Mike Duffy & Pamela Wallin - "We've been 'thrown under the bus' by the Conservatives!"

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quizzical

was reading an article linked above or somewhere and it's just like i thought. what the senate is currently doing i mean. they're making a law

"Wallin, along with senators Mike Duffy and Patrick Brazeau, face motions that would suspend them from the Senate, and strip them of pay and benefits because of inappropriately claimed expenses.

The motions will be voted on Wednesday if they aren't sent to committee for study, as Liberal Senate Leader James Cowan proposed Tuesday.

After Wallin's speech, the Senate began to debate Cowan's motion first, before addressing the motions to suspend her, as well as Duffy and Brazeau."

i'll link again 

and i just went looking for a senate job description link too to see if i remembered right. the section Operation of the Canadian Senate  legislative process

i'm going to write to the BC senators and to my MP stating they'd better not be voting to get around due process by supporting the PMO's desires. can't hurt. if they think they look bad now wait and see how much canadians hate them if they skirt due process too.

Lens Solution

Jennifer Ditchburn reports today that Pamela Wallin's Senate presentation this afternoon makes it sound like there was a battle to be 'Top Diva' between Wallin, Marjory LeBreton and Carolyn Stewart Olsen.

Wallin said today that LeBreton and Stewart Olsen were jealous of Wallin's fame and prominence and plotted to bring her down with false allegations, etc.

 

http://www.therecord.com/news-story/4170961-pamela-wallin-attacks-fellow...

NorthReport

What about the RCMPs comments today about Liberal Senator Mac Harb? Is he getting due process?

 

Unionist

[url=http://www.vancouversun.com/news/national/prime+minister+stephen+harper+... Minister Stephen Harper’s carefully constructed house of cards comes crashing down [/url]

Quote:

When the history of this tawdry episode is written, this decision — whether it was made by PMO officials, or Conservatives in the Senate, or Harper himself — to seek to cut Duffy, Brazeau and Wallin loose, without pay and without due process, may well go down as the very worst in a cascade of catastrophically bad decisions. Harper must now address allegations of corruption, conspiracy, and strong-arming by his office, tantamount to blackmail. The base, one suspects, will not be pleased.

cco

quizzical wrote:

it's been a bit over a decade since i learned how the parliament works but.....i think i remember the senate can introduce bills or motions in their own right. the bills or motions have to go through readings and stages then are sent to the house for approval or non. once it gets sent to the house and voted on and wins it becomes legislation. or law as it were. should their motion get senate approval and goes to the house it'll get approval and a law is made denying due process if the government thinks due process should go away. and aren't they into the 2nd reading phase now discussing the whole point of the motion?

This isn't a new law, much less some kind of judicial indictment or trial-by-parliament a la Charles I. It's an internal Senate procedural motion. The Senate can only suspend them without pay. It can't vote to throw them in the hoosegow or even demand charges be laid against them by the Crown.

George Baker is confused (or more likely disingenuous) by the fact the motion mentions "gross negligence", which is something that can also be a criminal charge. But the Senate voting to suspend Duffy et al wouldn't preclude any such criminal charges against them under "double jeopardy", because they wouldn't be in jeopardy (criminally speaking) to begin with.

If you shoot your boss, the fact that he fires you won't stop you from going to jail -- not even if your boss is the Senate government leader.

terrytowel wrote:
If Duffy cannot afford his heart medication, would he qualify for the Onatrio Drug Plan?

Duffy's over 65. Either Ontario or PEI would, as I read it, cover his meds.

Lens Solution

Unionist wrote:

[url=http://www.vancouversun.com/news/national/prime+minister+stephen+harper+... Minister Stephen Harper’s carefully constructed house of cards comes crashing down [/url]

Quote:

When the history of this tawdry episode is written, this decision — whether it was made by PMO officials, or Conservatives in the Senate, or Harper himself — to seek to cut Duffy, Brazeau and Wallin loose, without pay and without due process, may well go down as the very worst in a cascade of catastrophically bad decisions. Harper must now address allegations of corruption, conspiracy, and strong-arming by his office, tantamount to blackmail. The base, one suspects, will not be pleased.

