"You're making an issue out of Duffy? He's a nothing. Harper has produced good government."
Politicians are not responsible for their supporters. But the tirade at a Conservative event speaks volumes to how concerned Conservative supporters are with the 2015 federal election.
The same person after the Q&A accused the female reporter of cheating on her taxes more than Duffy ever did and then calling her a "lying piece of shit."
During the event, the voice was overheard yelling as a reporter was asking a Duffy related question, "Ask questions on the topic at hand."
Everyone has confidence that victory is coming, regardless of the odds. Desperation is a character sign, especially when a party has been in power for almost a decade.
The Conservatives have been strong at limiting the message so the supporter is certainly aware of the party's tactics. Duffy's level of alleged cheating definitely outweighs most Canadians. Besides the obvious objection to Nigel Wright giving $90,000 of his money to Mike Duffy is that most Canadians don't have $90,000 laying around, especially on the heels of a national recession.
Part of the "good government" that the Conservative supporter says Harper has produced was selecting Duffy, Pamela Wallin, and Patrick Brazeau. Harper also appointed ordained minister Don Meredith to the Senate. The Conservatives kicked him out of the caucus after people found out he was having an affair with a girl that started when she was 16. The prime minister also appointed Jacques Demers, former NHL coach: turns out Demers was functionally illiterate.
Duffy is also accused of using Senate expenses to do work for the Conservative Party. In other words, taxpayer money was spent on party business. That is definitely not good government.
Nigel Wright said he didn't see the significance between having people believe Duffy paid off the expenses and not having that actually be true.
Wright said that the public believing that Sen. Mike Duffy repaid the $90,000 in expenses was not "bad misrepresentation."
In other words, a plan was set up to lie to Canadians that a sitting senator was paying back expenses. In fact, the prime minister's chief of staff was paying back those $90,000 expenses out of his own pocket and concocted a lie to tell the Canadian people. It wasn't worth telling his boss about the lie, but he thinks what happened was no big deal.
In one of the e-mails, Wright said he wanted Conservative Senator Irving Gerstein to "work through senior contacts at Deloitte," the firm conducting the independent audit of the senators. Wright insists he wanted the review dropped for Duffy since he had agreed to repay his expenses.
Duffy was worried about being kicked out of the Senate for not living in Prince Edward Island, but he was only in the Senate to represent the province, where he didn't actually live.
Ray Novak is Harper's current chief of staff. The debate is whether Novak knew of the Wright's plan. Harper has said all along that Novak didn't know; the sworn testimony says otherwise.
The Nigel Wright testimony has proven quite fascinating, opening our eyes to how the Harper government treated its citizens. The CBC could get fabulous ratings (by CBC standards) but running the testimony as a drama series leading up to October 19. After all, the Duffy/Wright/Harper scandal is definitely interesting Canadian content.
We noted in the original announcement of the debates that the French language broadcast consortium debate was going to run opposite the opening night of the NHL season and, more importantly, the opening game for Les Habs.
Well, the powers involved fixed that potential crisis. The French language broadcast consortium debate will now be on September 24. The English language broadcast consortium debate is still at the hideous time of 6:30p Eastern on October 8.
Turns out Harper is only "allergic" to the English language broadcast consortium debate. He will be at the French language broadcast consortium debate. That debate also marks the only other debate (other than the one already completed) where Stephen Harper and Elizabeth May will be in the same debate. May has not been invited to the other debates outside of the broadcast consortium debates.
Here is the full schedule for the rest of the debates.
|September 17||Globe and Mail||Economy||8p-10p|
|September 24||Broadcast Consortium (French)||General||8p-10p|
|September 28||Munk Debate||Foreign Policy||7p-9p|
|October 2||TVA (French)||General||8p-10p|
|October 8||Broadcast Consortium (English)||General||6:30p-8p|
During the first debate, Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau had different approaches to solving the Senate issue. Mulcair and the NDP want to abolish the upper chamber. Trudeau wants to reform the body. Harper said he wouldn't appoint any more senators, though that appears to be against the Constitution.
Abolishing the Senate will take the provinces. The Maritime provinces and Quebec want the power they get from the Senate. The rest of the country mostly wouldn't mind seeing the Senate disappear.
In an ancient time, when I studied the Canadian Senate at university, the complaint was that it wasn't elected and was dominated by Liberals. The thought from Western Canada was that a Western leader would make Canadian senators be elected. Stephen Harper hasn't done so.
This is a country where no provinces have a Senate. Even I don't know what the Senate actually does. If you are looking for which leader will do better with the Senate -- either Mulcair or Trudeau -- under Mulcair, you will get NDP senators for the first time in the history of the body, while under Trudeau, none of the current senators are in the Liberal caucus, trying to make them more independent.
photo credit: CBC News Network