“Oink!”: Defence spending in Canadian politics

It’s all about buying jobs–and hopefully votes. Jeffrey Simpson of the Globe and Mail lays out the simple truth:

This morning [March 17], Defence Minister Peter MacKay will make an “announcement” (in the words of a press release) in Shearwater, N.S.
This “announcement” follows one in New Brunswick yesterday, and several in Manitoba last week. More will come this week as the Harper government sprinkles defence spending across the country.
Defence spending is always like this. Ask any former minister, especially from the Defence portfolio, what discussions about defence are like around the cabinet table.
Ministers are seldom schooled in defence, foreign policy or technology. They worry less about what the military needs (the military always needs a lot) than where what the military needs will be procured [emphasis added].
And that’s where the fun begins: how to spread money around the country for job-creation purposes and maximum political exposure, as in the announcements of the kind now being made.
Whenever a contract is given offshore, for usually very plausible reasons, you can count on opposition MPs [or union leaders] getting into high dudgeon. Why isn’t the work being done in Canada? How can the government neglect the (fill in the blank) workers of (fill in the blank)? That we might be a member of the NATO alliance, that other countries can do the work better and/or more cheaply, and that we have a defence procurement agreement with the Americans is seldom remembered.
A week of sprinkling defence spending announcements across Canada was not invented by Mr. MacKay and this Prime Minister’s Office.
It’s part of the politicking and pork-barreling that accompany all defence spending, regardless of government [emphasis added]…

Or as I put it:

Porky Peter

Mark C.

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4 thoughts on ““Oink!”: Defence spending in Canadian politics

  1. This is good old fashioned Mulroney pork-barrel politics. The Reform Party was so deluded if it really thought Harper and crew would do anything different.

  2. Talking about pork barrel politics, how can one not mention the liberals in the same breath? Canada does need some local capability regarding military hardware.

  3. This from a publication that had Ivison, another of their brainiacs on CTV , where he was interviewed by jane taber, I think it was. She with the bags under her eyes. Those bags are so big they make her nose look like it’s riding a bicycle, all topped off with a chemically ruined, cheap-looking Emo Phillips pageboy hair do.
    John-boy, “live from Washington,”categorically stating that the US-StimPak was great, and regarding AIG bonus pay-outs? “Well…there was nothing the President could do. There were contractual obligations, after all….”
    That’s right John-boy. Contracted Bonus Payments *should* always be paid out when the employers run the firm into the sewers of hell. Tho wait a mo’. What do we pay these failures with? First, we gotta get the money from the leftoid lemons in charge.
    Seems that right about now, “The people, their elected representatives, and the president who ‘couldn’t do nothing’ before he *could* do something,” are picking up their GlennBeck ptichforks and torches and are moving into the streets.
    The G&M lads are indeed truly qualified to comment on things financial. Here, there and everywhere. All, naturally, organically, unbiased, non-partisan, fat-free and totally re-cyclable doctrinaire drivel and droppings.
    I can well envision Ivison venting, popping blood vessel in his brain, if this AIG bonus crap happened with Bush at the helm! At that time, one might well have found the need to wear asbestos gloves to hold their paper.
    tj
    t.e.&.o.e.

  4. aa
    “the Reform Party??” Looks like, either the 12-stepping ain’t working for ya,pal, or, you’ve not only fallen off the wagon, but landed on your head.
    tj
    t.e. & o.e.

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