mike duffy scandal
Wright, a wealthy man, delivered this tale with composure and sangfroid. In Nigel's world, writing a $90,000 cheque to a senator in need falls into the same category as taking young Conservative interns to lunch. Just one of those things one does for the less fortunate.
While Stephen Harper would like to focus on "bad" senators behaving as "bad" senators do, abusing the public trust and claiming expenses for which they were not entitled, the larger scandal is the one that transpired inside PMO. The events in Langevin Block are of critical importance to the people of Canada. Let's face it -- from beginning to end, Stephen Harper was thick as thieves with Mike Duffy. The rules were there to be bent. And once the abuse of the public purse reached the light of day, just like so many sycophants before him, Mike Duffy was expected to happily roll under the bus. But, with apologies to Dylan Thomas, Mike Duffy will not go quietly under that good bus.
At its core, the Prime Minister's role in the Senate expense affair is a story about the elected head of the government of Canada demanding some shred of accountability and ethics from a crooked political institution whose members believe they have no obligation to provide either. That's not a scandal.
In Canada we've got a problem. The symptoms are easy to spot. For example, low voter turnout, a less than vital Fourth Estate and public apathy. What could we change to restore the kind of healthy democracy that would re-engage voters, stop the growth in public cynicism and give Canadians a system -- and individual politicians --they could believe in? Here's a short prescription for what ails our democracy.