Saturday, October 26, 2013

Duffy, Wallin, Brazeau Getting Under Harper's Collar

It couldn't be plainer.   Steve wants his troublesome Senate appointees gone - pronto!

With each passing day the trio are showing just how rotten the Tory leadership in the Senate has become, how very much it resembles Steve's own PMO in its shady, backroom deals and lies.

Harper's "most valuable" senator must be a particular concern.  Mike Duffy has connected Harper and Harper's PMO directly with the Senate expenses scandal.  Duffy says Harper was in on it.  It was Harper's henchmen, claims Duffy, who threatened to oust him from the Senate if he didn't take the under-the-table cash-with-strings-attached deal from the PMO.

Harper said the Senate doesn't have to wait to find out if the RCMP will lay criminal charges against former Conservative senators Patrick Brazeau, Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin in order to take disciplinary action against them.

"There is absolutely no doubt what these three senators did… these senators, in some cases, have collected literally up to six figures in ineligible expenses and did so willingly over a long period of time."

Gosh, Steve, if it only was that simple, but it's not.  There's plenty of doubt about what one of these senators did, what you knew about it and when, and whether it had your blessing before an unfortunate e-mail was leaked to the public.

Feeling the heat, Steve? Maybe, maybe not.  Torstar's Thomas Walkom figures Harper is betting that Canadians really don't get the Duffy thing and will be content with seeing the "fat cats" turfed.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is betting that most Canadians don’t care who knew what when about the Senate spending scandal. He’s also betting that voters will be pleased to see three senators widely viewed as fat cats cast out in the cold.

These are cynical calculations. They may also be correct.

If Harper is wrong on the first bet, he’s in deep trouble. His insistence that he knew nothing about the complex web of arrangements surrounding his government’s attempts, first to first protect Mike Duffy from scrutiny and then to throw the embattled senator overboard, defy belief.

They defy belief because so many people close to the prime minister are known to have been involved.

That Harper, a notoriously hands-on leader, knew nothing of these discussions is impossible to believe, regardless of his denials.

But does the possibility that Harper mislead Parliament and the nation on this question matter greatly to voters? I’m not sure it does.

If Walkom is right, the scary question is just where do Canadians draw the line?  As a people do we even care about our democracy enough to safeguard it.   Face it, Harper has spent years skating on public apathy.  When it comes to a master manipulator like Harper, apathy is a truly precious commodity and it's one that he carefully nurtures in us.


Lorne said...

if Walkom is right, Mound, I hold out little hope for the future of sane and balanced politics in our country, Mound.

In today's Star, Chantal Hebert has an interesting piece examining how Harper has caused considerable upset within the Conservative ranks over his whole handling of the issue:

The Mound of Sound said...

It's almost too depressing to bear, Lorne.