Some background on the cheques. A Conservative MP writes, and the political impact is measured.

Received in my inbox this afternoon from a Conservative Member of Parliament (published with permission):

Thanks for the email, [name withheld]! MPs and anyone else are always welcome to send tips.

This issue is a bit of a tricky one when measuring political impact. Yes, Stephen Harper ran on accountability with respect to public money going to public interests. And while he hasn’t allowed public money to be funneled into the pockets of his friends — unlike the Liberals — the Grits are crying foul that partisanship is too closely linked with government.

And yes, they do have a point. On one cheque. Yes, that cheque; the one handed out by Gerald Keddy.

However, I think the Liberals have overplayed their hand. Having made a small crack with Keddy, they’re trying to ram through 181 other “examples” of cheques which actually pass the sniff test.

Stephen Harper or MPs may have signed the cheques, but they have done so in their respective roles as the Prime Minister and as MPs — not as Conservative candidates.

And therein lies perhaps my biggest disagreement with wire reporter turned opinion maker Bruce Cheadle. The CP reporter argues that the Prime Minister is a partisan entity. In his story about the Economic Action Plan website, Cheadle argued that Harper’s mere image connotes “Conservative Party of Canada”. I would suggest that the office of the Prime Minister (and its occupant) supersede partisanship and he his first and foremost the Prime Minister of Canada (and therefore an agent of the government). Likewise, Members of Parliament act in the same capacity: as government representatives.

Again, the only lapse was the logo on that one cheque.

If we are to take Cheadle’s argument further, the Prime Minister’s presence at international gatherings such as the G20 and the G8 are merely expensive Conservative Party photo ops. Further we’d presume from Mr. Cheadle that Members of Parliament have no official role at all, they are merely hucksters for their own party brand. While this may be the opinion of some, it is not the constitutionally-outlined fact.

The Liberals did score a bit of a coup last night when they were able to wedge that one cheque to make an argument for their 181 cheque slideshow on the CBC’s National. Yet, some reporters are taking note. This cheque affair reeks of opportunism; Keddy’s of course, but also by the Liberals who not only mastered the process of taxpayer-backed partisanship, but now also make a 181 photo mountain out of a 1 photo molehill.

As we all throw mud at each other in our Ottawa sandbox we occasionally look up to see how we’ve done in the eyes of Canadians. So, how does this show play out on Main Street? Canadians will be disappointed in Keddy’s lapse to be sure. The Liberal partisans may become a bit more partisan. And the conservative ideologues never loved fiscal stimulus anyway. But Liberal partisans and conservative ideologues represent a minority of Canadians. As for the 99.99% of Canadians that don’t think of politics more than 7 seconds a week, how do they feel about the issue?

Their perceptions of Stephen Harper and of Michael Ignatieff matter most. Let’s take Ignatieff out of the equation because he’s removed himself from jockeying on this issue. For Stephen Harper, this incident takes a bit of the shine off of the “accountability” image he won upon in 2006. However, for those that listen to the Liberal complaint that the Conservatives aren’t doing enough to stimulate the economy — that the money isn’t getting out of the door fast enough — the Liberals are banking on the sustained outrage of Canadians over one bad cheque, while hoping that Canadians ignore that Conservatives are satisfying any complaint of sluggish stimuli demonstrated by those other 181 cheques.

This is will be difficult as the Liberals have created a slideshow. After all, wouldn’t it be terrible for Conservative electoral chances if every local paper printed up their local MP’s photo with a big cheque with a headline that read: “SCANDAL: local MP spends your money on you in your community”?

Comments

comments

  • Bruce

    A little history for the useless delusional feces throwing Liberal monkey troll;

    http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/545220

    Instead, Harper proposed billions in spending cuts, the suspension of the right of public servants to strike, pay equity changes, and a small but significant reduction of public funding for political parties.

    Angered over the lack of an overarching spending package to kickstart the sluggish economy, the Opposition parties cried foul.

