The saga continues of Senators Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau, fighting for their jobs in the Canadian Senate. We covered this earlier on the blog and now new revelations have come to pass in the Senate.
Duffy stood in his place in the Chamber and said not only did the PMO’s Chief of Staff bucks up to the tune of $90K for Duffy’s expense issues, but the Conservative Party itself, the chief legal beagle, coughed up more than $13K for Duffy’s legal fees fighting the expense issues.
Yesterday and today, the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons, Tom Mulcair, has been very surgically cutting our Prime Minister, Stephen “Call Me the Right Honourable Stephen Harper” Harper a new one about every time Mulcair rises in the House to ask a question or two of the PM. It’s coming down to who knew what and when and then decided to bullshit us about it. We are condensing the argument a bit.
Herewith however is a prediction on the endgame:
Harper can’t afford to lose this one as he will come off as not only less than accurate with the truth but willing to throw anyone under the bus that comes near besmirching his reputation. That means the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has the wagons in a circle and the pitchforks are out. Nigel Wright has already found out exactly what price you pay and it is steep: Your career goes up in flames in the course of an afternoon along with the money, the pension and the kind of mind-altering demi-god power that comes from being in the PMO at a very high level. Nobody from the party will answer your calls, sent immediately to voicemail as soon as your name shows up on call display. Might as well move to Hamilton and open a nail salon for double amputees.
The PMO knows that the general public consensus is that the Senate is a bloated anachronistic money pit. The Conservatives have run a few federal campaigns now saying they want to reform the Senate and make it over as a Triple E Senate, meaning Equal, Elected and Effective, but have never grown the set required to do it as the PMO has no other way to reward party hacks, flacks, bagmen and teat massagers at a certain level of contribution, except Senate seats. A appointment for two terms to the Oil Seeds and Grains Commission isn’t going to cut it as a thanks for raising untold millions of dollars for the Party. Ergo, the Senate has to stay for at least another two years in its current format of Triple E, inEqual, unElected, undEr the PMO’s control.
A formal RCMP or Senate (or both)- led investigation of the whole sordid mess would open doors the PMO would rather not have opened. Both imply legal standing and the ability to subpoena witnesses to testify under oath, as well as the potential for actual legal charges. The PMO knows that a legal investigation can’t and won’t be side tracked. Nixon learned that the hard way with Watergate and even firing Archibald Cox in the Saturday Night Massacre only delayed the inevitable.
Opting to punt to a Royal Commission or a Standing Committee is an option. By the time the results are tabled from either a Royal or Standing, Harper will have moved back to Calgary, finished up his career as an economist, then retired to Florida with his lime green Sansabelt slacks up to here, complaining about the government full-time. Except the Opposition knows this game and not going to let it get traction by hammering Harper daily in Question Period. QP is a blood sport up here, played for keeps under the provisions of Standing Order 30(5).
The last two endgames are the most grisly. One, Duffy’s big clanking pair of brass attachments pushes Harper over the edge, with Wallin and Brazeau offering their own versions of the push off the ledge. Harper could say “Eff this” and pull the yellow handle, taking his Rt. Hon to retirement. Unfortunately the Conservative Party has no one on the bench to take over from Harper. Anyone with even the slightest potential to be liked more than Harper is not sitting in the House. Anyone who has a profile anywhere near Harper’s has already been ball-gaged and nobody from the private sector wants that kind of treatment from the party punks.
The other endgame is also unpleasant. We call it the “Bring It Bitches” scenario whereby Harper lets the RCMP loose and we find out exactly how venal the whole process of Parliament has become. It might take two or three years, but we find out that the Conservative party very carefully vets any candidates before even the nomination meetings at the riding level to assess their malleability. How funding at the party level makes sure that only those anointed are nominated and woe betide those that do not toe the line. We’ll find out about the continuous cluster act that is our military procurement process and how far the Party is in bed with the military contractors who lavish money the right way. We’ll also find out that the real agenda for the Party is to gut and privatize as much of the government as possible to their buddies as a reward. We might also see that there is a real, tangible religious overtone to the behaviour of the PMO that harkens back to the truly odious days of the Reform Party. (The Reform Party would have changed Canadian same-sex marriage laws to allow the use of copper-jacket or explosive-tipped rounds in dealing with same-sex couples, trade unions and aboriginal affairs. We only partially jest.)
Now, which one will come to fruition? We don’t know, but we’re in for a ride. This isn’t going away. Duffy and Wallin are owed too many favours by their old media buddies who still work the Hill.
And the headlines are too much fun to write.