Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Same old same old

Babble on.

Chris Taylor bet me over a beer the other night that within six months I'd be back to posting at least twice a week. The wager was - what else? - beer. If the Liberals continue to raise my blood pressure like this, I might well be buying the next time we raise a glass together.

The federal government has delayed a $12-billion purchase of military aircraft until after the next election, deferring political fallout over buying foreign products, The Canadian Press has learned.

Key cabinet ministers and the defence chief faced "passionate" aerospace industry representatives Monday night. They had to deflect claims they were tailoring the purchase of planes and helicopters to eliminate Canadian competition in favour of specific foreign-built craft they want.

"It's unanimous - we're not moving with it now," a government official said on condition of anonymity.

"We're not moving with this before an election.

"It's all on the basis of the ferocious lobbying by industry. It's all Toronto-Montreal-Bombardier politics."

While I tend towards Gen Hillier's perspective, there are legitimate reasons to oppose this purchase: these might not be the right aircraft for what our military will be doing in the next fifteen years; bundling three separate types of aircraft into one procurement might not be a good buying strategy; making the bid specifications so tight as to effectively decide the winning aircraft beforehand might be bad policy, and set a bad precedent besides.

Notice that offending the tender sensibilities of chronic taxpayer-leech Bombardier is not enumerated among those legitimate reasons. Nor is political manoeuvring designed to win Liberal votes.

This is typical Liberal bullshit, and as has become a pathetic and twisted habit for our Natural Governing Party, soldiers and taxpayers will end up with the short end of the stick, mark my words.

Babble off.


At 1:11 p.m., Blogger Brian Mertens (Free Advice) said...

"It's all Toronto-Montreal-Bombardier politics."

If they're saying that Toronto would demand Bombarier be considered so it can benefit from the spending, that's bull... 99.9 percent of Torontonians don't know that Bombardier has a Toronto facility.

If there's any Toronto component to the issue, it's that a large number of squishy T.O. voters are opposed to ANY military spending, and might jump to the NDP (or stay home) on election day.

P.S. Welcome back!

At 4:31 p.m., Blogger VW said...

Hoo yeah. Just when you think you've gotten out, the Libranos pull you back in. :)

At 12:10 a.m., Blogger wonderdog said...

Bundling the differet programs together may not make sense, but I don't think you can really argue against replacing the Hercs with updated Hercs. From the standpoint of training, spare parts commonality, procurement, etc. it just makes sense.

At 9:37 a.m., Blogger Babbling Brooks said...

Dog, that's the same justification for making the 27J the replacement for the Buffalo - it's a mini-Herc (same engines, avionics, cargo system, etc.).

In this particular case (state of the military, known & established performance of aircraft being purchased, etc.) I think a bundled buy that's a single source contract in everything but name is defensible. Desperate times, desperate measures, and all that.

I also understand why others would disagree, but not for Bombardier or the Liberal Party's reasons.

At 1:23 p.m., Blogger wonderdog said...

In that case, I'd have to say that the 27J buy is also a no-brainer, depending on the degree of commonality.

The cost of training and spare stocks is significant over the life cycle of a system.

The 27J buy also starts to look like a good idea because you get further economies by having systems that share components. The number of engine spares you need to stock at higher levels of the supply chain is reduced because they contribute to the availability of two systems.

Once again, it's pure politics.


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