Unfortunately, the last 3 elections have demonstrated that Harper is very smart and very good at persuading his base to keep voting for him.  I think they will stick with him.  I don't think they are likely to vote for Trudeau or Mulcair.  Harper knows that.  They believe whatever they tell him and keep coming out to support him.

janfromthebruce

Pogo wrote:

I don't think the process is at all fair.  I just can't get worked up about it.  It is just so messy.  They admit cheating but said they had a blessing to cheat and then that blessing was taken away but they were told all would be smoothed over.  Now they are being railroaded out of their job.  Personally I don't want due process I want whatever it takes to scare any future politician from sticking their hands into the candy jar.

I basically am with Pogo about this. They admit scamming the system but everybody does it so it's okay. Duffy, Wallin, and Brazeau are no victims, and Stephen Harper is far from innocent. So to somehow try to make these elites into victims is hard for this ordinary Canadian to understand.

Jacob Two-Two

I agree too in principle, but it's still better to do things by the book so nobody can muddle the story later on. It's best if they're found guilty before they take their public flogging.

socialdemocrati...

Demanding questions from Harper IS due process. Duffy has admitted all the wrong things he's done, and his defense is that it was entirely approved by the party leadership. So that's the next step.

NorthReport

--

Lens Solution

Audio — LeBreton: Wallin’s charges are ludicrous

 

http://www.ipolitics.ca/2013/10/23/audio-lebreton-wallins-charges-are-lu...

janfromthebruce

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

Demanding questions from Harper IS due process. Duffy has admitted all the wrong things he's done, and his defense is that it was entirely approved by the party leadership. So that's the next step.

The problem with Duffy is that for him to be believable is that he has to be considered credible. So he already, previously has shown to fudge the truth and thus his moral authority of the "truth" is also a huge problem.

mark_alfred

Interesting story about Liberal Senator Colin Kenny allegedly misusing staff to organize personal rather than professional obligations.  Interesting too is Trudeau's relatively calm reaction to this compared with his reaction to the Con senators' misuse of resources.

bekayne

janfromthebruce wrote:

Well today in the House, as for concern for due process and all, both Cons and Libs voted down NDP MP Scott's motion for increasing acct in the senate.

While the Conservatives dragged their feet, the NDP developed practical steps to bring more accountability to the Senate immediately. As we move towards abolition, this NDP motion would have immediately made the Senate more answerable to Canadians.

New Democrats were optimistic that the old-line parties would re-evaluate their use of the Senate as an extension of their party organizations—and support our motion. Our practical measures sought to end senators’ partisan activities and limit taxpayer-funded travel to activities directly related to their parliamentary work.

Were the other parties under 80 years old when the CCF started calling them "old-line parties"?

 

NorthReport

That would make them much older parties now.  Laughing

terrytowel

But Wallin is 60, does she qualify for the Ontario drug plan. As a former cancer survivor what is she going to do now that she is broke?

This has left my reputation — hard earned over 40 years — in tatters.

- Pam Wallin.

Full text oh her speech at link

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/10/23/pamela_wallins_statement_t...

jerrym

CBC's Power and Politics Ballot Box Question today was: 

Who do you believe the most?

The Prime Minister 13%

Mike Duffy 78%

Pamela Wallin 5%

Not sure 4%

While this far-from-scientific survey could be significantly skewed, the fact that 6 times as many people in the survey believe Duffy's story is closer to reality than Harper's story, suggest that, even taking into account this could be quite a way off the general population's beliefs, only a relatively small fraction of the population believe Harper, placing him and the Cons in deep trouble.

 

terrytowel

This is serious. Mike Duffy has a heart condition. Pam Wallin is a cancer survivor. Patrick Brazeau is battling mental illness.

How are they suppose to access health benefits if they get kicked out.

Perscriptions drug out of pocket are sky high in costs.

 

the grey

[double post]

the grey

Unionist wrote:

Pogo wrote:

I doubt if the NDP would ever appoint Senators.

I agree, although I do recall many people professing surprise when the ex-Reform Party started doing so - as well as collecting Parliamentary pensions. Promises are easier to keep when you don't yet have the means of breaking them.

