We learned in the Throne Speech that the Harper government was consumer friendly. But this week -- when Canadians learned that they would be paying more for less service from the Post Office -- the House of Commons was empty. Andrew Coyne writes:
Not only was the House of Commons conveniently shuttered, but neither the minister responsible, Lisa Raitt, nor any Canada Post executives were on hand to answer questions regarding this drastic reduction in public services. But then, in this they were only following the example set by the prime minister, who has for months avoided answering questions about the scandal that is slowly destroying his government.
He does not answer the questions put to him in Parliament — simple questions of fact, on matters he would be in a position to know about, that one would think could be dispatched with a quick yes or no — when he chooses even to pretend to. He does not hold press conferences, in any but the most perfunctory sense. He does not consent to interviews, except under the tightest of conditions, and with the friendliest of interviewers.
It's come down to self preservation for the prime minister:
because the story he has been telling — of a conspiracy among virtually everyone around him to dispose of a matter in which he had previously taken a great interest, in a way that he now insists he would have prevented had they not, all of them, lied and kept him in the dark — is not credible. It is indeed an open question whether he will consent to the sort of in-depth year-end interviews that prime ministers traditionally conduct. How can he?
He has closed down all roads of inquiry -- most recently in the Senate:
I refer to the decision by the Tory-controlled Senate internal economy committee to refuse to call as witnesses any of those alleged to have taken part in the audit tampering. The committee — which, after all, had commissioned the audit in the first place — had earlier made a show of investigating the matter, hearing testimony from those responsible for conducting the audit that confirmed, at a minimum, there had indeed been highly improper inquiries made by a senior partner at the firm, Michael Runia.
His government is in lockdown. And he's getting away with it.