Friday, September 18, 2015

Out Of The Closet

                                               http://www.scaryforkids.com/

At several junctures in last night's debate, Justin Trudeau interrupted Stephen Harper with a simple declarative sentence: "That's not true."  Mr. Harper's government has distinguished itself with its in-your-face dishonesty. But, Michael Harris writes, it is even more noteworthy for its in-your-face corruption:

Cheating, lying and misleading the House of Commons, elevating the ethically dubious to high office — these are not good character references for any party leader. For Harper — who leads a party that prides itself on its moral values — they could be fatal.

The news this week was full of Tory roadkill. Harper Senate appointee Patrick Brazeau entered a guilty plea to assault and cocaine charges. A sexual assault charge was dropped, along with three other criminal charges, but Brazeau still faces a drunk driving charge and a criminal trial on fraud charges over his disputed Senate expenses. Despite all of that, he’s still hoping for an absolute discharge and a return to the Red Chamber. Not a winner with the base.

Nor were the revelations that came out at Bruce Carson’s trial this week. The Crown produced evidence it says shows the former Harper advisor using his government contacts — some at cabinet level — to advance a scheme to enrich his then-fiancé, a former Ottawa sex trade worker.

Carson was hired by Harper as a key advisor despite having done jail time for fraud and theft (which Carson disclosed during the vetting process for his security clearance. He even had cabinet minister John Duncan’s staff writing ‘media lines’ for him that were essentially aimed at misleading journalists and the public about Carson’s role in selling water treatment systems to First Nations reserves. It looked and smelled a lot like the PMO manipulations in the Mike Duffy case. The judge has reserved judgment in Carson’s case; he’ll face charges for illegal lobbying next year.

Harper famously hid in a closet earlier this year. When he came out, Harris writes, he dragged his skeletons with him. And now that they are on full view, his base is not pleased. A recent Abacus poll found:

that Conservative voters are the ones least likely to say their party’s leader really wants their vote (67 per cent), has values that line up with their own (46 per cent) and has new ideas about how to improve the economy (52 per cent.)

Compare that to the Liberal camp, where 85 per cent say Trudeau wants their vote, 56 per cent believe his values are pretty much the same as theirs, and 80 per cent say he has new ideas about “how to improve the country.” Mulcair also enjoys a much stronger level of commitment from his supporters than Harper, though his numbers were “not quite as strong as those of Mr. Trudeau,” according to the poll.

Perhaps Harper should have stayed in the closet.


18 comments:

Rural said...

Perhaps Carson being known for fraud and theft was WHY he was hired, but either way it says much about Harper's choice of 'advisers'!

Owen Gray said...

It's painfully obvious that Carson possessed a skill set Harper required, Rural. The fact that he had operated outside the law was -- as far as Harper was concerned -- of absolutely no consequence.

Danneau said...

This is precisely why last night's "debate" is such a travesty: the underpinnings of our current government are based on chimeric and untruthful notions of life in Canada, as well as in the wider world. The meanness and sleaze of this crew, especially as embodied in its leader and reflected in cabinet, senate, party operatives, donors and backbench wingnuttery needs to be front and centre in any discussion of who might best govern the country. By limiting the debate to the economy, the whole exercise became a useless wordfest of business platitudes and hackneyed notions of social structure. Sad that more people aren't reading, digesting and operating on the material that Harris et al have put at our disposal.

Owen Gray said...

Harris is a superb journalist who argues a superb case, Danneau. It's been awhile since you commented. It's good to have you back.

Toby said...

"Owen Gray said...

It's painfully obvious that Carson possessed a skill set Harper required . . . "

Does Harper hire anyone who is not an extreme Christian?

Dana said...

A debate sponsored by the G&M was always going to be a full bodied farce.

Crawley and Walmsley were never going to set up and participate in any situation where anything significant could be truly debated by any substantial definition of the word.

It was Crawley who ordered Walmsley to veto the editorial board decision to endorse the Wynn Liberals and instead to endorse the dumbest dork of any persuasion Canadian politics has seen in many years.

Crawley probably spent the evening with a bad case of bruxism that Trudeau and Mulcair were allowed to speak.

I'm astonished that so many people I thought understood that this would be a meaningless puppet show actually watched and paid attention. I hope it was at least good theatre although given the quality of the performers I can't imagine it would have been.

Owen Gray said...

At least we can now see some differences between candidates, Dana. But I have to wonder how many people actually saw the debate.

Owen Gray said...

Good question, Toby. But Carson doesn't strike me as Christian.

Toby said...

"Owen Gray said...

Good question, Toby. But Carson doesn't strike me as Christian."

None of Harper's people strike me as Christian. Harper and his cadre and many of his supporters talk up Christian talking points but they don't seem like nice people to me. Frankly, the type of Christianity they subscribe to looks to have more similarity with a criminal gang than meaningful religion. In that context, a guy like Carson fits right in.

Owen Gray said...

Apparently, Toby, someone once asked Gandhi if he ever thought of becoming a Christian. His answer was, "I might have -- if I had met one."

HippyTreeMan said...

Those so called Christians can act mean because of the Calvinist Doctrine, God has chosen those who are worthy, and those not. So it's ok to discard those(sinners) people. It's also called Reformed Christianity! Sound familiar?
When Gandhi was asked about Western civilization, he said he thought it would be a good idea!
Shawn

Mogs Moglio said...

I noted there was a little talk about students and seniors. The concentration of blab was 'middle class' nothing was offered for the worst off segment of our society. Veterans, disabled, First Nations, the poor or lower class and no mention of the worst off in our society homeless and others living under the poverty-line.

Harper still dreams in his Utopian ideals of 'Reaganomics or Voo-Doo Economics' where giving the rich and large corporations a free pass will automatically raise the lot of everyone under them. This has proved to be such a sham as income inequality rears its ugly head where ever that hocus-pocus melody is hummed. Also the money instead of filtering down or even dribbling down finds its way into off shore tax havens and tax loopholes its way by the taxation and revenue department. The poor more and more take to the streets where they find alcohol, drugs, crime and violence. What a pitiful/despicable way to run a wealthy country. We have the rich hoarders that buy their way into government favoritism and dictate government policy for their own benefit embellish themselves with luxury and do little else than assist in stagnating the economy instead of investing into it or contributing with that questionable treasure trove of hoarded loot.

http://gregpike.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/stephen-harper-more-prisons-for-poor-and-mentally-ill.jpg

The Mound of Sound said...

What do you mean suggesting Carson wasn't a Christian. He was doing plenty of missionary work atop that stripper, trying to redeem her from her sordid past and put her on the path to righteousness.

Owen Gray said...

All part of doing God's work, Mound.

Owen Gray said...

Thanks for the link, Mogs. It's straight out of Dickens.

Owen Gray said...

They say, Shawn, that they are only doing God's work -- separating the wheat from the chaff.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

I always feel encouraged Owen,when I read Harris.He always points out how Harper may very well lose and he backs up why he thinks this. It warms, my sometimes too cynical heart.I find it hard to even watch/listen to Harper these days. To me the cat is out of the bag with him.Now when I do see or listen to him he comes across to me as pure sleaze.

Owen Gray said...

A little of Harper has always gone a long ways, Pam. We'd be in a better position if he were long gone.