I’m losing count here
So this morning I spot a headline on Radio-Canada: Ville de Montréal : Un fonctionnaire accusé de fraude, and I’m like OK, is this yet another new story of bad behaviour in local government, or the elaboration of some story I’ve already blogged about?
I don’t recall a time when all three levels of government were so transparently corrupt and untrustworthy as they are now. City Hall is already under the loupe of the police, but can we trust the police? (Granted, it’s the SQ that’s investigating City Hall, not the city police. We are in a time, my friends, when the SQ is our main bulwark against corruption.)
Jean Charest has sacked one minister over dodgy ethics and is inquiring into the questionable funding of another – and that’s just recent stories.
Harper, don’t get me started, has just pulled the funding from women’s groups which had had the temerity to criticize his administration, while as prestigious a medical publication as the Lancet is making the same criticism of his hypocrisy in refusing to help fund access to safe abortion as part of his supposed support of the G8′s maternal health care plan for poorer countries.
And that’s just one of dozens of charges I could list against the Harper government, but federal politics is not the focus of this blog. Shutting up criticism is a sufficient snapshot of the heavy-handed methods of the Harper administration to be going on with.
The key problem seems to be that anyone who gets into power forgets that there are rules, guidelines and expectations to keep in mind before getting your head down into that trough and sucking down as much of the sweet sweet swill as you can before you’re caught. The amazing thing is that so many politicians – on every level, from minor city fonctionnaires up to members of the cabinet – manage to sustain a belief that nobody will notice.
And every instance builds public cynicism. Every instance is a nail in the coffin of public respect for democracy.