Once again the Canadian Forces have been caught playing partisan politics, shilling for the Conservative government.
A program to educate parliamentarians about the work being done by the Canadian military has been shut down months after it was revealed officers were using such visits to collect information on Defence Minister Peter MacKay's political opponents.
The parliamentary outreach program allowed MPs and senators to visit military units and bases to improve their knowledge of the Canadian Forces.
But the visits became controversial earlier this year when it was revealed officers gathered information on MacKay's political opponents in an effort to help out the beleaguered defence minister.
Caught out, the military actually sought to defend its perfidy.
The Canadian Forces later defended its decision to collect such information and turn it over to MacKay's office, saying the process was no different than its efforts to gather facts for the public and news media.
But some MPs said the military's practice jeopardized the parliamentary outreach program. Former military officers also warned such activities, which prompted allegations about Canadian Forces personnel digging up dirt on the minister's political enemies, crossed the line and jeopardized the long-standing political neutrality of the military.
This is another sign of a military in decay. They're in lockstep with their Big Brothers from the States in trying to be political players, to influence if not dictate policy. In the United States it is the Pentagon today that often prevails over the State Department in the foreign policy realm, a major contributing factor to that country's post 9/11 hyper-militarism. This is seriously wrong and we need to cull the officer class to rid it of those who presume to act this way.
This is how military professionalism dies. The Canadian Forces exist to serve Canada. They are not a partisan agency for a favoured political party, even if that party is in power. Remember that three out of five Canadians who bothered to vote in the last election did not vote Conservative. The armed forces leadership needs to be ever mindful that they represent the three out of five just as much as the other two out of five. They take the King's shilling but neither Harper nor MacKay wears a crown... not just yet.