Liberal Cheque Mates UPDATED -

Liberal Cheque Mates UPDATED

Liberals hand out giant pieces of cardboard too.


A propos of absolutely nothing, I swear, here are a few choice pictures of Liberals with giant cheques, from the recent past.

And before anyone accuses this corner of Conservative counter-hackery, let me say this: to hell with the two of them. A pox on both houses. I vote only for one party–at least they’re honest–and will only say this: this kind of holier-than-thou name-calling is the reason good people stop caring enough to vote. Get back to work, the two of you*.

Here’s Richmond Hill MP Bryon Wilfert with a big cheque. “There is no comparison with the Conservatives,” Wilfert told Maclean’s. “No one is trying to pass this off as Liberal money. End of discussion.” (Not quite. See * below.)


Here’s Malpeque, PEI MP Wayne “Stephen Harper has done everything that he once criticized” Easter, giving a real Government of Canada cheque to a local PEI businessman in 1998.


Here’s Scarborough Guildwood MP John Mckay with big cheque. Found on his own website.


York West MP Judy Sgro, handing over a surprisingly cheque-like piece of cardboard–without any Government of Canada markings at all. Her office didn’t respond to requests for comment.


Last but never least, Scarborough-Agincourt MP Jim Karygiannis. “Cheques like that have been delivered since parliament was invented,” he told Maclean’s. Exactly!


*Oh, and to anyone who says, Well, yes, but at least the Liberals didn’t have the gall to put their names or party affiliation on these oversized cheques, I say this: most of the pictures of ‘Conservative partisan cheques’ wafting out of the Liberal fold are no different from the ones above, in that they are run of the mill political grip-and-grin photo ops. Also, remember this little ditty: Quebec Liberal MP Claude Droin once helped a local college obtain a $5,600 scholarship, and the college repaid him in kind by stamping his name on a plaque. Little more permanent than a novelty cheque, no?

And don’t get anyone started on Alphonso Gagliano. Surely the erstwhile Public Works Cabmin didn’t spend $6,800 of sponsorship money–earmarked, lest we forget, to promote the Federal Government in Quebec–on a “Piazza Canada” plaque… in San Martino, Italy?

He did? Oh.

UPDATE: This is exactly what I’m talking about. The Liberal whatever-room just put out a media release entitled “181 partisan cheques is not an isolated incident”. Among the purported Conservative partisan atrocities is the one below, with Jim Flaherty. Take note: there is no Conservative logo and no Jim Flahery signature, just a grinning Jim Flaherty holding a big piece of cardboard with three other stunned-looking people. Yes, there are some flagrant indulgences in there (You there, Larry Miller, take a bow), but overall the so-called ‘partisan cheques’ are just examples of plain, everyday politicking identical to the (Liberal) pictures above.



Liberal Cheque Mates UPDATED

  1. Sorry pal, this is indeed cheap Conservative counter hackery……you had to go back to 1998? also I might note that in each picture? Government of Canada, clearly marked not a Liberal logo to be seen…….Let's be clear here too, the opposition was just looking at the current government (you know the ones in power that swore that they would be accountible as we have never seen before/) had they known that you wanted a full disclosure of all Conservative past misdeeds then I am sure they would have looked to the past a little more.

    The moral relativism is stunning….

    • All the cheques clearly show either Government of Canada or the Canadian Flag

    • I agree with Stan, the Government of Canada is indicated on these cheques. One has to wonder if Mcleans is trying to inapproriatley "spin" this story. Has somebody at Mcleans been promised a Senate Seat?

  2. Also, I might add… may want to look up the date of when the branding guidelines for Government of Canada identification was changed last if you are going to go back that far……

    • TBS said in July the novelty cheques conforned to the guidelines.

      • Disagree, they are blatant CPC advertising & tax payers expense.

  3. Wrong. Look at the Judy Sgro pic.

  4. I agree the Liberals did it too, but do we really want them to be our standard of acceptable behaviour? Surely the CPC can do better than that.

  5. Remind us again how many billions in debt the Liberals were sending us with all of their pork-barrelling?

    • Uh…. Liberals… As in, the Chrétien/Martin years?

      Welcome to Canada, home of the 1990s surpluses!

      Don't get me wrong, there was plenty of pork-barrelling going around… Except, they did not contribute to the debt.

      Unlike, say…. This last year! The biggest debt booster we have ever known. And the majority of that money going to about a third of Canada (in terms of ridings), inluding such fine expenses as the resodding of a soccer pitch at a private school in Collingwood.

    • Mr.Foreigner, just check your facts. If you do a google search for Canada's National Debt under the Canadian Taxpayers Association, you will see that Canad's National Debt was substantially reduced when the Liberals were last in power. It went up under Mulroney dramtically, and we are poised for it again. It is nothing but a myth to think that Conservative governments are fiscally prudent in this country.

  6. There has been 47 complaints filed for 47 MPs who did this sort of thing with our stimulus money……47 current Conservative MPs who promised with their leader to never do this….not only have they 'done this' but in spectacular fashion. But 'the Liberals did it too' sounds like….'hey mom but all the other guys were going to do it"…'s an excuse that is not good for my kids, so why is it good with the government.

  7. No markings at all on that fake cheque as far as I can tell from the very grainy photo. Is there a Liberal Party of Canada logo there that I can't make out?

    I agree that both parties are being distasteful with this sort of thing, but when the controversy is "Tories celebrate giving out taxpayer money with cheques emblazoned with their party logo, suggesting the money is coming from the party and not the government (read: taxpayer)" isn't the most appropriate response to come up with photos of Liberals handing out novelty cheques with the Liberal Party of Canada logo on them?

    A pox on both their houses by all means, but aren't you comparing rotten apples to rotten oranges?

    • Is Keddy still the only MP who used the Tory logo? Has anyone figured out what rule that broke?

  8. Go back to sleep, Patriquin, you obviously have no clue what the issue is.

    • agree

  9. This is what really galls me.

    How quickly, and COMPREHENSIVELY "We're going to act differently than the dastardly Liberals" morphed into "Don't complain about US, we're just doing the things the Liberals always did".

