That's what you get, Shakespeare wrote, when first you practice to deceive. One lie follows another. That's certainly what happened in the Prime Minister's Office. Michael Harris writes:
It is becoming increasingly obvious that NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair had it right: the CPC code of conduct is not taken from the Bible or some list of sacrosanct conservative principles. It’s taken from the Criminal Code. Canada has returned to the Mulroney era, when everything was okay unless it was illegal — notwithstanding Judge William Parker’s ruling in the Sinclair Stevens case. Even the appearance of conflict, the judge wrote, had to be avoided to maintain public trust in the system. Canadians now trust discount sushi more than they do Parliament under Harper.
And despite Wright’s vaunted reputation as an upright man, his defence of his actions in the Duffy affair displays the same ethical bankruptcy and dizzying sense of entitlement that emanated from the very heart of Stephen Harper’s office. This is David Dingwall’s chewing gum to the power of ten. When asked by Donald Bayne why he lied to the PM about his payout to Duffy, Wright said it wasn’t a “bad misrepresentation.” That euphemism could stop a charging rhino.
What it comes down to -- and Jack Layton warned us of this long ago -- is that you can't take Stephen Harper at his word:
Bottom line? Canadians can’t trust a single statement from a party that thinks perception is reality and actively promotes falsehoods when they are deemed to be in the government’s interest. And if you doubt that, consider the absurdity of the conflict between the testimony of Nigel Wright and the RCMP statement of former Harper PMO legal counsel Benjamin Perrin.
Mr. Harper keeps insisting that this election is about leadership. But a leader you can't trust is no leader. And a leader who insists that, when he does something it's legal, is merely the ghost of Richard Nixon. In the end, Nixon became entangled in his own web.