Da Legal Stuff...

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Choose Your Headline

Reports Suggest Stockwell Day Hiding Illegal Firearms at his Ottawa Residence.

Jim Flaherty Stole Funds from Toronto Banking Consortium in the 1990’s

Stephen Harper Caught in Intimate Affair with Under Age Neighbor.

None of the preceding headlines are real of course, but they say so much about the self serving position taken by Canada’s governing party when it comes to the actions of former Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier.

For very good reason there are laws against possessing illegal weapons, bank fraud and sexual interference with a minor. There are also very good reasons why laws are in place when it comes to protecting classified government documents.

Why then does the Harper government refuse to call for a formal police investigation and continue to insist that the actions of Maxime Bernier are little more than a political gaffe? Why does the PM brush aside the fact that someone in Mr. Bernier’s sensitive position had an intimate relationship with a person directly connected to organized crime figures? Why, unlike the startling headlines above are Bernier’s actions touted as a “private matter”?

Would it be a private matter if the Finance Minister were indeed found to have committed a theft in the past, the Public Safety Minister broke Canada’s gun laws or the PM took part in an illicit affair with a minor? Of course it wouldn’t. Neither is it a private matter when someone with access to sensitive documents leaves them in the home of a “connected” person for over a month. There are laws against just that sort of activity.

Between the Bernier screw up in Afghanistan, NAFTA gate, the Chuck Cadman affair, the flip flop on income trusts, Jim Flaherty’s attack on the Ontario government, Bernier’s security breach and the Conservative’s stonewalling over every last one of those situations Canada’s governing party has gone from being seen as a calculating, controlling, but focused, group to a laughing stock across the Country. A Parliamentary version of the Three Stooges or the Apple Dumpling Gang.

When the Liberal party was under the gun over the Quebec sponsorship scandal they were rightfully recognized as corrupt and manipulating but they never, not even at their darkest hour, were seen as being comedic in their ineptness. In this respect Stephen Harper has reached a new low generally reserved for the likes of George Bush in the U.S.

There is nothing as deadly for a political party than becoming a laughing stock. As the butt of countless jokes the Conservative party has entered into uncharted territory in Canadian politics and as their comedic value continues to grow any public respect they possessed will fall accordingly.

It may have taken more than two years for the true character of the federal Conservative Party to show itself but it seems the truth is finally beginning to surface, no matter how hard the PM tries to throw a cloak of silence over it.

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