  10. If all of the 47 had a Conservative Logo on the cheque then I'm in full agreement with you. No way should these cheques have a Conservative logo. MP signature is less of an issue for me, assuming the cheque itself is just for the photo op and not actually cashable.

    But if the Liberals are trying to lump together every cheque-handing-out photo opportunity, including the same kind they so gleefully took part in when they were the government, whether the cheque has a Conservative logo or not, then they are vastly overplaying their hand.


    OTTAWA; QUEBEC CITY – Jean Chretien, the Prime Minister, yesterday said his government had nothing to apologize for in seeking to reap maximum partisan political benefit from disbursing $1-billion worth of federal job grants across Canada each year.

    He had always made sure since taking power in October, 1993, that voters were left in no doubt that it was his Liberals who were distributing such grants, he said.

    "Listen," he added, "we are the government … I don't see why we can't try to get credit for what we do. I hope we do so. There is nothing to be ashamed in that."

  12. Well, he didn't lie about it. LIke Harper has.

  13. So where are the Liberal party logos? I don't see any in these pictures.

    • Some of them have a flag-red maple leaf, just like the Liberal logo…

  14. I totally agree with John G.

    Well, not TOTALLY. I think the MP's signature on the cheque is a bit problematic. If it's going to have a signature, it ought to have the signature of the responsible MINISTER, not the local MP (unless they're one in the same of course) to further emphasize that this money is coming from the taxpayers THROUGH THE MINISTRY not from the party through the MP. I agree that that is a much less pressing issue than having and actual party logo on the cheque.

    Is anyone aware of any examples of a Liberal Minister and/or MP handing out a cheque that's made to look like it comes from the Liberal Party of Canada?

  15. Indeed. The only thing more shameful than the Liberals' record would be the CPC descending to a similar standard while piously proclaiming themselves superior.

  16. Indeed. The only thing more shameful than the Liberals' record would be the CPC descending to a similar standard while piously proclaiming themselves superior.

    I fully expect Liberals who had no complaint during the Chretien/Martin era to cry foul when the Conservatives mimic them. That is to be expected. But I would be very disappointed if the Right acts with similar dishonesty.

  17. Indeed. The only thing more shameful than the Liberals' record would be the CPC descending to a similar standard while piously proclaiming themselves superior.

    I fully expect Liberals who had no complaint during the Chretien/Martin era to cry foul when the Conservatives mimic them. But I would be very disappointed if the Right acts with similar dishonesty.

  18. Indeed. The only thing more shameful than the Liberals' record would be the CPC descending to a similar standard while piously proclaiming themselves superior.

    I fully expect Liberals who had no complaint during the Chretien/Martin era to cry foul when the Conservatives mimic them. But I would be very disappointed if the Right displays similar dishonesty.

    • Guys(?), I agree: the Liberals' behaviour doesn't give carte blanche to the Tories now. But let's remember that the Libs were *just* as pious the last time they were in opposition for a long stretch – that is, before the '93 election. They made just as many promises to do things differently, and we know how *that* turned out.

      Like I said, that doesn't excuse any mistakes the Tories are making now. But it does suggest that the Libs are among the *last* ones who should be lecturing to the Tories.

  19. Still not directly on point, but noteworthy nonetheless.

    Of course, having had majorities, at least Chretien could (occasionally) claim that the money Liberals were spending was allocated by votes of only members of the governing party. In that case, he deserves credit to the extent that his party and his party alone approved the spending.

    Also, of course, for a large amount of the time the Liberals were running around handing out cheques it was while the government had a surplus. Bragging about all the spending you're doing after you get the country out of a large deficit has a slightly different tinge to it than bragging about all the spending you're doing while you're getting the country into the largest deficit in its history.

  20. 1. No Liberal logo or slogan on any of those.

    2. 4 photos of Liberal novelty cheques with ONE personalized signature vs 171 novelty cheques, all with personalized signatures and at least way over a dozen with a Conservative logo or slogan.

    3. Millions in occasional announcements over 13 years vs. billions and billions and billions in a few months.

    4. Suggestions that the Liberals may have favoured their own in spending (which I don't deny) vs. documented proof of systematic gross favouratism by between 3:1 and 14:1 across the entire country.

    5. Chretien brought in the first real accountability measures vs. Say Anything Steve demanded that Parliament exempt his slush fund, er, stimulus spending from his own accountability rules.

    6. When the Liberals discovered some of their own were breaking their own rules, they called in the cops and launched an investigation vs. accountability? what accountability?

    Yeah, right. They are so exactly the same.

  21. That might make a good campaign slogan for the CPC. What about "we can do better"

  22. Also, the spin seems to be colliding……on the one hand you have a conservative war machine telling us that Ignatieff isn't a real Canadian, someone who can be trusted to know Canada becuase he hasn't been here……and yet, we are supposed to fall for the oldest line in the book…..'but they did it too' and from that we are supposed to think that Ignatieff should be lumped in with the past government……..if he wasn't here and part of the party, he can hardly be blamed for past offenses now can he.

    But the real bottom line? who cares, we live in the here and now and have to deal with the government we have on hand……revisiting history, while fun is not a solution or an excuse to the issue in front of us today.

  23. Me either…but it looks like Byron Wilfert's may have his signature on it (though I could be wrong, it's really hard to tell from these low-res photos, but the initials look like a B and a W).

  24. where is the Liberal logo?


    • Agreed.

      One might also ask: what is the point of this post?

  25. Dammit, I Wherry'ed myself.

    Next paragraph in the article I cut 'n' pasted:

    Previously, Mr. Chretien and Jane Stewart, the Human Resources Minister, have insisted in Parliament that the $1-billion in grants for job creation, training, literacy and other projects were not allocated with the intention of gaining partisan advantage, but rather were designed to benefit ridings regardless of their political complexion.

