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MP expenses - Come on Jack Layton, step up to the plate.

Discussion in 'Politics (deprecated)' started by alexd, May 21, 2010.

  1. alexd

    alexd Administrator Staff Member

    This whole thing about our MPs not wanting their expenses to be scrutinized by the Auditor General of Canada is completely nuts and looks really sketchy...

    Jack, I know you and even voted for you, but really you should step up to the plate and get all your MPs to agree to have their expenses looked at by the Auditor General. Take the lead here why don't cha?
  2. OTIS

    OTIS TRIBE Member

    Here you go. Expenses of all sitting MPs 2008-2009, broken down generally.


    While I'm all for further openness and accountability..I don't see how scrutinizing something that's already scrutinized, except from a bureaucratic perspective would produce anything of value. Except maybe a few morsels of items here and there that the media would run away with. Lazy reporters just want their job done for them I guess.

    All money expensed to the MP's operating budget are determined by strict guidelines. Those are set by the board of internal economy which is a multi-partisan group from the legislative wing weighted to party standing in the House. The House even has its own internal auditor which goes over these expenses and issues a report back to the board. You can read that here.

    I think it's appropriate to have the elected decide what is tolerable and what is not when it comes to the expenses accrued by the elected. The political wing of government doesn't operate like the bureaucracies. Having the auditor general, whose mandate it is to audit the efficiency of the various bureaucracies, audit the political apparatus for "efficiency" is kind of odd. How do you determine the "political efficiency" of certain expenditures especially when your expertise is precisely with the opposite? It's bound to result in all kinds of odd unqualified judgements, things presented out of context, and weird explanations.

    Ever since the AG's report led to the unravelling of the Liberal party's stronghold on government, it seems there's a clamouring among the media and those tired of the current political stalemate to use the AG's name to try to unearth more potential scandal. They're really grasping here though, especially trying to depict the denial of the AG as "having something to hide".

    Why waste time and money on that kind of shit?
  3. Sal De Ban

    Sal De Ban TRIBE Member

    yes - expenses still have to be approved by a bureaucratic department which is non-partisan. their expenses are also open to audits.

    the only people that would look at this redundant disclosure of expenses would be people who are already angry and the opposite parties for research purposes. and any expenses will be extrapolated to be unethical, or dishonest or whatever. and then that's all that will be in the news. wow i cant wait to read about the sandwich that bev oda bought in a greasy spoon in uxbridge :rolleyes:
  4. alexd

    alexd Administrator Staff Member

    Its the generally part I don't like. Why some "Staff and Other" expenses are a quarter of a million dollars for some MPs and $100k for others with the same number of staff is what I want to know... I guess that must be the "other" bit.

    I don't want to see how many packs of gum they are trying to bill as office supplies, but the AG should be able to scrutinize their expenses to see if they are doing that if she so chooses. That is why she is there.

    Personally, I want to see what lawyers are getting paid via the "other" category and for what. I also want to see which consultants are on the stealth payroll, and what they are doing for the money.

    I am totally surprised that Jack isn't completely ahead of this situation and throwing his full support behind the AG. Something is very wrong when all these parties who never agree on anything, agree to keep the AG away from their books. Something smells really bad.

    I know these politicians are all about image and the way they look to the public. Seeing them close ranks like this over their expenses in spite of how bad it looks just tells me that there is some information there that, once out, will be even worse than looking like they are not being forthright and honest with Canadians. Ducking the AGs oversight has just sucked all the air out of all their righteous positions, announcements, and stands ON ANYTHING.

    I never thought I would say I applaud the Bloc Québécois for anything, but their position on complete transparency and compliance with anything the AG wants is the way to go here and the way all the other parties should conduct themselves in this situation.
  5. OTIS

    OTIS TRIBE Member

    I think if you think about the variance in the ridings which the MPs serve you can get an idea as to why. Size, competitiveness, urban/rural differences, complexity of constituents, accessibility, profile of MP causes more casework etc.

    Actually that's not why she's there. Her mandate is quite sharply limited to exclude the political wing. It's only through convenient misconception that she is being brought into this issue.
  6. acheron

    acheron TRIBE Member

    she seems to think differently.

    It's likely that part of what the AG seeks to do here is test whether the procedures put in place after 1991 are being followed. Does the BIE do that?
  7. OTIS

    OTIS TRIBE Member

    That's fine and dandy. However she doesn't have the power to redefine her mandate.

    What procedures are you talking about exactly? Even still the AG has no authority here, bottom line. The BIE gets an audit report every year, linked above.

    Why now ask the traffic cop to comment on urban planning?

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