SNC Scandal: Business as Usual in Ottawa

Portraits courtesy of CBC

All right, it’s “I told you so” time. 

I’m sorry to inform all my right-leaning friends, relatives, and readers, but the Jody Wilson-Raybould scandal is not all about Justin Trudeau’s bad leadership. 

No, really. I honestly wish it was all Trudeau’s fault. If it was, then we could vote him out in the next election and the problem would be solved. You think Andrew Scheer and his buddies are going to be any better? How naïve.

No, what’s going on with the SNC-Lavalin scandal is business as usual in Canadian politics. And I use that term advisedly, because Business with a capital B is what it’s all about. The way our government is set up at the moment, big business basically runs the show. And this is the Liberals we’re talking about. When the overtly business-friendly Conservatives are in power, it’s even worse. 

Now, before you get all bent out of shape because I’m dissing businessmen, stop and think. I’m not talking about your little family business that hires twenty or a hundred employees. I’m afraid you’re down here at the bottom with the rest of us. I’m talking about Big Business. You know, the kind of people who pay $500 or $1000 to sit down with politicians at a bribe-accepting dinner where “no one talks about business.” Sorry, did I get that wrong? I’m sure I meant “fund-raising.”

The Jody Wilson-Raybould Case

What happened there? I can make a good guess. Nobody from the PMO said anything to pressure her to make her decision. I believe them. All each one of them did was give her the information she needed to make the right decision. The Prime Minister went into her office and didn’t pressure her. His best friend went in and didn’t pressure her. The Clerk of the Privy Council went in and didn’t pressure her. Twice, I gather. 

So she made her own decision, and they demoted her. After all, they made that piece of legislation specifically so they could let SNC off the hook, stuck it in an omnibus bill where nobody would notice it, and expected it all to slide smoothly under the table like it always has. The reason, as usual? Saving Canadian jobs. Oh, sure.

Business as Usual

No, folks, this is the same old top-down, supply-side economics that our government has always run on. The people with all the money pay for the help of the government to make more money, no matter what the Rest of Canada thinks. 

First Past the Post

And it’s going to stay that way as long as it only takes 40% of the vote to run the country. It’s a formula for the tyranny of the minority. Think about it. How can anybody believe that a company would “donate” hundreds of thousands of dollars to a political party as a charitable gesture? 

Quebec?

And don’t blame Quebec, either. Sure, Bombardier and SNC-Lavalin are in Quebec. General Motors is in Ontario. And don’t think the Rest of Canada can’t figure out that Alberta is next in line with their oily hands out for government help to keep their huge conglomerates profitable. 

Winner Take All

Until we get a form of government where you actually need a majority of the votes before you’re allowed to run the country, we’re going to trade the influence-peddling back and forth between the “have” provinces, the “have” parties, and the multinationals; the rest of us will eke out a living however we can. 

As those of you who voted against Proportional Representation should now be realizing, First Past the Post only works for you when your team wins. If you lose, you’re relegated to scrounging in the gutter for the leavings like the rest of us. You voted for a “winner take all” government. Now the winners are collecting, and all you can do is cry about it. Suck it up, buttercup; this is the kind of government you asked for.

And the next time an opportunity comes around to create a 21stcentury democracy in your city, province, or country, use your brains for a change and think about what you’re voting for. 

And in case you think I’m picking on the Right, I’d like to remind Liberal supporters that the Trudeau government got elected on a promise to change the system to Proportional. They’re going to pay for that broken promise in the next election.

The Bottom Line

The only other stupidity you can lay at Trudeau’s door is his ham-handed damage control. Throwing his best friend and top supporter under the bus is a tactic to be saved for desperate moments. In this case, it seems the bus hadn’t even shown up yet, but they tossed him anyway. Instead, he got run over by a truck with Alberta plates. 

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