  26. Once again the so-called liberal media finds evidence on the Cons abusing their power and the law, but they go after the Libs because, because… I really don't know why. It is no wonder Harper gets away with whatever he wants, the media has forgotten its purpose, or it is so comfortable with the Libs-can't-do-anything-right narrative that it can't be bothered to actually do its job with a semblance of objectivity or at least some shame.

  27. This is kind of like the Conservatives approach to their in-and-out scam: because other parties did something that has some elements of the same thing as we did, anything we did to cheat our way around campaign finance rules should be A-OK.

    Because you can find one or two examples of Liberals favouring Liberals, it's A-OK if we dole out 85% of infrastructure money to our own ridings (before the recession) and 70-80% of stimulus money to our own ridings (since).

    Because you can find a couple of Liberals holding up big cheques over the course of 13 years in government, it's A-OK if we break Government of Canada rules with 171 cheques among 47 MPs within a couple of years.

    Anything the Liberals can do, we can do way way worse, says Mr. Say Anything Steve. "Your taxdollars; their friends"

    • there's a good reason there were so few photo ops of the Liberals handing out our tax dollars. They did't want a record of it, or it couldn't have flowed so freely back into Liberal coffers.

  28. Re: #2: Your link doesn't work.
    If it can be demonstrated, though, it makes a good point. This sort of thing is always onerous when governments do it. Between the Liberals and Conservatives over the past 8 years, I only recall ONE party leader promising to not do this, and not not mistake "Canadian values for [the-other-party's] values." A
    Any guess which party leader explicitly ran against this sort of thing?

  29. Uh…. Liberals… As in, the Chrétien/Martin years?

    Well, maybe your name explains your comments. Welcome to Canada, home of the 1990s surpluses!
    Don't get me wrong, there was plenty of pork-barrelling going around… Except, they did not contribute to the debt.

    Unlike, say…. This last year! The biggest debt booster we have ever known. And the majority of that money going to about a third of Canada (in terms of ridings), inluding such fine expenses as the resodding of a soocer pitch at a private school in Collingwood.

    • So I went through your entire 11 page photo montage. You know how many cheques had a Conservative logo on them, out of your…what was it, 180 or so pictures? 3. And one of them wasn't even a cheque. The other 2 were Gerald Keddy. The remaining 177ish were just the same kind of novelty cheques that the Liberal have handed out for years. Some had slogans, and all had signatures.

      So yes. They are pretty much exactly the same.

    • So I went through your entire 11 page photo montage. You know how many cheques had a Conservative logo on them, out of your…what was it, 180 or so pictures? 3. And one of them wasn't even a cheque. The other 2 were Gerald Keddy. The remaining 177ish were just the same kind of novelty cheques that the Liberals have handed out for years. Some had slogans, and all had signatures. Which is fine according to Treasury Board.

      So yes. They are pretty much exactly the same.

      • Wrong.

        Mayes has the Con logo as well. Numerous other cheques have the Tory branding style and old campaign slogans instead of the Tory name.

        Nice try though.

      • I just took a quick look and noticed "Action Plan" and "Canada's New Government" as well as the CPC logo. Not to mention the new Olympic hockey seater logo coming up.

  30. True enough. As a conservative I can't say many good things about this government, and the extent to which they've morphed into everything about the Liberals that they once complained about truly saddens me.

    But the Conservatives were also criticized by many when in opposition for spending all their time looking for scandals under every rock and embarrassing themselves when there was none to be found, while at the same time never talking about what they would do differently. I don't think it's unfair to level the same criticism at the Liberals. Particularly for things that they were also guilty of in the recent past.

  31. Uh…. Liberals… As in, the Chrétien/Martin years?

    Well, maybe your name explains your comments. Welcome to Canada, home of the 1990s surpluses!
    Don't get me wrong, there was plenty of pork-barrelling going around… Except, they did not contribute to the debt.

    Unlike, say…. This last year! The biggest debt booster we have ever known. And the majority of that money going to about a third of Canada (in terms of ridings), inluding such fine expenses as the resodding of a soccer pitch at a private school in Collingwood.

  32. The problem about leveling criticism at the Liberals (in regards to their past) is that those issues had been dealt with by the Canadian people. The Liberals were voted out of office mainly because of the cronyism and pork-barrelling that existed. The Opposition hammered that to the extremes. Election campaigns were run on these themes and assurances that things would be different under a Conservative Government were repeated many times over….

    Turns out the Cons were selling snake oil…

    • Lib voted out of office due to
      'cronyism and pork-barrelling '?

      You mean kick-back scheme, right…..
      Taxpayer money laundered thru ad agencies, and sent back to Liberal candiates and the party coffers.

      • If you want to get into specifics, get it right… However, we are still within the realm of 'cronyism and pork-barreling' are we not? And, for that matter, I would hope it wasn't a single issue (kick-back scheme) that warranted a change of government. (then again, in Alberta, they don't vote Liberal because of the NEP so maybe it was a one issue thing)

    • The Liberals were diverted state funds to Liberal Party of Canada coffers. That was Adscam. That was high corruption.

      • You know when we'll get to know corruption at its grandest? When the Cons will resort to privatization to pay for some of this (massive) spending.

  33. The disconnect for most Liberal partisans is that the regular voter does not share your outrage over the "novelty" cheques. After the last 30 scandals from wafers, bodybags, unsexy comments, the crying wolf every week has resulted in your polling numbers.

    Regular voters and partisans combined have given you 25% support. So keep crying about —>evil<—- CONS MP's who broke the oversize cheque rules.

    • Are you saying that the "regular voter" is incapable of critical thought and believes everything Dear Leader says? This illustrates the CPC's main problem, i.e. believing that "regular voters" are idiots. The people who don't care are the ones who never vote.

  34. The media is starting to get pro-Harper, you're right about that.

    Which, in my view, is another reason to be wary of Harper.

  35. I see by the update that Harper had another bucket of water to carry.

  36. Thanks for that Ted. I never realized how effective the Government has been at making so many happy municipalities and people throughout the country. No wonder their over 40%.Wow they are all positively glowing.

