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Who’s entitled?

The Conservative Party’s fast-and-loose regard for the rules demonstrates a disgusting sense of entitlement

And you thought the Liberal Party was arrogant.

The Federal Riding Redistribution Commission filed its report last week, and along with the report, a dissenting report from the president of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities David Marit was filed, a report that suggested the current rural-urban hybrid ridings reflected “Saskatchewan values.” Robocalls to that made the same argument also went out at the behest of the Conservative government – a fact they first denied then admitted to.

Now, the Conservative government is fond of labelling anyone that uses social programming (or “entitlement programs” as they like to call them) in Canada “entitled.” But let’s consider who is really entitled. It is certainly not the people who can barely scrape by living paycheque to paycheque and taking welfare when they need it.

It’s Conservative ministers like Peter Mackay who think that if they are out in the middle of back-wood Newfoundland they can call a military helicopter to pick them up. Who think expensive photo ops with F-35 jets is more than enough research and competition to determine that they are the plane for our military.

It’s Conservative ministers like Tony Clement who think that having the G8 and G20 summits in their riding means new gazebos miles from where the summits were to take place, and ministers that think building a $57,000 temporary fake lake is a good investment of tax dollars.

It’s Conservative ministers like Bev Oda who think that a $17 orange juice and lavish five-star hotels are something that Canadians won’t begrudge her while people in northern Canada can barely afford bread because of a growing food crisis.

It’s a Conservative minister like Jim Flaherty who creates a Parliamentary Budget officer and then does everything in his power to obfuscate the finances of government and stand in the way of that officer doing his job. The same minister that wrote a letter to the CRTC putting pressure on them to allow a new radio station to begin broadcasting in his riding, a serious conflict of interest.

It’s a Prime Minister who thinks that because he has a Parliamentary majority, he can govern like a dictator, forcing huge omnibus budget bills through Parliament with no debate and no conciliation.

It’s an entire party that thinks it can stick its nose into a non-partisan commission on redistributing ridings and blanket an entire province with robocalls to sway support against a necessary change to riding boundaries. It is a party that deliberately denies urban voters a voice in this province for the sake of protecting their 93 per cent share of seats while only receiving 56 per cent of the popular vote. Certainly per cent of seats will never match perfectly with the popular vote, but a 37 per cent disparity between those numbers is not something to be proud of and certainly not a “Saskatchewan value.”

This is a far cry from the Tories that took power in 2006 on the promise of cleaning up the corruption in Ottawa and ending the government entitlements of the Liberal years. But the entitlement and corruption that seems to be encouraged in this government is an affront to all Canadians. The Saskatchewan riding boundaries robocalls are just another example on a long list of entitled behaviour.

Edward Dodd
Op-Ed Editor

Photo courtesy of fullcomment.nationalpost.com

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