Tuesday, September 22, 2015

On rigged outcomes

I'm not sure when "what would Michael Ignatieff do?" became the Libs' operating mantra. But as long as the subject of fighter procurement is on the table, let's highlight the real similarity between two parties on that front: both the Cons and the Libs seem bent on handing Lockheed Martin billions of dollars it's done nothing to earn.

In the Cons' case, that means pushing Canada into an ill-advised, sole-sourced contract based on the deliberate neglect of alternatives.

And in the Libs' case, that means publicly prejudging a procurement process in a way which would give Lockheed Martin a massive claim against Canada for its anticipated profits without delivering anything.

To be clear, what we know so far makes it highly likely that on a fair evaluation, we'd come to the conclusion that we can do better than the F-35. But the "fair evaluation" part is crucial both to competent government, and avoiding readily-foreseeable litigation risks.

Instead, Justin Trudeau's declaration that he'd rather grandstand than allow for fairness at best reflects cynical political posturing - and at worst means he's happy to waste public money through the mirror image of Stephen Harper's closed-mindedness. And it's hard to see how either of those possibilities represents anything but a continuation of the destructive politics we should be trying to move past.

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