Wright resigns. Stephen Harper, and questions, remain - Macleans.ca
 

Wright resigns. Stephen Harper, and questions, remain

Paul Wells on the PM and his stewardship of your tax dollar


 

From the Harper profile John Geddes and I wrote two years ago:

Someone who was there paraphrased Harper’s message to his ministers at his first cabinet meeting in 2006: “I am the kingpin. So whatever you do around me, you have to know that I am sacrosanct.” Harper was telling his ministers that they were expendable but that he wasn’t. If they had to go so that his credibility and his ability to get things done were protected, so be it.

“It wasn’t personal,” this source said. “It was his office.”

The doctoring of a Senate internal economy committee report to erase some references to Mike Duffy’s conduct was perfectly consistent with Stephen Harper’s long-standing preference for making questions go away rather than answering them. Nigel Wright’s resignation is an expression of Harper’s style, not a repudiation of it.

Already this morning the Conservative pity party is arriving at a run, violins at the ready, to play sweet odes to the purity and self-sacrifice of poor lonely Nigel Wright. But questions remain about a cheque nobody has seen, an extensive campaign to cover up Duffy’s actions that cannot plausibly have been the work of one man, and a government that remains more eager to clap itself on the back for its ethics than to answer any question about it.

It’s really sweet that Stephen Harper believes he cannot win a fair fight of full information in the light of day, but as an operating principle it is getting tired. The desire to bring every debate to a screaming halt rather than engage the debate is one of this prime minister’s two or three most obvious defining characteristics. It’s obvious even where scandal is not involved. As one example among many, the Supreme Court reference on Senate reform this autumn will hear three days of public arguments the Harper government did everything to avoid, first by stalling for years on the very notion of a reference, and then by asking the Court, pathetically, to bypass public argument and go straight to delivering an opinion.

We will see more of that in the days ahead. It is easy to predict, based on long observation of this prime minister, that any question about what this government did, what this prime minister’s Senate appointees did, how Harper’s office handled it, and what will be done to fix these attitudes in the future will be answered with, “Nigel Wright gave up his job. Isn’t that enough? It’s time to move on.”

If that is the response of this government, the Conservative party and its assorted cheerleaders to legitimate questions about Stephen Harper’s stewardship of your tax dollar, then you should understand Wright’s resignation as merely an extension of the runaround we have been getting for months.

A note on Wright himself. I never met him. I tried; he declined, gracefully and politely. Nobody I know has ever had a word to say against the man. I am told he is more hard-working than almost anyone, and as upstanding a fellow as politics ever sees. There are such people in Ottawa. Stéphane Dion is another. While Wright has been chief of staff — longer than either of his predecessors, Guy Giorno and Ian Brodie — work shifts in the Langevin Block have grown longer as a sort of competitive masochism set in, but this government’s ability to make a decision, tell its story, satisfy the Conservative back bench or convey any sense that Stephen Harper knows why he ever wanted a majority in the first place has flickered weakly like a guttering candle. That’s part of Wright’s legacy too. It will be part of Harper’s, if he doesn’t reverse the trend he’s on.


 

Wright resigns. Stephen Harper, and questions, remain

  1. The response to questions will not just be “Nigel Wright gave up his job,” it will be “Nigel Wright repaid taxpayers from his own money and gave up his job.” Michelle Rempel is already parrotting that talking point on TV today.

    Thanks for asking the questions: I hope the media, however lamestream it is, will keep asking those questions and hounding for answers. Even through the June adjournment of Parliament, the summer of barbecues, and the fall prorogue.

    • Who are you to say that Ms.Rempel is not telling the truth? Do you have access to the truth? If so, tell us how you come by it.

      • Must be tiring trying to carry Harper’s water in the mighty conservative colander of ethics. patchouli said nothing to impugn Rempel’s honesty, merely stating the obvious talking point that will generate from the party through its spokespersons. The truth is that the HarperGov has and will be doing everything possible to obscure the truth, including spinning what appears to be collusion, if not outright conspiracy, on the part of Duffy and Wright to somehow be a noble act of self sacrifice. The sad fact is that this matter deserves investigation by the RCMP. Government by smears and evasion, using the tax payer’s dime to buy votes and advertise itself. It appears we have a crooked government run by crooked people. They put the Adscam kids to shame.

        • Very interesting how you try to convince me that my support for the CPC must be tiring while you, within in your reply to my post, offer up some more nonsense. For instance, if Rempel’s statements made are a possibility of speaking the truth, then why would you label those statements as talking points? Trying to follow your logic is tiresome. to say the least.

          • Really? A junior MP shuffled out to deliver the party line, is necessarily delivering talking points. She’s doing her job. A talking point is merely that, a scripted piece. It may be perfectly true or utterly false. Saying that someone is delivering a talking point does not mean they are lying, though it certainly doesn’t discount the possibility. In this latest scandal, we have a government heaping lie on lie and now, caught twisting and scrambling for cover. Watching you bend logic, is sadly comic.

          • What is sad is to see commentors here lapping up every accusation being thrown at the CPC by the media and not posing question marks in return. That makes me really sad.

          • Oh there are plenty of questions to be answered. What is sad is a government that crame to power boasting about transparency, openness and accountability scrambling desperately to cover-up its wrong doings.

          • Keep believing what Wells feeds you. They will offer you exactly what you want to hear. Have fun. I’m outta here. Don’t care too much for a bunch of nonesense being spewed and repeated.

            Ask yourself why Wells starts off his article as he does. Then you might have found yourself a beginning on how politics is being conducted in Canada.Not my style. Don’t need that kind of false persuading.

          • Now that you’re outta here the amount of nonsense being spewed and repeated will drop to zero.

          • “bunch of nonesense being spewed and repeated.”
            pot – kettle – black

          • Oh look. The ethical conduct of the government doesn’t make Francien sad, but the commentors here do

            Need some windex?

          • As Francien once wrote to me, she is different from me because she is a Canadian and I am not. I am a Quebecker and therefore our values are different.

          • This behavior is indefensible have you no shame?
            RR

          • Francien, you are supporting a party that has been REPEATEDLY caught breaking the law and lying through its teeth.

            Excuse me if I don’t think the CPC has a shred of moral credibility.

          • I am just questioning the need for double standards. Yes, I find it appalling when senators over-bill. But it also bothers me when Justin Trudeau got paid a full salary as a sitting MP, but then decides to not appear in the House very often but in facts went on a speaking tour for which he got paid handsomely………………on the side!

            What then is different when a senator double dips and when our future PM Justin Trudeau does so he is ok with double dipping right from the get-go?

            Why the selective scolding?

            Why is the double dipping ok for Justin but not for other paid politicians?

          • There is a difference between double dipping, charging two times for the same thing, and moonlighting, having a secondary source of income. Approximately half of the MPs in the house, representing all parties, have other sources of income. In that regard, Trudeau did nothing wrong. Duffy charged the same set of expenses to the senate and again to the CPC. What’s more, Trudeau’s efforts had the approval and knowledge of the ethics commissioner. Personally, I don’t think much of Trudeau or any other member taking off to make money elsewhere but it is neither illegal nor banned. If you can’t wrap your noggin around that, there is little left to discuss with you.

