The integrity issue

Stephen Harper’s past promises (senate reform, fixed-term elections) have proven false and undermine his last Friday’s election promises for the foreseeable future.

His big lie (the deceitful and manipulative use of ‘coalition’ to describe the three opposition parties) hangs round his neck like the Ancient Mariner’s albatross.

His government’s neglect of veterans returning from Afghanistan is shameful  (particularly since our involvement there is an extension of his ego, disguised as a desire for ‘a more robust foreign policy’.)

His rigid and autocratic control over senior civil servants, officers of parliament and in the matter of the Afghan documents, parliament itself, shows a contempt for parliamentary democracy and procedure not seen since the days of Pierre Trudeau.

Even arch-conservative commentator Andrew Coyne observed that Harper’s Conservatives exhibit “partisanship of the most thuggish, obtuse kind combining vicious attacks on opponents with a robotic repetition of the party line.”

The Bernier, Guergis, O’Connor, Oda and Carson scandals continue to smell.

Mr. Harper’s integrity, and that of his government, is in tatters.

However, in the throes of a federal campaign we should not lose sight of the integrity issue as it pertains to B.C.’s Premier and the ongoing under-the-radar provincial campaign.

On Voice of the Province, Feb. 14, 2001, Ms. Clark said, “We’re not planning massive layoffs in the civil service.”

And yet between May 2001 and May 2005 she supported policies which slashed 8,700 jobs in the public service, cut Sustainable Resource Management staff from 1,520 to 972 and those who protect forest and range land from 4,061 to 2,626. And the list goes on and on.

Surely it would be advisable for Ms. Clark, as a much-hyped agent of change, to revisit and repeal these remarkably short-sighted policies.

Otherwise she, too, will forfeit her integrity.

Given her past record, she may already have done so.

 

J.C.Vallance,

Fernie