The Brits have made just as big a dog’s dinner out of the F35 file as the Harperites have.
Whereas Canadians are fond of the word “boondoggle” to describe the government’s hopeless mismanagement of money and priority, the term in the UK right now is “omnishambles.” Both are beautiful in their own special way.
Boondoggles and omnishambles aside, the biggest difference in approaches to this file, unsurprisingly, is that Westminster have now admitted that the programme is simply not viable, and they’re now pulling a difficult u-turn. Ottawa, in contrast, hedges and hides and lies and
. . . → Read More: Polygonic: Omnishambles: the Brits dump the F35s
With the revelation that Minister Peter MacKay failed to ask many of the obvious/necessary questions when working on the F-35 procurement, the subject of basic ministerial/government responsibility has been weighing heavily on my mind as of late.
When I listen to/discuss politics with my friends who are more libertarian-leaning conservatives, they argue that the government should only really be performing two functions: national defense and policing. Recently, the Government of Canada, with Stephen Harper as PM, has abdicated its responsibility on both of these functions.
You probably expect me to go on at length about the F-35 boondoggle
. . . → Read More: The Equivocator: Vigilantes and Mercenaries: The Harper Government and the Abdication of Responsibility
”This isn’t about the planes, in other words, or costs, or accounting. This is about accountability. This is is about whether departments are answerable to their ministers, and whether ministers are answerable to Parliament — or whether billions of public dollars can be appropriated without the informed consent of either Parliament or the public… And it is about whether we, as citizens, are prepared to pay attention, and hold people in power to account when they lie to us.
Which is to say, it is about whether we live in a functioning Parliamentary democracy, or want to.”
Duhhhhr! Ooonnggg… errrrggg….
Out of the mouths of babes.
It’s been an awkward delight watching Conservative spinmeisters trot out Plan A through Plan W in their Catalogue of Flimsy Excuses over the F-35 affair. Blaming bureaucrats didn’t cut it, even blaming the other parties hasn’t cut it. One waits with bated breath for Harper to find a new Guergis-figure he can throw under a bus and hope to be done with it.
Until then, Peter MacKay’s latest delicious position is that the $10 billion difference in Tory cost estimates and actual cost comes down to a simple “difference in accounting”
. . . → Read More: Polygonic: MacKay: We’re just as dodgy with our accounting as Sponsorship-era Liberals
One of the problems with living in a country like Canada is that certain people become the default person on certain issues. It’s a small place and the opportunity for specialization (and brand building) is small, so you can expect people to go back to the same well a fair bit on certain issues. I know, when it comes to Open Data, I can often be that well.
Yesterday’s article by Jack Granastein – one of the country’s favourite commentator’s on (and cheerleaders of) all things military – is a great case in point. It’s also a wonderful example of
. . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Here’s a prediction: A Canadian F-35 will be shot down by a drone in 2035
If the 65 F-35 fighter jets are purchased by the Canadian Government, they will cost Canadians $25 billion dollars over a span of 20 years. Minister of Defense Peter Mackay has argued the jets price tag is closer to $9 billion, contrary to the findings of government watchdogs. What he has apparently forgotten, whether purposely or not, is that $16 billion is required for fuel, maintenance, and the overall operations of the jets. Those are funds provided by the taxpayer for a contract that did not seem to follow any established policy, but was streamlined by officials with vested interests (Read more…)
I find this HuffPo article by Green Party Leader/MP Elizabeth May to be hilariously silly.
The post essentially claims that the Lockheed Martin F-35 jets are “useless” to Canadians and our country’s military, and that aside from the procurement and some of the development being a huge doonboggle (which it absolutely is), it’s not the right fit for Canadians. Not that she has an alternative to replace the CF-18 – just that, you know, the F-35 is bad.
I’m against the F-35 purchase for one major reason: the procurement process. It wasn’t open to competition, and given the problems we
. . . → Read More: Blunt Objects: It’s not that Elizabeth May is Right. It’s that she’s Wrong.
Whooee! Well, friends an’ foes, I spent a little time putting words into ol’ King Steve’s mouth. In this episode, “Kevin” Solomon hears how those who question the PM on the F-35 deal are enemies of freedom & enemies of Canada.