          • If it doesn’t bother you that Justin skipped the House in order to deliver speeches, or if it doesn’t bother you that Justin perhaps used public funds in order to travel to those speaking engagements (?), or if it doesn’t bother you that Justin-the-protector-of-the-middle-class charges schools at least $10,000 a pop for delivering those speeches, then don’t let it bother you. But it does bother me just as much as it bothers me when other politicians mis-use public money.

          • Do you have any evidence ofTrudeau’s “mis-use” of public funds? Do you have any evidence that a school was coerced or made a decision to hire Trudeau in any way other than freely and independently? Can you name the school involved and the amount paid?

          • Interesting that you admit that ‘talking points’ are NOT the truth.

        • Watch Harper’s video on his meeting with the Council on Foreign Relations. That is why he is PM. Not the other crap the media get excized about, The other two opposition leaders can’t hold a candle to him.

          • Okay, that is officially not me posting under my usual moniker, so I”m out of here. Have fun with Francie, Fake Patchouli.

          • You know it ain’t me because I ain’t registered, so my name shows in gray, not red.

          • Fake Patchouli is just jealous because sometimes, fellow readers give me thumzup. Must be a sad person who just wants a thumbs up — I’m gonna give Fake Me a thumzerup. Feeling generous.

          • Huh, the post initially as the fake patchouli is suddenly Hollinm…… ?

          • Did it show as patchouli to you too? Could just be disqus.

          • My apologies, Hollinm, your post showed up under my own name on my browser briefly, and I said below it was not me. Now it shows as you. Carry on.

          • Huh, I did not post this, I suspect it was patchouli.

            Methinks there’s some Disqus gremlins going on here this morning…..

          • You know what this means, Matlock? It means we should all go outside and ride out bikes or plant some flowers, that’s what it means. Have a good one.

          • I just came in from planting tomatoes, this was supposed to be my break!

          • You are planting tomatoes? What part of the country do you live in? In Calgary we don’t dare plant tomatoes for a few weeks yet!

          • My tomatoes have been in the ground for ten days now. I live in Alberta. The air has been warm enough here for planting tomatoes outside. They are close to blooming now!

          • You are a brave woman. I think it snowed this time last year! Hahaha! We planted some shrubs today. It was very brisk in Calgary. We always get very cool evenings. Even in summer you have to have a fire pit or propane heater if you want to stay outside after dark. Good luck in the garden!

          • Harper does look very PMish at CFR.
            Sadly for you most Canadians aren’t watching him there.
            Also sadly for you, most Canadians aren’t just going to use his performance at CFR when they decide how to vote in a few years. They will also consider WTH was he thinking when he appointed Duffy to the Senate, what was he thinking when he appointed Brazeau to the Senate, and they might even wonder what happened to the open and transparent government that they were promised.

          • And what were the Liberals thinking when they appointed Mac Harb to the senate……….you know, Mac Harb, the Liberal senator not living in his own riding, the Liberal senator who might not even be a legitimate senator…………what will Harper do about him, and so forth.

          • Investigate, assess, prosecute if warranted. Next.

          • And REPORT on it!

          • It is being reported. To claim otherwise is patently dishonest. Harb is getting the proportional ink his case deserves in light of his decision to retain counsel and fight repayment. Until his case changes or moves to a new venue there’s little to report but it is being reported.

          • Harb is a smart man. He decided early on to take his case to court. In that way he does not have to answer to any reporter asking him questions, other then to say: ” The case is before the courts and I cannot comment.” Then, in due course, Harb could decide to take other measures, such as paying back his overbilling or not repay his overbilling, depending on what happens with the other overbilling cases. But by that time, the media will have lost interest in the case and Harb’s actions, whatever they may have been or may be in the fututre will manage to fly under the radar.

            Harb is the smart one out of the bunch. But then again, he is a Liberal. I would like to know who his lawyer is and how much that lawyer charges Harb. And furthermore, will Harb charge those lawyer fees to the senate for expenses claimed. Yes, for sure, a lot about Harb could be investigated but it will not happen. That much IS clear.

          • Clear in your imagination as you talk yourself into scenarios based on nothing.

          • Based on nothing? How would you know if no one is investigating Harb?

            You are the one taking things at blind trust that Harb will not do things unethically but that others cannot be trusted. What a laugh – the thought of how blindly partisan your Harper hate is.

            Anything Harper related should be thouroughly investigated (and it should be). Anything Liberal related (Trudeau, Harb) should not be investigated but be trusted blindly. Welcome to Canadian news reporting.

          • Harb is being investigated, he is taking the result of the investigation to court to try and have it over turned. I am taking nothing on faith. I presume that the auditors turned up a sufficient cause to demand a repayment, thus I fully expect that Harb is in the wrong. The court will have to make final determinations there. My criticism of Harper, his PMO and certain of his high profile appointees is based on considerably more than blind faith. We know that there were attempts to cover up the audit, we know that Duffy received a substantial sum of money from Wright to enact the cover up, we know that Duffy’s allegations go further than housing expenses to douoble dipping of other expenses, we know that Wright placed himself and the PM in a very harsh light by trying to finagle this shady business.

            I have repeatedly stated that Harb and any other Liberals, Conservatives, Independents or whatever else should be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted should those investigations warrant. We also know, that Trudeau, while greasy,, did not break rules with his speaking engagements. We know that about half of all MPs from all parties have secondary sources of income. We know that Trudeau’s speaking engagements have been reviewed and approved by the ethics commissioner. It is you and you alone that is so blindly partisan that you continue to flail in hope of flinging mud anywhere else in order to give cover to the ethically challenged members of the governing party.

          • And yet you have no idea who Harb’s lawyer is. And you have no idea what Harb’s lawywer will charge. You don’t even know if Harb is planning to claim his lawyer’s expense as a senate expense.

            How come we know nothing about Harb’s conduct and we know sooo much about Duffy? Could it be that Harb is simply not being investigated? And if so, why not?

            Also,there is no report out which says that Trudeau did not travel on public expense when he was going on private speaking tours. Or if I have missed that report, perhaps you could refer me to the one you have read, the one which has cleared him. Because I cannot find a report in that regard.

          • It doesn’t matter who Harb’s lawyer will be. It doesn’t matter what that lawyer might charge. It is highly unlikely that the senate covers the legal fees of senators and thus they likely cannot be claimed as they are not expenses incurred in pursuing the senate’s business on behalf of the citizenry. We know that Harb has been audited and that the auditor has found that he claimed expenses to which he was not entitled. The auditor has demanded repayment, Harb has chosen to go to court to overturn that ruling. Duffy’s case has been far more colourful and intrigue filled. There is simply a lot more detail to know from Duffy’s shenanigans.

            And, for the final time, Trudeau’s speaking engagements, the money he made and the money he spent, have been examined by the House Ethics Commissioner. Just as the extra earnings of half the MPs house of commons have been examined. There has been no audit and none called for, thus no report. But it takes no more than a quick Google to find out Trudeau has not been asked to repay and nor has he charged unauthorized expenses against the house.

          • Harb was appointed by Chretien, so when Chretien is leading a political party in an election, I will take that into account.
            Next.

          • Oh, I get it. Only the Harper appointed senators are worthy of investigation here and now.

            Thank you for clarifying that point.