When the NDP forms government it will, and should, appoint Senators. 

 

Abolishing the Senate requires a constitutional amendment and the consent of 2/3 of the provinces with 50% of the country's population (unless the Supreme Court decides otherwise).  (Quebec better be included as one of the approving provinces.)  It will take time.  It may take years.  It might take a referendum to get some provinces on side.  It might end up taking more than one term in government.

 

Until it is abolished, every piece of legislation an NDP government passes through the House of Commons will have to make its way through the Senate.  The NDP will not be able to have a majority in the Senate, but will need to have a presence there in order to prioritize legislation and push it through, and so that it will be clear if (when?) unelected Senators are attempting to block or delay the will of the democratically elected government. 

 

The NDP will also need to appoint a Speaker of the Senate, and appoint a Leader of the Government in the Senate.  It should not appoint members of the Liberal or Conservative caucus to those roles.

 

Hopefully the NDP will make a clear statement about how it will address Senate appointments well before the next election.  There is nothing inconsistent about saying both that the NDP's goal is to abolish the Senate, and setting out how the NDP will handle appointments to the Senate until that goal is accomplished.

Unionist

the grey wrote:

Hopefully the NDP will make a clear statement about how it will address Senate appointments well before the next election.  There is nothing inconsistent about saying both that the NDP's goal is to abolish the Senate, and setting out how the NDP will handle appointments to the Senate until that goal is accomplished.

Agreed.

But I suspect the NDP isn't intellectually adept (or electorally courageous) enough to pursue the subtle position that you advocate - abolish the Senate, but improve it in the meantime.

Like the other parties, their track record demonstrates greater facility at making promises and then breaking them.

 

Brachina

Here is how to handle Senate Appointments in the mean time...Don't make any.

Its really that simple, there is no benifit in adding NDP hacks to the Liberal and Tory hacks, we won't gain enough seats for it to make a difference so why bother.

I'm still hoping Harper decides to abolish it at which point it will already be gone before the NDP even gets there.

Aristotleded24

the grey wrote:
Abolishing the Senate requires a constitutional amendment and the consent of 2/3 of the provinces with 50% of the country's population (unless the Supreme Court decides otherwise).  (Quebec better be included as one of the approving provinces.)

The easiest way around that would be for Mulcair to call a national referendum on Senate abolition, and when he wins, dare any provincial Premier to stand in the way.

mark_alfred

the grey wrote:

Abolishing the Senate requires a constitutional amendment and the consent of 2/3 of the provinces with 50% of the country's population (unless the Supreme Court decides otherwise).  (Quebec better be included as one of the approving provinces.)  It will take time.  It may take years.  It might take a referendum to get some provinces on side.  It might end up taking more than one term in government.

What's your source for the above claim?  Because I haven't seen this anywhere.  I have seen reports that the Quebec Court of Appeal rejected Bill C-7, the Conservatives' recent attempt to reform the Senate (with set term limits and elected senators), but I haven't read any official decision yet on what's required to abolish the senate.  link

CBC article wrote:

The Quebec Court of Appeal has released an opinion that the federal government had no right, under Bill C-7, to create Senate elections and set term limits without seeking provincial approval.

ETA:  In rethinking it, perhaps it can be surmised from the decision described above that any change in the Constitution, be it either reform or abolition of the Senate, would require 2/3 of the provinces with 50% of the country's population, as you stated.  Still, if you have a source that definitively states that abolition would require this, then do share.  The government apparently is going to put forward six points to the Supreme Court for clarification.

Even if abolition would require 2/3 of the provinces with 50% of the country's population, I don't see the point in the NDP appointing senators.  The focus would be on negotiating with the provinces.  If the required provincial gov'ts were online, along with the HofC and most of the electorate, then I doubt the senate would block abolition.

the grey

mark_alfred wrote:

the grey wrote:

Abolishing the Senate requires a constitutional amendment and the consent of 2/3 of the provinces with 50% of the country's population (unless the Supreme Court decides otherwise). 

What's your source for the above claim?  Because I haven't seen this anywhere.  I have seen reports that the Quebec Court of Appeal rejected Bill C-7, the Conservatives' recent attempt to reform the Senate (with set term limits and elected senators), but I haven't read any official decision yet on what's required to abolish the senate.  link

[...]

