Friday, December 18, 2015
Mike Duffy and the Ghastly Portrait of Stephen Harper
It was if the air was suddenly let out of the balloon. One moment the prosecutor was pounding Mike Duffy.
The next moment he wasn't. The trial was suddenly adjourned. Ol' Duff was cut loose and left to float gently in the general direction of the ground.
Without even being asked about the biggest charge against him, the bribery charge.
And before he and other witnesses, and the RCMP, could answer the most important question of all:
Why was Nigel Wright not also charged with bribery? When he cut a cheque to cover-up a scandal.
In a surprise turn, prosecutors in the Mike Duffy fraud trial suddenly dropped their grilling of the embattled senator Thursday without asking him a single question on the infamous $90,000 alleged bribery payment.
And what did Stephen Harper know about that sordid affair?
So now it's just a story about money, instead of one about the corruption of power.
And what Michael Harris calls a "shabby show trial" is ending not with a bang but a whimper.
My own unschooled opinion is that nothing the Crown has produced rises to the level of a crime — and that is most especially true of the alleged $90,000 ‘bribe’ the senator took. No one, including the Crown or the RCMP, has given a satisfactory answer to the obvious question: If the bribe was received, doesn’t that mean the bribe was given as well? In other words, why was the decision taken to make Nigel Wright, the PM’s former chief of staff, a witness and not a co-accused?
Like Michael Sona before him, Duffy is at the heart of a political trial. The Senate’s abysmal administration and rules are what is really driving this process.
And without Stephen Harper being forced to shoulder any blame for the original sin that started the scandal...
His stubborn insistence that Duffy was qualified to be the Senator from P.E.I. even though everybody knew he had lived in Ottawa FOREVER.
The message is unmistakably clear: Harper didn’t care if Duffy had lived in Ottawa for thirty years, so why should Duffy?
Now I'm not inclined to be as forgiving as Harris. Duffy trolled for an appointment to the Senate for YEARS. And when he finally got the job, it clearly went to his head.
But he was pilloried.
Lots of public figures are symbolically burned in public. But not many are hoisted in effigy in the nation’s capital as money-grubbing scoundrels floating high above the Ottawa River like evil genies.
And he did pay for the crimes that others got away with.
It is one thing to make an example of someone. It is another to confuse that with justice when half the players in this tawdry drama have simply walked away from their deeds.
But then it doesn't really matter anymore. The damage has been done. The trial did help taint Harper and his Cons just as they launched their campaign.
Ol' Duff did haunt them all the way to the election...
He did help undermine whatever credibility Harper and his Con gang still had left. He did help defeat them.
And I'm glad to report, before Duffy's cross examination came to a sudden end, he did paint one of the best portraits EVER of the real Stephen Harper.
Duffy recounted one Conservative rally in P.E.I. in which attendees, many of them seniors, had been kept waiting for over an hour.
"The prime minister was sitting there in his undershirt eating a hot dog and one of the female staffers was doing what the 'little woman' should. She was ironing his shirt."
A portrait I will treasure forever.
Because it does sound like the Harper others have also described, the crass, vulgar man, who would turn the air around him blue with cuss words.
The religious fanatic whose missionary church preaches that women should be submissive.
The foul bully who liked to see fear in the eyes of others.
Yup. Never forget what he did to Canada.
And never stop demanding justice...
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