That was Stephen Harper's message to the Conservatives Halloween convention. This week -- after watching their western numbers drop, after refusing to call witnesses to testify to the Senate Committee looking into Mike Duffy's expenses, and after listening to Paul Calandra's absurd answers in question period -- it's obvious that the Harper Party could care less about the truth or parliamentary democracy.
Chantal Hebert writes in this morning's Toronto Star:
How else to describe a strategy that systematically involves the government maniacally digging itself deeper in what is fast becoming a bottomless credibility hole?
With every innuendo-laced answer, Calandra leads the House of Commons — and his government along with it — further into La La Land.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that it is an approach that (understandably) inspires little confidence and even less enthusiasm within the ranks of the Conservative caucus.
It can’t just be the burden of having to sign hundreds of Christmas cards before the House rises for the holidays that accounts for the dejected body language of so many Conservative MPs as Calandra does his PMO-orchestrated song-and-dance.
Stephen Harper was found in contempt of parliament in 2011. Since then, there has been no change in his approach. The man is contemptuous of everything and everybody. But the situation may change -- and the impetus for that change may come from his own party. Conservative Michael Chong -- who resigned from Harper's cabinet when the prime minister declared that Quebec was "a nation within a nation" -- is about to introduce a private members bill which would enable MP's to vote out their leader:
In the big picture of parliamentary democracy, that would be a positive development, for it is only by taking matters in their own hands that MPs will restore some much needed meaningfulness (and dignity) to their roles in the Commons.
It will be interesting to see how far Chong's bill gets -- and whether the Conservative caucus cares more than their leader does.