Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Culture Of Entitlement

Following the news that Pamela Wallin has resigned from the Conservative caucus, Andrew Coyne takes a hard look at the Mike Duffy fiasco:

So Duffy’s behaviour is not the issue. The issue is the culture that enabled it. The Tories may find it expedient to disown him now, but it wasn’t five minutes ago they were cheering him to the rafters, inviting him to campaign in their ridings and defending him in public, long after his misconduct was known. Expelling him from caucus at this late date changes nothing. The time to discipline him was when when he was first caught out, not after every alternative had been exhausted. Indeed, he should never have been appointed, if for no other reason than that he was legally ineligible: to be the senator from PEI, you have to be from PEI.

The Harperites went to great lengths to protect Duffy. They offered Patrick Brazeau no such protection. The question -- the elephant in the room -- is Why?

The revelations of recent days suggest one reason: because of the sorts of things the auditors were likely to uncover, had they been allowed to do their work. And, perhaps, because of the many other rocks that might be overturned as a result: for example, Duffy’s alleged lobbying on behalf of Sun News. (Who was the “Conservative insider with connections to the CRTC” Duffy is reported to have approached? What could possibly have led him to believe his efforts to influence a quasi-judicial tribunal would be fruitful? Did he do this entirely on his own? Unprompted? Unpaid?)

Duffy was a Conservative Party operative on the public payroll. He wasn't the first. And the problem certainly extends to senators  from other parties. But this party -- this government  -- came to office railing against the corruption in the House of Sober Second Thought and in government in general. Rather than insisting on accountability, the Harperites have hopped on the bandwagon. Michael Harris  reminded us of the numbers last week: "By October 2015, 62 per cent of the 105-member Senate will have been appointed by Stephen Harper."

And Harris simply stated the obvious this week. Mike Duffy may be gone. But Stephen Harper is the one who should be roasted. It is he who drives the current culture of entitlement.


Lorne said...

Arrogance; Public Contempt; Hubris - three deadly political sins that would make a fitting epitaph for Stephen Harper, I think, Owen.

Owen Gray said...

All of this comes back to the man himself, Lorne. When no one in the party is willing to challenge him, the party wears his face and bows before him.

the salamander said...

.. that supertanker plague ship full o firewall Reformers, Supremacist types, quasi Conservatives, anti Canada Eh and democracy denier Evangelistic political squirrels .. rabid & feral political animals n fervent vermin are in the ditch.. or as some might say.. scraping their keel and running aground on a shallow uncharted (to them) reef ?

Well the old saying goes.. don't run with one wheel in the gravel, or try to sail against a lee shore.. or mess with John Law.. even if you think revising the charts to suit your odd flat earth beliefs and that the sun revolves around your plump white political arses is effective .. or rational thinking.

If prorogue is your panic political policy solution when you and your minions are caught screwing democracy, are so limp you can't get up for Canada & Canadians without shrill denials by spokes-trolls & lawyers .. where does that leave you ?

It seems that every day, you paint new lipstick on yourself and your lame political slugs Mr Harper .. Is this Mr Dress-up Harper Government ? You and your creeps pretending to be adults ?

Owen Gray said...

Your last sentence goes to the heart of the matter, salamander.

These folks are not adults. They suffer from a case of arrested development. Their approach to the world is to hold their breath until they -- excuse the pun -- turn blue.

They do, however, remain intent on getting their way -- until the adults re-occupy the House.

Dana said...

Y'know...the longer this plays out and the longer Duffy and maybe Wallin too are scapegoated the more tempting it's going to become for them to turn on Harpie.

Which makes me wonder if a quiet massive buyout and a clandestine relocation of a couple of renamed families to a country with whom we have no extradition agreement might not begin to appeal to the CPoC. All conducted by the finest examples of Canada's military of course.

Certainly not beyond the boundaries of the morality of the CPoC.

It's possible the CF might hesitate I suppose but they'll just follow orders as the military always do.

Owen Gray said...

I caught a comment by Paul Wells sometime ago, Dana. He said that, eventually, the people Harper has cut loose will turn on him.

Given all the blow back that's been happening, it wouldn't be surprising to see some people or things blow up.

Dana said...

As is mine.

If I were in Duffy's shoes and my wife found out I'd perpetrated all this shit without her knowledge I would not hear the end of it for days and days and there would be a very strong likelihood of my being told to leave.

But I would never undertake anything without her foreknowledge and wisdom.

Which makes me wonder at the nature of Mike and Heather's relationship.

I think she was fully informed all the way along. Perhaps even a guiding light of the scheme.

But it's not her reputation that's in a tattered rag.

And if tempers flare into violence who likely has the most to lose?

Owen Gray said...

Duffy has spent a lifetime making a name for himself, Dana. With or without his wife's support, it will not be easy to hear that name used as an epithet.

Anonymous said...

The thing is neither Duffy or Wallin are 'really' gone. They are still gunning for that Pension........

Owen Gray said...

True, Anon. They don't have to belong to a party to receive a pension.