View From the Hill by Keith Beardsley – Liberal Leader Blowing in the Wind – Cornwall Ontario – May 27, 2010

Cornwall ON – Ignatieff shifts like sand blowing in the wind when it comes to the Auditor General auditing MPs books.

While publicly stating that the Board of Internal economy should meet with Sheila Fraser to resolve the audit issue, we learn that internally, Iggy is asking his MPs not to be transparent and to refrain from posting their accounts and spending online. (Globe and Mail, May 27, 2010)

One position for the media and public, and a different one for his own MPs

Could Iggy be practicing a “culture of deceit?”

Canadians hear him say the government must be open, transparent and accountable. Liberal MPs are told; don’t post your numbers on your web site.

Why shouldn’t they? If they choose to be open and accountable, what is wrong with that? He should be congratulating them.

Why the double speak? It’s a simple issue. Either you are in favour or against letting the Auditor General look at MPs books. Admittedly Fraser only wants to do a few samples and not audit all MPs just yet. But what Iggy and quite a few others must fear is that should she find a problem, she may come back and ask for a full audit.

We know Iggy doesn’t think restaurant receipts need to be looked at, the question is why? I do remember a Liberal minister who got into quite a bit of hot water for a very expensive $207 pizza dinner for three people. Is Iggy trying to hide something that he doesn’t want Canadians to see?

Let’s look at Iggy’s position on the audit:

1. A bad idea: “I understand what Canadians are saying. They want accountability and transparency, but I don’t think they want us to be going through our receipts for this meal and that meal” (May 19, 2010)

2. A good idea: “What I mean is, it’s important Canadians know the money we spent is honestly accounted for, and that’s the kind of solution that we need to look for.” (May 19, 2010)

3. A bad idea: “There is accountability that is in itself a waste of public money. Do you understand what I am saying?”

4. A good idea:” is “entirely in favour” of Fraser making sure the financial controls are “good and right and serving Canadians.” (May 26, 2010)

5. A bad idea: Iggy asks Liberal MPs not to post their expenses online. (May 26, 2010)

Canadians want to know where the Liberal leader stands. Unfortunately what you learn depends on the time of day and who he is speaking too.

Keith Beardsley is a senior strategist for True North Public Affairs in Ottawa, as well as a blogger and political analyst. He can often be found running or cycling on his favorite bike trails.

12 Responses to "View From the Hill by Keith Beardsley – Liberal Leader Blowing in the Wind – Cornwall Ontario – May 27, 2010"

  1. admin   May 27, 2010 at 10:28 AM

    Hi Keith,

    I think Canadians want all MP’s to disclose their spending not just Liberals and I’m not hearing much out of the Conservatives about this issue. Sounds like they’re trying to hide and ride out the storm….

  2. Grimalot   May 27, 2010 at 11:03 AM

    They’re all dirty!! Wishy washy too. Fact remains, this is OUR TAXPAYER dollars and WE HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW HOW ITS SPENT! Iggy has already lost my vote thats for sure.

  3. admin   May 27, 2010 at 11:18 AM

    Grimalot did the Liberals ever have your vote? I thought you were voting for The Pirate Party or the Pastafarians?

  4. Stan   May 27, 2010 at 11:26 AM

    If I heard it right then the Conservatives have agreed with Sheila Fraser that she should check their books. Iggy and Jack say they’d still like to “discuss” things with Sheila Fraser. The BLOC sits back and salivates. Incidentally, the Speaker is the man in charge of that inside inspection group on the ministers expenses reports, etc. He is completely against Sheila Fraser seeing anything.

  5. Grimalot   May 27, 2010 at 12:00 PM

    At one point, the Con’s and the Libs both had my vote. I have voted a couple times for the NDP as well. But with Ignatieff at the helm, I wont vote for these Libs. With Harper and Lauzon at the helm for the Con’s, well I guess you know what I think about all that as well. Had the NDP wanted to open the books and fought for it, I may have voted for them, but they remain with their wishy washy tactics as well. So basically all that will probably be left is Green’s, since I doubt we’ll ever have an incumbent for the Pirate Party of Canada around here.

    This is a vote at least (voter apathy kills so please vote), and along the lines of a protest vote. But the big 3 parties, are all looking bad to me right now.

    And no Stan, you didn’t hear it right. Harper is just showboating for more votes but like his promise of fixed elections, elected senate, etc, he’ll renege on showing the books as well.

  6. Stan   May 27, 2010 at 12:28 PM

    Perhaps your tv is foreign and doesn’t have CTV on it.

  7. Red Brick   May 27, 2010 at 12:49 PM

    The age of consent should be raised to thirty as that is the age at which people start to vote. Adults vote, children don’t. Almost no one under thirty votes so who actually cares what they think? People under thirty don’t matter, frankly. They just don’t matter.

  8. Darlene Jalbert   May 31, 2010 at 8:40 AM

    I think there should be an audit. This is our tax dollars being spent. If I was an MP I would post my expenses. Peter Stoffer of the NDP is pushing for reconsideration of the committee and asking them to open the books. If MP’s have nothing to hide there is no reason not to. The Auditor General’s job is not just to scrutinize, but to give ways to be more efficent. What MP would not want to be more efficent with tax payers money. Think about it, if you had an opportunity to have someone look at all your spending and show you ways to save, and this service was free, would you not take it!!!

    OPEN THE BOOKS SHOW ME WHERE MY MONEY IS GOING!!!

    Darlene Jalbert
    NDP Federal Candidate
    Stormont, Dundas & South Glengarry

  9. admin   May 31, 2010 at 12:59 PM

    I’m glad you’re one of the few MP candidates in the area having the conjones to flat out state what you have Ms Jalbert. Kudos to you!

  10. Cojones Kid   May 31, 2010 at 1:20 PM

    admin I think you should reconsider the fact that Ms.Jalbert doesn’t have cojones. She has guts saying what she says because her bossman Jack doesn’t want to open the books.

  11. Darlene Jalbert   June 1, 2010 at 10:36 AM

    Cojones Kid Mr. Layton simply feels the audits that are currently in place are sufficient. Others in the caucus feel differently. The Canadian people want the books open, I think government officials should listen to the people.

  12. Grimalot   June 1, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    “Cojones Kid Mr. Layton simply feels the audits that are currently in place are sufficient.”

    Yeah, sufficiently hidden from the people that put them in power in the first place. NO NO NO!!! Its high time these government officials realize that we the people that pay their taxes, wages, etc, have a RIGHT TO SEE HOW OUR MONEY IS BEING SPENT! Jack can stuff it if he thinks otherwise!

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