    Now the Liberals say they will introduce a motion of non-confidence in the government.

    NDP Leader Jack Layton and Stephane Dion have discussed “roles and responsibilities” in a new coalition, an NDP official confirmed.

    It is expected that Layton would have a place in the new cabinet, and “various players would play different roles,” the official said.

    Liberal finance critic John McCallum said a new government would roll out a stimulus package that was “a whole lot faster and a whole lot bigger than anything they would provide.”

  • terry1

    The other thing Stephen is that I just tried to edit my post but the edit feature is not there right now. It comes and goes. I have contacted Disqus about these problems and have heard nothing back yet.

  • Bruce

    http://news.therecord.com/News/BreakingNews/art

    Ignatieff’s comments were in response to a question from Cambridge business leader John Bell, who wanted to known when the federal debt will be paid back.
    “We will have to raise taxes,” but not at the expense of hurting the recovery from this recession. He added that “an honest politician” cannot exclude a tax hike as an option.

  • Bruce

    Cover up your support for him? Are you kidding?

    You are too far gone Parsmell, there is no hope for you to recover from your affliction.

  • hollinm

    You really don't know what you are talking about. “Honest” government?. Show me where Harper or any of his government has pocketed taxpayers money. I think you are confused with the Liberal party. A direct hit? You guys keep falling into traps of your own making. It took some trouble for Kinsella to find the you tube icon up in the top corner. I could hardly see it. What it has done is encouraged with the help of your media friends to cause Canadians to look for the icon and to play it once again continuing to confirm the PM is a good guy. Its hardly trying to hide anything. It was there for all to see. Try nice though.

  • Bruce

    Ottawa Citizen April 2009;

    Despite leader Michael Ignatieff’s vow that his party would no longer sit on its hands during votes in Parliament, Liberal MPs have missed three times as many votes in the House of Commons as Conservative members so far this year.

    The average Liberal MP did not participate in about 12 per cent of the recorded votes on bills and motions in the House of Commons since the parliamentary session began in January, compared to Tory MPs, who on average skipped four per cent, a Citizen analysis shows.

    The Liberals posted the worst record for voting of the four parties in the House, standing to be counted fewer times on average than even Bloc Québécois MPs.

    And when Liberal MPs did show up, they voted the same way as the Conservatives 79 per cent of the time…

  • http://www.stephentaylor.ca Stephen Taylor

    Ok, keep me posted

  • CanadianSense

    Parnel-Terry1, Ti-Guy

    are the official “bedwetters” for the Liberal Party.

    Give then any topic and they will parrot it without fail.

    When Liberals promise to repeal the laws of gravity, these bedwetters will provide proof how they will do it.

    I suspect JC was holding the “cojones” on display and took them when he left. The shell left called the Liberal Party has been looking for the “golf balls” ever since.

  • Bruce

    http://laforet.ca/2009/10/13/ignatieffs-clean-e

    Ignatieff’s ‘Clean Energy’ Proposal Bad Politics and Bad Policy

    by John Laforet
    posted on October 13th, 2009 at 22:05:19 pm

    I am a former federal Liberal Riding President, and have largely distanced myself on matters of federal politics since leaving that position out of respect to those I worked with, but this I felt required comment. I hope it will not require much more action that writing a letter to the Leader of the Liberal Party to correct his facts.

    Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff’s speech to the Vancouver Board of Trade demonstrated a staggering ignorance on the ‘clean energy’ file. His speech today demonstrated a total lack of understanding of this division of power. What’s more, he incorrectly accused Canada of not being a green energy leader. We are. Hydroelectricity represents 88% of the world’s installed renewable energy source. Canada is second only to China in the production of hydroelectric power, and is forth in the world for use of hydroelectricity as a percentage of supply.

  • Bruce

    Previous post H/T BLY

  • Jen

    Have you noticed hollinm that the national media can't bring themselves to talk about the liberals;
    as Bruce mentioned in the previous story. I take it from the media that they are so proud of the liberals ancd their corruption etc that they want to keep it as is.
    They media don't want to share with the public the 'corruptions entitlements missing money etc imposed by their beloved LPOC.

