GUNTER: Liberals’ vote-buying spree taken to unprecedented levels | Edmonton Sun

Hat’s off to former Sun News Network Ottawa bureau chief David Akin (now chief political correspondent at Global News) for this little fact: In the month leading up to the 2015 election call, the Harper government made just over 600 spending announcements nationwide totalling $1.4 billion tax dollars.

Meanwhile this August, according to Akin, the Liberal government made more than 4,500 spending announcements totalling nearly $13 billion.

All governments do this. While they still have control of the public purse strings, the prime minister, cabinet ministers, parliamentary secretaries and backbench MPs crisscross the country trying to gin up free publicity and some votes by throwing our own money at us in hopes will be dense enough to take the bribes and elect to keep them in power.

But while every government engages in a spasm of spending announcements, the ethically challenged Trudeau Liberals have gorged themselves at an unprecedented level.

To put this in perspective, the Harper spending spasm worked out to not quite two announcements per riding at about $2.3 million each. The Trudeau orgy has been over 13 announcements for every one of Canada’s 338 federal electoral districts at a value of about $2.8 million a piece.

A little more perspective: Last year the Liberal’s budget deficit was $15 billion. Their one-month, pre-election spending wildfire could have eliminated nearly all of that deficit.

Among the biggest handout-givers have been Edmonton Liberal MP Randy Boissonnault who doled out 69 cheques and Calgary Liberal Kent Hehr who gave away 59.

Boissonnault’s cash extravaganza even included a grant to a high-end women’s clothing boutique and a high-end custom shoemaker.

I guess Boissonnault is counting on the country-club-and-Lexus vote to help him hold onto Edmonton Centre.

I attended one of Boissonnault’s events. He was announcing funding for a software/IT office just north of downtown. Attendees could have been forgiven for thinking they had just landed in the middle of a Boissonnault campaign kickoff.

There was the MP who helped kill the investigation into the SNC-Lavalin affair by the Commons Justice committee pumping up the glories of the Liberal Party of Canada while doling out Canadians’ money – thinly veiled partisanship at the expense of taxpayers.

And to think he did the same up to 68 more times last month alone.

There’s really not much evidence that this kind of buying-voters-with-voters’-own-money fakery does much good (although, no one in Canada has ever tried it on the Liberals’ level yet).

And it’s not clear whether Boissonnault and Hehr will succeed at their blatant attempts to buy re-election. After all, the Liberals’ are at their lowest levels of support in Alberta since the National Energy Program in the 1980s.

A recent EKOS poll put the federal Conservatives ahead in the province by 50 points. I don’t mean the Conservatives have 50 per cent support in Alberta. I mean they lead the Liberals by 50 percentage points – roughly 68 per cent provincewide to 18 per cent for the Grits.

After Pierre Trudeau’s first term (1968-72), the Liberals, who had four seats in Alberta, were wiped off the electoral map here for more than 40 years.

Following Justin Trudeau’s anti-oil, anti-pipeline, anti-Alberta first term (which included legislation such as Bill C-48 banning Alberta oil from tankers off B.C.’s northern coast and Bill C-69 making new pipelines next to impossible), I suspect we’re headed for another Liberal wipeout.

Indeed, the Conservative lead on the Prairies is so large, it is distorting national poll results.

The Liberals lead in Montreal, Ottawa, Greater Toronto and Greater Vancouver, not by wide margins. However, those areas have large populations. So a lead of a few points in those areas yields far more seats than a huge lead in a smaller-populated region.

Off the Prairies, the Libs still have the advantage.

This content was originally published here.

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