Don't bet against political survivors - Macleans.ca

Don’t bet against political survivors

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

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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.