          • Did not say that, in any universe.
            Investigate away. Given that he is guilty of wrong-doing (and it doesn’t look good for Harb) that will confirm that Chretien was one of the least scrupulous PMs we ever had.
            Try again.

          • FRancien, who paid off Harb’s debt to the Senate?

          • No one yet. He is paying a lawyer now to try to get him out of trouble. Perhaps the lawyer will work for him for free. Are reporters investigating that part of Harb’s conduct? Just wondering what should be covered here.

          • Reporters will certainly cover Harb’s case in more depth as it progresses. There have been no hearings yet to cover. Until such time as a hearing is held the cases of Harb and Brazeau are essentially stagnant and inactive. Neither the disgraced Liberal nor the serially disgraced Conservative are being ignored and there is no special favour being given to them, there’s just nothing *to* report.

          • But how would anyone know there would be nothing to cover if Harb were to get his lawyer fees bona fide?

            You can rest assured that Harb will not appear in front of any Parliamentary committee now that his case will be before the courts. Why do you think Harb decided to drag this before the courts in the first place?

          • …because he might be innocent of wrong doing. It certainly seems that the unsavoury Brazeau has an email indicating that he could be in the clear.

          • There is no YET involved. However we do know that Duffy had his debt paid, perhaps illegally by the PMO…..hence the difference.

            How does it matter if the lawyer works for free?

          • So, if a lawyer would work for free on Harb’s behalf, that would not be considered a gift?

            Interesting world we live in.

          • Thanks for your analyses.

            Mind if I spread it over the garden?

          • As an experienced gardener you must know that any fertilizer of the variety you are referring must be thoroughly “cooked” or it will burn your garden. I recommend you heap it in a pile high and deep and let it sit for at least a year or two. ;)

          • That explains the success with the tomatoes.

      • Who are you to say that Ms.Rempel is not telling the truth? Do you have access to the truth? If so, tell us how you come by it.

        You’re assuming Michelle Rempel herself has access to “the truth”? Using your standard for determining veracity, she would have had to be there when Wright cut the cheque for Duffy and commiserated with the good Senator for having fallen on hard times.

        • But patchouli has access to the truth?

          • By your criterion, none of us does, other than Wright and Duffy (and, plausibly, the master control freak Harper himself).

            And that’s precisely what they’re counting on.

          • Bingo! At this point in time, no one knows the whole story. And by no one, i mean no one.

            It does and it does not matter what anyone is counting on.

            Perhaps Harper is counting on something, while Wells is counting on something else altogether. So, for Harper to count on somethings does matter, but it does not matter to you if men like Wells might want to count on somethings? Well, you and I must differ in this, because for me it matters in all cases on who is counting on what…………I am hoping for honesty and clarity on all sides.

          • The truth we know so far includes collusion, cover up, dishonesty and the removal from caucus of two star appointees and the removal of the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff from his position. All of which is hugely scandalous. These characters have been caught with their hands in the collective cookie jar, what remains is for the finer details story to emerge. But we have a pretty damn good overview so far. The whole truth doesn’t need to be spilled to know that Harper’s Chief of Staff fell on his sword or that Duffy and Wallin got pushed out to protect the boss and that the lot of them have been playing fast and loose with the truth and with the tax payer’s dollars.

          • And still no answer coming from you on how you find Harb’s conduct. But that’s ok. Better not to let Harb’s conduct interfere with anything going on here. Harb is a Liberal senator and best to leave him out of this.

            Such a hoot, these so-called CPC scandals.

            (pssss….don’t talk about Harb; he’s a Liberal!!) LOL

          • Apparently you have pretended my response out of existence, so for you I shall repeat. Harb should be investigated by the RCMP and charged if the investigation warrants charges. If found guilty he should lose his seat, pay whatever fines are levied and if his actions are dire enough, serve time in prison. None of which mitigates the fact that the majority of this current scandal resides with the CPC. And for what it is worth, the Liberals are every bit as worthless (in my opinion) as the Conservatives. I sincerely do not care what party an individual serves for, if they breach the public trust, they deserve to pay the maximum consequence.

          • Repeat. Repeat. Repeat and say nothing. Thank you for the repetition.

          • That is an entirely disingeuous response. Investigate and charge Harb is not saying nothing. It is you spouting vapour, not I.

          • Did Harb get a pay off?

          • Perhaps he did. Has Wells investigated Harb as to who will be Harb’s lawyer and what the lawyer will charge Harb for representing him? Perhaps Harb’s lawyer will work for free? Would that then be considered a gift? Or will Harb simply add his lawyer’s expense to his senate expense account? In other words, will Harb charge the taxpayer to defend himself in a case against the taxpayer? Will Wells find such irony worthy of further investigation? Ask Wells what he finds important enough to investigate or write about. Because, as for me, I find his pick-and-choose attitude in reporting to be a bit too partisan for my liking.

          • Actually they are no ‘hoot’ at all, nor are they ‘so called’. You would have us believe the Chief of STaff in the PMO left for NO reason.

          • Of course the CoS left for a reason. But neither you nor I know at this point in time what that reason is. It could very well be that Wright overstepped his mandate by granting Duffy the gift. And that the PM did not like to see him fired for such an offense. It could be, of course, that the PM knew all along what Wright had done but tried to keep it a secret. You and I don’t know enough of the facts to deliver a verdict here.

            And that is why I place at least a question mark behind the assumption that when Justin was traveling for his private speaking engagements he did do so on the public dime???? At least I question it because I don’t know if that was true, although it could very well be true that Justin traveled to his private speaking engagements on the public dime? Has that ever been investigated??

          • …and one has what to do with the other?

            Perhaps then you too should be investigated for wrong doing?

          • I am not in public service. I don’t get paid from public funds. Justin was being paid from public funds when he went on a private speaking tour. He was double dipping but I guess that’s ok when your name is Justin Trudeau.

          • That is not double dipping. That is moonlighting. You are making stuff up and this point has been covered numerous times. Double dipping is billing two or more clients for the same thing. In Duffy’s case it is alleged that he charged the same expenses to both the senate and the CPC… double dipping. Trudeau was moonlighting, working a second job to increase his income. Half of all MPs, Conservative, Liberal and NDP have secondary sources of income. Trudeau’s speaking engagements were approved by the house ethics commissioner. You will, I am sure, continue to attempt to use this as a smear. You will continue to be off base.

          • But if Justin was traveling to his private speaking engagements on the public dime while billing the schools he delivered his speech to for the same amount, then that is double dipping.

            Also, when a MP draws an MP wage and he then goes out and about to give speeches about Canadian politics, for which speeches he would get paid as well, then yes, such conduct would be considered double dipping as well.

            Or is Justin that special that when he gives speeches in the House on political matters that it is considered public but when he gives speeches somewhere else on the subject of Canadian politics that then it would be a different sort of politics? Please, tell me what the difference is????

          • Justin isn’t special. You’re just wrong. His extra curricular work has been looked at and approved. You are repeating the same baseless and ill informed allegation repeatedly because you are desperate to smear Trudeau. It doesn’t matter what you or I think, the Ethics Commissioner approved the work.

          • And where is the report which said that they have looked at Justin’s expense in regards to his speaking engagements?

            Did the report state that Justin did not use public funds to travel to his private speaking engagement??

          • And into that information vacuum flows doubt. And as the doubt continues to grow, a lack of trust in this government creeps in.