  37. Honestly this is an interesting tactic to attack the CPC on by Liberals. People won't like it and think bad Conservatives.
    At the end of the day people will remember and only care about all the money that is being handed out. The Liberals are reminding Canadians of how much money the CPC has doled across the country. Don't think that is very wise.

  38. "I never realized how effective the Government has been at making so many happy municipalities and people throughout the country."

    What does this mean?

  39. So it's okay to crassly pass out partisan-looking cheques on behalf of all taxpaxers (against the rules AND against what we campaigned on in opposition) because the public doesn't seem to care?
    Let me point out that the latest polls were taken before this SH** started hitting the fan.
    Hey, in fairness to the Libs, they just complain about this sort of stuff when in opposituion. Stephen Harper promises not to do it and then does it 10X more anyway.
    What a guy. When are those Senators going to be un-appointed again?

  40. Whose signature is that in the photo in Patriquin's devastating update? Is it Stephen Harper's?

    • Sure looks like it – did he really make that generous contribution out of his own pocket?

  41. I think Canadians care about breaking rules, the arrogance of treating taxpayer money as your own and about pork.

    In fact, to read some of the angriest voices on this, just go over to Blogging Tories. Many of them are really really not happy with Say Anything Steve these over this.

    And if it was just about the cheques, then you might almost have half a point. But it isn't. It is about accountability and about Tories taking taxpayer money and giving it to their own.

  42. weaksauce post by MP

  43. No there are lots with the Conservative logo or slogan.

    It violates, as do the personal signatures, the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada (implemented on August 1, 2006) and the Federal Identity Program which prohibits the use of any logo or slogan or name other than official Government of Canada logos, slogans and names in association with a document issued by the Government of Canada.

    Exceptions can be made (eg. provincial partnership or the Olympics) but only upon application and approval.

  44. Blamo,
    My radar does not include BS regarding "oversized" cheques. My radar includes the Big 3 Bailout, lack of detail on EAP, too much money spent on too many projects. I am concerned about safety from imports on Food/Products and H1N1.

    I don't drink the Political Party kool-aid and really don't care that MSM, opposition claims, this is another example of crying wolf about this fake crisis.

    Are one of those "fake" cheques going to be cashed? Voters are much smarter and understand this PR stunt. Ask someone who lost their job, house, living on a fixed income if they care about this issue.

    The Auditor Report of $ 1 Billion for E-health and little or nothing, that is a NEWS story. The lack of an inquiry/investigation from the provincial government is a serious coverup/scandal. Where is the follow-up where is the money?

    Adscam was theft, mismanagement check with auditor General. I have NO delusion about the CPC being "perfect" or screwing up on some projects!

  45. They should be. That's your money they're getting.

  46. Ted

    the issue is about party logos and some faux outrage by the MSM, opposition parties. This does explain the disconnect with reality vs perception.

    If you can find some MP trying to cash those oversized cheques buzz me!

  47. The Flaherty cheque appears to be signed by Harper. But since you're a Con Hack, Mr Patriquin, You'll overlook that, won't you?

  48. "the issue is about party logos and some faux outrage by the MSM, opposition parties."

    No it isn't. It's about stealing public funds for political campaigning.

  49. Making stuff up again? Show me the charges laid or the investigation based on this story. This explains the 25% support for the Liberal Party.

    Perception vs Reality.

    • Once again: in the absence of criminal charges or a drop in the polls, you feel there couldn't possibly be anything unethical happening.

      At least you're consistent.

  50. Excuse me – but you conveniently forgot that the "rules" have been changed since those days by the treasury board.

    You know, this Johnnie hit me first nonsense is getting tiresome.

  51. Sounds like an ad for Mr. Sparkle.

  52. Right-wing "principles" on display.

  53. what are those principles, I am curious having voted Liberal until John Nunziata was thrown out of the party. Having voted for Bob Rae as well.

    Please do tell me about those principles.

  54. The article you quoted from July said that novelty cheques with party slogans complied with the FIP. The novelty props are not documents issued by the Government of Canada. Is Keddy the only one with the logo on a novelty cheque?

  55. I was just reading through the comments to see if anyone else pointed that out!

    I am amazed how many people say it doesn't matter because these are just big props — that's EXACTLY why it matters — these are extra-big so that they photograph well, telling everyone the nice Con MP, or his nice party, is giving them the money.

    Seriously — organizations pay fortunes for logos. You don't think there's a reason why? Or why there are corporate visual ID regs>

  56. I once had a problem with a Federal Government agency and called upon my MP for help. He and his staff were amazing! My problem was solved faster than I could have managed alone.

    When I tried to say "Thank You" they reminded me that that is their job.

    It is also their job to to ensure that they are being well represented by the government when the cheques are being handed out. So if they are successful in selling a project and getting the funding, they should be able to deliver an over-sized piece of cardboard and have a photo taken.

    • Yup, no argument here. But that oversized cheque should be coming from the Government of Canada, because the MP sold the project to the Government of Canada, and got the funding from the Government of Canada. It isn't his personal money and it isn't his party's money.

  57. Under PMJC, the Liberals won three majorities, so it made sense that most of their ridings received federal funding because most federal ridings had a Liberal MP. Under PMSH, the governing party has fewer ridings than the opposition parties' altogether. It's just simple math.

    • Nice try. The Auditor General found millions missing. Mismanagement was a serious issue. Need a link?

      This has NOTHING to do with the oversized cheques PR stunt.

      I am glad you admitted the Liberal waste of millions through HRDC is okay in your views because JC had more seats, that twisted logic explains your posting pattern.

      Do your self a favour and Goggle the JC scandals and compare to the logos and oversized cheques "crisis"

  58. The Gov Comms Policy has been around for many moons. That Aug. 2006 date is the last time it was revised. That is all.

  59. No, you tell me: what "principles" do you adhere to here?

    When somebody says "That politician is doing something unethical", what principles lead you to say "Well, it's not hurting their poll numbers, so ha ha!"

    I'm dying to hear this.

