Stephen Harper, we're told, is writing a book on hockey. It will be interesting to see if he has anything to say about the legendary Sam Pollack. The Montreal Canadiens were a power house for two decades because Pollack -- the team's general manager -- had an unfailing eye for talent, on the ice and behind the bench.
If there's one skill that Stephen Harper does not possess, it's knowing how to spot excellence. Micheal Harris writes that, again and again, Harper has displayed a talent for picking duds:
Consider the case of [Patrick] Brazeau. At the time of his appointment to the Red Chamber, there was lots of buzz that he wasn’t exactly the man on the top of the wedding cake. There were media accounts of sexual harassment allegations in the workplace, of missed child-support payments, and drinking on the job. None of those allegations were proven. And while his current run-in with the law is well documented, Brazeau is guilty of one thing: the non-statutory offence of atrocious poetry.
And, of course, there was Bruce Carson, that paragon of Conservative virtue:
Then there was the disastrous hiring of Bruce Carson as a key advisor to the prime minister. People make mistakes, yes. But I am still looking for another prime minister who hired someone with a criminal record to sit at his right hand. A fraud conviction is not usually a big selling point when looking for work.
But having a checkered relationship with the law is no impediment to advancement in Harperland:
Carson’s dubious appointment is small potatoes in comparison to the lack of judgment involved in welcoming confessed money-launderer Nathan Jacobson into the Conservative party’s inner sanctum. Jacobson, who was proudly photographed between Prime Minister Harper and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu in 2010, (or 2012 if the PMO is to be believed), acted as the seeing-eye dog for senior Harper cabinet ministers anxious to meet top Israeli politicians.
When it became public that their wealthy donor and door-opener was actually a man who was guilty of more than $40 million in money laundering in the U.S., cabinet heavyweights like Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Treasury Board President Tony Clement displayed shock. They claimed they hadn’t known a thing about Jacobson’s shady criminal past until a warrant was issued for his arrest in the summer of 2012 after failing to appear for sentencing in California.
As Harper appoints people like Carson and Jacobson to positions of responsibility, he sends inspectors to the homes of Maritimers, accusing them of defrauding E.I.
Clearly, the prime minister is no Sam Pollack.