Given the level of odium in which the public holds politicians, the title of this post probably seems redundant. However, it is also appropriate given an article written by Lawrence Martin yesterday and a not-so-surprising revelation made in today's Toronto Star.
First, Martin's article, published yesterday in iPolitics, posits that our elected officials, and those vying for office, regularly lie because it works, one reason being that journalists let them get away with it:
In the news business anything that is expected, that happens often, is of declining news value. And so the media over time has lost its sense of outrage when politicians willfully distort or lie. The media don’t hold politicians to as a high as a standard as they used to.
And until they do, expect the bald-faced lies that pass for informed discourse to continue unabated.
Which segues nicely into one of the front-page stories in this morning's Star. Entitled Cost to move gas plant may reach $700M in the print edition, it reveals the lie that Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has been propagating that $40 million would be the cost to taxpayers/electricity users for his cancellation of a gas-fired generator in Oakville to purchase a Liberal seat in the last election.
The plant, already well-under construction during the waning days of the provincial contest, is to be moved to the site of the Lennox generating station near Bath, 210 kilometres east of Toronto.
Energy consultant Bruce Sharp, who pegs the cost of the move at $700 million, says earlier estimates haven’t taken into account several huge items.
...the biggest hidden cost in the deal is the province’s agreement to accept the cost of what’s known as “gas delivery and management services” costs, which he figures could add $346 million to the bill.
And a further $200 million or more comes from the decision to move the plant hundreds of kilometres to the east.
Then factor in about $250 for the extra cost of transmission upgrades.
This will not be the first time that Premier McGuinty has played fast and loose with the electorate's money in his bald pursuit and exercise of power.
With more diligent journalism, however, perhaps it will be his last.