There is much about Mike Duffy that makes the blood boil. His ego is as large as the man himself. And that ego is the source of his troubles. But, Michael Harris writes, Duffy's standard operating procedures have been the same procedures the Harper government has operated under from the very beginning:
Back in 2008, for example, then-minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Rona Ambrose went to Whitehorse to announce millions in mining training for aboriginals. But she was also the star attraction at a Conservative fundraising event at the Mountain View Golf Course that had been scheduled for weeks before the official business. Bottom line? Taxpayers subsidized CPC fundraising — period.
And they continue to do it, as evidenced by the track record of that Energizer Bunny of partisan politics, Jason Kenney. Back in 2014, when he was Employment minister, Kenney went on a coast-to-coast-to-coast road trip to advance “the skills shortage agenda” of the Harper government. By day, he was busy with his official duties, but by night he mixed duty with fundraising like rum and Coke. Guess who paid the freight for the partisan stuff?
If Stephen Harper were truly interested in cleaning up government, a lot of people and things would receive the same kind of public scrutiny Duffy is receiving. But that's not going to happen:
Of course, Harper is not big on getting to the bottom of things, especially his own messes. Despite repeated requests, he refused to call a public inquiry into robocalls — which remains a serious unsolved crime.
He didn’t call a public inquiry into the thousands of missing and murdered native women, though First Nations peoples and the Canadian people are demanding it.
He didn’t call a public inquiry into the shootings on Parliament Hill, though recently released reports show that many serious questions need to be answered before this government hands over Hill security to the Mounties who failed to get the job done that tragic day.
So it’s not remarkable that Stephen Harper has no interest in seeing parliamentarians scrutinized on their expenses; he and his colleagues are too busy helping themselves to public funds to advance the partisan agenda of the government and the Conservative Party of Canada. It’s doubtful that the government’s advertising spending — taxpayer-funded and largely partisan — could stand the test of an independent audit.
It's only when word leaks out about how those in the Harper Kingdom operate -- think Patrick Brazeau, Bev Oda, Helena Geurgis -- that people get thrown under the bus. All the residents of the kingdom are useful scapegoats.