            All of the spin, and your own powerful cognitive dissonance, will do little to stop that dynamic until/unless an unimpeachable, credible, and unbiased third party is empowered to throw a light into some dark corners in the PMO.

          • Somethings!

            I’d just settle for some honestly and clarity in one of your post myself.

          • Let’s try for clarity: have you seen it reported who Harb’s lawyer is? Do you know what that lawyer in question will charge Harb? Will such charge be claimed on Harb’s senate expense account? Or will Harb’s chosen lawyer work for free? And as such, will a lawyer doing the work for free be considered a gift?

            Do you honestly think that those questions will be investigated?

          • We don’t know Francien and you don’t know if charged WILL be claimed on Harb’s senate expense.
            What’s the point of engaging on this.
            Do you want also to discuss if it will rain on August 23rd 2013 in Halifax?

          • That’s the point – that we don’t know! No one seems to be interested in asking Harb the relevant questions because no one is interested in Harb. Why is no one interested in what Harb has done or will do???

          • My principal interest remains on the PM because, as you should know from your favourite source of information, i.e., tenpercenters, Harper is the REAL leader in this. He’s the one who recommended the appointment of persons who were being investigated for breaching the code of ethics of their profession, the law, or suspected of mismanagement and personal misconduct BEFORE these persons were cleared of wrongdoing. In fact, these persons were not cleared of wrongdoing and OH MY GOD, who could have predicted that these persons would continue to be who they are known to be once they sat in the Senate!!!.
            Our prime minister lost his right hand yesterday but he lost his head a long time ago. I’m interested in Harper because his power and fondness to appoint persons of questionable character to the Senate remains intact as he seems to have learned nothing from the experience. What next? Will he appoint drugs dealers to the Senate? A horse maybe? Will you applaud?

          • Because he is not the prime minister.

          • What on earth are you on about. Link the story or stop making crap up please.

          • You have yet to demonstrate patchouli making an accusation that Rempel is lying as opposed to merely noting that the MP is parroting the script she’s been given. You are attempting to deflect and divert a point that is moot.

          • If I am to be the focus of this discussion, Harper will make me resign. Francie baits me because I won’t engage with her: as far as I’m concerned, she’s mouldering in her grave, she’s that dead to me.

          • You won’t engage with me because you don’t have answers to the straightforward questions I ask. So in order to avoid me you just pretend you don’t want to engage me. Kids play that kind of game.

          • I’ve answered your so-called straight forward questions and you’ve blabbered and run in rhetorical circles. You are the last person to be accusing others of being childish.

          • You need to speak on pachouli’s behalf? Poor patchouli – can’t defend himself. Lindsay feels the need to speak on pachouli’s behalf. What an accomplishment. Great stuff, here on them comment boards.

          • What are you, eight years old? You’re embarrassing yourself now.

          • I am embarrassing myself? You people really live outside of the real grown-up world. Yes, I know, I know, in the real grownup world people aren’t afraid to ask real questions. That concept is difficult to understand for most of you here. That is why election result outcomes surprise you. Not difficult to understand why.

            Still surprised why the NDP lost in BC?

          • I hereby confer upon you the solemn and august title Royal Mistress of the Irrelevant Interrogatory.

      • They don’t need the truth or care to know it. It is all about the anti Harper crowd who can’t beat him electorally and so they conjure all kinds of things in their minds. The media should learn a lesson from the B.C., Alberta and Quebec elections. They don’t know what in the hell they are talking about. Whether Harper knew or didn’t know matters wit. The money came from Wright personally, not the party or the taxpayer. No wonder Harper would ever hold a presser with the PPG. They would be too busy looking for the next scandal etc. etc. They aren’t smart enough to ask serious questions about serious subjects.

        • Harper won’t face the press because he is a coward. Not only can he not take a punch, he won’t climb into the ring.

          Oh! The Press is soooo unfair that I’ll just avoid them.
          What a Warrior!

          Will John Baird be handling this then?

          • Someone will have to because Harper is ‘leaving on a jet plane’ Tuesday. I almost feel sorry for the one who gets the short straw.

    • “Nigel Wright gave up his job,” it will be “Nigel Wright repaid taxpayers from his own money and gave up his job”

      Of course if the premise was ok, the resulting resignation wouldn’t have been needed. But it was needed, and we know who needed it most – mr kingpin.

      • Another pure speculation posting! Keep it up, kmc2. Eventually those speculations will be turned into good enough gossip for the voters at large. This is not so much about finding out the truth as it is about spinning on all sides. I guess if that’s what you expect to masquerade as a working democracy, then you are easily satisfied.

        Keep dancing at that masquerade ball. Have fun believing in fantasies!

        • Stephen Harper was born with an oil company accountant’s name but does he have the judgement to be Prime Minister? He said “You won’t recognize Canada when I’m through with it”. He thought that even without the facts, Canada should have gone to war with Iraq. He even approves of colonialism, “…in the Canadian context, the actions of the British Empire were largely benign and occasionally brilliant”. I suppose his empty apology to the first nations people made that all better. He even said this, “It is imperative to take the initiative, to build firewalls around Alberta…” Yes, huh huh huh, nothing says good judgement like saying one wealthy region deserves special economic protections. Stephen Harper, he’s in way over his head.

          Just a slight rework of the CPC attack ads. When you crow about fantasies, you are denying the perfidy of Harper’s creatures. Yet all evidence points to scandal, every bit as much as the Harper conservatives painted every single Liberal with the Adscam tar brush. You really shouldn’t cry too loudly to get the same medicine when it is your turn and so clearly deserved.

          • Now, now, play it nice! Justin and his mommy and all fifth graders in Ottawa schools will tell you to play it nice…………..

            Gotta love Canadian politics. As if a lot of Canadians have an innate fear of growing up!

          • So you don’t like it when the shoe is on the other foot? Just reflecting Conservative attitudes back, if that is somehow not grown up, look to the originator of the model.

        • What!!! Are you spinning this Francien? I’m absolutely shocked! I just want the truth, surely you know that?

          • hahaha, you want the truth? And you won’t be critical of what Wells writes as his opening statement? You can’t have it both ways. kmc2. Time to make a choice in order to get to the truth.

          • Leave Yoko alone.

      • Given Harper’s statement I don’t think he asked for Wright’s resignation. It was offered and I suspect after much discussion accepted.

        • Define much? If you can do get it done in under 5 minutes you might be right.

        • In a job like Chief of Staff, you write your resignation letter when you’re hired, and keep coming to work until the boss fills in the date.

  2. Looks like Justin Trudeau won’t have to say or do a thing to beat Harper and his increasingly corrupt party in the next federal election.

    • And what corruption are you referring to?

      • ROTFL Funniest comment EVER!!!!!!!!!!

        • So, no answer to my question then.

          Or perhaps you want to try again: what corruption is Rudy referring to?

          Giving a gift is not considered corruption. But perhaps you know some more about what went on and I would urge you to tell us what that ‘some more’ might be. I would be happy to hear about it.

          • Lying about your residency to fill your pockets with expense claims… corrupt. Double dipping on expense claims… corrupt. Senators receiving a “gift” in the form of a high 5 figure cheque, in breach of Senate ethics guidelines… corrupt. A senior member of the PMO authoring said cheque, in secret and apparently in an attempt to short circuit procedural audits and investigations… corrupt. A pattern of deceit, evasion and cover-ups… corrupt. Keep scrambling, you’ll gift wrap that turd eventually, I have faith in ya!

