Harper is doing long term damage to Canadian conservatism


“Duffy is a nothing” shouted Earl Cowan, the disgruntled Conservative supporter recorded recently hurling profanity at the media.  Despite the fact that other parts of his tirade were completely untrue Duffy is relatively nothing compared to the bigger issues in this campaign.  What the Duffy trial has revealed about the PMO is the biggest issue for me.  The Prime Minister’s Office has far too much power and has become deeply dysfunctional.  Nigel Wright’s payment of Duffy’s expenses is far less worrying that the other revelations that have come out this trial.

Solid evidence has revealed:

  • PMO interference and control over the senate
  • Attempts by the PMO to manipulate a 3rd party audit
  • Instructing MPs to lie to Canadians
  • Obsessing over optics rather substance
  • The PM disregarded his own lawyer’s “basic legal interpretation” of the constitution
  • Key members of the PMO not paying attention at important meetings or just lying about it

The obsession over who knew about Nigel Wright’s cheque doesn’t matter much unless the RCMP decides to start charging those who offered the bribe.  Only Duffy was charged because he personally benefited from the bribery and it was believed Wright did not.  Duffy’s defence attorney did an excellent job demonstrating that Nigel Wright’s gift was no act of noble charity.  It was clearly intended to end a political problem for the PM and the Conservative party.  It is hard to see how this isn’t a bribe on both sides of transaction now.  I personally think the crown should prosecute those that offered the bribe as well as he who took the bribe.

I find the Conservative denials and spin increasingly improbable.  I understand how if they admit any culpability and expose any measure of deceit that it would submarine the election for them.  In order the keep things going they need to spin increasingly less plausible tales.  As their story changes and their denials become increasingly vapid and disconnected from reality.  Yesterday I observed Conservative MP Paul Calandra dismiss the allegations of manipulating an audit because the audit didn’t actually change.  So trying to manipulate an audit is ok, it’s only unethical when you successfully manipulate an audit?

With each lie, each preposterous statement, with each half-truth infographic spread virally on social media I become more and more disgusted with right-wing politics.  It isn’t that I don’t appreciate fiscal conservatism, debt repayment, free trade and less taxes.  There are lots of things I do appreciate that the right brings to the political engagement.  I believe they are essential. Unfortunately the people at the top of the Conservative party have no respect for the truth.  The cottage industry of alternative right-wing online media claiming to correct the bias of the main stream media is worse than the people they criticize.

As these voices become more deceptive, more preposterous, more ridiculous it has a divisive and caustic effect on Canadian society.   A resentment is building towards the Conservative party.  This resentment will carry on well passed this election.  If the Conservatives fail to form government, and I doubt they will, every act of deception, deflection and obfuscation will haunt them and hinder the movement going forward.  When I think about the Conservatives I see Paul Calandra speaking and acting as if I was a complete and utter fool that is either too blind, too stupid, or too incompetent to check a fact on google.  It would be wise for the Conservatives to find their moral compass again  and start to think about the elections to come.

 

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