Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Price Of Loyalty

The Conservatives have thrown Michael Sona under the bus, despite his protests that he had nothing to do with the voter calling scandal. He was an easy scapegoat. His behaviour at a University of Guelph polling station made him what Claude Rains called a "usual suspect." But Sona has refused to take the fall for what happened in Guelph.

Glen McGregor and Stephen Maher report that:

Anonymous Conservatives have repeatedly directed blame at Michael Sona, 23, singling out him alone among a group of workers on the campaign of Guelph, Ont., candidate Marty Burke.

As recently as Monday night, Conservative sources were pointing to Sona in connection to the Guelph robocalls. A CTV News report cited unnamed Conservatives saying he had owned up to the calls amid reports that the investigation had traced an IP address used by “Poutine” to a home in Guelph.

Sona has told co-workers on Parliament Hill he was stunned to learn he’d been named in connection with fraudulent calls in the Ontario riding by unknown senior figures in the party.

And Elections Canada does not appear to believe that

a 23-year-old, acting alone, would have been able to pull off the complicated “Pierre Poutine” scam — recording a bilingual, legitimate-sounding message purportedly from Elections Canada, setting up a screen of two false identities using a prepaid cellphone and credit card, and expertly covering his electronic tracks.

Sona's story has a familiar ring. Conservatives are not just focused on destroying their enemies.  When the going gets tough, they eat their own progeny. There was Chuck Cadman -- who Harper replaced as the party candidate in Surrey North. However, Cadman won the riding and refused to vote with Harper to bring down the Martin government. .And there were those rumours about Cadman being offered a quid pro quo for his vote.

Then there was Garth Turner, whose blog violated the Conservatives dogma on message control. When Turner refused to shut down the blog, Harper threw him out of the party.

And, finally, there was Helena Geurgis. Her behaviour did not serve her or the party well. But Harper insinuated that she had been involved in illegal activities and showed her the door. The RCMP could find no evidence of illegal behaviour.

The Conservatives do not just tar their enemies -- they tar their own, while they insist on absolute loyalty to le chef. Sona's story is yet another indication of what that loyalty buys.


Anonymous said...

"rumours about Cadman being offered a quid pro quo for his vote."

Rumours? There were tapes.

I still have no idea why the RCMP refused to proceed with an investigation and then prosecution.

There was a tape of the bribe offer itself with Cadman's wife testifying to its veracity. The Cons claimed it was edited, then claimed that the people in the tape weren't their operatives. The wife was ignored.

Then there was apparently another tape (by the Globe & Mail I think) where a reporter got to Harper before the story broke. The talking points had not yet been perfected: Harper claimed that the Cons weren't offering Cadman insurance/money (obviously illegal), they were offering help with re-election. Oops! That type of "help" for votes is illegal under a different law.

Owen Gray said...

It's interesting, isn't it, how all the pieces -- with a little hind sight and perspective -- begin to fit.

This isn't about a twenty-three year old kid from Guelph.

thwap said...

Mr. Sona might stop and reflect on the sort of "values" he holds. As I've experienced it, the "values" of present day "conservatives" are generally based on ignorance and delusion.

Perhaps when he sees how easily these powerful men were prepared to make him suffer for their crimes, he might connect it to the selfishness and arrogance that both they and he rationalize by calling it Ayn Rand's "Objectivism."

Owen Gray said...

There was a time, thwap, when thoughtful people realized that Ayn Rand was a quack.

Perhaps Mr. Sona's generation isn't familiar with the source of Mr. Harper's political values.

After all, Rand believed that selfishness was a virtue. Sona is simply a victim of Conservative "virtue."

Anonymous said...

Stephen Harper
the brutal
searches for
Holy Grail

Owen Gray said...

William Carlos Williams couldn't have said it any better, Anon.

The majority of us have recognized the man for who and what he is. The problem we now face is doing something about it.

The press and the courts are the two levers we have available at the moment.