          • Liberal senator Harb was found lying about his residency, yet he will figtht the charges in court. Do you think that Liberal senator Harb did the right thing by going to court over this?

          • I think Liberal Senator Harb should be investigated by the RCMP and face charges if said investigation reveals that charges are justified. I also think Duffy, Wallin, Wright, Brazeau and any other players in these crass little games should face a similar fate. At this point it appears that there has been a series of instances of frauds, collusion and cover-ups that should be investigated and prosecuted, regardless of party. If further audits reveal more frauds then let’s see Harper keep his work and send these characters to prison.

          • Then why wouldn’t you ask writers such as Wells to call for such an inquiry instead of letting them get away with speculating about it all and letting them get away with it?

            Why is senator Harb not being mentioned by Wells and others? Do you find it ok that senator Harb has been pulled out of the limelight because he can now hide behind an upcoming court case??

            I find senator Harb’s conduct just as shamefull yet we don’t hear about that, now do we? Why is that?

          • You are really reaching. Harb has been in the media much of the past week, as the footnote he deserves to be. But in light of a scandal that reaches to the highest level of the PMO and sees Harper’s Chief of Staff cutting a secret cheque to evade audits and investigation, following a fog of lies that might include tampering with the senate’s internal accounting and that lead to two of Mr Harper’s star senate appointees getting tossed from caucus and Wright losing his job all on successive days… you really think a nobody Liberal senator should be in the limelight? Get your head on straight. The Liberals aren’t even the official opposition at this juncture. News goes where the heat is. The very highest levels of the Prime Minister’s Office are embroiled in cover-ups and shady money dealings. That is the scandal, that is the headline, not some Liberal guy was crooked too.

          • You are funny! You say Harb has been in the media much of the past week??? Really!

            Ask how many Canadians have heard Harb’s name mentioned in the news last week. The answer my surprise you.

            Stop pretending.

            Here is my take on why Harb was kept out of the limelight. Much better for the media to go with the spin of Harper appointed senators being in hot water. Liberal senator Harb would certainly foil such senario.

            Pick and choose media. Not so much my style.

          • Your style is duck and weave, deflect and dodge. Have you, ever in your life, before this week heard of Harb? I haven’t. How about Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin? Superstar media broadcasters appointed to the senate and now facing scandal, sitting for the government in the red chamber. Add the continuing details of the growing Duffy scandal, emails and secret cheques, evasions and hints of cover-up. Compare that to a nobody Liberal who has said he’ll fight and go to court and then shut his face. What do you honestly expect the story to be? Hell, this tawdry episode of scandal with the stars has even over shadowed Brazeau who would normally be a scandal feast for the media. To pretend that there was some effort to protect Harb from media scrutiny smacks of sheer desperation. Screw Harb, he’s going to get trampled, he isn’t the story. That isn’t picking and choosing, that’s reality. It’s like watching a hockey game where Gretzky scores five goals and complaining that nobody is reporting on the one save the goalie made. Keep spinning!

          • Don’t rise to her bait Lindsay
            She is a groupie through and through. This is a sports match to her and her team can do no wrong as they have to win. Anybody who points out the many failings of her team is automatically a partisan hack because her team can do no wrong.
            The promise not to tax income trusts, the promise not to run a deficit, the diversion of border security cash to Tony Clement’s riding, the proroguing of parliament, the lies over the F35, the mess over arctic patrol vessels, MacKay wasting money, $3.1B unaccounted for, partisan advertising in the form of EAP ads and ads for stuff that doesn’t exist yet, the politicising of the RCMP, the clampdown on communications from government, the 7 Con politicians who have resigned in disgrace this year, the appointment of grossly incompetent people to ministries that are beyond them, the paying of public cash to spy on his caucus (and weirdly not finding anything out about Duffy or the others???), The different stories about how and why $90k was paid to Duffy etc.

            All these things are not symptomatic of a corrupt PM “in over his head” and in an office way past his “mail room” experience; no, no, no this is just an example of Liberal bias. Or it is in the foetid imaginations of Murphy, Frances and all the other shills out there.

          • I am a groupie? A groupie of what? Of following Justin Trudeau around on his speaking tour?

            How much did it cost the taxpayer to pay for Justin not sitting in the House while he was on the road giving speeches while charging for those speeches? Why does the media feel no need to speak about that kind of double dipping?

            Are you the Justin groupie for not wanting any of Justin’s double dipping reported? You think Justin should not be in the news for double dipping? Justin groupies must like it when nothing is reported on that sort of Justin double dipping………………………..because Justin is a saint, right? Just don’t report what Justin is up to; that way he will remain the fake saint.

          • Your increasing desperation is adorable. Members of all parties, as many as half of all sitting members including the CPC, earn money outside of the house. Speaking engagements, however, may skate the ethical line and in Trudeau’s case, despite approvals from the house Ethics Commissioner, skate a little too close for my taste.

          • Incoherency becomes you Francien
            It’s at times like this that you should stick to you plans to be out of here, you’re making a spectacle of yourself

          • Have you, ever in your life, before this week heard of Harb?

            Um yes…he’s been under an RCMP investigation. You’d think you’d hear more about him being in trouble again, wouldn’t you?

          • If he has not been in the media, how do you know his name?

          • I had to look it up after it was mentioned that 4 senators were charged with over billing. Actually I heard Marjory Breton mention the name Harb.

          • Sadly the honest Harb was unable to negotiate a payoff from the PMO. He’ll just have to tough it out!

          • Everybody has the right to their day in court. I wonder why Duffy didn’t decide to do that? Perhaps he knew he was guilty? Perhaps he was saved by a bribe?

          • Deflection

          • So somehow Duffy’s “corruptness” is transferred to Harper. That is one big step in logic. Harper appointed him. He did not give him permission to steal from taxpayers.

          • His Chief of Staff is implicated in the cover-up, cut a sketchy cheque and may be more deeply involved in attempting to circumvent audits and senate procedure. How does this not reflect on Harper and his office? You can’t have it both ways, when the Libs got their dirty little hands on the brown paper bags, it reflected back on the PMO. Harper and his PMO are not deserving of any less scrutiny. The dirty cheque came from his Chief of Staff for heaven sakes, of course it reflects on the PM.

          • That’s exactly why Mac Harb, the Liberal senator, has been kept out of the news.

            Better to let voters think that it’s all about Harper appointed senators.

            You see, it is much better for Liberals not to tell the whole truth. Just part of the truth will do just fine!

          • Look. Harb has not been kept out of the news. To insist otherwise is disingenuous. I’d never heard of the guy until he appeared… in the news. What you seem to be saying is that if it’s good enough for the Liberals, it’s good enough for the Cons. Harb has dropped off the radar to a degree because there are no developments to report, just as Brazeau (usually a first stop for scandal and muck raking) has dropped off the front page. The scandal, right now, lives in the PMO and Duffy. That’s where things are fluid and developing. The desperate insinuation that a nobody senator appointed a decade ago is as relevant to the news cycle as a former national anchor embroiled in shady dealings involving a huge cheque signed by the PM’s Chief of Staff is laughable. This whole kerfuffle would have been sinking out of the news were it not for cover-ups, pay-offs and attempts to interfere with due process.

