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Don’t bet against political survivors

Tease the day: Harper and Ford may emerge intact from their current conundrums


 

When you’re right smack dab in the middle of a relentless series of furious news cycles, and powerful politicians you don’t like are being accused of indiscretions that you think should cost them their jobs, there’s a point at which you start to believe it might happen. Kind of like when the Toronto Maple Leafs are ahead 4-1 with 10 minutes to go, and you start to think they might be able to win.

Until they don’t.

Anyone who’s calling for blood in Ottawa or Toronto might get their wish, but we’re reminded by a pair of National Post columnists this morning that both Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his team, and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford—the former more than the latter, by a wide margin—have a good shot at emerging intact from their current conundrums.

John Ivison is inclined to believe that Harper’s telling the truth when he says he had no knowledge of his former chief of staff’s decision to cover Senator Mike Duffy’s improperly claimed expenses with a personal cheque worth $90,000. “If no new information emerges that connects the Prime Minister to the $90,000 cheque,” writes Ivison, “it may be that the scandal has crested.” And with two years before the next election, the moribund Conservatives have plenty of time to rebound.

Jonathan Kay thinks Ford will never (ever) resign from office, if only because he’s locked into an “existential struggle against left-wing Toronto snobs who always have hated everything about him.” That kind of battle doesn’t discourage a guy like Ford, says Kay. “Like all true warriors, he will keep on fighting till the very day—if it ever comes—that he is led out of City Hall in handcuffs. And even then, I’m not so sure.”

Survivors are survivors. They often outlast those furious news cycles. Then again, the news doesn’t seem to be showing any sign of letting up.


What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s collapsing support at City Hall, and his allies’ plans to run the city if Ford steps down from his duties. The National Post fronts U.S. President Barack Obama’s plans to scale down drone strikes ovserseas. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with Ford’s dismissal of his chief of staff, Mark Towhey. The Ottawa Citizen leads with Federal Court’s finding of electoral fraud in six ridings during the 2011 election. iPolitics fronts confusing Conservative messaging. CBC.ca leads with Ford’s alleged firing of Towhey for suggesting the mayor seek help. National Newswatch showcases the Hill Times‘ suggestion that timelines in the Mike Duffy Affair, particularly the prime minister’s claims about when he knew something was amiss, don’t add up.


Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Pensions. A large pension fund that represents over 400,000 Ontario workers is considering a change to its funding formula for pensioners that would address a $10-billion deficit. 2. SNC-Lavalin. Saadi Gadhafi, the son of the former Libyan dictator, was once touted as a potential vice-president of SNC-Lavalin. The company hoped he could live in Canada.
3. Fraud. Two former Canada Revenue Agency employees and an accountant have been charged by the RCMP with defrauding the federal government of $4.5 million. 4. Canada Post. Canada’s national mail carrier has sent over 900,000 letters to Canadians that urge them to remove “no flyer” signs from their mailboxes and accept unaddressed mail.


 

Don’t bet against political survivors

  1. “If no new information emerges that connects the Prime Minister to the
    $90,000 cheque,” writes Ivison, “it may be that the scandal has
    crested.”

    Agreed, but if the scandal has created enough momentum to bring in the RCMP or external auditors, it’s unlikely that the scandal has run out of fuel quite yet.

    • bringing in the RCMP to check on the Senate has not much to do with what Harper may have known

      • Not directly. But what if they get a warrant for Wright’s bank accounts and determine that he was somehow reimbursed by the CPC?

        I’m just speculating, of course, but there are still ways in which Harper could be drawn back into this scandal.

        • The Conservatives will then find a CPC official who will then be “the only other person” to know about the deal, and throw him/her under the bus.
          I’d be amazed if there was any paper trail left that leads to Harper.

          • I’m sure that would be attempted, but it would make Harper appear even weaker. Not only can’t he control his own office, he can’t control his own party either? That would be a death knell for the guy campaigning as the ‘steady hand on the tiller’.

  2. Tony Clement is the real winner. Everyone has forgotten about the missing billions.

    • Maybe this really is all “distraction.”

  3. Harper has never been charged with fraud. Neither has Justin Trudeau ever been charged with fraud.

    But here is the thing:

    Maud Barlow might say that

    Trudeau is a fraud.

    Trudeau is a fraud
    Trudeau is a fraud
    Trudeau is a fraud

    Now, Nick picks this up and starts writing that Trudeau may be a fraud. And then Andrew Coyne starts picking up on this and mentions that Nick thinks Trudeau is a fraud. He must be a fraud, Coyne would argue, because we all know it by now that Trudeau is a fraud. Now the no name posters all across comment land will start saying, that most Canadians believe Trudeau is a fraud.