  60. I seem to remember seeing that symbol somewhere else, can't recall where exactly…

  61. Misitiru Haripiru!

  62. On bottles of maple syrup.

    And golf balls.

  63. Nice try.

    The Liberal Party has been treating voters as morons for years. MI refuses to come clean how how or what he would do differently. He refuses to give any details on his "Green Thrust". His economic speeches or adult conversations have been empty rhetoric and the 25% support proves it.

    Harper has NOT been hitting anything out of the ball park, the Polls are showing a CLEAR distrust for the Liberal leader and party as an alternative.

    Steph please ignore every Poll and blame the results on some mystical force the Polling Companies can't crack.

    • Oh! Too funny! "MI refuses to come clean (on) how or what he would do differently."

      Sharply contrasted by Stephen Harper's most vociferous and detailed explanation of what he would do differently . . . which he not only conveniently forgot about, but managed to do everything to a greater degree at the first opportunity.

      There really is no getting around it. There are a lot of stupid Canadians.

  64. I am still waiting to hear your "right wing principles". As soon as you post, I will gladly reply to your attempt to deflect.

  65. The argument is that their ridings received more funding than opposition ridings, not that more Liberal ridings received funding. The absolute number of ridings held by a party doesn't matter. The issue is whether a riding represented by the governing party receives more money than a riding represented by the opposition.

  66. It's really quite a challenge to compete with the shamelessness of Liberal tactics of year's past.

    • The Say one thing Do another Gang are doing an amazing job at competing. May have even surpassed them

  67. How about this: gaining and keeping power is all that matters. Seems to be a prevailing rightwing principle.

    Now tell me: what principle causes you to dismiss unethical behaviour if it doesn't hurt in the polls?

  68. The oppostion opposes [ not my rules ] it is under no obligation to put forward alternatives. Why the hell should they when the cons are able to get through the last election without revealing its platform until the last week. This bunch of cons seem to feel that the opposition has to justify itself at every turn, when clearly it is the converse. All together now: the CPoC is the govt of the day. When Harper was olo did he present alternatives?…no…thought not. Sure liberals are hypocrites, but for this incarnation of the conservate party it's become an art form.

  69. Nice try. You must have more scarier stuff regarding the rightwing principles.

    You relate oversize cheques with logos as unethical problems, that is not my problem. I need more concrete information.
    I have experience in producing PR stunts, marketing and novelty cheques. They don't give me any reason to get upset.

    I like to deal with real issues that matter. Auto bailout, H1N1, EAP too much, not enough detail etc.

    Sorry TJ I will leave the wafers, tasteless jokes, olympic logos, unsexy comments to people like you to lose sleep over and draw "evil" CPC right wing agenda.

  70. Dude, look at your original post: you didn't argue that the Cons were ethical, you argued that it didn't matter because public opinion hadn't turned against the Cons.

    That's your measure, not mine.

    And just what is it with you rightwing true believers and your smirking, strident arrogance? It seems to be a defining characteristic.

  71. "That politician is doing something unethical"

    Perhaps TJ, Canadians measure 'unethical' by Adscam standards.
    And compared to the Liberal kick-back scheme (remembering too that Libs still did win govt after Gomery)
    all these attacks just don't even register on the 'unethical scale'.

  72. "the Libs are among the *last* ones who should be lecturing to the Tories."

    Sorry – being called on your behaviour comes with power, and well it should. If the Tories don't like it, they should keep their hands clean for a while instead of constantly gaming the system.

  73. I am mocking the oversized cheques as a "real" issue for the regular voter. I don't live on the Hill or drink the partisan kool-aid.

    The Polls reflect the "silly" stories for months have –>NO<– bearing on the minds of those contacted. This is not about Harper as this is about the Leader and the Liberal Party.

  74. After 13 years of Liberal government,
    some of the Tory ridings are long long overdue for federal infrastructure funds.

    So how about some investigative reporter check out the last 8 years,
    4 for each governing party, and see if they average out equally.

    ex: did Peter McKays riding get any fed funds from 2001-2005 ?

  75. This isn't about "oversize" cheques, as you well know, this is about portraying public funds as gifts from the Conservative party. Nobody here seems to be arguing against oversized cheques, they're arguing about party logos and MP names plastered all over federal funds.

    But like you say, the only "real" issues to you are those perceived by the voters. Just what I've been saying all along is a guiding principle for the right.

    There is such a thing as right and wrong. Manipulating the system in violation of the *spirit* of the law is wrong, even if the voters don't care.

    Incidentally,quoting Ted above:

    "It violates, as do the personal signatures, the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada (implemented on August 1, 2006) and the Federal Identity Program which prohibits the use of any logo or slogan or name other than official Government of Canada logos, slogans and names in association with a document issued by the Government of Canada. "

    Sounds like they have violated the *letter* of federal guidelines, in addition to the spirit. You've consistently argued that doesn't matter, as evidenced by the polls.

    So tell me – because you never answered my question: what principle underlies your argument?

  76. You're making the same argument as CanadianSense: it doesn't matter if it doesn't cost votes.

    You seem to feel that Canadians are so injured by Adscam that they're prepared to allow the Conservatives to game the system in smaller ways.

    Whether that's true or not, does it make the Cons' actions right?

    • Didn't you guys understand CanadianSense? He KNOWS what the "real folk" care about because ummm…he buys groceries; whereas Liberals aren't "real Canadians" at all…you know, the same way Ignatieff isn't a "real" Canadian and Stéphane Dion is secretly French.

  77. being called on your behaviour comes with power

    Sure it does, though who has the dirtier hands would be an interesting discussion. But the fact remains that while it's no excuse for whatever badness may be going on now, the Libs aren't exactly coming in with clean hands themselves. It's your typical endless cycle of condemnation by the people who were on the outs, who'll probably do much the same thing when they get their turn at bat.. Doesn't make the Liberals any less hypocritical, though.