          • Don’t encourage Yoko or she’ll just make another album

          • There is a just an organized attempt here to lead discussions off the topic and down pointless irrelevant paths.

          • Yeah, pretty irrelevant to talk about a Liberal appointed senator who has mis spent public money. We won’t worry about the Liberal appointed senators.

          • Even if you want to pretend that Harper has no responsibility for his Senate appointments, the original commenter was referring to a corrupt party.

          • Harper appointed him.
            Exactly correct.
            Which will lead any reasonably intelligent person to wonder about Harper’s decision making skills – are they any good?

          • Look at his cabinet choices, we should not really require more examples of the fact that Harper is in way over his head.

          • The buck only stops here, on the watch of liberal PMs…gotcha.

          • No, but he enabled him in his continued deceit, and if you can’t see that, then it’s time to surrender all pretext of objectivity.

        • .

          She has this technique down.

          • And what might your technique be, JanBC? Wait, let me answer that question: you always manage to come up with one liners in order to never have an answer to anything.

            I asked what corruption Rudy is referring to, and so far no one, not even you or Rudy, has answered that question. Allegations: sure. But making allegations unsubstantiated would reflect poorly on those doing the unsubstantiated allegation making.

          • So you see nothing that might be seen as corruption that has been exposed in the last week?

          • My question was what Rudy or you might see as corruption. As of yet, I am not convinced of corruption. But since Rudy and presumable you are convinced of corruption, please tell us what that corruption is.

          • So no answer again from JanBC. As predicted. Tiresome, to say the least.

          • Dreadfully sorry – I got distracted by CSPAN coverage of Obama’s IRS scandal – my God here he is having a press conference outlining what he’s doing to do to get to the bottom of it and taking questions from the press. Dam socialist!

          • Yeah, and you believe every word Obama has to offer! Interesting kind of uptake you follow!

          • After your performance here today questioning the right of anyone to query the veracity of anything the Harper Government says and does, it’s telling that you think you can question anything Obama says.
            What shallow groupie

      • perhaps bribery?

    • Dream on!

      • You know that doesn’t necessarily have to be taken as a compliment to, or endorsement of JT. Try reading it more as a thumbs down on Harper only, you’ll feel loads better.

  3. About what Wells and Geddes wrote two years ago: who was that ‘someone’ (?) and what’s all this about paraphrasing???

    It seems to me that if Harper has some explaining to do, then so does the media, starting with Wells and Co. Why start off an article about referring to ‘someone’?? Why not tell us who that ‘someone’ was?

    Why the need to paraphrase? Why not quote statements directly coming out of Harper’s mouth? Don’t your readers ddeserve at least some integrity coming from your reporting on all of this mess? Why get us into more of a mess by doing this kind of reporting???

    It could be true. of course, that the PM did know all along about Nigel Wrigths payment to Duffy. But it could also be true, of course, that the PM did not know about the payment until it had been made.

    Don’t pretend to write about the truth if in fact the truth is not even known by you or others within the media. When you don’t know the truth, at least have the decency to keep open the possibility that both scenarios might be possible.

    • I think you should try putting more question marks at the end of a sentence.

      • And what good would it do if I were to place more question marks at the end of sentences if even you, as a reporter and commentor, won’t bother to check out the questions raised by me?

      • Is it not the job of the journo to ask the questions, and when in print they require question marks. Is it not the job of the journo to provide answers to those questions for the reader?

        All you appear to have achieved is to raise more questions than you provide answers. Is that because you are a liberal supporter? Do you see that journos, or opinion writers, have little credibility as purveyors of the truth when you are seen to be somewhat biased to begin with?

        My suggestion would be to just declare yourself a liberal and write from that perspective.

        • That was my point exactly: why start off a reporting piece with such paraphrased comment made by someone, sometime.

          Such beginning action of a report is direction setting and I don’t like it one bit.

          • The fact that you don’t like it is NOT material. There is a apparently a lot about truth seeking that you don’t like.

        • You forgot to say Adscam and sniff haughtily.

          • Why do that when folks like you are around?

        • There must be a more succinct version of this.

      • Or at the beginning of them.

      • ??????Ha????????Would that be enough??????If you say yes, Mr. Wells, the Royal Mistress of the Irrelevant Interrogatory will definitely count them???????

      • But then again, sometimes the press will lead us into a mess.

        It is of utmost importance for the media to keep all option of truth telling open. To pick sides early on by establishing a sort of truth by leaving out other possibilities, is a dangerous course to set.

        • Try for an honest reply – do you think the PMO has been effective dealing with the current crisis? And if you were a member of the press, how would you have reported it differently?

          • If I were a member of the press I would at all times try and keep all options open of how events might have unfolded.

            Like I said in on of my earlier posts here: it is in fact entirely possible that PM Harper did not know about the Wright payment before it had been made, AND it could be true, of course, that PM Harper did know about the Wright payment before it had been made.

            When Wells writes things like: “It’s really sweet that Stephen Harper believes he cannot win a fair
            fight of full information in the light of day, but as an operating
            principle it is getting tired.” then it is Wells who’s trying to win over the reader by means of pure speculations. For it is pure speculation for Wells to state those things. Sad really that you don’t understand the difference between that which is a fact and that which Wells wants you to believe is a fact.

          • Oh good grief. In the light of long established patterns of behaviour, it is also the journalist’s job to put 2 + 2 together and point at the obvious. It is not the job of the journalist to equivocate and waffle. The Ottawa press corps has been doing far too much of that during Harper’s reign, trading their own courage for the price of access. They are supposed to dig, investigate and relay what they find. Sometimes, when evidence is lacking or inconclusive, it makes perfect sense to lay out all options and scenarios. In this scandal layer cake that the HarperGov has been baking, it makes better sense to point out the established patterns of evasion and cover up for what they are, the opposite of openness, transparency and accountability.

          • And how is Wells putting two and two together?

            Let’s see: he starts off as follows:
            —————————-

            “Someone who was there paraphrased Harper’s message to
            his ministers at his first cabinet meeting in 2006: “I am the kingpin.
            So whatever you do around me, you have to know that I am sacrosanct.”
            Harper was telling his ministers that they were expendable but that he
            wasn’t. If they had to go so that his credibility and his ability to get
            things done were protected, so be it.

            “It wasn’t personal,” this source said. “It was his office.”

            ———————

            Now, why would a reporter want to start of a so-called objective piece of reporting (is that not the goal, to be objective??) when his start-off paragraph is all about some undeclared person who has paraphrased something Harper may or may not have said.

            And Wells is concerned about Harper not wanting to be clear on things???

            Oh, and btw: you are aware that the line ‘it wasn’t personal, it was his office’ was not said by Harper but was perhaps meant by Harper…………and so forth.

            Here I was thinking that such unclear statements made were not something Wells desires, yet, he does make use of them…………………and you won’t ever wonder why…………….

          • Because that unnamed person is known to the reporter and provides testimony unavailable from other sources. And no matter how many times you repeat the word “unclear,” it’s nothing of the sort.

          • Wells proves his own point. The pm can’t get a fair hearing from the pack of wolves from the press gallery who many admit hate him.

