All politicians can be bullies. But Stephen Harper has perfected the art. In fact, Michael Harris writes, he's been so good at it that his band of bullying deserves its own name -- Harpering. Harris then goes on to list several of Harper's victims. But he also reminds his readers of one of the victims who fought back and is still fighting back -- Bill Casey:
Casey refused to vote for the Tory budget of the day because of Harper’s mendacious act of political legerdemain — giving less than he had promised. Having made a deal, he changed it in the budget and Casey wasn’t having it.
Because Casey wouldn’t kiss the government’s ponderous bottom, wouldn’t submit to the blandishments and enticements of his less principle-driven colleagues, because he couldn’t be intimidated by the prospect of being ostracized, he was viciously kicked out of caucus, excommunicated from the party, and opposed in his own riding where he ran as an independent. Even with all that, he speed-boated Harper’s parachute candidate. Then the PMO cut off the money tap to the riding and Casey withdrew from elected politics so as not to hurt his constituents further at the hands of a supremely vindictive government.
And Casey is now back in Ottawa asking embarrassing questions:
How does the government that recently passed Bill C 20 — risibly referred to as the “Fair Representation Act”, explain the fact that half of the provinces have zero representatives on the Standing Committee on Industry, Science, and Technology. I suppose the logic is that Ontario’s eight members on the committee will look after the interests of provinces like Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island who have no members.
Lots of people have folded before the Harper juggernaut. But not Bill Casey. We need a lot more Caseys.