Tuesday, August 25, 2015
The Duffy Trial Adjourns But a New Poll Shows it Has Hurt Stephen Harper
The Duffy trial has adjourned and won't get going again until after the election.
So you might think that Stephen Harper would be letting out a giant sigh of relief.
But sadly for him, the trial may be over.
But as a new poll shows the damage has been done.
On the same day the trial of Sen. Mike Duffy adjourned until after the Oct. 19 federal election, a new poll suggests Nigel Wright’s recent testimony has negatively impacted how the majority of Canadians view the Conservatives.
The Nanos Research survey -- conducted for CTV News and The Globe and Mail -- found more than half of the respondents (56%) viewed the Conservatives more negatively after the prime minister’s former chief of staff took the stand.
And while Harper may try to claim that it was a mere distraction, this has got to hurt.
The proportion of those who viewed the Conservatives more negatively after Wright’s testimony differed by region, ranging from 46 per cent in the Prairies to 61 per cent in Atlantic Canada, but was about equal between women and men.
And as Andrew Coyne points out, if the Duffy affair was no big deal, why did the Cons go to such trouble to try to hide it?
If there’s no scandal here, then why is everyone connected with the government acting as if there is? That would include, among others, Stephen Harper.
If the matter of Duffy’s expenses were no big deal — at worst, a case of an errant senator, and besides, the rules were unclear — it would seem hard to explain why a dozen or more senior officials in the Prime Minister’s Office and the Senate spent three months fussing and fretting over it.
And of course the answer is that it is a big deal because if it wasn't the Cons wouldn't have tried to keep it a secret.
News, in Lord Northcliffe’s famous formulation, is “what someone wants suppressed.” When people are going to great lengths to conceal something, chances are they have a good reason. The Duffy conspirators plainly thought so, and they were right.
So it mattered then because it was secret. And it matters now because it is no longer secret: because of all that it has revealed about the culture inside the Prime Minister’s Office.
It matters, in the end, because the things that should have mattered to them, like honesty and integrity, didn’t.
It is a big deal because it has revealed Stephen Harper's PMO to be a cesspool of intrigue and corruption. It has made some of those who work there look like liars, including Harper's beloved chief of staff Ray Novak...
It has tainted the Cons beyond recognition. It has made even more Canadians distrust anything they say.
And if they can't trust them to tell the truth about that scandal, how can they trust them with a bigger issue like the economy?
So the trial may be over, but the issues it has raised will haunt the Cons all the way to the election.
And it will help destroy them...
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