R28: Harper’s Senate, Duffy

Like many people in Canada, I’m a bit tired of the whole Mike Duffy affair in Canadian politics. We all know (or at least were not surprised) when the accusations were made that Duffy was Conservative fundraiser who (in spite of the party’s well funded coffers) claimed to be travelling and meeting people and researching on Senate business when in fact he was billing the Canadian people for personal matters (Global News, 2015). Much though he was also campaigning for the Conservative cause (National Observer, 2015), that is apparently permitted under Senate rules. He had claimed expenses that were not valid to be claimed: hardly surprising. Even a bit boring. It’s certainly nice to hear some claim of accountability for the Canadian political class, but it’s all so complex (at least in their minds) and so beyond the reach of the masses (of which I would be one) that I’ve got to admit I find some of that a true anti-climax. If the same accusations had been made of one of my peers, he or she would have been fired and probably arrested. Duffy, oh-so-predictably, has been reinstated to the Senate and is collecting his generous benefits again. Must be nice.

One thing that I have found interesting in all this, however, is the testimony of the various Conservative Leaders: which, under oath, have contradicted each other time and again (Huffington Post, 2015; The Star, 2015; National Post, 2015; Macleans, 2015). Now I’m not implying that there might be any one of the perjuring themselves on the witness stand; people remember things differently, and that’s quite normal. But it’s also amazingly convenient. 

What this indicates to me is true depth to which these politicians are… deceiving each other, is that a soft enough word?… with regard to activities and agreements going on around them, motivations and profits, and the trust that really is nowhere: except for the implicit and overarching quest for power. If nothing else it illustrates why Stephen Harper and his cronies need to be removed from government. At best, Harper simply wasn’t aware of all the machinations and the deception going on around him: which tells a lot for his capacity of discernment and his ability to identify wolves in sheep’s’ clothing. They were practically baying at the moon. But at worst: well, my mind won’t go to the worst. I’d like to think that we didn’t elect corruption into power, but it is possible we did. It’s one of those things that doesn’t help much to say I didn’t vote for him. Enough of us did, and that is to our shame.

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