    No. I will say, Trudeau is not a fraud until he has been proven to be a fraud. But my comments are rebuffed and I am called all names under the sun because I have said that Trudeau is not a fraud unless he is found guilty of fraud. But it does not matter. Conmmenters continue to call me names, and continue to think Maud Barlow must be an upstanding citizen for she speaks the truth without a shred of evidence.

    Would Justin be upset with the media spinning such long line?

    My bet is that Justin would be very upset about it all!

    But then again, Justin is a fraud, so sue me! He will still be a fraud no matter how much evidence to the contrary has been presented. Even when the Judge will find no evidence of Trudeau being a fraud, he must still be considered a fraud because Maud will say so, and her wishful thinking will be repeated, over and over again.

    Justin is a fraud, right? If you disagree, please start reading this comment from the top down and start believing. It works, it really, really works. Trudeau is a fraud! And so forth.

    • As long as you believe what you write, is all that matters, eh Francien? That’s quite a skill, brainwashing yourself.

      The rest of us are a little brighter than that and can think critically for ourselves, thanks.

      • Please do tell how you know that Trudeau is not a fraud?

        • Well, so far, the RCMP have not been called in to investigate him, unlike our PM who has been embroiled in several RCMP, Elections Canada and Ethics Commissioners investigations over the years.

          Actually, the onus is on you to present evidence of why you believe Trudeau is a fraud. Without it, you are actually stepping into some libelous territory.

          • So far the RCMP has not been called in to investigate Harper.

            BUT the RCMP has voluntarily decided to investigate Liberal senator Mac Harb. Or had you forgotten that??

            You accuse Harper of fraud and he should prove that he did not commit fraud?

            I accuse Justin of fraud and now he should prove to me that he did not commit fraud. Because that is how it should work in this new Canada we are creating!

          • Wrong. They were called in during the Cadman affair.

            Again with the English problems Francien. No where have I said that Harper committed Fraud. I said that Harper has been investigated for fraud. Please, do sign yourself up for those classes. It might save you a lot of grief.

            Trudeau has nothing to do with Harb. He became leader long after Harb was a senator, whereas Harper personally selected the 3 other Senators currently facing fraud allegations. You should think about what is in Harper’s closet before you start making allegations. They have been building up quite a collection of morally and ethically questionable actions over the years that most Canadians can no longer overlook.

          • What Canadians won’t overlook is the fact that the media is blowing this way out of proportion.

            Just like during the last election when the Harper haters tried to accuse Harper of everything wrong on this earth!

            It did not work then because the accusations are wrong and are never won in any court! People making up more and more empty allegations against Harper will give Harper more votes!

            Canadians aren’t stupid!

          • Blame the media, blame the liberals, blame everyone but yourself for your problems. You may think this is blown out of proportion, but what has really happened is that a leak in the PMO has blown the lid off here. This was a “loyal” party member since no one else would have had access to this information. The rats are starting to eat themselves.

            Even Harper has admitted this is wrong, but Francien the hold-out is incapable of seeing the truth.

            You’re right Canadians aren’t stupid. What is your nationality?

          • I am Canadian.

            Justin is a fraud. Prove to me that Justin is not a fraud and you will have your credibility back!

          • Really? Were you born in Canada?

          • I wasn’t born! I was delivered. On Canadian soil. That counts, apparently, for calling oneself a Canadian.

          • I think you mean “hatched” ;-)

          • I don’t know if free spirits come about by being hatched. I am a free spirit so if you think that free spirits are by hatching, then I must be hatched!

            It does not matter all that much to me.

          • So you aren’t a native Canadian. Delivered by airplane or ship?

          • Who says I am not a native Canadian?

  4. Francien Verhoeven is a fraud.

    • Thank you. Such accusations will keep me in the news!

  5. The Bay Street “Wonder Boy” Nigel Wright DOES NOT
    GIVE AWAY HIS OWN MONEY! Not a single
    dime came out of Wright’s pocket!

    It would be a simple matter of Nigel INVOICING the “Conservative
    Fund of Canada” account (the money raising arm of The Conservative Party) multiple
    times for some type of phony “Financial Consultant Fees” to accrue back
    the $90K. CPC treates that Fund’s coffer
    as their private “Honey Pot.”

    Are there any conversations between Conservative Senator
    Irving Gerstein (Harper’s bagman) and the PMO about Nigel getting paid back
    from the “Conservative Fund of Canada” — the federal party’s war chest Gerstein
    once chaired.

    Or, the money came out of Alberta, where there is no
    shortage of it.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/social/MyTake/mike-duffy-nigel-wright-unanswered-questions_n_3314315_254934263.html

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