    • ''It's your typical endless cycle of condemnation by the people who were on the outs''

      I agree with you. Of course, this is what politics is and, particularly, the life of the Opposition…

      Which brings us all back to the issue at hand… The now! And what we have now is the biggest spending ever. Billions upon billions more, never having the number just right. Criticism on any current fallout is completely untainted by governments of past.

      If the Liberals can't rightfully criticize because apparent blood on their hands from previous Liberal governments, the NDP can't because they are left wing socialist lunatics and, the Bloc have no right because they are evil separatists hellbent on destroying the country, have the Cons not become irreproachable?

  78. "(Hint you really have no clue?) … Pay attention school is now in session."

    Again, smirking, strident arrogance. Is this tone necessary? Show a little respect for your fellow Canadians, and grow up.

  79. The advertising GUIDELINES were crossed, at the riding level, and PMSH said the logo shud be Canadian not party, and it won't happen again, and a letter from the PMO was sent to all MPs giving them a second reminder to follow the guidelines………..there are just some things you Liberals can not turn into a federal offence, this is not ADSCAM, not a kick-back scheme, no 'laundered' money stuffed into brown envelopes here.

    Meanwhile, MI lays out policy in Vcr, and Liberals ignore it,
    instead they choose to chance the Cheque-gate ambulance.

  80. TJ, Ted

    I understand as apologists for your party you need a "serious" issue to force an election. Again now for the 10th time. Regular voters are not paying attention if some MP's are photoshop challenged and used logos from their party on oversized cheques. (Every single time!)

    Wow this Federal Indenity Program Comunications Policy violation is very serious!

    How many voters are now confused because 30-143 CPC MP's are taking pictures with oversized cheques with the wrong logos, wrong signatures, wrong font? (Really)

    Do you get out much? Talk to real human beings outside political circles?

    Groceries are up over 5% at my grocery store. (hint real conversations)


    Dude I can't believe those evil neocon reformatists are putting their names,logos on oversized cheques taking credit and photos for projects we taxpayers paid for! Let's have an election and throw out the bums!

    Crying wolf over the violations of FIP is going over like gang busters in the Lib blogs.

    Remember all the "faux" outrage over the 20 scandals listed as serious by the opposition? Just add this one too the pile of silly stories. Polls don't lie. The Liberals are going to hit below 24% if they push this as well.

    I am not looking forward to the Auditor General Report on the waste of taxpayers money regarding EAP. (Just as I am unhappy about the hundreds of millions wasted on E-health)

    I am looking forward to another reason for the Liberals to introduce a non-confidence motion. I can't wait to have the opposition MP explain to me about this MOST aggregious violation is a threat to National Security, good ethical government, blah blah blah.

    TJ you need to focus. The polling reflects the voters ARE NOT interested or buying the faux crisis every other week.

    • I think the problem we're running into is TJ is talking about what their actions are. You're talking about what their actions will cause.

      You're talking realpolitik, he's talking morality.

      If you can acknowledge that, even though it doesn't matter to the voter, what they did is still wrong, I'm pretty sure TJ would be willing to acknowledge that, even if it's wrong, it probably won't register with the voter.

      • Thwim,

        Canadians were not paying attention when Stephen Harper as an opposition leader was upset about oversized cheques/photos used by Liberals.

        Canadians lose confidence when Reports from an Auditor General demostrate mismanagement and abuses of taxpayers funds.

        I don't look at politicians for lessons in ethical behaviour.

        We (sober, mature people) don't expect politicians are operating on some higher level of morality and ethical behaviour. (That would be delusional)

        I may tell my kids bedtime stories, and put money under the pillow from the tooth fairy, it does not change our view of "real" scandals or real issues.

      • Bang on, Thwim.

        But CanadianSense is still unwilling or unable to engage on that level.

  81. TJ we call it sarcasm.

    I was a life long Liberal and don't apologize for the CPC in power. Liberal broke too many promises and have failed to rebuild their party.

    Voters are VERY smart and threw the Bums out when necessary. I have no confidence in the current leadership in the Liberal Party.

    I have ZERO empathy for apologists for any party that won't do the heavy lifting. When the CPC screw up and they will, I will let my MP know.

    I will not call my MP to complain about wafers, bodybags, unsexy comments, tasteless jokes, olympic logos, oversized cheques with CPC logos or violations of FIP.

    E-health, Billions missing, no inquiry, that deserves my attention. (Big Issue vs silly fluff)

  82. "TJ you need to focus."

    Keep your advice, thanks. You're just repeating yourself over and over. At least be man enough to address my point.

  83. Whatever you call it, is it necessary to talk to people like that? All that does is make the discussion nasty.

    And it's pretty rich considering you're *still* running from my question: what principle makes it ok to dismiss unethical behaviour as long as it doesn't hurt in the polls?

  84. "you Liberals"?

    I'm not a Liberal. But I'm a Canadian and I want to see my tax dollars spent according to effectiveness and efficiency, not according to the political needs of the party in power. It was wrong when the Libs did it and it's wrong now.

    It's also wrong for a political party to slap its logo all over public funds.

    You and CanadianSense are working furiously to change the topic, but abuse of power is abuse of power no matter who does it, and no matter how it affects poll results.

  85. You say tomato, I say tomato. You see smoke and assume fire.

    I don't see the "fire".

    You have concluded I accept your premise regarding this is as an ethical violation. ( I don't)

    Your question? I have not made the leap of logic you have and don't see a valid question you are trying to frame…those dots do not connect.

    I can't explain how a rational person can lose sleep on this issue. Perception vs Reality. Great article you should read it, it may help you sleep at night.

  86. Stephen Harper disagrees with you: "I think the member [of Parliament] in question admitted that was a mistake and should not be repeated," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said…"

    You need to focus. The point you've been making all along is that there's no ethical violation because there was no movement in the polls. I'm asking you: what principle supports that reasoning?

    • Stephen Harper did the Auto Bailout and he was wrong, check those polls on that subject.

      I don't agree with the CPC on every issue. I don't see an issue, the Polls are not going to move on a single issue that you and Harper think might be a "serious breach" of ethics.