ETA:  In rethinking it, perhaps it can be surmised from the decision described above that any change in the Constitution, be it either reform or abolition of the Senate, would require 2/3 of the provinces with 50% of the country's population, as you stated.  Still, if you have a source that definitively states that abolition would require this, then do share.  The government apparently is going to put forward six points to the Supreme Court for clarification.

Even if abolition would require 2/3 of the provinces with 50% of the country's population, I don't see the point in the NDP appointing senators.  The focus would be on negotiating with the provinces.  If the required provincial gov'ts were online, along with the HofC and most of the electorate, then I doubt the senate would block abolition.

I've read the reference case Re: Authority of Parliament in relation to the Upper House, [1980] 1 S.C.R. 54, and the Constitution Act, 1982.  7+50 is the minimum requirement.  There is a very slim chance that the Supreme Court will say that unanimity is required ... which makes my point even stronger.

The Senate cannot block abolition.  It can only delay constitutional amendments by 180 days.  The provinces, on the other hand, can delay it significantly (or block it completely) ... either because they want other constitutional changes to be made, or want to try to salvage a reformed Senate, or because they want some other concessions from the federal government, or simply because they want to make an NDP government sweat.  A referendum is one obvious solution, but one that also takes time, and still requires the necessary provincial governments to approve after it is done.  It won't likely speed things up.

The point is that an NDP government should still be doing everything it can to pass its other agenda items through the parliament we have until this one is accomplished.  An NDP government won't be able to appoint enough Senators to get a majority, but it will  be able to appoint enough to set the agenda in the Senate and make it clear if the opposition Senators are intentionally delaying NDP legislation that has popular support in the country.  In the absence of at least a handful of NDP Senators it will be too easy for the Senate to spend time debating legislation that an NDP government doesn't really care about, while letting legislation it does care about sit and wait, without it being obvious that they are doing so intentionally.

We want to change the system.  But we recognize that we need to do as much as we can in the system we have until we succeed in making those changes.  (Just like supporters of electoral reform should continue trying to win first-past-the-post elections until a proportional system is introduced.) 

socialdemocrati...

A possiblility that people don't acknowledge is a multi-partisan consensus.

The provincial level should be obvious. Before some party discipline was imposed on him by the feds, Dalton McGuinty supported abolishing the senate. Brad Wall of Saskatchewan supports abolishing the senate, in spite of being closely aligned with the Conservatives and the Reform Party movement.

Does anyone else think it's interesting that Harper would put the question about abolition to the Supreme Court, while making the case for reform? Granted, it might just be an exercise in thoroughness. But old Reformers (not to mention Harper) have stated support for abolition in the past, at least as the best alternative to reform. And as the old PC wing moves on, there will be fewer people defending the glory days of Senate patronage. There ARE Conservatives who hate the Senate enough to abolish it.

And then there's the element of political pressure. The Conservatives are losing credibility (if not votes) over this scandal. There isn't a wave of populist resentment demanding the senate be abolished, but there aren't any voters who support the status quo, and abolition is at least on par with reform in terms of popularity. There's also a growing fatigue and depression among working class Conservatives who feel the party is out of touch with them.

Meanwhile, the Liberals have crashed right into the Senate, trying to attack Harper's senators without drawing attention to their own (Mac Harb, Colin Kenney...) I wouldn't underestimate the Conservatives looking for a way out, let alone turning this into a win. They're not above co-opting the NDP's ideas on consumer protection. Could the Conservatives eventually feel enough pressure to push for abolition?

It's a real possibility. To recap, there are Conservative leaders who are open to abolition, if not quietly supportive. There's an intellectually conservative case to be made for abolition (less government, less spending). There's a cross-partisan populist base who would see it as a victory for the little guy over the fat cats. There are provincial premiers who would fall in line, not just New Democrats but Conservatives and Liberals. And there's an opportunity to leave the Federal Liberals holding the bag of shit that is the senate, which would be really embarassing if even Liberal premiers sided with abolition.

