Friday, August 28, 2015

They've Read Leo Strauss


Stephen Harper has become a law unto himself. The evidence, Michael Harris writes, is incontrovertible:

The evidence from the near past is damning enough: Found in contempt of Parliament; breaking his own elections law; sending unconstitutional legislation to the Supreme Court; passing retroactive laws to make the illegal legal; publicly attacking the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; forcing out Canada’s Nuclear Safety Commissioner for following the statute governing her agency; dumping the Parliamentary Budget Officer for correcting the government’s false program costings; usurping some of the constitutional functions of the Governor-General; and passing legislation to punish political enemies such as unions and environmentalists.

But on the day that Chris Woodcock testified, Harper's disregard for the rules was on full display:

Only a leader with a sense of narcissistic exceptionalism could send a senior PMO staffer (and now campaign worker), to engage in a conversation with a sworn witness during a recess at a criminal trial. After all, Harper and his own office are smack in the middle of this evidentiary mud bath. What’s next, a visit to the judge’s chambers?

No appearance of witness tampering here. It's not a problem for a man and an office which lacks a conscience. Consider Woodcock's performance on the stand:

Woodcock inadvertently gave Canadians an insight into the blank-screen amorality at the heart of Harper’s political operation. He admitted to being ethically uncomfortable about “locking in” the Deloitte audit as part of the plan to contain the Duffy expense scandal. But when Bayne asked him if he’d said anything about those ethical misgivings, he replied no. Why would he?

Woodcock said he didn’t have the slightest problem with crafting those political lies known in Harperland as “communications lines” to make it appear that Duffy was repaying the money. This is a say-anything-do-anything crowd. Don’t forget, Nigel Wright himself divided lies into good and bad “misrepresentations”.

To them, there are clearly important and unimportant deceptions. How are Canadians to trust people like that?

Some lies are perfectly acceptable. Obviously, they've read Leo Strauss and taken his advice. And that's why they have to be turfed.


Anonymous said...

The Harperites have more balls than brains. Except, of course, when they're found hiding in closets.

RossK said...

I would not be surprised if the wild boys from the Calgary school, and thesycophants who consciously do the lie dividing, actually take Mr. Strauss to bed with them every night.

As for low spark boys who go along to get along....Well, I reckon it's just as likely they haven't got a clue.


Owen Gray said...

I'm sure the some of the folks at the U of C have read Strauss, Ross, because they were disciples of Strauss's disciple Alan Bloom. As for some of the fixers at the PMO -- if we're to believe them, they don't even read emails.

Owen Gray said...

Confusing testosterone with wisdom is a common misconception, Anon -- particularly on the Right.

Scotian said...

I've only been trying to get people to understand this about Harper and his loyalists for more than a decade now. Little things like Strauss's noble lie, the belief that only the elites have any business even commenting let along shaping government policy, that sort of thing and how profoundly anti-democratic such clearly was. It is also why I have called Harper Dick Cheney without the principles, since both are Straussians, but Cheney for all his warts actually tends to stand by his crazy principles, Harper has proven himself to be totally without any true principles except his lust for his own self-aggrandizement.

Owen Gray said...

If the Duffy trial has proven anything, Scotian, it's that Harper is far from being a man of noble principles.

Toby said...

My ignorance is showing. I'm confused by your associating Alan Bloom with Strauss. It has been a long time since I read The Closing of the American Mind but I don't remember the obviously Fascist noise found in Strauss's writings. Bloom wasn't my kind of progressive but Straussian . . . ?

Owen Gray said...

Bloom was one of Strauss's students, Toby. Strauss -- a refugee from Hitler's Germany -- was interested in classical Greek philosophy. Bloom's critique of modern American society was driven by Americans' rejection of their classical roots.

He was no fan of what used to be called The New Left.

Toby said...

Did any of Strauss's students disagree with him? Like Stephen Harper, Strauss didn't seem to tolerate opposing views.

Owen Gray said...

He had his admirers, Toby. Bloom and William Kristol are among them, along with others who call themselves neo-conservatives. I confess his critics seem to be of more recent vintage.

Mogs Moglio said...

Harper's reality is that of a person fixated on all the wrong things as an observer also keen to see him and his cons leave Parliament with their tails between their legs and lawsuits flying against them to make it extremely difficult to hold any kind of career in the public eye. Harper's definition of truth is obviously what ever he says it is. Besides holding them accountable for their tresspasses their pensions should be eliminated because it is obvious that they did not fulfill their mandate:


· Free representation (see also Art. 23 (1) of the Standing Orders of the House of Commons) Commentary; They are not FREE to represent their constituents they must follow the party line and in the cons case they must vote the way Steve, the PMO and the whip tell them to. [Clear Violation of Standing Orders of The House of Commons]

Can MPs lose their mandate?: Yes; (a) Definitive exclusion from Parliament by the latter:

- Exclusion usually comes after an MP has been found guilty of a crime by a court. However, an official decision by the House of Commons is also needed to expel the MP from that body.

- The House may also definitively expel an MP for insulting Parliament, misconduct or other reasons (see also Code of Conduct). Procedure.

(b) Loss of mandate for incompatibility:

- Election of an MP to a provincial legislature (Art. 23 of the Parliament of Canada Act)

- Public duties and offices (Art. 32 and 35 of the Parliament of Canada Act)

- Parties to public contracts (Art. 34 and 35 of the Parliament of Canada Act). See also Code of Conduct.

- Trading of favours (Art. 41 of the Parliament of Canada Act). See also Code of Conduct." [Quoted from:]

"Responsibilities and Conduct of Members:

Members sit in the House of Commons to serve as representatives of the people who have elected them to that office. They have wide-ranging responsibilities which include work in the Chamber, committees, their constituencies and political parties. As Professor C.E.S. Franks has noted:

The member of parliament represents his constituency through service in the House of Commons. This does not mean, however, that he spends most of this time sitting in the House, or even that attendance there is the most important part of his work. An MP spends far more of his working life outside the House than in it … . The job is people-oriented, involving talking about and listening to ideas, proposals, and complaints, reconciling opposing viewpoints, explaining party or government policy to citizens and citizens’ views to party and government, getting action out of the government on problems of constituents, and examining how the government uses or abuses the power it exercises on behalf of the people of Canada." [Quoted from:]

Continued below...

Mogs Moglio said...

It is obvious we have a Parliament and sitting members particularly the CPC Party members who are AWOL on their duties and they are subservient to a rogue government; that of the Stephen J. Harper Government that is a foreign entity controlled by foreign and domestic moneyed and resource extraction interests. After they are kicked out of office they need to be scrutinized for all their crimes against Canada's Sovereignty both Constitutions The Bill of Rights and The Charter plus offenses against The Canadian People of which there are many. We must make an example out of these common criminals that have invaded our House of Commons and perverted it to such an extent that it now has become a one man dictatorship. We must send a message to all future would be politicians that this will not be tolerated in Canada.

Harper and his henchmen/women have turned this Mandate of Free Representation into an Imperative Mandate which is prohibited in the vast majority of Parliamentary nations including ours. It did not start with Harper, he has merely twisted it into a new 'big brother' government for Canada [The Harper Government IS 'The Big Brother Government'] where Members of the House are no longer free to 'vote their conscience' which is what Free Representation is [voting your conscience].

Veritas et aequitas liberabit.

Background on Mandates:

Owen Gray said...

The mandate of Conservative MP's has changed, Mogs. They no longer represent their constituents. They represent the prime minister. Testimony from Harper's PMO operatives leaves no doubt that MP's must tow Mr. Harper's line.