Thursday, October 15, 2009

The big picture

Here it is:

It's the partisanship, stupid. That's what that picture says to me. It's the achilles heel of the Stephen Harper government.

It's the picture of a government that promotes itself on the taxpayer's back and to the detriment of other important public policy issues. That engages in that self-interest on a widespread, national basis. And they did all of this during a year of recession, spending their time preferring Conservative interests over the national interest. Andrew Steele got to the heart of the matter on that point recently. There's an element of immorality in all of this.

This is also a picture of a government that engages in rule-breaking, here and now, yet perennially points the finger elsewhere. This is not about the Liberals, as David McGuinty said today in response to the predictable sponsorship scandal waving by Conservatives. Conservatives seek to forever immunize themselves from accountability by pointing to the past. But Liberals are committing to policies of transparency that defeat those ghosts: proposing an independent advisory committee to approve government advertising, similar to the approach adopted by the McGuinty government to ensure impartial government advertising; supporting the independence of the Parliamentary Budget Office. Those are important points that shouldn't be dismissed by cynical moral relativists.

It's quite the picture and they wear it well.