"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Is renting votes OK?

In the House on Tuesday, someone hurt Ross Wiseman's feelings:

MR. WISEMAN: Mr. Speaker, I was reluctant to have done this during Question Period, but Question Period is now over.

I want to go back to a question posed by the Member for Port de Grave with respect to the Terra Nova district. I just want to remind the member opposite that when they left power, none of that road was done at all. Our government has actually paved about 75 per cent of that road.

I say, Mr. Speaker, the point of order –


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

If there is a point of order -

MR. WISEMAN: There is and I will get to it, Mr. Speaker -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

If there is a point of order, I ask for the hon. member to make it now.

MR. WISEMAN: I think it is important in this House, Mr. Speaker, that when we make statements, and when we make comments about other members, that they are accurate. You cannot stand in this House, with the protection of the House, and make comments that cast aspersions on members opposite.

I say, Mr. Speaker, the member opposite has suggested that I have done something that is illegal. In fact, I made a commitment - I made a promise to buy votes. Buying votes is illegal, Mr. Speaker.

I ask the member opposite to stand and apologize and withdraw that accusation that I was, in fact, buying votes. So, apologize, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I ask members for their co-operation. If members have a difference of opinion here and want to talk personal, I ask that they take their conversations outside and their differences outside.

There is no point of order.
Of course, it is not the use of the phrase "buy votes" per se that so offended Minister Wiseman.

Rather, it must have been the use of that phrase against the Williams Government. The Minister showed no such linguistic sensitivity a few years ago, on March 24, 2004:

MR. WISEMAN: That is that crowd over there. Exactly, I say to the hon. member. The people on the opposite side of this House said it was necessary to change. "While there may be no immediate solutions to these problems they need to be considered in the restructuring of the system."

They planned to restructure the health system in 2002, but did nothing about it. They just sat back and said, we should wait until an election. We should spend the next twelve months buying votes before we tell them what they are planning to do.
Or, a few weeks later on April 15:
MR. WISEMAN: I heard the Member for Torngat Mountains today talk about a waste. I could not help but think of how, in the last couple of years, members opposite build into their annual budgetary process an allowance for Liberal government members. An allowance of some $30,000 per Liberal government members to use at their leisure and their will to position themselves to be re-elected. A colossal waste of money. When you think about the twenty-five or thirty members that they had, what is the math on that? What is twenty-seven times thirty? Like, $700,000 or $800,000. So, for the last couple of years as our deficit has been increasing, our debt has been growing, our annual operating deficits have been going up, what has been happening? Seven-hundred thousand dollars or $800,000 on an annual basis has been there, not for members of this caucus, not for all MHAs in every district in the Province, but there solely for the pickings of individual Liberal members of caucus to use throughout and buy votes, position themselves, make donations to groups and organizations who will advantage their re-election chances.



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