      Nice try. How was your thanksgiving? Did you sit around and talk about Harper or the government? Most did NOT.

      Big issues vs silly stuff. Do you understand the window of opportunity and being tuned out?

      What part did you not understand the VOTERS are not watching every misstep or error?

      Read the article Perception vs Reality.

  87. Evidence?

  88. I just can't get too worked up about this as this appears par for the course for governments of all stripes.

    Minister Watson signs his name on a $368K cheque delivered on behalf of the "McGuinty Government"?

    My taxes go to Canada and Ontario, not Harper and McGuinty. I do not approve, but I will not lose sleep over efforts by the Harper and McGuinty teams to seek reflected glory for the decisions taken by the Government of the day.

    Unless the "scandals" get more interesting, I will have no choice but to continue to base my votes on party platforms, bench strength and qualities of the local candidate.


    • Nice catch. And note the headline on what should be a non-partisan departmental page:

      "McGuinty Government Helps Residents Avoid Eviction"

  89. That hissing sound you hear is the air coming out of the latest liberal faux scandal trial ballon.

  90. By all means, let's expand the size of government so that we can forever get more and more of this nonsense…

    • At this point though, who can we elect who won't expand the size of government?

      The Liberals?

      The NDP?

      The Greens?

      Or the government responsible for the largest spending increase and largest deficit in Canadian history?

      • Gee, LKO, thanks for cheering me up.

        I am STILL dreaming that Flaherty will yell out "It was all a joke" and that billions have NOT been squandered, just as the Liberals currently allege (and the PBO has trouble deciphering). "Yup, we fooled y'all but good, eh? Our deficit will only be ten or twelve billion this year, and when Piano Man stops turning shovels next week we'll have a deficit of about three or four billion in the next FY, then surpluses after that. GST back up a point on Jan 1, the same day that three ministries will just disappear. Oh, and all those sclerotic 'economic opportunity agencies' that have ended up covering just about every damn square millimetre of the country and do nothing demonstrably useful? Poof!"

        Aah. That felt better.

  91. Much ado about nothing. At least the money is being used legally unlike the sponsorship money, unlike Shawinigate, unlike cancelling much needed helicopter wasting 1/2 a billion dollars in tax payers money. Funny thing – Paul Martin finally approved new helicopters – we received 10 less than the original order would have delivered at higher cost. I don't agree with the PCs bad example, but the Liberals had become nearly corrupt.

  92. Now you're getting it.

  93. I'll bet the Israeli's just had something like this to complain about.
    Grow up guys. It's just a prop for a photo op. What do you want? Blood?

  94. I'll bet the Israeli's WISH they just had something like this to complain about. That's what I meant to say.

  95. Hello – the RULES HAVE CHANGED by the treasury board – the Cons have broken the rules.

    Going back to the past "doesn't change that".

    • Treasury Board said in July the cheques complied with the rules. What has changed that?

      • Do you have a link? I would be curious to see for myself.

  96. Man, this blog post really, truly missed the point. The fact that cheques Liberals handed out didn''t feature Liberal logos is not a peripheral point. It's the whole issue. That's where this uproar began. Okay, so maybe now the Libs are overplaying their hand, and just grabbing every picture they can find. But that doesn't detract from the overall critcism, which focuses on the indefensible use of the Conservative logo (and to a much lesser extent, names of individual MPs).

    Second, this kind of argument drives me crazy. Yes, in government every party commits some of the same transgressions. That doesn't mean that when they are returned to opposition, they are no longer in their rights to complain about those transgressions. Hypocrisy? Maybe in some small way. But, as your mother must have taught you, two wrongs don't make a right. More importantly, how would parliamentary government work if all that opposition material was out-of-bounds? Under such circumstances, it would've been illegitimate for the Conservative opposition to attack the Liberal government over Adscam. After all, John A Macdonald was the king of patronage.

    Ridiculous. We are all worse off if opposition doesn't oppose.

  97. The rules allow you to include party slogans and MP names on these novelty cheques, as reported by the Star in July. But Warren Kinsella is on tv claiming that all Conservative photo ops are against the law. That's not a trivial component of this story. The Conservatives have done something that's allowed under the rules, that's common practice for political parties and the Liberal are claiming that this is illegal and "breaks every rule". That's not opposition, that's cheap politics. The New Democrats could vault themselves ahead in the polls if they took on both these parties for playing these silly games.

  98. If the opposition parties hadn't drawn attention to the 'Conservative' cheques, it would only be a matter of time until the practice of labelling everything the government sends out as Conservative would be accepted as standard practice.
    Don Martin calls it "The pursuit of unethical equivalency"
    I'm glad that somebody in the media gets it.

    • But these cheques are already standard practice – the Liberals are just pretending it's illegal because the Tories are doing it instead of them. The New Democrats should be making this point clearly and demonstrating that their approach is different.

    • NP has now changed that heading to: "Tories using Grit playbook they once decried". Puts a somewhat different spin on the story.

  99. Gee with all these cheques being handed out,
    why are the Libs complaining about the stimulus money not getting to the people?

    I bet the Libs are ticked they didn't do pictures and cardboard cheques for the $100 million
    that went missing during the Adscam days,or maybe that was a good thing they didn't.

    • Gee with all these cheques being handed out, why are the Libs complaining about the stimulus money not getting to the people?

      As several people have pointed out, those aren't really cheques. A picture of an MP with a giant novelty cheque is not proof that the person standing next to the MP has actually received any money from the federal government yet.

  100. Response to your upate:

    The Cheque is signed by Harper. Since when did Harper dole out the funds himself? Isn't there a Treasury or something for that purpose?

  101. By 'these cheques are already standard practice' do you mean government cheques that have a prominent party logo and/or are signed by MPs? Which Liberals have said that they are 'illegal'? The point the NDP are making is the one they should be making – party branding of government cheques is unethical.

  102. You deliberately tried to mislead us with the pretense that presenting a government cheque with a government logo is the same thing as presenting a government cheque with a party logo. Not only are you dishonest but you insult us by thinking we would be stupid enough to fall for it. Shame on you!