          • That’s why I don’t bother much anymore. Why comment on a piece of reporting when the reporting is no longer being done under the objective of trying to stay objective.

            People wonder why the BC election result was such a huge surprise to the pollsters and to the media pundits. I don’t find it surprising at all that the pundits and pollsters were surprised.

          • If this is you “not bothering much anymore” I would hate to see your actions when you are “bothering much”.

          • This is the first day I have offered my opinion on the subject of Duffy and other senators over spending.

          • Just did a quick tally….53 comments on this particular thread, as well as a few on one or two other Macleans’ threads with the same topic.
            Fifty three out of two hundred and sixteen.
            About one quarter.

          • that’s why I don’t bother much anymore….

            Yet you comment how many times here today?

            You are so noble. Carrying the sword of righteous cause for Lady Justice…….. Pfffffft! What a load of flatulence!

          • Yes, and this was the only day I commented on the issue of senate overspending.

            How many days have you commented on Duffy and other senators alike? Much more than I have commented on it. Just check it out and don’t spout non sense before you have checked out the facts of my posting habits.

          • At what point does it become a self fulfilling prophecy? As far as i can tell with Harper he made it so almost right from the get go.

            And quit your crybabying. Every PM i can think of going back to PET got bad press and a hard time from the media from time to time ,whether it was deserved or not…it comes with the job. Trust Harper it turn into a personal crusade against his govt.

            The only interesting question is whether it’s just posturing on his part, or real… so he can say – ‘see, i’m the perpetual outsider, just like you ordinary folks.’ A choice IOWs. But it’s hard not to think part of him really believes it, since so many of his followers are convinced of it too.

          • Curious … at this point what does a fair hearing sound like? There is no media outlet in Canada that wouldn’t grant Harper an open ended interview.
            Speculation can only thrive in a void. At the moment, there is a void … a big one.

          • Simple solution – Harper goes on the National tomorrow night and puts all the speculation to rest. Maybe he could admit a few errors in judgement in order to appear more human.

          • If you have any evidence of Harper being open, transparent or accountable when he had has one of his previous petard mishaps, please bring it forward.

    • I hate it … I mean really hate it… when I read something that
      makes me hear the opening chords to “Thick as a Brick” …

      • You sing to yourself often?

  4. When did this trend to first presidentialize the prime ministership of this country first set in? And why? Conventional opinion says PET began it; whatever, it has to be reversed. Can it be? I get the feeling Harper’s final words will be: I am not a crook! More likely he’ll simply refuse even that much of a concession to explanation.
    Odd to throw Dion into the mix. Unless you wanted to make the point it doesn’t have to be Harper’s way – I am not expendable – hard to imagine Dion issuing a similar decree.

    • I don’t find it odd to see Dion mentioned here: both men, according to Wells, are considered honest and gracious in the Parliament world, and both were essentially undone by Duffy, a man who does not seem particularly honest or gracious.

      • That’s an irony others have also perceived, but one I didn’t intend. I meant only that integrity and intelligence aren’t always the same as effectiveness. The Duffy connection is definitely interesting but incidental to the point I meant to make.

        • Ah, the trouble with writing for a living: readers will perceive points you did not mean to make. Alice Munro said if she had intended even half of what others “read” into her work, she would consider herself genius.

          • Isn’t that true. Straightaway my partisan brain said, it’s really a sly ode to Dion. The smarter part of me knew all along that couldn’t possibly be right.

        • That sort of subtlety oughta be banned before Sunday noon.
          Not serious of course, it all too frequently already is . Nice nod toward the cognitive abilities of the Macleans readership. I wish I had got too it right off the top. I shoulda known it wasn’t meant as a compliment to Dion, or a back handed one at least. Probably true though, much as I continue to admire mr Dion – not really a competent leader, sadly. Great guy to have in the trenches though. Even if the LPC doesn’t always entirely deserve him.

      • Ok…but wells did kinda pull it out of the hat.

        • I stand corrected, below, by the author himself.

          • Me too:)

    • Careful KCm2.

      • That’s ok, we don’t impeach PMs do we? That is what you meant?

        • Oopsie. That was for patchouli, sorry.

      • I need to put my specs on. I could have sworn patchouli said that on my Iphone. Why should i want to do that exactly? Harper only sues people who are a political threat….like opposition leaders. He doesn’t bother ordinary citizens now does he?

        • I didn’t write that, and sometimes Hollinm has a cap and sometimes not, inconsistent in this very thread. I think disqus is on hollerdays today too, kcm2 (if that is actually you).

          • I think it’s me…but you never can tell really can you?

          • No, I am not one of the truth seekers on here anyhoo. But I think it’s you too … but am I me, or hollinm?

  5. First of all Harper does not run the Senate. It is a separate legislative body with its own rules. Yes he appoints but no right thinking person would believe that Duffy, Wallin, Harb or Brazeau would try to manipulate their travel expenses and housing allowance. If there is evidence please show it. The fact is he appointed them and yes they sit in the Conservative caucus but to blame the PM for his two Senators abusing their privileges smells like a witch hunt.
    Wright did what he did for whatever reason and until there is proof the PM knew before or after the benefit should go to Harper. All the speculating in the world will not get to the truth.
    Commenters on this board yelling about corruption etc. don’t know what they are talking about and it is the lefties who can’t figure out a way to beat Harper so they try to beat him by accusing him of all manner of things. That includes the parliamentary press gallery who many have admitted hate Harper.
    I said it in another post watch the video of Harper at the Council on Foreign Relations get together in New York this week. This is why he is the PM. Neither Mulcair and particularly the dauphin trying to run the Liberal Party could not and cannot hold a candle to him.

    • This low rent spin doesn’t really work in print. Best to save it for QP.

    • “… no right thinking person would believe that Duffy, Wallin, Harb or
      Brazeau would try to manipulate their travel expenses and housing
      allowance.”

      Hahahaha! Yeah, Duffy sure didn’t show any hint of his capacity for ethical lapses before his appointment.

    • dear hollinm

      If it isn’t obvious to you by now, I will explain it to you in simple words you might understand:

      The control Stephen Harper has over his office, the PMO, is absolute.

      NOTHING in the PMO happens without Stephen Harper’s approval.

      N-O-T-H-I-N-G, as in zip, zero, zilch, nada, goose egg

      This includes any and all actions by his staff.

      do you inderstand this?

      pick one: YES or NO

    • Harper is an embarrassment to a once great nation. How dare you imply that he is not to blame. He created all these problems hmself. Put all those crooks in the Senate after promising never to do that. He lied about the Census, the F-35’s, etc. Our once golden international reputation in shatters. Shame on Stephen Harper

    • “There is no-one so blind as he who refuses to see.”

    • Maybe the theme of the next campaign can be, “I’m not responsible!” It would be a nice follow-up to the “Accountability” campaign.

      I’m not responsible for Mike Duffy!

      I’m not responsible for secret payments from Nigel Wright!

      I’m not responsible for Patrick Brazeau!

      I’m not responsible for Pamela Wallin!

      I’m not responsible for robocalls!

      I’m not responsible for Patrick Brazeau!

      I’m not responsible election overspending!

      I’m not responsible plea bargains to keep Senators out of Prison!

      I’m not responsible for bribing Chuck Cadman!

