I have been busy today catching up on what I missed while I was discussant-ing, presenting, meeting, and even playing at the ISA. The biggest news story up north: the F-35. The Auditor-General discovered that the plane is freakin' expensive, that the government has been lying about it, and that the military has not been entirely honest either: see here and here for a start. Good times. Will heads roll for such stuff? Not sure, as Harper with a solid majority and no election in sight can do with what he wants.
The good news, anyway, is that the F-35 decision was not driven by corruption--Generals and pols are not getting rich from the contractor. However, the bad news is that this is kind of typical--the Harper government tends to communicate poorly and the military tends to be opaque. Indeed, the best analogy is my behavior as a kid or teenager: break something? Hope no one notices. Just deny. I swear that the Forces and the government would be much better off if it admits there are challenges and that they are doing the best to address them, rather than insist that things are swell. This would have worked better for detainees in Afghanistan, F-35s, and a host of other issues. Instead, we develop a deep suspicion about the credibility of the government and its agents.
I have a longer diatribe about the challenges to civilian control of the military that should be out at http://www.opencanada.org/ in the next couple of days. The point here is simply that the temptation to make things look great ultimately does no one any favors. Or favours. Or whatever.