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.