    The media are elated that 80% of canada's national debt is Trudeau's- isn't that good news.
    You know that LPOC made DRASTIC CUTS to FUNDING too: Infrastructure, Healthcare, Education, military, transfer payments to provinces etc. Well, the LPOC claimed as a Surplus. Wow!
    And do you know that the PM.STEPHEN HARPER is being blamed for not attending to those de- funded areas.

    What about the $54Billion UI/EI scandal. Not a peep of this from the National Media: PP, QP. CBC CTV. Again, the media refuse to mentioned all of this to the public especially to vast majority of liberal voters.

    Let's put it this way, the national media don't speak for canadians period- only for the LPOC.
    What the National Media fail to realize is that, what we know of the LPOC scandal and corruption and the list of things which they did, can, and will be posted at the NEW YORK TIMES. It is already in the internet so, why the continuation of silence from the media.

  • terry1

    Mervin, the polls will show the direct hit in the next week or so. This one has legs. A PM who is well recorded saying he will do things differently and then acts like a pirate on the high seas will have a lot to explain.
    The only real change we have seen is the massacre of our fiscal health. He is about to make us a basket case just as Muldoon did
    Keep up the charade. I enjoy your skating but you won't win any medals

  • Jen

    Wilson, the mp I was talking about is not mine it just so happens that that mp deals in that partiular area where I was curious to know.
    However, I must say my own mp is very good, he goes to communities, send emails to update me what he is doing as well as the party. I have to admit he is good in his job and cares.

  • terry1

    Tory sleaze is breaking out all over:

    Tory Senator on payroll of company that won infrastructure contract

    Jennifer Ditchburn
    Published: Today
    OTTAWA – A Montreal firm landed a federal stimulus contract while a top Tory organizer and senator was on the payroll, The Canadian Press has learned.

    Senator Leo Housakos's employer, BPR Inc., was part of a consortium that won a $1.4-million engineering contract to study the future of Montreal's aging Champlain Bridge.

    Public Works Minister Christian Paradis announced $212 million in funding for the bridge – and a competition for the engineering contract – on May 20, the same day Housakos was stage-managing a major Conservative fundraiser in Montreal.

    The Canadian Press obtained a copy of the guest list for one of the special VIP receptions that was held just before the main fundraising event.

    The 48-person list included four senior executives from BPR and the winning consortium, BCDE.

    BPR president Pierre Lavallee is registered as having donated $250 to the Conservative party eight days after the event.

    Also on the guest list for the special reception were two officials from the federal authority that runs the bridge, Paul Kefalas and Serge Martel. Kefalas had formerly worked at Swiss multinational ABB, and had given work to a small consulting company Housakos co-founded.

  • terry1

    Caandian nonsense….And what are you besides the crackpot of Oakville. You ahve been kicked off numerous blogs and BB's for your insidous stupidity on everything political.

  • http://www.stephentaylor.ca Stephen Taylor

    Terry, you're about to get kicked off of this one if you don't stop personal insults

  • terry1

    “are the official “bedwetters” for the Liberal Party.”

    The above is ok but the response is not?

    Get real Stephen and look at the post above mine.

  • Jen

    Really and truely Bruce, let stephen taylor deal with the three faces of Terry.

    Now, can you imagine if the LPOC had not stolen from the public; can you imagine all that money that suppose to have gone into: infrastruction, healthcare, military, education, transfer of payments to provinces instead of into the LPOC. Can you imagine what the deficit would have been today had the liberals paid. The military poor souls were reduced to nothing their equipments clothing etc were not up to par except for a few planes given to them by paul martin that's all.
    Can you imagine the bulk of money this prime minister has to turn around to pay where the liberals should have attended too years. Can you imagine having a decent national media that spoke for canadians instead of campaigning for the liberal party of canada.
    Can you envision the liberals going on television to accuse this prime minister for the very job they themselves(liberals) failed and can you envision the national media for canadians hammering at the LPOC on their own mess.

