Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook Society provides grassroots leadership and an inclusive process, with a voice for all community members, to ensure that our community grows and develops in a way that incorporates an environmental ethic, offers a range of housing and transportation choices, encourages a vibrant and cultural life and supports sustainable, meaningful employment and business opportunities.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Michael's Musings

"Vengeance first,  justice later", not the Canadian way

By Michael J Morris

"What a mess", my friend said to me the other day as we were waiting in line to get coffee. He didn't have to explain the nature of the mess as Canadians on all sides of the political fence have been tweeting, commenting, liking, following and chatting over coffee about the Senate scandal that has been dominating the news.

Embattled Senator Mike Duffy raised the decibel level when he dropped bombshells in a speech directly implicating the prime minister in the mess. There is also a motion before the Senate to suspend Duffy and Senators Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau. 

Margaret Wente, a columnist with The Globe and Mail with whom I very seldom agree, wrote an excellent piece which I think summed it all up. In part Ms Wente wrote, "...his motto (Stephen Harper) is vengeance first, justice later. That’s why a two-bit scandal over dubious expense claims has morphed into a hideous embarrassment and profoundly shaken his government. The more the Conservatives have tried to rub their problem away, the bigger it’s gotten. And with an RCMP investigation in the works, anything is possible."

During the past week, the prime minister did appear in the House of Commons, and did give answers to questions, but as I tried to digest it all, it was Thomas Mulcair, the leader of the NDP and the Official Opposition who summed it up best by referring to the mess as a "culture of corruption."

I also thought of the line in Marmion by Sir Walter Scott, (often incorrectly attributed to William Shakespeare) "Oh. what a tangled web we weave/when first we practise to deceive".

It remains to be seen who Canadians will ultimately believe -- Duffy or the prime minister. It seems to me the time has come for all the players to testify under oath with full disclosure of all material related to the matter in an open forum, whether that be at an official judicial inquiry or in a courtroom should charges be laid.

My comment to my friend after he made his remark about the mess was, "If Duffy goes down, he will try to take others with him, including the PM" and that's exactly what he set out to do in his Senate speech.

I am really impressed with Senator Hugh Segal, a long time power in the Progressive Conservative Party who says he will not vote for the motion to suspend the three senators. 

Also  Senator Don Plett, a former president of the Conservative party appointed to the Senate by Harper in 2009, is not prepared to vote for the motion as it has been presented. 

Mr. Plett is quoted by Maclean's magazine: “My father introduced me to the world of politics at the young age of 15,” he said. “He counselled and mentored me. He was a Conservative all his life. But first and foremost, he was a man of ethics and integrity. He taught me not to let politics get in the way of doing the right thing. He taught me to vote my conscience.”

He added: “The problem here, is that we are trying to oversimplify a complex issue with a quick fix at the expense of three individuals, before giving them the opportunity to defend themselves and before we have had the opportunity to examine all of the facts of the respective cases.”

I think Mr. Plett's comments reflect the view of the vast majority of Canadians of all political persuasions. By and large Canadians are decent folks with a great sense of fair play who want to do the right thing.

We do not seek vengeance before justice as Ms Wente implies in her comments about the prime minister.

Let me share some comments I have received from Canadians in the past week and I really have no idea how they vote..

"I hope your comments will be taken to heart by conservatives and Harper and his government. Your have summarized very well what is wrong with our federal government of today.  Imagine former prime ministers not taking or answering questions.  I was really bothered in the last election when Tory candidates ... didn't even show up for all candidates meetings. What have we come to ?"

"We absolutely not re-elect that bunch we have in Ottawa. When I heard some of the highlites of the throne speech, I could not believe what I was hearing. The fact that unbundled television cable is worthy of Government attention to this extent. Let's also do something about those horrendous roaming charges for cell phones. I have to admit that I have not studied the whole thing yet. I will.
"If we do not start to do something about the egomaniac that is in Ottawa, we will have the same crap. Stevie started his federal career with a lie ( Reform Party will not make a deal ). He has only got much better at re-inventing the truth. There is much work that has to be done."

"Justin Trudeau and the Liberals better come up with a logical platform that is based on more than marijuana.
"The native situation has to be addressed. Stop the lying!! Imagine the United Nations investigating the way we treat native people."

Finally: "Can you believe all this. It is amazing how the cover-up (or is it the cover-up of the cover-up?) is almost always a bigger issue than the original issue!  Do politicians never learn?  I hope this is the start of the end for the Harper Conservatives.  They do not practice Canadian values."

What a mess, eh? My email is

Full disclosure: I am not now and never have been a member of the Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook Society; however, I did conduct a workshop for its members for which I was paid.

1 comment:

  1. The Throne Speach- what a beaut - Cable TV and Cell Phone solutions - hey, folks, what about the price of auto fuel???? That would seem to be a more pressing issue than the two aforementioned. Hmm, how many $$$$s funnelled into PC coffers from the polluting oil industry???? Shame on this government and shame on our MP for sitting quietly bye. BAA, BAA black sheep.