Sure. I believe in the notion of innocent until proven guilty. I’ll be curious to see how all of this turns out.
The doubts that I’m raising go beyond the presumption of innocence. The trial is long and complicated. Duffy’s lawyer, Donald Bayne, has been taking apart the government’s case piece by piece. It is increasingly coming across as a shambles and at times banal, eg the government has filed wiki pages as “evidence”, but wants to exclude official senate reports, including the 2009-10 Internal Audits, as “hearsay”
< cbc.ca/news/politics/mike-du … -1.3054052 >.
The senate itself wants to exclude on the basis of “privilege” its audit of senators’ residency requirements. While Duffy has allegedly committed a criminal wrong over residency, and should be punished accordingly if found guilty, there are wider ranging doubts about who is compliant < cbc.ca/news/politics/mike-du … -1.3051712 >.
Duffy’s lawyer wants that report to be admitted because it will support his case. Mulcair asked Harper to have the senate release the report. He got a little lecture about how it’s a different chamber etc. That’s true, but the only partisan senators left are Conservatives who are members of Harper’s caucus.
The Harper way of government relies heavily on personal attacks. We are supposed to fix our minds on the personal failings of his political rivals or critics. That hasn’t worked so well against Mulcair or Trudeau, but it did against Justin’s predecessors and it took Layton a long time to prevail over the attacks.
A variant of the attack strategy is that if the government has a problem, they divert our attention by throwing someone under the bus. Sometimes that can have great entertainment value as well. Christie Blatchford seems to specialize in framing sensitive political issues as mostly about individuals (see her work on aboriginal activism and her bizarre comments about violence against women). While she is very good at crafting innuendo against people, she has been rather careful about Duffy himself. But then he is a past master and will apparently be taking the stand at some point, although he does not have to.
I think that what is shaping up here is not only a case against Duffy that is falling apart, but one that may seriously backfire against the Harper government. It has been suggested that Duffy’s lawyer wants the trial to go on into the election. That’s hard to say, but I hope that it goes on as close as possible to the election.
I suggest following the CBC’s coverage of the Duffy trial, including the daily blogs from the trial itself by Katy O’Mally and Rosemary Barton.
I will be thrilled if Duffy’s trial hurts Harper’s chances in October. I certainly cannot vote for Trudeau, not after his stance on bill C-51. It is starting to look like Cullen will get my vote once again.
The gods first raise up those whom they wish to destroy. (actually a misquote but I have always liked it).
Yes, the real question in all of this is… is why Pamela and Duffy? Who did they piss off?
They are both smart people. They negotiated their way through a political world that takes few if any prisoners; and, they managed to grab the gold ring of a Senate appointment. During their education in the political world, they cannot have not learned what was acceptable behavior and what was not. They are smart , savvy people. However, there is a real culture of entitlement in the public sector. At its apex is appointed politicians who are pretty much untouchable once they are appointed.
I doubt very much Duffy and Pamela were doing anything that was not done to some degree by many other elected and appointed people. Perhaps they were just seen as too greedy? There are some really fine people in office (appointed or elected), but I would bet that if forensic auditors were given complete access to all the financial records for the MLAs, and MPs across Canada for the past 20 years, the number of folks who would be called to account would be large.
I think there are quite a few people out there who are thinking while they watch the unfolding infotainment. “There but for the grace of god go I”| ( another quote I have always liked!)
I doubt very much Duffy and Pamela were doing anything that was not done to some degree by many other elected and appointed people. **Perhaps they were just seen as too greedy? ** [/quote]
Agreed. We’ve all seen various elected and appointed individuals feeding with abandon at the public trough. You bring up an interesting question about enemies. I wonder if we will ever know some of the inner machinations of this fiasco.