Saturday, October 26, 2013

Time For Pushback From The Public

Despite the fact that Stephen Harper is 'toughing it out' in The House of Commons under the relentless grilling of Thomas Mulcair, probably believing that the majority of Canadians are either incapable of or unwilling to follow the byzantine path of the Senate scandal, a wealth of letters in today's Star calls into doubt such a cynical assessment. I encourage you to personally check them out, as well as a link I place at the end of the post. I reproduce a few of the highlights below:

Scrappy PM denies role in Duffy coverup, Oct. 24

Stephen Harper now acknowledges that he told Duffy “he should repay his expenses” and that “It is not appropriate for people to claim an expense that they really did not incur even though they think they can technically argue it is somehow within the rules.”

By this statement, Harper is saying that Duffy lives in Ottawa and could only use a technicality to claim living expenses. Then is Harper not guilty of using the same technicality that Duffy owns a cottage in P.E.I. to appoint him as the senator representing P.E.I., when the Constitution says a senator appointed for a province must be a resident of that province?

The real scandal is that the prime minister acts as if he is above the law.

Charles Shrybman, Brampton

With his long foreshadowed and theatrical speech in the Senate, Mike Duffy has basically given voice to what many Canadians already believed was the truth. Stephen Harper’s reputation as prime minister is that of a control freak. Public perception is that elected officials are not allowed to speak without permission and then must restrict their remarks to PMO-approved talking points. Keeping underlings on message is a Harper tactic and he is not above micromanaging their portfolios. To believe that this prime minister could have senior staff in his office conducting affairs of this magnitude without him having the least inkling strains credulity.

Rory McRandall, Bancroft

Stephen Harper claimed that he had no knowledge of the plan concocted in his own office and carried out by Nigel Wright to repay Mike Duffy’s questionable expenses, because “I obviously would never have approved such a scheme.” Then why did Harper so vigorously defend Wright for this action for days after it became public? Why did he send Pierre Poilievre to the political talk shows to defend Wright’s writing of this cheque out of his own pocket, claiming that it was an almost heroic thing to do and that he was saving the taxpayers a lot of money? People don’t usually defend a scheme they wouldn’t approve of.

Margaret Perrault, North Bay

This pithy missive is perhaps the best one to end with:

Stephen Harper came into power promising to get rid of the Senate. It might just be the Senate that gets rid of Stephen Harper.

Edward Carson, Toronto

By the way, for more about how Stephen Harper and his ilk regard the general public, The Star's Susan Delacourt's piece is well-worth reading.


  1. Mr. Harper has worked very hard to tamp down rebellion in his House caucus, Lorne. But I'm betting that he didn't count on rebellion in the Senate -- and he's scared.

  2. Lorne, I left a comment here yesterday about Harpo. Maybe I overlooked and it did not show up. Maybe 'letters' were not properly entered.

    1. I double checked, LD, but did not find anything. I hope you will send it again.

  3. Lorne, primarily I said that up to recently Harper maintained that "nobody' knew about Nigel Wright and Mike Duffy money exchange. After the bombshell speech by Duffy in the Senate now Harper says 'a few people knew'. The man lies through his teeth.

    1. And the sad part is, LeDaro, he is arrogant enough to assume that no one will notice or care about the discrepancy.