Ralph Goodale hits the nail on the head with this commentary:
JUST TWO ROGUES … OR A CULTURE OF DECEIT
I’ve tried to avoid much commentary about the sordid saga of former Conservative Cabinet Minister, Helena Guergis, and her spouse, former Conservative M.P. and Caucus Chair, Rahim Jaffer.
Fed by private detectives, journalists, business associates, and even their own friends and former colleagues – the Guergis/Jaffer scandal is in high gear. Allegations about illicit drugs, wild parties, wrongful business deals, the misuse of government assets and gross ethical violations have never been more rampant. Or unanswered.
The police will get to the bottom of this mess. But all the revelations beg a larger question – what kind of political culture within the Harper regime allows such behaviour, as long as you don’t get caught?
Could it be a Conservative culture of deceit?
Oh no, say the government’s apologists. Jaffer and Guergis are exceptions. The rest of this government is Simon-pure, they claim, as they rush to throw the “Odd Couple” under the bus.
But how do the Conservatives explain their failure to act – for seven months – on their knowledge of cocaine in a Minister’s car, and insider lobbying for government grants. They leapt into action only after the news began leaking out.
This same culture of deceit lies behind the abusive Conservative prorogations of Parliament; their cover-up of credible reports of torture; their rampant violations of Access to Information laws; and their vicious attacks against public “watchdogs”, ranging from the Nuclear Safety Commission and the Parliamentary Budget Officer to the independent agencies overseeing the police, the military and even fair elections.
Deceit also riddles Conservative claims about cutting taxes. The Harper government is actually increasing taxes this year in at least seven different ways – taxes on jobs, savings, air travel, exports, financial services, health products and education.
In their culture of deceit, the Conservatives can’t even recognize the truth anymore.
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