So, after the contempt of Parliament, the assault on medical care for refugees, the disgraceful violation of First Nations' treaty rights, the torture cover-ups, the insane denial of global warming, the stolen election, the serial omnibus bills, the G-20 atrocity, the insults about how missing and murdered aboriginal women were "not high on [his] list of priorities," the spending of hundreds of millions on advertising for non-existent programs, the lying to Parliament about Canada's latest military adventures, ... after all that, it's the Duffy Scandal that sinks harper?
The Duffy Scandal isn't the non-issue that a commenter here is trying to paint it as:
Here are the main points:Apparently that bit of twaddle was inspired by this bit of twaddle. Whatevah.
The Senate - like your House of Lords - is an independent chamber of sober second thought - but it has problems - it is unaccountable since it is unelected (senators are appointed to represent the provinces, but as an independent chamber there is little control over what those Senators do or do not do). As this 'scandal' shows, the Senate had very loosey goosey rules on what Senators can expense. Basically anything and everything.
Mike Duffy expensed a lot - just like all the senators including Conservatives and Liberals. He and others were called out for their expenses (and justly so). Many of the senators choose to pay back the money or retire. Duffy either couldn`t afford to pay the money back or didn`t want to because he felt that he was entitled to the money. That was the issue that ended up involving the PMO because it was becoming a political issue (see CBC and their hate on for Harper).
The Conservative Party was originally willing to cover the cost of his expenses using donor money, but as the bill escalated and Duffy became more entrenched insisting that he had done nothing wrong, the party declined.
Nigel Wright stepped up and offered to pay the bill OUT OF HIS OWN POCKET. Was the intent to disfuse the situation - absoluately. How it was bribe baffles everyone? The fact that the RCMP never charged Wright pretty much ends any bribery charges even for Duffy. And since Nigel used a personal cheque it is unlikely he had any intent to 'hide' the fact. Unlike the former Liberal government and Adscam were Liberal senators were literally paying on business with envelopes of cash.
So esssentally a Dudly Do Right wants to return money TO taxpayers and he is hauled into court. Duffy is going to get off since the spending rules of the Senate were non-existent! What rules did he volitate?
The bigger scandal is that the audit completed on 2 years of Senator expenses cost 23 MILLION DOLLARS AND FOUND LESS THAN A MILLION DOLLARS OF QUESTIONABLE EXPENSES. But again since the spending rules are non existent, what does the audit show - pretty much nothing.
So this is a 'big' scandal only for the media who live their lifes in Ottawa and cover all political things.
And it certainly isn't about Duffy cheating on his taxes, as that clueless and obnoxious hard-core harperbot cretin tried to say. (More about him later!)
Here's what really happened: harper (the laughable coward) made Duffy a Senator so that he could fund-raise for the Conservative Party of Canada on the taxpayers' dime. (The sort of thing that harpercons get incensed about should another party be doing it.) Duffy was to be the Senator for PEI. Duffy balked at this because the rules are quite clear that you have to live in the province you represent and he'd lived in Ontario for decades. But harper told him not to worry about it, so the Senator for PEI he became.
Duffy pretended that his main residence in Ontario was a secondary residence to his un-winterized cottage in PEI and as a secondary residence he was eligible for compensation. Being a shameless hack, Duffy did so expense his main house as his secondary Ottawa residence and much else besides. (Duffy's current protestations that he did nothing wrong are ridiculous bullshit.)
Then, somehow or other, Duffy got audited and it was all found to be wrong. His Ottawa residence was not his secondary residence, he was NOT from PEI, his expense claims were not for official Senate business. Duffy was reeling. What the fuck??? harper had told him everything was going to be all right. Everything was NOT all right! What was harper going to do about it?
harper, being a coward and a shallow, stupid man, decided that discretion was the better part of valour and he would do nothing and let Duffy twist in the wind. Duffy would have none of it. Duffy had been a loyal foot soldier for the party and he'd be damned if he'd go down quietly in the face of such sleazy betrayal.
The PMO decided to get the Conservative Party to bail him out. But they party wasn't prepared to pay $90,000 for Duffy. (They had been prepared to pay $35,000 of publicly subsidized donor's money!) So, Nigel Wright decides to pay up. But Duffy has to admit his guilt. Duffy has to pretend he borrowed the money from the Royal Bank. Duffy has to shut the fuck up. In return the PMO will have the Senate audit go easy on him. They tried to influence the auditors themselves and they rewrote the Senate Committee's report when that didn't work.
Then Duffy blabbed about it in an email to some friends and one of them leaked it.
And here we, and harper, find ourselves.
This is corruption Canadian style and the RCMP, which charged Duffy with accepting a bribe, but chose not to charge Wright under the Parliament of Canada Act (where his actions are very much illegal) and which has been shown to have been strangely unconcerned with the inconsistent and changing accounts of the principles involved, is looking terrible too.
If this is what it takes to bring down harper, so be it. But he is guilty of so much worse. Much, much worse. It's telling about our political culture that something like this brings down a despised prime minister and not any of his major crimes against humanity.
Now, about that cranky old fart who called the reporters "lying pieces of shit": How do we produce such people? Clearly he's able to dress and groom himself. He looks like he held down a steady job for his working age years. And probably a nice paying one too. So how does he feel so passionate about something he clearly knows nothing about? He knows sweet fuck all about this scandal. His characterization of it as being Duffy cheating on his taxes isn't even approaching the standard harpercon distortions. This imbecile has no clue about the Duffy scandal. There is no way that he could have watched a single news report on it in even a semi-conscious state. Now, were I to be so completely ignorant about a topic, the last thing I'd do would be to wade into a group of journalists and berate them for getting it wrong and call them liars.
But this guy did. It's like he ran up to a group of teenagers playing basketball and took the ball and started hitting it with a stick like it was field hockey and yelled at them for not being able to keep up.
This clueless sense of entitlement is the epitome of white, male conservatism. For the most part, these people are morons. Somehow our society is set up to reward these assholes over everyone else, despite their obvious mental shortcomings. They have some deranged, incoherent worldview and even though it is destroyed on a daily basis, they don't notice. They don't have to notice. The don't experience the discomfort or stress of cognitive dissonance, because they have so much scar tissue over their brains that it doesn't penetrate. Facts bounce off their thick skulls like a fine mist.