And as Brian Mulroney held high court in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel’s Café de Paris*, handing out contracts and positions to cronies, they cried foul. The deficit rose, the debts grew and their interests were ignored.
So they were going to create a party that would be fiscally responsible, principled and populist. Where their needs would come first. Where government expenses would be trimmed and cronyism made a thing of the past.
And what did they get for their loyalty?
A party that outspends any other. That takes patronage and cronyism to extremes, while ignoring the needs of the populace. That has taken government waste to unheard of levels and has become so corrupt that it's mind boggling.
The battle cry is no longer 'The West Wants In', but 'Canadians want in'. 'Taxpayers Want in'.
As we learn that the Canada Action Plan was nothing more than a giant ad campaign and never ending photo-ops, you need to ask yourself: "Is this what I voted for?"
Some small community groups say the Conservative government that demanded Economic Action Plan signs be installed at their project sites within a week of delivery is now months behind in reimbursement of project expenses. Adding insult to injury is a federal funding contract that promises to reimburse groups for signs, plaques, bunting and a ribbon-cutting ceremony with politicians - but won't pay interest on money borrowed to keep the stimulus projects underway.The money went for signs first, community second, Canadians last. Our money.
The contract - which requires recipient groups to submit photos of their Economic Action Plan signs - says eligible expenses for signage include maximum costs of $2,250 for a small sign and $4,250 for a large sign. Another $2,500 can be charged for a "permanent plaque." The club can expense rental fees on chairs, flagpoles, a public-address system and a stage, and can charge Ottawa for light refreshments and snacks (no booze), printing and mailing of invitations, and media kits.Is this principled? Signs, bunting and plaques? If this was the old Reform guys or even the Progressive Conservatives before Mulroney, there would have been howls of protest.
So where is the indignation? Where are the protests? How is this defensible?
And what about the orgy of spending for the G-20?
The enormous tax increases on average Canadians, while reducing taxes for the wealthy? This doesn't bother you? How is that possible?
Or bailing out the banks? Would you have voted for that?
Or the horrible treatment of our veterans?
I can't imagine any original Reform Party member condoning this. I already know that the majority of Progressive Conservatives do not.
Just once I would like to hear someone from your camp give an honest opinion. Because this is not a principled, fiscally responsible government and I doubt it what's you had in mind when you signed up.
Stephen Harper won't listen to us, but he might listen to you. Or are you afraid to ask?
*On the Take: Crime, Corruption and Greed in the Mulroney Years, By Stevie Cameron, Macfarlane Walter & Ross, 1994, ISBN: 0-921912-73-0