The Premier, her party and our rules

Fazil Mihlar is the Associate Editor and Editorial Page editor for the Vancouver Sun.  He comes via the Fraser Institute and is an unbending ideological nightmare, responsible for turning the Sun’s editorial page into an advertising pamphlet for the Fraser Institute and it’s fellow travellers.

Mihlar is also a very bad writer of very simple thoughts.

Here’s an example, a blog post he wrote and published today on the BC Liberal ethnic marketing scandal:

“The fact that the BC Liberals are courting the ethnic vote is apparently big news and a shocking development. What is shocking is the indignation that seems to be spewing out of critics in British Columbia.

“Any business or political party with any brain power would do exactly what the BC Liberals are apparently doing. …

“Banks, Telcos, media firms, real estate industry and utilities have their “ethnic” marketing strategy (sic), too. So do clothing and food services companies. Do we express indignation at this normal business strategy and tactics? The answer is No. Political parties are firms that try to gain power, while businesses are firms that aim to make a buck. What’s the difference?

“So no more indignation, please.”

Sun readers – the paying kind, if there are any left – should be indignant that their hard earned subscription money goes to paying for this kind of idiocy.

Government’s aren’t corporations.  Unlike them they serve all kinds of customers – no matter what party directs them.

When a party – or to use Mihlar’s stupid idea, a political corporation – becomes government they have to figure out how to serve all their customers, even the ones who don’t support their party.  So there are rules.

Here are the rules that have served BC very well:

Political Activity

BC Public Service employees may participate in political activities including membership in a political party, supporting a candidate for elected office, or seeking elected office. Employees’ political activities, however, must be clearly separated from activities related to their employment.

If engaging in political activities, employees must remain impartial and retain the perception of impartiality in relation to their duties and responsibilities. Employees must not engage in political activities during working hours or use government facilities, equipment, or resources in support of these activities.

Partisan politics are not to be introduced into the workplace; however, informal private discussions among co-workers are acceptable.

The heart of this scandal lies in the fact that the BC Liberals assembled their best political minds from the party, the Premier’s Office, the public service and the Government communications staff and devised a plan to break those rules.

That’s the issue here.  That’s why people are indignant.  And they should be.  This group of co-conspirators worked up a plan to use our money to do their dirty work on our time.    There wasn’t a single public policy motive discussed.  Not a single public benefit.  Nothing worth our money.

There was a benefit to the BC Liberal Party and its leader.  But that’s all.  And if that’s the case the rules say do it on your own dime and your own time.

That Fazhil Mihlar doesn’t understand that and isn’t indignant shows why he isn’t fit to be working for what used to be called the Fourth Estate.

It also shows why the Vancouver Sun isn’t covering the story from a news angle, although Palmer has written an excellent commentary as usual.

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6 Responses to The Premier, her party and our rules

  1. I’m very fortunate in that I don’t read that trash. (Vancouver Sun ) And with respect to Palmer, I find it a bit sad that some (very few) people will look to him as some sort of movie star in journalism. I guess some people are desperate for an idol ?

  2. Michael says:

    I think the other key point that’s been missed here is the conspiracy to violate people’s privacy. To use the pretence of legitimate government activity to gather names for use in partisan activity by a private organization (in the case the BC Liberal party) is not legal.

  3. e.a.f. says:

    Milhar wants to avoid the real issue which is, the lieberals are doing it on the government dime and that is against the rules. Of course most political parties have strategies for getting ethnic voters but they have to pay for it with party money not government, tax payer dollars. Milhar isn’t stupid. by avoiding the real issue, by not mentioning it, there will be many reading his column who will simply accept what he says. It is how you play politics.

  4. RS says:

    Kevin Krueger’s recent comments might just as easily be directed toward Mihlar.

  5. unbelievable says:

    Well, well…caught red handed…”again”, I see. The CC or Christy Con party, never ceases to provide some sort of daily scandal, complete with all the drama, of a soap opera. It appears that this particular episode, requires that Rich Coleman read the “drama queens” apology to British Columbians, for getting caught using government resources, for partisan political purposes. Stupid…stupid and more of the same. This is apparently the third time?

    Give me a break Lady…your resignation is in order, followed by an immeadiate election call. This kind of crap may work for a teenaged Drama Queen in high school or college, but not in the BC legislature. What a joke!

  6. Pingback: Ethics optional | The Exile

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