrongdoing whatsoever in any of the 170 complaints her office handled since Stephen Harper appointed her in 2007. It was all "nothing to see here, move along" from the get-go. Guess who one of the complainants was? Sean Bruyea. Name ring a bell?

Ouimet was also, it seems, a rare pleasure to work for. In one twelve-month period, 18 of her office's 22 employees left. (tip o the hat to Dr Dawg on that one)
It seems that there were in fact thousands of complaints but only 170 were elevated to the status of “official” complaints and of those only a handful made it much further through the process and as was pointed out above NONE were found to have any merit. I find that VERY hard to believe, between that and all the staff quitting it is clear that the civil servant actually had NO protection and I am sure word spread quickly and had a chilling effect upon those individuals on OUR payroll who wished to point out a problem in government.

We must be very grateful that we have a strong Auditor General, Sheila Fraser, who, it would seem, is determined to do her job in an ethical, open and timely manner. Sort of reminds one of Kevin Page over at the Parliamentary Budget Office doesn’t it. I wonder how long it will be before her budget gets cut and she has difficulty obtaining information necessary to do her job?

In a political landscape where lies and spin is the norm we must thank and support those individuals who do not fall prey to this insidious trend, and condemn and publicly identify those who do.

Talking of Lies here is one of the most blatant as pointed out by our friend Impolitical:-
This from John Baird
“Mr. Speaker, this government, when it comes to administrating the public's business, always acts with great, high ethical standards, openness, transparency and fairness. Those are all the principles. When it comes to standing up for Canada, this government has no price. We will always do what is right for this great country.”

If you believe that, please contact me regarding some ocean view property I have for sale in Saskatchewan........

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Owen Gray said...

Thanks, Rural, for the timely reminder.

Rural said...

I no longer have the heart to closely follow and comment on more current shenanigans Owen, so I will be posting relevant article from earlier efforts for a bit! Please keep up your efforts, I read each and every one of them and rarely disagree with your point of view.