Thursday, January 28, 2010

Just another blog to read.

If you ignore the creepy and unnerving similarity of the blog name to another one that some of you may remember, this is worth a perusal.

: Via those adorable scamps at LFR, we learn that the awesomely busy HarperCons will still somehow find the time to kick back a bit:

Politicians score seats for top events before public

The federal government is using its access to Olympic tickets to give priority to politicians, bureaucrats and others who will get some of the best seats in the house during the Winter Games next month.

Of the nearly 1,500 tickets that the government has received, more than half will go to MPs, senators and bureaucrats who were able to put in their own orders in advance of the public.

It's amusing, isn't it, particularly given Canada's wankers screeching interminably about the B.C. Liberals doing exactly the same thing. On this point, however, I suspect the silence is deafening. But let's give credit where credit is due. At least they managed to mitigate their greed:

At one point, the number was much higher. Ottawa was originally allocated more than 2,500 tickets to everything from the opening and closing ceremonies to medal events such as gold medal hockey, figure skating and speed skating.

But Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore said more than half of the $447,000 spent on the tickets will be recovered from MPs and senators who have to pay out of their own pocket.

Well, that's good to know, as long as you ignore that those MPs and senators apparently used their political clout to get the initial access to those precious tickets. And, besides, it's a work thing:

Both the federal and provincial governments insist taxpayers are only paying for tickets used to advance government agendas, not for anyone merely to have a good time.

Quite right, because there's no better place to advance a government agenda than the opening ceremonies. Or closing ceremonies. Or the short-track speedskating oval. You wouldn't believe how much agendas are advanced there. But it's not like anyone's using their political clout for unfair advantage or privilege:

Documents obtained under Access to Information by Vancouver freelance journalist Stanley Tromp show that before tickets were offered for sale to the public, Ottawa was permitted to put in orders for the 2,552 tickets the Vancouver Organizing Committee agreed to sell to them.

Under the terms of the multi-party agreement, governments, national Olympic committees, sport federations, corporate sponsors and other members of the loosely termed “Olympic Family” were given access to tickets before the public had a chance to buy any.

As part of the agreement, all MPs and senators are accredited to the Games by Vanoc. But in May 2008, as it was in the middle of its ticket request process, the government decided to give parliamentarians and “domestic dignitaries” special access to its ticket allocations. It said they could buy tickets to all prime and non-prime events for themselves and their spouses as long as the tickets — ranging from $25 to $1,100 — were available.

In the months following that decision, government officials received more than 3,400 requests for 2,552 tickets.

Again, credit where credit is due:

But last July, when Prime Minister Stephen Harper, facing a budget crunch, ordered that 1,000 of the tickets be returned, ...

OK, that's a good start. Whoops, hold on there ...

... most of the tickets the government threw back were to less desirable events. In fact, it kept the full allocations of the most popular sports, including figure skating, short and long track speed skating, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies. For ice hockey, where it was originally allocated 730 tickets, it kept 60 per cent — but most of those were for top draws, including the Canadian matches.

Not only did Ottawa receive 100 per cent of the 126 tickets it sought to the opening ceremony, but all but 10 of those were the best “A” section seats at $1,100 apiece.

But don't worry, they'll be working frantically the whole time. After all, that's what prorogation is for, right?

P.S. You know, I'm sure there's a word for people who, using their political clout and privilege, can step in front of the general public to scoop up the best of the best. Oh, yeah ... "elitist." Or something like that.

I better not see those Cons at a "gala" or anything.

AFTERSNARK: I'm waiting for the wankishly wanky argument that this is all perfectly fair since those Con pols are paying for their tickets. But why wouldn't they? After all, they'll be hanging out at the Olympics during the prorogation period, still drawing their full salary. And given what they make per day, I'm guessing that, after wining, dining and cheering, they'll actually come out of that with a profit.

Giving yourself a paid, two-month vacation, then kicking the taxpaying public who paid for it to the curb and stepping into line in front of them. Where can I get a gig like that?


Anonymous said...

Actually, the BC "Liberals" are very far from the Canada Liberals. If Campbell et al. were in Ottawa, they would be hard CPC.

chris said...

Huh, There's no mention of the added cost of the extra security required to protect our humble servants from evil pie-throwing terrorists.
Close quarter pie deflection teams are expensive.

Jim Parrett said...

Thanks for the link, CC. An honour.


The adorable scamps at LFR