When it comes to shifting blame, Stephen Harper is a past master. Last week, in the House of Commons, he suggested that Mike Duffy made an inaccurate claim about his residency. Harper implied that the whole mess currently in front of the court was Duffy's own doing. Michael Harris writes:
Here is the constitutional truth about Duffy and the Senate. Both the Prime Minister and the Governor General have the obligation to assure that an appointee is eligible for an appointment to the Senate before they are elevated. The GG accepts the appointment on the advice of the PM, not the nominee. They not only blew it, they knowingly blew it — unless the PM is going for the Hans Christian Anderson Award for fairly tales; that he was the only guy in Ottawa who didn’t know where Mike Duffy — or Pamela Wallin for that matter — really lived.
But, as has happened so often in the past, Harper claims his hands are clean. That's why Harper needs to be called as a witness:
Which is why the Great Marketer has to be put under oath at Duffy’s trial. The Crown has already gainsaid the PM on the issue of Duffy’s constitutional eligibility for the Senate. The Crown has said that he probably wasn’t eligible for the appointment. Unless the Privy Council and the GG’s office are full of sycophantic dolts, they would have told the PM the same thing. So why was the appointment made? We need Harper’s evidence under oath in court — the one place where political marketers don’t have the last word. Well placed sources tell me that the PM knew well about the hazards of appointing Duffy from PEI, but said the critics “would get over it.”
However, Harper will not come to court willingly. He'll try very hard to find a constitutional closet to hide in.