    I wish we had that national media. unfortunately there is none. Which means, the bloggers have to do what the media failed misserably for thirteen years.

  • http://www.stephentaylor.ca Stephen Taylor

    Worry about yourself first. Bad behaviour doesn't justify other bad behaviour.

    Clean it up and I'll clean up the rest.

  • terry1

    Here you go boys and girls, the sleaze that never stops giving.(I wonder who screwed up in the censorship dept. of the PMO to let that news out)

    Bruce Cheadle

    Ottawa — The Canadian Press
    Published on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2009 3:52PM EDT

    Last updated on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2009 5:29PM EDT

    The Harper government spent over $100,000 staging a one-hour event in June to deliver an update on its efforts to help the recession-ravaged economy.

    Invoices obtained by The Canadian Press through the Access to Information Act show a nominal bill to taxpayers of $108,000 for the carefully scripted “town hall” meeting in Cambridge, Ont.

    The June 11 event turned what the opposition Liberals had hoped would be an uncomfortable exercise in government transparency into a slick campaign-style rally for Conservative party faithful.

    Critics say it's just the latest example of what they're calling a Tory penchant for leveraging public money for partisan gain.

    “It fits in with a whole pattern with this government where they are basically using tax dollars to promote themselves to voters,” said Gerry Nicholls of the right-wing web portal Libertaspost.com.

    “That's clearly wrong. It's clearly a waste of tax dollars.”

  • hollinm

    Wishful thinking parnel. The fact is and you need to listen carefully. Canadians don't like Iffy and so you can wish until the cows come home that the polls will change this week but I don't think so. If they do no problem we can live with it because campaigns do matter.

  • terry1

    Here's another admission of guilt:
    http://impolitical.blogspot.com/2009/10/conserv
    Sunday, October 18, 2009
    Conservative web elves busy again
    Social media links last night on actionplan.gc.ca, if you clicked on any of them, would lead you to this picture:

    See what you made them do, Steve…:) You made the minions work all weekend. Hope they're getting time and a half for all this midnight oil in cleaning up the mess.

    My guess, they'll be all fixed up nicely by some time today. No more link love for the piano playing Prime Minister.

    What can they do, they've been caught out and embarrassingly so.

    I don't think they're quite finished in cleaning up the partisan excess on the site though…

    Posted by Impolitical at 10/18/2009 07:00:00 AM Recommend this Post at Progressive Bloggers

    Labels: conservative advertisements, ethics, ethics commissioner, partisan advertising

  • Bruce

    Funny how the troll likes to leave things out and provide no link;

    http://www.canadaeast.com/news/article/828022

    Housakos said in an interview he was never an employee of BPR proper, but rather of its wholly-owned subsidiary TerrEau, and never made any representations to government officials about BPR business.

    “I never made any representations to any minister, any bureaucrat, to anyone in government on behalf of BPR at any time,” Housakos said.

    Senate Ethics Officer Jean Fournier, speaking in general about the Senate Conflict of Interest Code, said he advises senators not to have any contact with federal officials or federal ministers relating to contracts. He also asks senators to clear any matters relating to federal contracts with his office.

    Housakos said he couldn't have advised Fournier that BPR was bidding on the Champlain Bridge contract because he didn't know about it. He said he told Fournier all about the nature of his employment at TerrEau and was told there were no problems.

  • Bruce

    Pathetic isn't the word, quoting a Liblog site, way too funny and reeking of delusion.

  • Bruce

    These town halls cost dollars to put on, mainly the security component and Nichol's? Well his opinion is certainly not shared by as many as he would lead himself to believe.

  • Bruce

    And Bruce Cheadle? Another real prize effort.

