If Corcoran's article in the Financial Post is any indication, Harper's base is beginning squirm under thumb a bit - feeling that they are sacrificing ideology too much in the pursuit of power.
I happen to believe in this they are correct - Harper lusts after power above all else these days. However, much of what these guys are talking about should also tell us that CPoC dishonesty goes as far as hiding their agenda - just so they can achieve power.
Hot on the heels of PMSH's unwillingness to disclose how much taxpayers are forking over for his makeup consultant/astrologer, we find another Tory minister trying to conceal profligate spending of taxpayer dollars.
Superficially, you might look at the amount and say "well, he's a minister, that's part of his job". But that is far from the point here:
Labour Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn spent almost $150,000 on rental aircraft flying around Quebec last year but didn't declare any of the flights as a travel expense, documents show.
In fact, the majority of the flights on privately hired planes don't show up anywhere in Blackburn's public disclosure of ministerial travel and were only revealed through an Access to Information request by NDP researchers.
Hold it - so the minister spends like a drunken sailor, tries to cover it up by not declaring it as a travel expense? This is a government who claims to be much more "open, honest and accountable" to the public than its predecessors. It seems to me that Harper's clan has gone from minority to entitlement in record time here:
But many of the new rules appear aimed at Conservative adversaries as much as at general good governance.
An official from the Prime Minister's Office recently followed a journalist off Parliament Hill, then approached the reporter to challenge a story about the PMO's refusal to disclose how Harper's travelling hairdresser is being paid.
The official told the reporter three times that accountability measures are for crooks, not honest people.
It appears to be a theme in the Harper government.
Conservatives, of course, claim that they are in fact being very accountable (in a very Ralph Klein sort of way):
Van Loan says the government remains committed to its accountability agenda and denies there is any lack of transparency on expenses.
"I think overall there's been pretty good disclosure," said the Tory minister. "But there hasn't been a lot for most of us to disclose, because we don't do much in terms of spending and entertaining and travel and all that stuff."
Of course, we shouldn't forget what anybody make Access To Information requests is finding these days:
While stressing the need for clear rules and transparency for others, the cabinet continues to tightly control information, censor documents and only selectively disclose ministerial expenses.
Martin of the NDP has been one of the government's strongest opposition supporters in pushing through its vaunted Accountability Act. He says now he spent a lot of "political capital" backing the Tories and has become seriously disillusioned.
"There is a scheme going on to mislead Canadians about how the Conservatives are spending money," said the Winnipeg MP. "It's contradictory because they have cried bloody murder for years that the Liberals were not transparent and accountable, and now they are doing the same."
Canada's gnu-ish Government - passing from minority through arrogance and into corruption in record time!