REX MURPHY: ‘Only Gilles Duceppe, separatist, has no problem with the Auditor General of Canada’




It’s a strange time when the honour of the Canadian Parliament is receiving solitary support from the one political leader who has no time for the Canadian Parliament.

Yet the leader of the Bloc Quebecois has been the only party leader in the House of Commons who has both the sense and decency to give easy consent to Shiela Fraser‘s request to oversee the parliamentary budgets of MPs and senators.

The Auditor-General can examine expenses in virtually every other domain of government.

She is Parliament’s very own officer for doing so.

But, the MPs who make up that Parliament, and who give her that terrific power over everything else in government, don’t allow her to look into their own spending.

Who would have guessed?

Messing around with office and constituency expenses has been top of mind recently.

In Britain a gigantic scandal emerged after it was revealed that legions of MPs in the mother of Parliaments were claiming expenses for the most outre, even arcane projects – the most famous being the cleaning of the private moat of one aristocrat, Viscount Hogg; close runners up including “bee removal,” the “catching of a mole” and the building of “a house for a family duck.”

In Newfoundland the MHAs of all three provincial parties were embroiled in a horrendous saga of expenses abuse – with claims vastly exceeding what was legitimately allowed – accompanied by an almost hilarious scam of nearly $2.6-million being spent, surreptitously, on “non-existent” key chains, lapel pins and fridge magnets.

Back home where I come from, the traffic in fridge magnets is a wonder.

Nova Scotia has had its own version of an expenses scandal in which MLAs were submitting claims for generators, patio furniture and – I found this one touching – Dance Dance Revolution for an Xbox 360.

In each case the public response was, naturally, outrage and an inevitable tsunami of the wildest cynicism toward politics and politicians.

One would think that with all the barking about “transparency” and “accountability” being done in the Afghan detainee issue – not to mention the ferocious posturing about “influence peddling” and lobbying in the desperate melodrama of the Jaffer-Guergis story – the crowd in Ottawa would be pleading with the Auditor-General to come in and show just how clean and rigorous they are about their own budgets.

But, of course not.

Our MPs are as the driven snow, the swan’s back; and while it is under their authority that the Auditor-General scrutinizes, reviews, investigates and challenges the spending of every other operation of government, it is not to be thought she should be let loose to monitor the spending of those who authorize the spending of everyone else.

Mr. Layton hems and haws, Mr. Ignatieff temporizes and Mr. Harper maintains that charming silence which he applies to nearly every situation that threatens a 1% shift in the polls.

Only Gilles Duceppe, separatist, has no problem with the Auditor-General of Canada.

Gilles Duceppe: Parliamentarian of the Month.

Rex Murphy offers commentary weekly on CBC TV’s The National, and is host of CBC Radio’s Cross Country Checkup. 


CCC BLOG reprint: 

Three cheers for Gilles Duceppe

Rex Murphy

National Post

Friday, May 14, 2010

Page A13




3 Responses to REX MURPHY: ‘Only Gilles Duceppe, separatist, has no problem with the Auditor General of Canada’

  1. albe says:

    Like we aren’t supposed to know that our mp’s want to revive a class system as themselves as the aristos’ as of old.
    Some highly educated people actually want me a lowly peon to differ to their questions ,etc. as i must be from an unequal class.Unfortunately they aren’t aware of the constitution ,or choose to ignore it and the courts system , which is the only one I answer to. This type of thing causes clashes of world significance always comes to this ,ever since the Modern age commenced .
    The basis of a future Marxist feelings is being engendered. Hurrah?

  2. Gloria says:

    Adrienne Clarkson went to Europe and toured a few country’s. The bill for that, was five million big ones. That is why, all government expenses are hidden. The ripoff’s would infuriate citizens so badly, they would kick every politician right off the globe. I agree, our Canadian Constitution is ignored. Our Civil Rights and Liberties, have been taken away from the people. Democracy and Freedom is, null and void. The Charter of Rights, has been decimated. Our judicial system, is entirely corrupt, and is controlled, that we have seen many times. We have a dictatorship government, especially in BC. Campbell, Hansen, and the BC Liberals are, liars, deceivers, breakers of promises, criminals, deliberately allow our children, to live in poverty, they knowingly allowed citizens, to breathe poisoned air, they thieve, cheat to win, sneaky and underhanded. They have not, one saving grace. In all my many years, I have never seen, a more evil, corrupt government, than the BC Liberal Party.

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