Friday, December 14, 2012

The MacKay Mission

I really have nothing new to add to the sad spectacle of ministerial incompetence epitomized by Defense Minister Peter MacKay, whose ongoing mission and primary responsibilibilty seems to be never admitting to error or apologizing. However, the Star's Tim Harper does have some thoughts on the reasons for his intransigence in today's column:

For his part, MacKay has adopted the warrior stance of the men and women he represents in his ministry. No surrender, no weakness.

In politics, an apology is seen as a sign of weakness, a hole to be exploited by your opponents and, in MacKay’s case, it is far better to endure humiliation than to utter a mea culpa after more than two years of obfuscation, lowballing and attacks on the patriotism of anyone criticizing the F-35 fighter jet procurement program.

Perhaps the most compelling reason for his reticence lies in what an admission of error would really mean:

... it would cut to the core of the Conservative brand — its financial rectitude — and dredge up the charges that the government deceived the public during the 2011 election campaign.

Harper goes on to detail the internal humiliation that this proud soldier of the No Apologies PMO has had to endure:

He had his toys taken away. After the auditor-general’s report, the government created a fighter jet secretariat and handed the file to Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose.

He had to sit, mute, in the Commons while Liberals brayed for his resignation and surrogates answered for him.

His increasingly chippy parliamentary secretary, Chris Alexander, has an ongoing starring role in political talk shows trying to explain this failed process for MacKay.

He had to endure those Top Gun images, played on an endless loop, of him strapped in the cockpit in 2010.

All doubtlessly hurtful to Central Nova's favourite son.

I find myself curiously unmoved by his plight.


  1. Mackay is paying the price of throwing in his lot with Stephen Harper, Lorne. As Brian Mulroney told John Turner: "You had an option, sir."

  2. One wonders why these guys always throw in their lot with the morally reprehensible team, Owen.