Thursday, May 7, 2015

Not a good week for the Harper gang

First off, we've got the Duffy trial. That's a work in progress, now progressing into its third or fourth week of he-said she-said ennui that seems to cast far more doubt on the good offices of Harper and Co. than it does on Puffy Duffy.

Anybody who followed the Duffster's career back when he had one knew this was a journo destined for bigger and better things. This was a guy with an uncanny knack for sucking up to those in power... or failing that, those who would be in power next.

Sure enough, the Harper gang took the reins in Ottawa and Big Steve gave Puffy Duffy the reward of a lifetime - a seat in the Senate!

By this time the Puffster had nation-wide recognition. Everybody knew Puffy. That's why he was put in the Senate. He was put in the Senate to butter the bread on the government side. Which, according to all the evidence, he did and did well.

He was one of the busiest of the busy senators pushing the party line for Big Steve and the Conservative Party.

Then some of the jealous journos who coveted Puffy's seat in the Senate started asking some embarrassing
questions about how the Senator from PEI actually lived in Ottawa.

That's the kind of hanky-panky that's gone on since the first Senate meeting, but heretofore it was considered uncouth to bring it up.

No more.

At first the Harper gang circled the wagons and hoped the questions would go away.

When they didn't, they tossed the Puffster overboard.

To the astonishment of the Conservative Party elite, he floated.

So here we are, having a trial that will cost tens of millions, to get to the bottom of a "corruption" case that might have involved a couple of hundred thousand.

It's not a trial going well for the Harper gang.

Then we've got the Omar Khadr case. Omar Khadr was set free on bail today by a judge who obviously did not see herself constrained by the diktats of the Harper gang. Omar was a fifteen year old kid who allegedly tossed the grenade that killed a US soldier in Afghanistan in 2002.

According to the Harper gang, that was a heinous war crime.


In the first place, I suppose if you killed a US soldier in the US, there might be a case.

But killing a US soldier who is a part of a foreign army invading a foreign country... how is that a war crime?

What was particularly odious about the Khadr case is that it unravelled in the shadow of Canada's enthusiastic endorsement of the UN protocol on the rights of child soldiers.

Today a Canadian court granted bail to Omar Khadr, who has been illegally detained since he was fifteen years old, first at Gitmo and then in Canada. At every turn the Harper gang has blocked every move to grant this child soldier the rights that Canada enthusiastically endorsed back in 2000.

Finally, this week brought us the huge NDP win in Harper's home province. Harper and his ilk are the children of an Alberta conceit which posits that Alberta's oil wealth is the result of hard-working Albertans putting that oil in the ground through their own hard work.

That's an attitude that has protected the PC leadership in Alberta for 44 years, and it might have continued had the gravy train of $100/bbl oil rolled on just a bit longer.

But it didn't.

Instead, we've got $50 oil and a huge hole in the provincial budget.

That made folks take a closer look at how their province has been managed the last 44 years.

The PC's in Alberta started up their sovereign wealth fund forty years ago. They've stashed away a whopping 17 billions to look after the people of Alberta after the oil runs out.

Meanwhile, the government of Norway started up a sovereign wealth fund 25 years ago. They've managed to stash away a trillion dollars.

When Albertans look at that, they can't help but realize they've been grossly mismanaged.

By their Conservative government.

All of which adds up to a certain level of discomfort among the Harperites in Ottawa, who will be facing an election in five months.

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