Monday, June 14, 2010

G20 Security: Here a Billion, There a Billion ...

As you have no doubt heard, Canada is about to spend roughly a billion dollars (or was that loonies?) on security for the upcoming G20 meeting - give or take ten or twenty million or so.  (If that's just for security, how much do the rest of the meeting accoutrements cost?)  I've never been able to understand why this expense needs to be so out of proportion to the amount of work that gets done in these 2-day meetings.  (They are largely photo-ops for the signing of agreements worked out months in advance by intergovernmental minions anyway.)  The disruption to civil society in whatever city has been chosen as the host is always upsetting, what with grossly inflated hotel and restaurant prices, restricted travel areas, the various protests and vandalism, etc.  Why not hold these auspicious international gatherings on a cruise ship somewhere in international waters?  Navies could provide surface and sub-surface protection while jet fighters and helicopters would do the same overhead.  (The great advantage, of course, would be that we're already paying for all that stuff anyway.)  Journalists could have their own barge nearby if they're not allowed on board the more opulent craft.  As for the protesters, let 'em paddle their canoes to the meeting.