  • terry1

    Mervin, that's right campaigns do matter and Harpo will be on the defensive for the whole campaign. The libs have only just begun to label him as dishonest and unethical. Your guys played that game and you will get it back in spades
    People will like Iggy a lot more when Harpo is tarred with the dishonesty brush. Life is funny and sometimes things come back and kick you in the lower posterior, which is where the Tory brain trust works from.

  • terry1

    The stench is clear and this guy will be proven to be a liar. After all he is a reformatory type.

  • terry1

    And you think anyone will believe your garbage. It's not even recyclable because of the toxicity.

  • Bruce

    If clue were shoes…………how is your upholstered view room? Warm enough?

  • Bruce

    It would do you good to get out of your mommy's basement and get some fresh air Parsmell.

    And grab a shower…………………….ooh ooh that smell. Can't you smell that smell? The smell of left is around you……………….

  • terry1

    It has central heat,a 50 inch TV in it and a full wine fridge…..how's your single wide hovel with the jos louis and pepsi and the 21 inch B&W tv. ?

    Get real or get lost.

  • terry1

    Liblogs get it right and are not censored by a party central war room like certain other blogs we know.

  • Bruce

    So we can establish from that that you live in a room?

    In mommy's basement?

    I'm afraid that you're the one who is lost, what's the matter?

    The birdies eat your breadcrumb trail?

  • Bruce

    Mr. Taylor, thanks for this forum, it's always entertaining and interesting.

    It's too bad that Parnel has a penchant for bringing every discussion down to the lowest denominator, but it is also instructive as to how the Liberal Leftist mind perceives things.

    Cheers

  • terry1

    I knew you'd ask….it's actually an addition to my house and has the hot tub nearby as well as the family office. It is actually over 800 sq.ft. sorry to disappoint you.

  • terry1

    So after getting your knuckles rapped you decide to get humble…phony stuff!!

  • Bruce

    Good economic news is what the majority of Canadians appreciates hearing;

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601082

    Employment in Canada rose last month six times more than forecast, unexpectedly reducing the jobless rate to 8.4 percent, the government said on Oct. 9. Service industries in the U.S., the nation’s biggest trade partner, expanded in September for the first time in a year, an Institute for Supply Management index showed on Oct. 5. U.S. retail sales excluding automobiles climbed 0.5 percent last month, more than forecast, the Commerce Department said on Oct. 14.

    Parity Probability

    The probability that the Canadian currency will trade at C$1 per U.S. dollar at year-end is 60 percent, according to implied volatility from options trading monitored by Bloomberg. The chance of parity in one month is 42 percent, trading shows.

  • terry1

    Are you that desperate?

  • terry1

    Another example of how harpo and his thugs abuse Canadians and is pretty major in term sof the credibilty gap created by this group of complete incompetents. Note that the author basically says the reformatories are so screwed up they probably don't even have a list of projcts available to hand out. He also said that harpo lies :

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/blogs/andrew-ste

    But the Conservative response consists exclusively of three types of falacies:

    1. Ad hominem attacks (attacking the man saying the charge, not the charge itself). An example would be Transport Minister John Baird's empty retort that the Liberals are “up to political mischief.”

    2. Hasty generalizations. The best example is the Conservative response on the day Mr. Kennedy issued his report, in which they countered that the single example of the site where the announcement took place was not scheduled to begin immediately. Partially rebutting a single element of a thousand point charge does not address the charge.

    3. Fallacies of exclusion. The Prime Minister's argument this week stands out as the best example of that.

    Basically, in his statement, the Prime Minister was knowingly attempting to have the listener draw a false conclusion by presenting a purposely-crafted and biased data set as representative of the entire set.

    In doing so, he was taking Canadians for fools.

    Considering the recent cheque logo shenanegans and the confirmation from a nominated CPC candidate that stimulus follows party, the Prime Minister needs to address this charge four-square or risk a major scandal that will not only injure his reputation, but risk the recovery by possibly slowing the pace of project funding.

