Thursday, April 30, 2015
Why the Duffy Trial is Also the Trial of Stephen Harper
Sometimes I think that the Mike Duffy trial is like one of those Russian nesting dolls, with Duffy as the biggest doll hiding all those other scandals inside it.
Which is unfortunate, because it might give people the impression that it's all about Ol' Duff and his dubious activities.
When in fact it's turning into a trial of the Senate AND the trial of Stephen Harper.
Who as Tom Mulcair pointed out yesterday, is at the very heart of the scandal.
An attempted coverup of Sen. Mike Duffy's residency issues was all about the prime minister trying to protect his own reputation, opposition leader Tom Mulcair said Wednesday.
"What we all had a bit of trouble understanding since the beginning of this whole Mike Duffy-Stephen Harper affair is, who was Stephen Harper protecting?" Mulcair told reporters Wednesday. "What we now realize is that Stephen Harper was protecting, of course, Stephen Harper."
And this whole scandal is and has always been an attempt to cover-up Harper's original sin: Bending the rules to pass Duffy off as the senator from P.E.I.
So he could become a Con bagman...
Which needless to say is NOT the image he wants to project at this time. So his PMO flunkies are now running around frantically, furiously but anonymously denying the story.
A Conservative source says allegations that Mike Duffy asked Prime Minister Stephen Harper if he could represent Ontario instead of Prince Edward Island as a senator are completely false. Duffy has told people close to him that, prior to his appointment, he asked Harper if he could represent Ontario rather than his native province because he had not lived on the island for decades.
But a source says Duffy never asked Harper that question, or expressed concern about the appointment.
Even though it's just an obvious attempt to deflect the blame.
When it's Stephen Harper who should have been asking questions before he appointed Duffy.
And should never have made him the Senator from P.E.I. when he knew Duffy had lived in Ottawa for FORTY years...
Just like he never should have appointed his VERY good friend Carolyn Stewart Olsen a Senator, as Mulcair also pointed out,
"How is it possible to go after Mike Duffy when someone like (Senator) Carolyn Stewart Olsen was named in exactly the same circumstances?" said Mulcair. After Stewart Olsen's appointment to represent New Brunswick in 2009, she too filed expense claims for an Ottawa home she already lived in.
His former communications adviser who is so close to him she is one of the few people who can walk into Harper's office anytime she likes...
And when she is called to testify will help Canadians understand what this scandal is really all about.
Like this Canadian already does.
Canadians will certainly learn more details as the Duffy trial goes on, but the basic facts are already clear. Mr. Duffy was improperly appointed by Mr. Harper and then went on to focus nearly entirely on Mr. Harper's need for a partisan spokesman, rather than work for the taxpayers, who actually paid him.
Neither Mr. Harper or a single Conservative member of Parliament have apologized to Canadians for their actions, which were improper and immoral right from the day Stephen Harper appointed Mr. Duffy to the Senate.
A desperate attempt to cover up Harper's original sin, by making Duffy look like the only villain. Or a cheap chiseller, instead of their once golden fundraiser.
And with the trial now expected to continue well into the next election campaign, and Harper increasingly seen to be at the heart of the scandal, and the cover-up..
That can only hurt him.
You know today is Harper's birthday, and the PMO wants us all to celebrate the happy event.
But I don't think Stephen Harper will be celebrating for long.
Because he must surely know by now.
That he did create his own monster.
But he will not escape his scandal...
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