      I’m not responsible for Bruce Carson!

      I’m not responsible for the missing 3 billion!

      I’m not responsible for Gazebos!

      etc

    • Har! Dauphin indeed! Good one.

  6. “The Wright Stuff”

    in case Andrew Coyne is looking for a moniker for this latest turn.

  7. The Neo-Con gang , once denied the existing recession, is sinking big time.
    News at 11.

  8. Reminds me on Nixon. “I am not a crook”. How did that work out for him, I can’t quite remember. Oh yeah: “Follow the money.”

  9. Dr. Arthur Porter, Senator Mike Duffy, Bruce Carson. Senator Patrick Brazeau, Tom Flanagan, MP Rahim Jaffer, Nathan Jacobson, Pamella Wallin, Bev Oda, Nigel Wright, Peter Penashue, “the In and Out” twins, with Pierre Poutine and Dean Del Maestro possibly waiting in the wings. (Hat tip Creekside.)

    I’ve not even mentioned “back stabber” MacKay, Gerry “cold cuts” Ritz, gazebo boy, the Minister of Creationism and Quackery etc.

    Harper either appointed or signed off on all the above at one time or another, that must raise some serious questions about his judgement and his ability to manage.

    • Give him a break. He’s been trying to make bricks without straw in the main, wouldn’t you say?

      • I guess the real Conservatives left after MacKay’s act of treachery. They probably could see the writing was on the wall and that Harper was establishing a team of mediocre minds so he could shine.

        It’s kind of like the attractive person who surrounds themselves with slightly plainer, larger people so they appear even more glamorous. I do have to ask though if Harper scraped the barrel to those depths to make himself look better, he can’t be very good at all.

  10. No, now that I think on it, Harper doesn’t have Nixon’s charm.

    • There’s some truth.

  11. Wright resigns. Stephen Harper, and questions, remain

    After 7 years can we stop looking for this PM to find his real principles? They like the questions period farce ARE, as Coyne says, his principles.What you see is what you get. That’s all you’re getting. The questions that remain will receive the same treatment as the ones that don’t get attention in the House. Kingpins don’t have to answer anything ‘less it’s in their interest to do so.

    • You may be making a mistake in assuming Harper even has princles to begin with.

  12. Sweater boy will deny all involvement like the sewer rat that he is, talk about an embarrassment to the position of Prime Minister

  13. Harper’s problem is that he really is a “limited” and limiting person. He’s probably reached his max by now and it’s time to leave. His style isn’t going to take him any further.

  14. Excellent article, not at all biased as some columnists seeme to be. I also read the preceding one on Harper’s profile. Wells’ articles do give a person a broader info base and puts things in perspective.

    • And what perspective would that be? That someone paraphrased something which was said some time ago? You are easily convinced!

  15. So where is he today? Locked in the bathroom?

  16. Paul – In amazement I keep hearing that Nigel is a stand-up guy. Consider this. Not a hair out of place, the perfect demeanor, well dressed, calm, confident, good looking, Harvard educated, very well connected, smooth….

    Out of goodness of his heart, he gifts Duffy, $90,000 by way of cheque. I would ask why… Why not cash? My interpretation… it was a loan that he wanted to be able to trace back if need be at some later point to hold Duffy accountable.

    Another question: What does the check say in the note section and who leaked the cheque? Was it a bank employee who saw the link between the amount gifted and the amount owed by Senator Duffy.

    In the world of Harvard, cutting side deals is mandatory study. What side deal was worked out that we don’t know of yet…

    A note to you Paul… Mr Nigel Wright did not want to meet with you simply because he was well trained not to do so. Otherwise you may have seen through having the experiences you have gained in your profession .

    Neither Conservative or Liberal or NDP, Canadians need to know .

    • This comment was deleted.

      • shameless whoever this gordy stefulic is…she must be one of those kleptomaniacs and potential child predators….

  17. —Did someone use the term somewhere,…Ethics??? Realistically, we all know that there are 2 aspects to consider in this present mess,…1) these big, busy types seldom really know what is going on concerning such things as expense accounts and 2) if you can get away with something, go for it!! Never trust RICH politicians,…sorry Mike and Pamela, but you really should keep a tighter hand on your business affairs!! As for anyone else who resigns, you KNOW they are being sacrificed to distract from the roots of the problems up on the Hill!!

  18. Wright was connected to the In & Out scandal, so how can he be a decent man, Mr. Wells? And from what I hear, there is more to tell about Mr. Wright that hasn’t come out yet. I don’t think he’s quite as honorable a man as you want us to believe.

    • I don’t think he’s quite as honorable a man as you want us to believe.

      Really? And you would know honor…how, exactly Rebecca Fine? Or should I call you Rosanna Lopez? Or is that just your twin sister? Any other names you’d like to disclose? Honorably of course?

      • Ha! Ha! Comes complete with a picture of the “honorable” Hiilary of Bengahzi fame! What a tool!

  19. Forget Duffy and Write, the buck stops at Harper.

  20. Keep asking questions, the buck stops at Harper and what they were trying to hide needs to come out.

  21. We’ve had liars and cheats before, but I believe that this is the first pm that is a coward.

  22. This comment was deleted.

    • Didn’t Mac Leans do an article about another vindictive principal of northern s.s.??varla abrams? would you believe the perps would have received the same disciplinary procedurses if they were racialised or heterosexual white Christian male?

    • This comment was deleted.

      • This comment was deleted.

        • Unethical behaviour is unethical behaviour regardless of where it originates. Partisan adherence that excuses the behaviour of the dauphine because of the behaviour of the other is weak minded. I’m continually surprised at the moral justifications that are muted on comment sites such as this … surely Jesse, you’ve read too quickly and absorbed too little.

        • I presume that this is a satirical reference to Vic Toews.

  23. My God you must ejaculate over and over in your satisfaction with writing about your fictional Harper. Pitiful.

    • Let’s leave sex out of this.

  24. Let’s all find where the 90,000 really came from and why it had to be paid, I do not believe it came from Wright’s pocket no matter how hard he works. Perhaps we could waterboard Tony Clement.

  25. Maybe when this mess gets sorted out we can find out where Harper hid Dean Del Mastro.

  26. The level of harassment, defamation and bullying that good people like Nigel Wright must endure at the hands of our disreputable and ignorant media keeps good people from performing public service. This is a loss to Canada. I can look up to and respect Nigel Wright. I hold our Canadian media in utter contempt.
    I was delighted by the BC election which showed so clearly that the media and the pundits haven’t the foggiest clue what they are talking about, and that Canadians are correct to pay no attention to them.

    • And now that the BC Election is over, we’re treated to articles written by those same “progressive” hack journalists and pundits, who are now telling us that the NDP lost because the BC electorate as a whole is just too stupid and unenlightened to realize how awesome the NDP is.

      • No, sweet boy. The great polls told us that the NDP were WAAAAY ahead in the polls, so 48% of BCers stayed home thinking that the outcome was a foregone conclusion. No more and no less. One of the lowest turnouts in our history.

  27. So sweater boy refers back to a speech he made years ago about “accountability ” and then runs and hides when accountability is in his front yard….really, then he lets Baird let it slide out that the PM had no knowledge of this 90k payment, doesn’t even have the stones to say it to the Canadian public himself, what a sewer rat.