  103. Absolutely cheques that are signed by MPs are within the rules. The two from Keddy that have the logo might be outside the rules. Warren Kinsella said on CTV "Tim, buddy, it's against the law" after flipping through a batch of photos that showed cheques that complied with the rules. The New Democrats should call both parties out here – for the photo ops and for silly games like Kinsella's.

  104. It seems that the Harper gang still don't get what has so many Canadians outraged:

    "Say you're looking for information from your federal government about the economic-stimulus plan. You go to the government's website. . .click on the YouTube link on the top corner, and you can be serenaded by Stephen Harper, singing a Beatles tune at the National Arts Centre."

  105. cmon people use your heads.. these arent really cheques .they are photo ops…a tradition in look at what I AM DOING just for you..

  106. The CBC has a headline today:

    "Harper gives $3M for Toronto library renovations."

    Hey, shouldn't that say "Gov't of Canada"? Is this an example of more partisan games?

    • Just about every headline writer at one point has said:

      "Ottawa pledges billions to [provinces] / [military] / [puppies & orphans]"

      Such atrocious municipal favoritism in assigning credit…

  107. The reason we don't see many Liberal cheques with logos or signatures is that the money they shelled out was often delivered in brown envelopes under the table.


    "Treasury Board looked at the cheques this week, and spokesman Robert Makichuk said there is nothing in the formal identity policy "that would prohibit the use of a prop cheque" containing the Canada logo or Conservative slogans."

    Ted quoted it a few days ago.

  109. What an outrageous article. There is no Liberal Party of Canada logo on any of these cheques. Mclean's should not try and "spin" the heat away from the present government on their unethical behaviour.

  110. If all the energy expended on this ridiculous "cheque" crap was redirected
    maybe you all could tackle a subject with some "meat" to it. For example the outlandish and sick Sponsorship regulation in the immigration act?
    Bringing in all the oldies from abroad to suck our seniors resources dry?
    How about chewing up section 15 (free speech) in the Human rights Act?
    "Arms length" gov't depts cash cow for the bureaucrats (and cronies)?
    Come on people. You can do it.

  111. Whoops, that should be "hockey sweater." But maybe they're also planning a CPC whoopee cushion.

  112. Impressive Jen,

    voters are stupid because we don't want an election (Liberals keep threatening) and Pollsters capture it?

    We are stupid because in 10 months the Liberal Party and the "great thinker" won't give us any details until 5 days before the writ is dropped?

    Jen stop blaming "us" for not trusting the Liberal Party "speeches" as gospel. In the 1990's we lived through those cuts in Health, Education, Social Services ($ 25 Billion) and bragging rights about balancing the Federal Books on the EI ( $ 56 Billion).
    We remember the broken promises and the decisions they took. In 2008 they tried a Carbon Tax (Green Shift). Worst result in over 100 years in POP.

    Now the "Great thinker" and his advisors are terrified to have an "adult conversation" because the CPC will steal or destroy the idea?

    25% is NOT the floor, trust me. The Liberals are busy chasing wafers, unsexy comments, bodybags, olympic logos, and now Novelty cheques (FIP violation)!

    Don't blame the voters or the public for the decisions of the Liberal Party.

  113. You can change a government, but you can't change the LIES !

  114. Top of webpage says: 154 comments.

    Bottom of webpage says: There are no comments posted yet. Be the first one!

    So here I am wondering what might happen to THIS first / one-hundred-fifty-fifth comment.

    *waves impotent fist in general direction of Intense Debate gremlins*

  115. Like most things in Politics:
    This is not a Liberal vs Conservative problem, but rather how our Political system is operating. Get rid of them both.

  116. Here's the difference I see:

    Conservatives (cheques)- publicly handing out stimulus money the Government of Canada approved.

    Liberals (adscam) – secretly handing out kick-back money the Government of Canada didn't approve.

    Cheque-mate indeed.

  117. This is something one would expect from the liberals. I had hoped the Conservatives were above it.

  118. Last yr the Liberal Party of Ontario changed the Ontario Trillium Logo, This caused quite a flap. Why ?
    Because the Ontario Trillium logo became the same as the Ontario Liberal Party Logo!

    • Hmm…I wonder if David McGuinty knows? He's been out bashing Tories lately.

      • The emblem change was done in 2006, has stylized people in it, and looks nothing at all like the little trillium in a red square that dots the "i" in Liberal–although the thing is so small it's hard to tell. That is the only trillium of any kind that I could find on the Ontario Liberal website, and frankly it looks more like a propeller than a trillium.

        I must say I love the new design, especially when viewed with the old design, which looks more like a clumsy Spirograph effort to me now. That said, I always think things like this are a waste of money. Or to be more precise, I never think we are rich enough to spend our money on things like this.

  119. really? you did not just write that article –
    there is no comparison – those cheques don't have the Liberal logo on it – I would expect more responsible reporting from Maclean's

  120. The Lei-berals didn't have that many cheques to had out. They simply funneled the money in the form of cash to party hacks and back into the Lie-beral bank accounts.

  121. First off– Iggy–wants powers so badly– he can hardly breath–without it!!!! It's time he called the election–or got off the "pot"!!! He has nothing–no convictions-policies–platforms etc.– so what does he staND FOR? ALL HE STANDS FOR– IS LOOKING FOR "WRONG DOING "IN OTHER TENts. Besides –what's wrong with the logos on the cheques??? It's–whatever Government is in power –at the time of giving–is giving the chegues —compre!!!! If that's how he spends his time– looking for other parties mistakes–help us all- if he ever gets into power!!!

  122. Look up the word, "Government". Do U see 'Surplus, deficit, or even "We set OUR own wages" ! They run Canada like a business, but when it comes to them screwing-up, "Why can't we just Fire them right now" ? No, we HAVE to wait 4 years of political mistakes,("Their OOPPS", by the way, WE have to pay for, NOT them).
    Finally, "People should NOT be afraid of governments, governments should be afraid of the people" !!!