Monday, October 18, 2010

Missing perspective

Brian Lilley is proving himself a committed Con soldier both in trying to build outrage over political party funding, and in pointing to the per-vote subsidy as the only part of the scheme that might be changed. But his most obvious source of distortion is this:
Nearly $8 million dollars each year is spent on “research bureaus” to which each party represented in Parliament is entitled. Yet despite their name, people familiar with the operations of these offices admit most of the time, their activities are not the type of research activities Canadians would expect.

“They read through books and speeches on the opposition, pull quotes from newspaper stories, build websites to attack each other and spin the media,” said one source who has worked in one research bureau.
Which raises a couple of obvious questions. First, how much money is spent in PMO and departmental budgets to do exactly the same thing on behalf of the government? And shouldn't that be the area most ripe for cuts based on waste and duplication given that the Cons have their own party resources that they can rely on as well?

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