Both Tim Harper and Dan Gardiner have called for a public inquiry into the robocall scandal. Yesterday Gardiner wrote:
The Conservatives insist they want the truth to be exposed. If that's true, they must appoint a fully independent, fully empowered judicial inquiry.
And why shouldn't they? To paraphrase what many Conservatives said about warrantless Internet surveillance, they have nothing to fear if they have nothing to hide.
A public inquiry is the last thing Stephen Harper wants. He knows how the Gomery inquiry doomed Paul Martin's government and how it enabled his own. Despite his suggestions that opposition parties bring their evidence to Elections Canada, he will do everything he can do deny the agency access to any and all the information he possesses. Every effort will be made to run out the clock on this scandal.
Tim Harper reviews other successful attempts by this government to subvert its opposition:
When the Conservatives twice shut down this place there were sporadic protests and rallies packed with opposition operatives, but most Canadians couldn’t spell prorogue, let alone care about the ramifications.
When they were found to have violated Elections Canada spending rules in the so-called “in-and-out” case, Canadians not only yawned, they couldn’t understand the accounting skullduggery.
When they were found in contempt of Parliament, Conservative strategists boldly stated that a breach of an arcane rule would make no difference to voters, and they were right.
When they booted unfriendlies from their campaign rallies, limited journalists to a set number of questions and used supporters to boo the questions they didn’t like, the nation shrugged.
The Harper government will do everything in its power to put this fire out. It will be up to the opposition parties, Elections Canada, the Canadian press and -- ultimately -- Canadian voters to keep it burning. As Tim Harper suggests, it's time for Canadians to get angry.