Sunday, July 13, 2014

How many Canadian Politicians does it take to change a light bulb?

We’re sorry, but the Government of Canada cannot answer your query at this time. We are putting a committee together, and they will hire specialized light bulb procurement consultants to research the most efficient means for light bulb replacement.

The Committee on Light Bulb Procurement will garner bids from light bulb replacement professionals based on the recommendations of the procurement consultants.

The selected bid must then undergo an audit by the national ethics committee to investigate any possible conflicts of interest. The ethics committee will then submit their report directly to the Procurement Committee. The Committee must then prepare and present a parliamentary bill before the House of Commons.

A bill must go through 5 stages in the House of Commons, any of which could stall the procedure indefinitely. If it survives that process the bill is sent to the Senate where the same 5 stages must be repeated for a sober second look. Any piece of legislation that survives both the House of Commons and the Senate is then sent to the Queen of England or her representative in Canada, the Governor General for royal assent, when the bill is finally signed into legislation.  

In the event that Parliament is in recess, or has been prorogued, the Light Bulb Replacement project will be tabled in queue when seating is resumed. Barring protest by the official opposition party or veto by the senate, the light bulb will be changed posthaste, unless of course the Prime Minister has called an early election, in which case all outstanding bills will be cancelled and a new Light Bulb Procurement Committee will need to be convened by the new government.

Nous sommes désolés, mais le gouvernement du Canada ne peut pas répondre à votre requête en ce moment...

(All Government of Canada communication must be fully presented in both official languages, English and French.)

The preceding rant was inspired by a report on the CBC News. Apparently, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s plan to cut the Canadian deficit, as per his election promise, was off to a swift start. The Conservative party had hired an outside firm of consultants to research the best way to cut the deficit. This firm was awarded a seven month contract that would cost Canadian taxpayers approximately $19.8 million (about $90,000 a day).

In my opinion, if that consultant firm is worth their salt, their first recommendation ought to be to stop hiring outside consultants.

To answer my original question: “How many Canadian politicians does it take to change a light bulb?” Let’s see...about a hundred members of Parliament, thirty or forty senators, and the Governor General or the Queen to sign a royal proclamation, and finally the public servant who is authorized to actually change the bulb – it’s no wonder nothing ever changes in Canada. Our politicians are all in the dark!

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