Because Government Transparency is SO 2006
Last month in Oakville, when asked about the allegation — made by a Tory candidate — that one project was killed because the riding was Liberal, the prime minister said don’t worry: "We can give you a list of announcements made across the country."
Three weeks later, after repeated requests for that list, his office told me this week to stop bothering them. Turns out the prime minister was joking, or lying. They are not going to cough up a list. Instead, they directed me to the useless actionplan.gc.ca site, and suggested I click on 6,000 individual links and draw up my own list.
These people are either cynically withholding information that would allow voters to see where their tax dollars are beings spent, or they are idiots, or maybe both.
They think they are smart to hide this information — perhaps because it could be politically damaging if they are shown to be shovelling pork into Tory ridings nationwide — but they are not smart.
I'm willing to cut Harper a certain amount of slack on this - after all, not all ridings are the same so not all ridings will get the exact same amount of stimulus money. And governments who don't try to hype themselves for partisan gain don't exist outside of idealized fantasy lands.
But there's a lot of smoke and the Tory response to quantitative evidence that significantly more money is going to Conservative ridings has amounted to the political equivalent of "nu-uh". Harper points to one or two Liberal ridings that got cash, says the studies are bogus, but won't provide any alternative numbers when asked for them.
This, from a government, who came to power on a platform of more transparency and accountability.