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Yesterday Was A Busy Day For Progressive Hypocrisy

 
 
Hypocrite: (1) A person who engages in the same behaviors he condemns others for. (2) A person who professes certain ideals, but fails to live up to them. (3) A person who holds other people to higher standards than he holds himself.
 

If you were ever looking for examples of hypocrisy and hypocrites hard at work, you wouldn’t have had to go much farther than the disgraceful display put on yesterday by Canada’s three opposition parties.

It started with Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae, aided by NDP MP Charlie Angus ‘negotiating’ an end to the hunger strike charade by Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence. It was further augmented by the whining of Green Party Leader Elizabeth May about the refusal of her fellow progressives in other parties joining forces with her to defeat the Harper Conservatives in the next election.

Let’s recap a bit so we’re all on the same page.

Theresa Spence first came to national prominence when she went before the media to highlight the appalling poverty on her reserve. It was, to hear her tell it, all the fault of the Government of Canada and the opposition, the media and progressives in general were very quick to get all over that wicked Stephen Harper and his heartless Conservative Government. The self-righteous and sanctimonious anger was so thick, we almost choked on it.

And then the truth started to leak out.

It started with a follow-up report last January by CBC’s Adrienne Arsenault who visited Attawapiskat where she discovered Theresa Spence living large and toodling about the reserve in her Cadillac Escalade. Then Sun Media published the band’s own audited financial statements and that wasn’t pretty either.

In 2011, the band had an operating budget of $34 million for a community of only 1500 people, hardly starvation wages. While many on the reserve were living in desperate circumstance, the band had more than $8 million in investments including investments in the oils sands and pipelines.

Despite the amount of money available, only $12 million of the annual budget went to programs for the welfare of the community while an almost equivalent amount went to Theresa Spence, her boyfriend and members of band council and the band office for salaries and other compensation. Fewer than 100 people were carving up over $11 million.

A subsequent independent audit revealed that Chief Spence and her band council could not account for 81% of the expenditure on her reserve. To put that into a clearer perspective, the expenditure of $27 million was not properly documented or accounted for.

Chief Spence was given the results of the audit in August and put on notice that it would be made public at some point after she and the Government had time to review it and the Minister had signed it off. Not long afterwards, she made the decision to come to Ottawa and began her hunger strike demanding a meeting with the Prime Minister.

Since starting her melodrama on Victoria Island, the audit has been made public as required by law and Chief Spence has changed her demands continuously as she dfragged her sorry hunger strike charade through six weeks.

While nobody in the aboriginal progressive communities will admit it publicly, she had become an embarrassment. She had also become a pawn to be used by cynical politicians both aboriginal and no-aboriginal alike.

The CBC referred to Bob Rae’s efforts to negotiate an end to Theresa Spence grandstanding as ‘statesman like’. Give it a rest. This was no nation to nation negotiation. First and foremost, Bob Rae does not speak for Canada; he speaks for a decimated Liberal Party and only for a couple of more months. Attawapiskat is not an independent nation. Its residents are Canadian citizens and the band is financed primarily by the Government of Canada. Let’s get back to some basic truths and take our heads out of asses folks. Evan Solomon of the CBC’s Power & Politics with Evan Solomon can dress it up any way he likes but a pig in a silk suit is still just a pig in a silk suit.

If the Conservative Government were to be unable to document properly or account for 81% of its annual budget, the Opposition Parties would be storming the barricades not negotiating an honourable resolution to something with Stephen Harper.

And that, my friends, is nothing less than hypocrisy hard at work.

People like Charlie Angus and Bob Rae are very selective in who and what they criticize. What they consider a sin for one is not necessarily a sin for another. That isn’t adherence to a set of principles, it is political expediency; nothing more than an opportunity to provide the illusion of caring while not really caring about or standing for anything much at all.

They certainly don’t seem to care very much about the Canadian taxpayer who has tossed almost $100 million into Attawapiskat over the past five years. They’d rather grandstand with the woman who has no record of what she did with the money we provided than protect our interest so that we don’t end up continuing to make the same wasteful mistakes.

It’s enough to make you shudder at the thought of any of them being part of a government with its hands on the public purse – but then we’ve already seen in Ontario what Bob Rae is capable of doing when he is in control of public money and that was just plain ugly. It made Chief Spence’s spending habits look positively responsible.