    On the policy side, remaining funds should simply be flowed to municipalities to distribute as needed. This is by far the fastest, and most transparent, way to launch infrastructure quickly.

    Rhetorically, the Conservatives have a major advantage in rebuttal. They are the government and control the actual list of where contracts went. Simply releasing the full list should address the charge.

    Of course, for that to happen, two other things must be true:

    1. They must actually have such a list. (Judging from Parliamentary Budget Officer's report into the “uneven,” “inconsistent” and “missing” record keeping in the multi-billion dollar stimulus spend, it is actually possible the government does not know where the money went.)

    2. They must be spending the money fairly and wisely, distributing it efficiently and relatively evenly across Canada.

    Don't hold your breath.

    I am beginning to suspect we will only see the full list of projects in the appendix of an Auditor-General's report years from now, if ever.

  • Bruce

    You don't like good news?

    The jobless rate dropping to 8.4%

    Watching the Liberals is like watching monkeys in a cage ceaselessly throwing feces at a wet wall all the while desperately hoping that something will stick.

    Desperately trying to change the channel away from the good economic news.

    That Parsmell is desperation.

    So how are those poll numbers?

    Ya, didn't think so…………………………………….

  • terry1

    $150BB in money that will literally pissed away at our expense is not good news. The unemployment rate will soar with winter to over 10% and will stay there until next summer. I would rather believe the private economists who tell the truth.

    Watching you in action trying to sound intelligent makes watching the monkeys much more fun. At least they do know what they are doing.

    How's that ball game going?

    The poll numbers are fine as long as there is no election call. They will change as the crooked Tories implode.

    When will you implode and leave the mature debates to intelligent human beings?

  • Bruce

    Soft inflation' in September data
    That's good news, analysts say, because it will keep central bank `very comfortable' with low rate policy

    http://www.thestar.com/business/article/711705-

  • Bruce

    Employment increased for the second consecutive month, up 31,000 in September, driven by large full-time gains. The unemployment rate fell by 0.3 percentage points to 8.4%, the first monthly decline since the beginning of the labour market downturn in the fall of 2008.

    http://www.statcan.gc.ca/subjects-sujets/labour

  • terry1

    Your sad attempt to change the page is a tad late and a dollar short. Give it up or continue to look dumb

    —–Original Message—–

  • Bruce

    Too bad that the Leftist Mental Disorder prevents you from seeing reality, scandals everywhere, right is left, up is down.

    You'll be flinging feces at that wet wall for a very long time indeed.

  • Bruce

    Here's a list of announced projects, individual and by region or city;

    http://www.actionplan.gc.ca/RSSFeeds/news/News_

    Parsmell thinks the money is being wasted, maybe he should tell that to someone who shares his delusion.

  • terry1

    That's not what was asked, feces eater. The reporter had asked for a complete list of projects and was denied. The inference is that lists are none's business but the PMO and it was none of the public's business.

  • hollinm

    Jen…..you are absolutely right. However, that should not surprise us. Many in the media hate Harper because he will not play their silly games so every chance they get they will do their best to raise Harper on his own petard. That's why the spending, photo op issues are such a big deal to them. It allows them to attack the Harper government thereby attempting to raise the Libs in the eyes of the Canadian people. However, I expect that Kinsella's usual smear tactics will be ignored by the folks. I think Canadians have made their assessment of Iffy and do not want him in the PM's chair. We will see a lot of sound and fury today from the Libs who perfected the art of promoting themselves with government money but I expect it will all turn out to be white noise to the electorate. The polls will be interesting this week.

  • terry1

    Mervin, your blindness to the obvious is just like Harpo. He has crewed up and he knows it. Removal of his piano playing from a GOVERNMENT website is an indication that his arrogance has kicked him in the a$$ once more. He managed to get Iggy's numbers down on the polls by assault tactics and they are now coming back to haunt him. They say paybacks are hell…………hope you don't get burned too badly and can at least survive the next election as official opposition since you are really supporting a socialist type party now.