Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Mr. Harper's Balloon

Michael Harris writes that the Harper government has a new emblem -- a "two and a half storey hot air balloon floating high in the parliamentary sky over the Ottawa River: Senator Mike Duffy, clutching a briefcase stuffed with cash."

Mr. Harper has always claimed that he is a wise steward of the public purse. There is no better emblem to torpedo that myth than the inflated Senator form Kanata. Duffy may eventually take the prime minister down with him. The list of people Duffy has already taken out is growing:

The body count alone – senators Tkachuk, LeBreton and the prime minister’s chief-of-staff, suggest there is more than a whiff of blameworthiness, if not illegality, in this matter.

The stench will get a little stronger if Senator Gerstein, one of the architects of the In-and-Out scandal, is drawn in. Since he was in charge of the Conservative Party Fund that was initially to be used to pay off Duffy’s expenses, it is hard to imagine how he will not be.

And, of course, besides Wright there are the other quietly departing residents of the PMO. Those who are left are madly trying to keep the rot from destroying anyone else's career. Whether or not that will happen depends on the RCMP:

So it all boils down to how well an RCMP wracked with internal dissent and accusations of political interference in its management structures carries out its investigation. The choice of an investigator is encouraging. Corporal Greg Horton is one of the best, currently assigned to Sensitive and International Investigations, responsible for looking into matters of significant risk to Canada’s political, economic and social integrity. This file certainly qualifies for that.

If things still work in this country, the Mounties will pop Mr. Harper's balloon.


Anonymous said...

Owen, perhaps some in the RCMP have been meeting (or will have the courage to meet) with the opposition, without Boss Harper's permission. Maybe the police will reach the point that to over-look the CONS crime, makes them a part of it.

Owen Gray said...

There are certainly officers who are smarting about what the Harperites have done to the force, Linda. It will be interesting to see if the forces of integrity prevail.

Anonymous said...

The Harperites will also have to change their theme song.

"Would you like to fly
In our beautiful balloon...."

Owen Gray said...

Something tells me, Anon, that -- try as they will -- they will always sing off key.

thwap said...

It looks like Rob Ford got over having been filmed smoking crack cocaine.

I wouldn't be surprised if the system rallies around to protect one its own.

Duffy should already be up on charges for fraud. But instead of being a "crime" his fraud is treated as a "scandal" and all he has to do is hide in embarrassment.

Owen Gray said...

Those in power have all kinds of levers to protect themselves, thwap. But if this is really "a nation of laws, not of men," Duffy should not be able to hide forever.

Danneau said...

We here in B.C. (at least some of us) are still smarting from the coverup of shenanigans relating to the "lease" of B.C, Rail, where some of the principals are getting old enough to die off, and where the constabulary, the prosecutor's office and the bench all give the appearance of having worked to protect the entrenched political clique (See BCMary and Robin Matthews, entre autres). It's amazing how fast the system can become and avenging angel in the case of a street dealer and how recalcitrant in the case of high crimes in high places.

Owen Gray said...

And the longer a regime is in power, Danneau, the more likely it will be that the "circle the wagons" attitude will become entrenched.

The question is: Are the RCMP part of the cabal?

thwap said...

It should be clear by now that Canada is not a nation of laws for the rich and powerful.

Look at Michael Bryant after all.

Look at Mulroney and his bags of money that he "forgot" to report.

And the RCMP? In the final analysis, they're thuggish errand boys, led by corrupt hacks.

None of this will matter and under business-as-usual, harper will sail to another majority in 2 years' time.

Owen Gray said...

If that happens, thwap, we are in deep, deep trouble.