Perhaps the greatest hypocrisy of all was the fact that Chief Spence’s own band (Remember them? They’re the people everyone claims to be concerned about but never mention) had decided they had had enough. The acting chief and a member of the band council announced they would be arriving in Ottawa yesterday with an ultimatum to be delivered to Theresa Spence; end the hunger strike and return home to attend to her duties or she would be removed as band chief.

There would be no ceremony honouring her ‘brave’ stand, no statues built in her honour and no speeches given in praise of her sacrifice. Basically it was going to be, get your ass back home or get fired.

That is what gave the Rae negotiations a sense of urgency. If progressives were to maintain any illusion of dignity for having supported this woman in her self-serving charade, they needed to get her to end it quickly and with some kind of claim of victory.

Enter the Declaration of Commitment, a 13-point declaration of stated objectives that is as meaningless and pointless as this entire affair has been. None of it is binding on the Government and the provinces are already signaling they aren’t going to play either when it comes to increased resource sharing.

Well isn’t that just one major accomplishment for six weeks of fish broth and a whole of lot of hypocritical hyperbole from the progressive Opposition Parties?

And so it will end today with a ceremony that will celebrate the accomplishment of absolutely nothing beyond a meaningless declaration. It will be just  more sanctimonious orgy of self-serving progressive hypocrisy.

The only good thing to be said is that after we suffer through the hypocrisy of today’s ceremony to honour this ridiculous woman, we won’t have to listen to daily reports about her any more.

And then there’s Green Party Leader Elizabeth May or the Queen of Green as some of us think her.

Ms May is greatly perturbed that her fellow progressives are not responding to her request to unite in a common, work-together strategy to defeat the Harper Conservatives in the next election. She accuses them of hyper-partisanship. Excuse me?

Ms May, who represents a party with one seat in Parliament, seems to feel that she’s a serious player in Canadian politics. She isn’t and the fact that those parties which are don’t see her as a player doesn’t make them hyper-partisan, just pragmatic. What advantage is there to them to get involved with a united strategy with her? She has nothing to bring to the table.

If anything, she would be the only one to possibly gain anything and only at the disadvantage of the other parties.

Her party represents less than 6% of the electorate and I would suggest the only reason it has even the one seat – hers – is because it threw all of its resources behind getting her elected in her own riding. So cynical is her hypocrisy that she moved from the east coast of Canada to the west coast in order to run in a riding that offered any real chance to win a seat. Her former supporters in the east were no longer relevant to her – she has new friends now.

What Elizabeth May fails to realize is that she is exactly what she condemns, a self-serving and hypocritical politician trying to feather her own nest. She is partisan, aligning herself only with those parties that come close to matching her own environmental fanaticism. She thought she was a leader and could unite the progressive left but she was wrong about that too. She mistook hubris for reality.

Her constant accusations of ideology against the current Prime Minister and her new accusation of partisanship against the opposition parties once again proves the old adage that the thing we fear in others is the thing we most fear in ourselves.

The Queen of Green is more like a yapping terrier than the queen of much of anything at all, especially principle.

All of this nonsense is wearying. It is gamesmanship rather than effective opposition with principled positions that benefit the country. It is hypocrisy where one group forgives their own sins and those whom they can use for their own purposes while condemning the same sins in someone else.

I have no issue with criticism of the government, in fact I encourage it. What I resent is the lack of principle behind what pretends to be informed government criticism these days. It is nothing less than hyper-partisan, petty politics. Issues are irrelevant, integrity is irrelevant; all that matters is scoring cheap political points at the expense of others. It is nothing but hypocrisy to condemn in others what you yourself do and quite frankly, nobody does that better than progressives these days.

I keep thinking that it would be nice to see politicians, especially progressive politicians who like to claim the moral high ground, return to simple concepts like consistently practicing the principle and morality they preach but it isn’t going to happen. It’s part of the DNA now and the only good thing coming out of it is that support for the Harper Government is increasing according to the latest polls.

You would have thought that might be a bit of a head-up for the left but apparently once hypocrisy gets into the political DNA – it’s not only a bugger to remove; it apparently is even more difficult to recognize.

Update: The Great Canadian Hunger Strike ended this morning with much fanfare followed by a press conference which unfortunately, Theresa Spence was unable to attend. She was taken to hospital because of her ordeal. She has been released from hospital which means that the effects of an almost six-week hunger strike were neither very significant on her nor life-threatening. In other words, it was all a fraud – just one, big charade that no amount of posturing by Charlie Angus and Bob Rae or all of the other great pretenders can change. But then, who ever heard of a hunger strike that included fish broth, tea, vitamins – oh, and – Snickers bars. 