Abolition could be a win-win-win for Harper. Pass a version of reform that he championed. Claim that he resolved a scandal. Get the NDP off his back. Rally some populists. Stick it to the Liberals. Show he's able to work across party lines and cooperate with the provinces.

In a few years time, we might hear politicians competing over who can get rid of the senate faster.

 

mark_alfred

the grey wrote:

The point is that an NDP government should still be doing everything it can to pass its other agenda items through the parliament we have until this one is accomplished.  An NDP government won't be able to appoint enough Senators to get a majority, but it will  be able to appoint enough to set the agenda in the Senate and make it clear if the opposition Senators are intentionally delaying NDP legislation that has popular support in the country.  In the absence of at least a handful of NDP Senators it will be too easy for the Senate to spend time debating legislation that an NDP government doesn't really care about, while letting legislation it does care about sit and wait, without it being obvious that they are doing so intentionally.

We want to change the system.  But we recognize that we need to do as much as we can in the system we have until we succeed in making those changes.  (Just like supporters of electoral reform should continue trying to win first-past-the-post elections until a proportional system is introduced.) 

Unlike the Conservatives, the NDP should be true to its word and not appoint senators if the NDP achieves power.  They would simply undermine themselves if they chose to follow the path you've outlined above, I feel, and this would not help them in any sense.  Attempts by the Senate to obstruct or unreasonably delay the passage of legislation would hasten its demise, I feel.  Regarding abolition, as is the case of any job lay-off, a reasonable severance would have to be given.  A company that is going to close a redundant useless plant should not be engaged in mass hirings to keep it at full capacity -- that's just silly.  Not filling vacancies, early retirement packages, severances, and properly moving to close the plant (or in this case the redundant and useless Senate) is the way to go.

mark_alfred

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

In a few years time, we might hear politicians competing over who can get rid of the senate faster.

Maybe even in a few months time.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Not since Adscam has the Canadian public paid this much attention to Ottawa's pork barrel culture.  Martin's fiscal resume did not help him when the shit hit the fan and given that Harper's supposed fiscal accumen is largely smoke and mirrors he is now stuck in the mud trying to figure out whether it is quicksand or just a peat bog.

jerrym

On the CBC National At Issue panel Bruce Anderson, a pollster, noted that everywhere he went people were talking about the scandal. While this is an anecdote, not a scientific poll, and I took it with a grain of salt, my wife made a similar comment without knowing what Anderson had said. She noted that people who never talked about anything political at work during her 12 years at this job, are talking about the scandal. I have found a similar situation at my job. Whatever the end result is, this has seemed to have grabbed the public's attention in a way that many other issues have not.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

terrytowel wrote:

This is serious. Mike Duffy has a heart condition. Pam Wallin is a cancer survivor. Patrick Brazeau is battling mental illness.

How are they suppose to access health benefits if they get kicked out.

Perscriptions drug out of pocket are sky high in costs.

 

Did they save nothing for a rainy day? Perhaps they should cash in the [public] contributions made to their RRSPs (oh wait, that is only what plebs are supposed to do, without there being a public part of course).

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

-

bekayne

http://o.canada.com/news/if-the-prime-minister-sets-the-standard-why-has-this-standard-been-so-inconsistent/

But if the prime minister sets the standard, then we are entitled to ask: Why has this standard been so inconsistent? On essentially the same set of facts, the senators in question have been held to three entirely distinct standards: total indulgence, in the first stages of their tenure, when they were viewed as assets to the party; total ostracism, since the scandal broke, when they had become political liabilities; and in between that strange interlude, at least with regard to Duffy, when he was both being punished — pay back your expenses! — and indulged: play along, keep quiet and Nigel will pay.

So if the prime minister seeks to be congratulated for cracking the whip now, he must also accept responsibility for doing nothing before, when the same senators were touring the country attending Tory fundraisers and speaking at campaign events on the public dime. Can he pretend this was a secret? Indeed, he must earnestly hope the auditor general, in the course of his investigations, does not find others of the senators at his command have done the same — as of course must they. For then the hypocrisy would be total.

