Yesterday Andrew Coyne (once the great apologist for the Harpercons) tore a strip of Peter MacKay and the Government in general so long and so deep that if these events were taking place a generation ago we would see the entire cabinet resign in disgrace.
Coyne demonstrates that MacKay (and the government in general) has straightforwardly and systematically lied to the House of Commons and to the public about the largest government procurement in living memory. "This isn't some campaign slip of the lip," Coyne tells us, "or the usual political weasel words .. this isn't even the case of ministers misleading parliament, which used to be a resigning offence. THis is a government document on a straightforward question of fact; the kind we can expect to believe."
In other words, not only have ministers been lying to you and your MPs, but the government has begun to systematically fabricate false information and publish it as authentic. When a political animal like Andrew Coyne suggests to the nation that their government has gone from playing political volleyball with important issue to systematically falsify information, you know we have witnessed a seismic shift in our federal political situation.
Much of the nation has forgotten that it was the government's failure to reveal these costing facts concerning the F-35s that compelled the opposition parties to hold this government in contempt (the first time such a thing has occurred in our democracy). And when they were held in contempt they berated and ridiculed the opposition not only for being overly partisan but for actually lying to the public. Now we see what every careful observer knew all along - it is the government that has been lying all along.
Andrew Coyne leaves his primary question unresolved - how, indeed, do we react when we find that our government has made lying a central core of their policy making??
I don't know the answer to this. What I do know is that our political system lacks the mechanisms to ensure accountability and no party suggests that they are going to fix this in the future.