Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cornering The Artful Dodger



The prime minister's story, Andrew Coyne writes, hangs by a thread:

The Prime Minister has hung onto that single thread even as every other part of his story has fallen apart: as “acted alone” became “very few,” as “full confidence” turned to “acted honourably” turned to “deceived,” as “resigned” turned to “dismissed.” So long as it could not be proven that he knew what he denied knowing, he could not be caught in a lie; and so long as the whole issue was framed as “did the Prime Minister flat-out lie to Parliament,” the multiple lies told by everyone around him, before, during and after the whole sordid affair might be made to recede into the background.

If the convention of ministerial responsibility meant anything at all, Stephen Harper would have resigned long ago. But he has steadfastly claimed that he is not responsible for the people who work for him -- because he didn't know what they were doing. But, as things unravel, it's increasingly clear that Harper did know what was going on:

The go-ahead. Speak to the PM. We are good to go. It is hard to read that as anything but an indication that the Prime Minister not only knew, but approved of the deal.

The orginal deal was that the party would cover Duffy's expenses. Documents seem to indicate that Harper knew of the plan. But, when the party balked, Nigel Wright cut Duffy a personal cheque. Coyne writes:

Suppose that had remained the deal. It is not clear to me why it would be any more lawful to make a secret payment to a sitting legislator from the party’s bank account than from Wright’s.

More important, it does not seem to be clear to the RCMP. It is that agreement, to make Duffy “whole,” the investigating officer attests — or to use the language of the Criminal Code, to “give and exchange money in exchange for something to be done or omitted to be done” — that “constitutes the bribery offence” he believes occurred.

Mr. Harper's story is a matter of Clintonian parsing. Whether the party wrote the cheque or Nigel Wright wrote it, money was offered in exchange for something to be done. Yet Harper keeps dodging, claiming he is not responsible for what happened.

This time, The Artful Dodger has been cornered.


13 comments:

bcwaterboy said...

He is exactly cornered Owen, but as astonishing as it may be to anyone who has taken the time to connect the dots, he will in all likelihood continue smelling like a rose. His base is extremely loyal and keep in mind that ideology always trumps facts with this crowd and since Gommery broke the levee on the liberals, the media and at least 29% of eligible voters tend to agree. There has never been a more opportune moment for the opposition to finish this guy off, let's see if they have what it takes. If they really cared about Canadian democracy the NDP and Liberals would combine resources right now to get the job done.

Owen Gray said...

You're right, waterboy. Everything depends on the opposition at this point.

They have the evidence. Now it's up to them to make it stick.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

It is impossible to believe that the Harper control freak did not know everything. In fact, I would not be surprised if he orchestrated it.

One thing that is hard to believe is that none of his loyal officials who knew they were in legally questionable waters did not tell the boss what was going on. If they had he should have altered his story. Instead it seems he decided to just try to lie his way through the problem.

Owen Gray said...

Nigel Wright and Benjamin Perrin are both lawyers, Philip. It's impossible to believe that they didn't warn Harper about what he was doing.

The real question is, "Why did they cooperate?"

Lorne said...

Even if one just emerged from under the turnip patch, Owen, and believed Stephen Harper's preposterous denials, what is one left with? Monumental incompetence, an almost equally compelling reason to turf the guy.

Owen Gray said...

Either he willfully broke the law, Lorne, or his management of people is totally incompetent -- or both.

Anonymous said...

From

cbcnews.can 8 hours ago

Title of article,

RCMP probe into Wright-Duffy affair reveals 5 new threads.

Quote from above named article,

"Wright emailed Benjamin Perrin and others in the PMO to say "I do want to speak to the PM before everything is considered final." less than an hour later, Wright wrote 'We are good to go from the PM..."

As far as I and many other Canadians are concerned Harper knew and this quoted statement above proves it. If the opposition does not eliminate the Harper government now all my worst fears will be answered.

Which is that all three political parties are really one after all and right now it's Stephens turn and they will all let him run the gamut of tenure as unquestioned leader, and so I believe it is time to turn Ottowa's political inbred society on its head. Agreed?

Mogs

Owen Gray said...

It's good to hear from you again, Mogs.

As bcwaterboy says, it's now time for the opposition parties to hold the Harper government to account.

Anonymous said...

Harper was Policy Chief for his, Northern Foundation of 1989. That should have been everyone's first clue, as to what Harper really is. Canada is most certainly, not a democratic country anymore. Canada is Harper's dictatorship. That is pretty hard to miss.

Harper is an evil, despicable person. I call him a Traitor doing acts of Treason for, selling our country out to Communist China.

Harper has no decency, honor, ethics nor morals, what-so-ever. Harper has completely fouled Canada's good name.

Owen Gray said...

It would appear, Anon, that Harper's record is catching up with him.

mogs moglio said...

@anon 2:40

you kinda miss the point Canada as we know it is run as a one state nation where all three political parties are one, joined at the hip of whomever the movers and shakers are that really dictate the Canadians moves in goverened affairs both national and international.

The bottom line right now harper is the anointed one, by the monied world domination crew, even if Jack was alive despite all his grumbling he would never mass an elimination call on the duty boy harper, that is unless he was given marching orders from on high, high above the queen, above Obama etc, and right now whether you like it or not harper won't be allowed to be taken down, because he is fulfilling the mission of corporitizing the land we used to know and love as Canada, which for all intense and puppose no longer exists.

Do you grok?

The sooner you see that we have to remodel the political process to get corporations denied a voice in governance of the people and the land we dwell in, the sooner we can organize peaceful political change that beniffits all for the good of the land and/or eco system and those that inhabit and depend on it, which would be us, you and me.

Need I say more? It is time to decorporitize the government the land and the people, are you ready for such an immense foot forward in human her/history?

Forget the current political system it is but a dying out species of dynosauer that we no longer require unless we are willing to give away our freedoms and rights to the corporate world in exchange for a job. That's all harper, Trudeau and McCair have and none work for us, they all work for the same men, wittingly or unwittingly.

Change is a coming and change will do us all good.

Mogs

Bill said...

"I didn't do it" over and over.... Bart Simpson cartoon star.

"I didn't do it" over and over, carefully sparsed Stephen Harper.... desperate, clinging to power Prime of Canada.

Seen to much history and evidence to know both are lying and guilty.

Harper will keep up the false pretense and drive the bus over (and over and over) all that threaten his hold on power. All to no avail.

No innocence, no shame, he is trapped by his own faults and misdeeds.

Time to go fishing with Rob Ford or directly to the "penalty box".

Owen Gray said...

Like you, Bill, I continue to believe that the facts will catch up with Harper.

But, until they do, he will continue to try and shift the focus to Wright and Duffy.