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My thoughts on the Nova Scotia expense scandal

I have two thoughts, which is probably some kind of record for me:

1) I’m not surprised to find out that after 140+ years of corruption, our distinguished honourable local MLAs have some problem controlling their impulses when presented with a $45,000 receipt-free expense account, and no real guidelines on how to (or if to) spend that money. That’s not to absolve anyone from their own stupidity. Conservative Richard Hurlburt’s hilarity over putting a generator in his home for the greater good of the community was, frankly, inspired. It was the gift that kept on giving, as emergency workers and retirees alike pointed out that they had know idea that an emergency generator was supposedly available for their use. Comedy gold. NDP leader Darrell Dexter’s use of the funds to pay his lawyerly association fees were equally misguided, given that as an MLA he’s not a practicing lawyer and has no need to keep up his credentials, let alone expect us to pay for such frivolity. Expensing the $250 fee to remain an associate member of the bar would have been sufficient and legitimate…paying $3000 to remain a full-on lawyer was a serious lapse in judgement. And who knows what Liberal Dave Wilson did, considering that he’s refusing to speak to anyone but his lawyer. When the story comes out on Wilson’s resignation, it’s gonna be a big ‘un, me thinks. Much popcorn will be needed. (I do hope the Wilson revelations don’t turn into a Capone’s-vault moment).

Anyway – my first thought on the MLA spending scandal is “I’m not surprised”. Nova Scotia politicians have been corrupt for 140 years. Cousins routinely get paving contracts. Political contributors get dibs on the shares when crown corporations are privatized. P3 contracts often end up in the hands of those with connections to politicos. Par for the course in this corrupt little backwater. Frankly, $45,000/MLA is small potatoes compared to the millions and millions that have been stolen from the public in this province since confederation.

My second thought is this: The Liberals are seeking to use this scandal to damage the standing of the NDP. This is legitimate, of course, because the MLAs from all three parties were spending this money like they’d just won the lottery. However, this culture of corruption grew, matured, and festered under the aforementioned 140+ years of liberal/conservative power. Dexter’s government is the first to do anything about it, and coincidentally (?) the first non-Liberal/PC provincial government we’ve had. Truth be told, Liberal leader MacNeil’s attack on the NDP for expense irregularities basically charges the NDP with being just as corrupt as the PCs and the Liberals.

Think about that for a minute. And then have a good chuckle, or a good cry if you actually care about governance in this province. But, honestly, the NDP haven’t come close to the staggering levels of corruption of the other two main parties. Give them time, and probably they will end up just as corrupt, but MacNeil is being a bit premature trying to drag them down to his level so quickly.

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5 thoughts on “My thoughts on the Nova Scotia expense scandal

  1. You should make it a double order, Flash, that seems to be the mantra the federal Liberals are using as well, when they’re not saying ‘We oppose this measure, but we’re going to abstain because we’re too chicken to force an election’ – and people wonder why I haven’t posted anything on Federal politics lately.

    Returning to the OP, posting as I am from a province where this sort of thing has been playing out, I’m not sure whether to be amused that Nova Scotia pols are using the same tactics as the Newfoundlanders have – obscurate, stall, refuse comment, except to say ‘I followed the rules!’, while ignoring the fact that there *were* no rules, or depressed at the fact that they don’t seem to have noticed the fact that that strategy hasn’t really worked all that well…

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  2. To All Nova Scotians

    Your Provincial Government has been undermining Democratic Principals in Government for decades! All three parties are in COLLUSION with one another. There is no Loyal Oposition. This corruption has created a ” Smoke and Mirrors Democracy “. The root cause of this corruption is a serious lack of (checks and balances) in the day to day running of the government. Here is one example, have you ever asked yourself ” Does the Premiers Oath of Office Mean Anything”. The truth is that it means NOTHING because their is absolutely NO ONE to ENFORCE IT!!. The Lieutenant Governor has no real authority and besides that the Lieutenant Governor is a HAND PICKED APPOINTMENT by the Prov.Government! and they have made sure of one thing that the Lieutenant Governor understands completely that they DO NOT BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS THEM!
    Their is absolutely no one with in the Prov.Government that can tell the Premier “No you can not do this as policy because it is criminal” All three Parties have worked to remove any forms of controls that would keep them accountable and responsible. The Nova Scotia Ombudsmans Office is another example of all three political parties supporting a LIE. Go on the computer and read for yourself how they claim the N.S. Ombudsman is ” Impartial, Objective, and independent ” in his dealings with complaints. The truth is that the N.S. Ombudsman is an APPOINTED POSITION that has been filled by the very people the N.S. Ombudsman is supposed to be investigating!!! This is at the very least a GROSS CONFLICT OF INTEREST!. In other words the ” Accused in everyone of the N.S. Ombudman’s cases (the N.S. Prov. Gov.) ” has installed their own hand picked individual to Judge every case!!! What could be more corrupt? This pattern of corruption is out of control through out the Prov. Gov. Never let anybody again tell you this ” The Party is the People”, this is another big lie. The Party is a ” Business” and is in the business of the Political Running of the Province. Like any business policy is first made to satisfy the best interests of the party. Not all policy in N.S. has been in the best interest of the people!. Here is another example of the Gross Corruption that is in the system as it is presently being practice. Were you aware of the fact that the Nova Scotia Prov. Gov. with the collusion of all three parties.SUPPORTS THE THIEVING AND STEALING OF MONEY BY EMPLOYERS FROM EMPLOEES WHOM WORK IN BUSINESSES THAT COME UNDER THE ” Labour Standards Act” which includes the Minimum Wage Order. This is a fact, The FINES and PENALTIES portion of the Act called the “Deterents” ARE NOT AND HAVE NOT BEEN INFORCED PROPERLY FOR YEARS!! Many Nova Scotians have been seriously harmed by the N.S. Prov.Gov. for this criminal behaviour. Nova Scotians deserver better government, they deserve to have this corrupt system cleaned up and the ring leaders within this system whom today no longer see themselves as Public Servants as much as they see themselves as Public Masters. It’s time for reform people and you have to speak up and demand change if your ever going to get it. Let us organize into one large voice and we will again regain our Honorable Democratic System of Government.

    Mr. Carey Craig (careycraig@eastlink.ca)

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