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.