Coyne: F-35 debacle demonstrates a system of government in collapse April 4, 2012
By Andrew Coyne, Postmedia News
There are so many layers of misconduct in the F-35 affair that it is difficult to know where to start. Do we especially deplore the rigging of operational requirements by defence officials to justify a decision that had already been made? Or should we focus on the government’s decision to buy the planes without even seeing the department’s handiwork? Is the scandal that the department deliberatedly understated the cost of the jets, in presentations to Parliament and the public? Or is it that its own internal figures, though they exceeded the published amounts by some $10-billon, were themselves, according to the Auditor General, gross underestimates?
It’s all of those things, of course, and more: a fiasco from top to bottom, combining lapses of professional ethics, ministerial responsibility and democratic accountability into one spectacular illustration of how completely our system of government has gone to hell.
This was, until last year’s shipbuilding contract, the largest single purchase in the country’s […]