25 March 2010

Jacks and the Auditor General

What is it about Dipper leaders named Jack and their problems with having the Auditor General check over their expense claims?

Here’s Jack Layton using a worn out excuse that hasn’t been tried since well before the spending scandals in legislatures in St. John’s, Halifax and among Jack’s political brethren in Westminister:

"Well, those are already audited, so I don’t know why wasting money on a second audit of something that has already been audited would make sense," he said.

Yep and there were audits in the House of Assembly too during the peak of the spending scandal.  Layton should ask his defence critic Jack Harris who, as it turns out, is the former leader of the New Democrats in Newfoundland and Labrador. Here’s what he had to say in voting for a government bill that proved to be a key foundation stone for the spending scandal:

Similarly, we have a new provision which requires an annual audit of the accounts of the House of Assembly which I think is appropriate; that there be accountability through an annual audit.

That proved to be so incredibly effective, as a subsequent review by an Auditor General revealed. Heck, Jack Harris’ old bench mate wound up going to jail for his part in the whole business.

The days of the kind of unaccountable political privilege the two Jacks  and the rest of the Ottawa Dippers are clinging to is long over.

A little sunshine in dark corners goes a long way to killing off any untoward activity that is taking place, the glare of public scrutiny also helps to keep it from taking root.

Imagine what might have been prevented if political donations were scrutinised more closely.