I resent being treated like I’m stupid and people who have supported this woman, who has much to answer for on her reserve, have done nothing but perpetuate a lie in the mistaken belief that Canadians are stupid. We’re not and those opposition politician who tried to use this sorry affair to their advantage have nothing of which to be proud although I suspect they lack the character or the values to understand that.

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© 2012 Maggie’s Bear
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  • Ricky Mb

    NDP MP Charlie Angus & LIB MP Bob Rae are 2 of the most self centered hypocrites in parliment Little Justin my daddy was Prime Minister is running a close 3rd. They are palying on emotions of people who are no current on the issue. But ufortunatley for them it’s people like the Bear that help to inform the masses. The word is out Mr Rae and friends your true colors have been thrust into the light. It is very easy to stand up in parliment and twist the facts, rant & spew untruths just by not telling the whole truth, or all the facts only the part that makes you look good.
    The people ( TAXPAYERS) the ones who pay your wages are starting to see the light. Good Bye Mr. Rae don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out. CARRY ON BEAR

    • http://abearsrant.com thebear

      Charest-gone. McGuinty-gone. Rae-gone. Christie Clark-soon to be gone. We’re knocking ‘em off one at a time. We can only pray that Justin Trudeau gets elected leader. That will be the death of the Liberal Party of Canada.

  • http://bgulk0.wix.com/raspberry-h-venue gramma Barb

    Oh my Gosh! there goes my bubble ‘busted’ !! Totally disgusted with the opposition’s obviously sickening grappling hanger-on behavior! Do they think the Canadian people are stupid and blind? If anything comes out of this gong show we have watched over the past year or so, concerning Chief Snackalot, it will be a stronger afirmation that the Harper Conservative gov’t is on the right track. To stand firm and make big changes in the relationship with FN people. Bring them into the fold of the Canadian ‘white man’ ! Nation to Nation all equal as one!

    • http://abearsrant.com thebear

      Apparently Snickers is considering offering her a contract to be their official spokesperson although Weight Watchers has backed off with consideration of having her represent them. Their feeling seems to be that if you can’t lose weight on a hunger strike, there ain’t no diet in the world, including theirs, that’s going to help you.

  • Martin

    Once again the opposition parties have shown themselves willing to sign anything put in front of them, to embarrass this government.
    Rae and Bennett especially, who have been in power should recognize that no legitimate government could accept “consent” from FN for all legislation they feel affects their treaties. Even E Solomon picked up on this, yet Bennett prattled on about the courts, the UN declaration and so on. Signing something you have no intention of honouring seems to be a Liberal trait, Kyoto comes to mind. Canadians would do well to remember this veto offer to FN come next election. As for the Lib/NDP, someday some of them will form a government, this declaration will come back to haunt them.

    • http://abearsrant.com thebear

      Offering a segment of the population that represents fewer than half a million people a veto over govt legislation is like sticking a vegetable peeler up your nose and twisting it. It is just plain stupidity and yet more Liberal hypocrisy because none of the people who signed it will ever have to deal with it. They’ll be gone into the mists of retirement. Hopefully they will take that silly and foolish woman, Carolyn Bennett, with them. I wonder if she’s finally repaid her loans off for her failed leadership bid. She’s been in serious violation of the Election’s Act because of those loans although it hasn’t slowed down her willingness to point fingers at others.

      If hypocrisy was money, these people would be richer than Bill Gates.

  • http://abearsrant.com Ontario Girl

    Surprise…Spence is out of the hospital, now that the press conference is over. She made a speech at the hotel but wouldn’t take questions from anyone. Lot’s of people in the room giving her hugs….she’s the QUEEN once more and the centre of attention. Will she never go away?

    • http://abearsrant.com thebear

      There is an old saying that ‘what goes around, comes around.’ It’s biblical but no less true for those who don’t believe and I believe that it’s coming
      round the bend for Theresa. It just hasn’t arrived yet. She lied, she feathered her own nest – there is a time coming when she will face some unpleasant karma for that.