This is why the Watergate question — what did the prime minster know when — while important, is not the issue. Whether he specifically approved the decision to bail out Duffy, he was the author of the climate of expediency in which it was made. He is responsible, because he is the standard.

 

terrytowel

Pamela Wallin sang this song everything she demanded her staff do something that was nearly impossible to do!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Q6xx0JfMBI

mark_alfred

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/senate-tories-could-alter-proposed-expen...

I suspect the PMO has ordered a bit of a reprieve for Wallin and Brazeau, while still demanding "off with his head" for Duffy.

CBC article Senate Tories could alter proposed expense claims penalty wrote:

He [Claude Carignan] also suggested there was merit to what Wallin and Brazeau said as they defended themselves in speeches to their colleagues over the past week.

Carignan said he believed Brazeau did not interpret financial administration documents properly, and that in his case there was an "element of good faith."

Carignan said Wallin "made an impassioned plea, a good plea" against the sanctions, but added that Duffy "chose to settle political scores rather than answer to the accusations."

Caissa

I wonder if provinces could go to court to force an NDP government to appoint senators. After all Senators are supposed to represent their provinces of residncy.

NorthReport

Let's not get too carried away here and forget about the Liberals, eh!

Is today the 1st day of his trial?

Scandal-plagued mayor of London, Ontario, plans to seek re-election — if he doesn’t end up in jail first

http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/06/14/scandal-plagued-mayor-of-london-...

terrytowel

All three senators have gained a considerable amount of weight these past few weeks. Do you think they have been overeating to deal with all the stress?

NorthReport

What about Liberal Senator Mac Harb or Liberal MP Joe Fontona - are they overweight too?

 

But more importantly who cares what someone weighs?

But I suppose this is the kind of crap one gets from Liberals, when they have nothing to say and they are just trying to bump their thread.

terrytowel

Overeating has been triggered by stress. You disagree?

Patrick Brazeau is battling mental illness, and there are some drugs that do cause one to gain signifigant weight. If you notice the latest pictures of him, he has really gained weight.

So if someone is overeating to compensate for stress, or taking meds that cause weight gain, that is not a valid point of discussion?

Again I'm not a Liberal, I'm an independent that has voted NDP, Liberal and Green in the past.

 

janfromthebruce

Noted that many of Liberal appted senators teaming up with some Cons and beseiged Con senators to save their bacon. That was a sound to behold. Looks like they are done like dinner.

janfromthebruce

Just a tidbit here or a tease:

Darrell Bricker ‏@darrellbricker 26m

While Laurentian Elites in Ottawa can see both sides of Senate issue, those outside fishbowl don't. Not sympathetic to Senators.

reply:

@darrellbricker Liberals like the senate because its the quintessential "Laurentian Elite" institution!

Come back:

Dark horse in all of this is Mulcair and NDP. Holding on to new floor (25% or more), but also standing out on policy.

And said not opinion but "numbers". Interesting times

 

MegB

terrytowel wrote:

Overeating has been triggered by stress. You disagree?

Patrick Brazeau is battling mental illness, and there are some drugs that do cause one to gain signifigant weight. If you notice the latest pictures of him, he has really gained weight.

So if someone is overeating to compensate for stress, or taking meds that cause weight gain, that is not a valid point of discussion?

Again I'm not a Liberal, I'm an independent that has voted NDP, Liberal and Green in the past.

 

Utter speculation.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

This is a good Op Ed from the Tyee. The cartoon above is from the same article.

Quote:

This week Mike Duffy dropped another bombshell on the normally sleepy Senate -- it seems that Conservative Party lawyer Arthur Hamilton may have paid the personal legal bills Duffy incurred while negotiating a scheme from the PMO to conceal this mess from taxpayers.

Mr. Duffy may have achieved what few thought was possible: to make Canadian politics interesting. Last week Duffy was railing against young PMO zealots as "kids in short pants." This week he berated his Senate colleagues for considering a motion that would eliminate their job security and the independence of the upper chamber in one fell swoop: "Are we independent senators or PMO puppets?" Rarely has such a partisan loyalist gone so far off-message but it seems hell hath no fury like a bagman scorned.

http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2013/10/28/Stephen-Harpers-Gift-to-Canada/

mark_alfred

Article about the second cheque.  Next question period should be a good one.

janfromthebruce

Mike Duffy affair an indictment of current system of government

First, the good news: It appears Mike Duffy’s heart condition has improved.

