I awoke smiling this last Sunday morning. A funny thing was running through my head. It was “checks and balances”.
Like I said it was a funny thing.
Checks and balances are what I do each and every day to earn my keep. So when this phrase (or the concept of the phrase) comes up in the news, I take notice. Kevin Page’s Parliamentary Budget Office of Canada knows all too well the importance of checks and balances in all that we do. It is a benchmark of our honesty, our integrity and our humanity. Mr. Page first made headlines late last fall when he was unable to get documentation to balance our honesty, our integrity and our humanity within our parliament. He was looking for what wasn’t in the budget of the departments of Canada – he wanted to vet what no longer was as per the budget cuts of the prior year. I never did find out if he succeeded in all of his mandate. But he did find something – the budget cuts were the cuts of service to the public. I was dismayed yet I never thought he would find otherwise.
Mr. Page was back in the headlines last week. So, I took notice. And it seemed to have stuck – so much so that the first thought of my Sunday morning were Checks and Balances.
Every one I know runs some sort of Checks and Balances each and every day. I MEAN everyone. Our bank accounts, our chores, our family – we are programed to run these little scripts. It is when these scripts become part of the social network that we have a civilization. Some times good, sometimes not. But these checks and balances are our differential humanity. Even Dogs do it. Not they are wholly civilized however they have been domesticated and maybe it is the same thing.
But what struck me the most this Sunday morning was that missing bits Mr. Page was going on about. The part that we don’t see is often what gets to us the most in the end. And what he wasn’t seeing was where the budget cuts were being materialized in Canada’s numerous departments. Apparently when Mr. Page finally did get to see all of the parts, what he saw a was a diminutive service to all those who pay the bills – the tax payer. And on Sunday morning it clicked – the diminutive services to the public is an open doorway to corruption.
Now I am not accusing our well paid public service of being corrupt. Not in the slightest. They are very well paid and it only stands to reason that when the members of Parliament issued budget cuts to all departments to balance the books of Canada that these well paid servants had to ensure that they continued in their well paying jobs. So they cut the services in our public service hence fewer resources for the people who pay – the tax payer. So when a non public person needs a service and they have some additional funds it stands to reason that they will be willing to pay for the service – hence the opening of the doors of corruption.
It is a slippery slope that we have embarked upon. And the interesting thing about it is how it starts of simply enough.