  • Bubba Brown

    So the good people of Attawapiskat are coming to town to give the Chief a frozen moccasin in her ample butt.
    About time ,these are the real victims here not some self serving greedy politician.
    Sickening how Bob Rae and the NDP-Q have piled into this mess of fish soup.
    I am not forgetting Justin of Trudeau either.
    Phony self serving hypocrisy at it’s finest.
    Now Spence is hiding out in a hospital I hope she is not taking a bed from a sick person.

    • Fay

      I hope she is not taking the bed of someone who is really sick!
      It appears to me that Raymond Robinson decided to call the nurse in emergency a racist because he did not qualify as an emergency.
      Emergency departments operate on a triage system.

  • http://abearsrant.com Ontario Girl

    Latest Chief Spence drama news…she won’t be at her 11 am news conference in Ottawa, to answer questions from the reporters. She is in the hospital for precautionary reasons. I called it weeks ago, that this would be her way out…looking for sympathy.
    MulCair didn’t have to get involved in her drama…he sent in about 20 NDP MP’s instead. He’s a coward and a sneak. I am sure MP Angus is looking amunition for his question period” showboating” when parliament goes back on Monday.

  • Nicola Timmerman

    Very sad to see to what depths Bob Rae has fallen. It reminds me of Thomas More in A Man For All Seasons asking the perjured Richard Rich: “Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world… but for Wales?”

  • Rich

    What a fantastic post about the whole episode; I hope that the one thing good that comes out of this exercise is the consstituents of Angus Riding realize what a hypocrite he is and vote him out of office. He along with Pat Martin in Winnipeg Centre are the two opposition MP’s I would most like to see defeated at the polls.

  • Scott M

    Another great column Bear! You ever think of running for office? I’d vote for you.

    • http://abearsrant.com thebear

      I appreciate the sentiment but I refuse to lower my standards to a level that would qualify me to become a politician. I have lots of flaws and may not have the highest standards in town but they are higher than that. :-)

      • Frances

        But we so desperately need people with higher standards to become politicians.

  • http://abearsrant.com Ontario Girl

    More missing money with no documentation in Gull Bay…not on CBC or CTV or Global…YET!!!! The reserve is BROKE.

    http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1319263–ontario-first-nation-broke

    • http://abearsrant.com thebear

      There’s a significant amount unaccounted for out of the $2 billion given to the new aboriginal health network in BC as well. This whole mess has nothing to do with the Indian Act and treaties, it’s a fight by some of the ‘entitled’ within the First Nations fighting against an increased demand for financial accountability. They don’t want to reveal what they’ve been doing with the cash or explain why some of them live large while so many live in poverty. It’s a disgrace.

  • Gabby in QC

    “… end the hunger strike and return home to attend to her duties or <b<she would be removed as band chief. …”

    That is a very salient fact the CBC and Evan Solomon did not see fit to mention, a fact reported by APTN, not necessarily Sun News. I reminded the CBC about the removal part in its comment board under the CBC article titled Chief Theresa Spence to end hunger strike Thursday but the moderator decided not to publish my reminder. Quelle surprise!

    • Gabby in QC

      Oops!
      Wrong HTLM tag here:
      <b<she would be removed as band chief should be
      she would be removed as band chief

  • http://abearsrant.com Ontario Girl

    I noticed NDP MP Charlie Angus was front and centre with Spence. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was him advising her to do this pizza strike. Then there he is giving her socks and a candle to keep warm on parliament hill, with the camera’s rolling. After the audit was made public, he was MIA. I am sure he knew about the audit in August, since Spence is his best buddy . What a sad sack person he is. Does he support suicide then?This is the guy who ragged on about Shannons dream….the new school in Attawapiskat started to be built June 22/2012…not a word from Angus…it’s his best kept secret. Might make the Govt. look good.
    Now he appears out of the woodwork once again with Chief Spence’s phoney demands. They are NOT the majority on parliament hill. GAMES, GAMES and more GAMES. What’s Angus getting for his troubles I wonder besides the native votes???
    I could go on and on …

    • Gabby in QC

      You’re right … Charlie Angus comes off as one of the most hypocritical of all in that entire cast of characters.

      • http://abearsrant.com thebear

        I don’t like his politics but I have a grudging respect for Thomas Mulcair who did not get involved in the sideshow on Victoria Island but I have no use for hypocrites like Charlie Angus and Pat Martin, Carolyn Bennett and Elizabeth May and even less time for airheads like Justin Trudeau.