Stephen Harper likes to claim that his party is a party of principle. But, of course, that's all jiggery-pockery. Whether it's huffing and puffing about China's human rights record then pulling out all the stops to sell bitumen to the Chinese -- or refusing to declare asbestos a dangerous substance, then reversing course -- the prime directive of the Harper government has always been "whatever it takes."
We were treated to another example of Conservative hypocrisy yesterday when Glen McGregor reported that, in its attempt to throw the robocalls case out of court, the Harperites were badmouthing Frank Graves, the man they relied on to do much of their polling. McGregor wrote that Arthur Hamilton, the Conservatives' lawyer,
asked the court toss Graves’ affidavit because, inter alia, he “repeatedly and publicly aligned himself with political interests, parties and actors that oppose” the Conservatives.
Further, Hamilton alleged, “He is clearly personally invested in the narrative that voter suppression did take place and had an effect on the Election.”
And, “Mr. Graves fails to disclose that his firm, Ekos, received more than $61,000,000 through 1,600 contracts with the federal government while the Liberal Party was in power, and has much less revenue from that source since the Conservatives were elected.”
Hamilton does not mention that Ekos received more money in polling contracts in 2010-11 — $897,517.47, to be precise – than any other firm, save for Ipsos-Reid Canada.
Mr. Hamilton successfully convinced a court to throw out Helena Geurgis' wrongful dismissal suit against Harper and his party. He is trying to do the same with the robocalls case.
Hypocrisy means nothing to the Harper government. But winning -- at any cost -- does.