Two of Stephen Harper's senate appointments have been shoved out of the Conservative caucus. The Senate was their reward for doing the Prime Minister's dirty work. But one of life's axioms is that what goes around comes around.
Patrick Brazeau helped Stephen Harper kill the Kelowna Accord. It was Brazeau, the deputy national chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, who supported Harper during the 2006 election. The Assembly of First Nations backed Paul Martin and the Accord. Michael Harris writes:
It was the age-old battle over reserve and non-reserve aboriginals and the differing treatment they receive from the federal government. Harper got his first minority government in 2006 in part because Brazeau, then CAP’s deputy-national chief, helped kill the Kelowna Accord. Two years later, he was in the Senate.
Mike Duffy also performed an essential service for Harper during the 2008 election. Lawrence Martin reminds his readers that:
Duffy has been a favourite of the PM’s. He was viewed as having done the Conservatives a great favour in the 2008 election. At the end of the campaign, when momentum could have tilted either way, Liberal leader Stephane Dion stumbled in responding to a CTV question he couldn’t understand. The CTV reporter promised Dion he wouldn’t run the clip — but Duffy turned around and made a major story of it. The Conservatives later acknowledged it really swung votes their way in the final days. It wasn’t much later that Duffy was named a senator.
Stephen Harper would not be where he is today without the assistance of Brazeau and Duffy. But henchmen come with their own baggage. Mr. Harper operates on the assumption that he exercises complete control over his minions. The problem is that minions eventually screw up. And men like Brazeau and Duffy screw up big time.
Henchmen are their own curse.