Saturday, October 05, 2013

It's About His Judgement

Stephen Maher has spent a great deal of his journalistic energy investigating the robocalls swindle. But this week -- after  a second person was taken to the hospital from Patrick Brazeau's house -- Maher focused  on Stephen Harper's senate appointments:

The appointments of Brazeau, Duffy and Wallin were all announced on the same day, Dec. 22, 2008, along with 15 other delighted Conservatives. They must all have had a lovely Christmas, enjoying congratulations from friends and relatives at their good fortune to have been guaranteed an excellent income with near-absolute job security until age 75.

Those appointments are like the ghosts of Christmas past, a recurring nightmare for the prime minister, returning to haunt him on front pages and TV screens for the rest of his political career, threatening to draw it to an untimely end.

Mr. Harper used to rail at Liberal Senate appointments. But Maher writes that Harper's record is far worse than the Liberals. Besides Brazeau, Mike  Duffy and Pamela Wallin,

Irving Gerstein, long the party’s chief fundraiser, was charged in 2011 with Elections Act violations, charges that were dropped when the Conservative Party pleaded guilty and paid a $52,000 fine.

Leo Housakos, a longtime Montreal political organizer who raised funds in municipal and provincial politics, is now under the media spotlight on the sidelines of the Charbonneau commission into the construction industry.

Fabian Manning had recently been defeated by Newfoundland voters. He resigned his Senate seat to run again in 2011, and when he lost, Harper reappointed him, along with defeated candidates Larry Smith and Josee Verner.

It was enough to make a Liberal blush.

And, of course, there are other Harper appointments -- like Arthur Porter, Bruce Carson and Nigel Wright.

Mr. Harper keeps touting his formidable management skills. But that increasingly appears to be pure propaganda. If the opposition is wise, they will make the next election about the prime minister's judgement. By that time it should be abundantly clear that Mr. Harper doesn't know anything about modern economics.

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