The Crown Prosecutor at the Duffy trial says that he wants to see the errant senator judged on the basis of "common sense." It's a strange argument, Michael Harris writes:
Common sense helps people quickly navigate the simpler elements of their lives — crossing a road without getting hit, not texting while driving, turning down the music when those not at the party are trying to sleep.
Common sense is almost always about little things, simple things. And the foundation of knowledge upon which it rests is often dubious. “Common sense,” Albert Einstein wrote, “is nothing more than a deposit of prejudices laid down by the mind before you reach eighteen.”
But common sense is not what this trial is about:
A criminal court is a venue where justice should be truth in action — not a vacuous appeal to common sense and its train of tawdry emotions. “Common sense” works well in a range of situations. But it can be a super-highway to snap judgments, faux revulsion and the lust to vilify when it is misapplied. Applying common sense in a criminal case, rather than legal and evidentiary reality, is a mistake. It’s why Duffy is already swinging from the hanging tree in most media coverage.
When it comes to the Harperites,"snap judgments, faux revulsion and the lust to vilify" are the tools of their trade. And, the Conservative majority in the Senate is trying hard to make sure that actual evidence never sees the light of day:
Astonishingly, the Senate is now arguing parliamentary privilege in refusing to release a 2013 secret internal audit that might be of significance to Duffy’s criminal trial. Would that audit provide exculpatory information in Duffy’s case? Would it out other senators who had similar residency arrangements to the accused (as Nigel Wright noted), but without facing the full force of the police and the justice department? Would it show that the Senate knew back in 2010 it had a problem, but did nothing about it?
There all kinds of secrets which the powers that be want to keep secret. There is much that smells beneath. And the present government will stop at nothing to keep it all buried.