Actually there seems to be a great deal of bipartisan agreement on patronage appointments. Both Liberals and Conservatives often award significant supporters or hacks with govt. appointments. They both agree too that they will tut tut and criticise each other for doing so. Since often there is no or little compensation for helping out political parties it is natural that they will find other ways to reward people for service, at public expense if possible!
Liberals slam Tories for patronage plums
By David Akin, Canwest News ServiceOctober 8, 2009
The federal Liberals slammed the governing Conservatives on Thursday for handing out government jobs -- some of which pay more than $100,000 a year -- to failed former candidates, party workers and financial supporters.
The Liberals went on the attack in the House of Commons in the wake of a report that Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed five judges with Conservative ties. Harper did so less than a week after slamming the Liberals for appointing "left-wing ideologues" to the courts and to the civil service when they were in power.
Liberals say they've identified 37 appointments Harper and his cabinet approved in the last six weeks, where the appointee had a demonstrated link to the Conservatives.
"It is an orgy of appointments," said Liberal MP David McGuinty. "How many more rewards does the prime minister intend to hand out to his Conservative flock?"
Five of the 37 appointments flagged by the Liberals were the judges referred to in Thursday's reports. Those judges were appointed Sept. 9. The Liberals are also counting seven senators Harper appointed on Aug. 27. The new senators included Harper's second-longest-serving aide, the Conservative party's past president, and the husband of Human Resources Minister Diane Finley, who was also Harper's director of political operations.
In the days between appointing some of his closest political friends to the Senate and making the judicial appointments, Harper gave a speech in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., in which he said the Liberals, had they won the government last fall, would be putting "left-wing ideologues . . . in the courts, federal institutions, agencies, and the Senate."
The Liberals say Harper is saying one thing and doing the opposite.
One of Harper's key campaign promises from 2006 was to create an independent public-appointments commission. But the Tories wanted one of their own biggest financial contributors, former oil and gas executive Gwyn Morgan, to head that commission. Opposition MPs who agreed with the idea of a commission objected to Morgan's appointment to run it.
"Only the government would expect a crony to stamp out cronyism. How ridiculous," McGuinty said in the House of Commons.
After Morgan's nomination was rejected, the Conservatives dropped the idea of a public-appointments commission and have continued to make appointments, by and large, in the same way the Liberals before them did.
Political appointments are handled by senior political staff working within the Prime Minister's Office. More than 3,000 appointments have been made since the Harper government took office.
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