Friday, February 18, 2011

Destruction in progress

Amy Minsky nicely sums up why Elections Canada is set up to avoid political challenges to its funding:
For many federal agenies, requests for additional money must be voted on and approved in the Senate and the House of Commons.

Other agencies, such as Elections Canada, however, do not require this sign-off. The agency operates with this independence in order to remove any implication of political partisanship when funds are voted, said Treasury Board expenditure management expert David Enns.
But then, the Cons never met an independent institution they weren't eager to politicize. And sure enough, one of Stephen Harper's hand-picked, citizen-funded Senate cronies can't resist the opportunity to do exactly what Elections Canada's funding structure is designed to avoid:
"Probably in itself, $100 million is not very much money," said Conservative Senator Doug Finley. "But in relation to the annual moneys budgeted by Elections Canada(,) that seems to be an inordinate amount of (extra) money to ask in terms of your annual budget."
"Since I have been involved in politics, there have been byelections pretty well every single year," Finley said in response to Enns' statement (that additional funding was required to administer by-elections). "I know my party budgets accordingly. Why is it that Elections Canada seems incapable of doing this?"

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