Though he had been unable to appear beside his lawyer at last week’s press conference, and though he was speaking, as he told the Senate Monday, against doctors’ orders, the Senator From Wherever I Designate was somehow able to struggle to his feet and deliver a robust 20-minute broadside, complete with theatrical pauses and infomercial pitch lines (“but wait, there’s more”), accusing the government, not only of buying his silence, but of buying his lawyers. The effort did not appear to tax him unduly.

This time, what is more, the senator had documents. Not as many as he’d let on, and not enough to prove more than a fraction of the charges he levelled at the Prime Minister’s Office, but still: there was the correspondence (using their personal email accounts) with the prime minister’s former chief of staff, Nigel Wright, in which he was encouraged to believe he’d been the victim of a “smear,” and there was the memo from an adviser to Sen. Marjory LeBreton telling him that the constitutional requirement that a senator be “resident” in the province he represents did not mean he had to reside in it, and there was the cheque from the Conservative party lawyer, Arthur Hamilton, to cover his legal fees.

And just in case someone starts to feel empathic towards Duffy here:

(For balance, readers might wish to consult court papers filed by the RCMP, in which the investigating officer swears “I believe that Senator Duffy has demonstrated a pattern of filing fraudulent expense claims.”)

And it looks like all have foot in the mouth disease here:

Still, while the senator hardly cuts a sympathetic figure, and while there is much of Duffy’s story that defies belief, in the broad strokes it is unanswerable. Officials within the Prime Minister’s Office — not only Wright, but others — colluded to bribe a sitting Senator, relieving him of any penalty for filing false expense claims in exchange for his silence. Then both he and they lied about it for months.

Lying and coverup is easy:

But more than just a malfunctioning moral compass is at work here. This whole affair is an indictment, not only of a government, but of a system of government. If the reflexive reaction of officials around the prime minister was to lie and cover up, and to go on lying and covering up, possibly it was because they figured they could get away with it — because our systems of accountability have grown so weak that it is unlikely those in power will ever be made to answer for their actions.

One needs a venue for this to happen:

In any self-respecting democracy, all of these people would have been subpoenaed to appear before a public inquiry or parliamentary committee of some kind, and required to testify under oath. But as this is Canada, we are obliged to rely on Mike Duffy’s self-serving Dance of the Seven Veils.

And it required a disciplined, relentless Official Opposition, drilling Harper and his gang day after day in the House of Commons.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

janfromthebruce wrote:

One needs a venue for this to happen:

In any self-respecting democracy, all of these people would have been subpoenaed to appear before a public inquiry or parliamentary committee of some kind, and required to testify under oath. But as this is Canada, we are obliged to rely on Mike Duffy’s self-serving Dance of the Seven Veils.

And it required a disciplined, relentless Official Opposition, drilling Harper and his gang day after day in the House of Commons.

That image is painful. I don't think I can eat my breakfast.

mark_alfred

janfromthebruce wrote:

One needs a venue for this to happen:

In any self-respecting democracy, all of these people would have been subpoenaed to appear before a public inquiry or parliamentary committee of some kind, and required to testify under oath. But as this is Canada, we are obliged to rely on Mike Duffy’s self-serving Dance of the Seven Veils.

And it required a disciplined, relentless Official Opposition, drilling Harper and his gang day after day in the House of Commons.

Agreed.  The NDP have been great with this, particularly Mulcair. 

janfromthebruce

kropotkin1951 wrote:

janfromthebruce wrote:

One needs a venue for this to happen:

In any self-respecting democracy, all of these people would have been subpoenaed to appear before a public inquiry or parliamentary committee of some kind, and required to testify under oath. But as this is Canada, we are obliged to rely on Mike Duffy’s self-serving Dance of the Seven Veils.

And it required a disciplined, relentless Official Opposition, drilling Harper and his gang day after day in the House of Commons.

That image is painful. I don't think I can eat my breakfast.

Sorry to have ruined your breakfast.

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