Friday, October 23, 2015

Well, actually, it's about the Duffy Trial

You may have been as confused as I was.

Why, given Harper's known inability to take orders or suffer any form of supervision, would he opt to remain a sitting Member of Parliament, now relegated to the opposition benches.

This is a guy, who during his concession speech, (which was a hastily re-written victory speech), didn't have the conventional decency to state his intentions to his audience before he scampered off the stage. His intention to resign as leader of the Conservative Party came via a statement released by the party president, John Walsh and even it was a rather muddled sounding bit of poli-speak with all the clarity of a cold latte. Conservative MPs have no idea if Harper is their leader.

What did come out was that Harper would continue to sit as an MP. And one doesn't have to dig too deeply to understand why.

The Duffy Trial.

Parliamentary Privilege.

As long as Harper is a Member of Parliament he cannot be compelled to testify as a witness in any civil, criminal or military proceeding. You can bet he'll be hanging onto that seat until the Duffy trial is concluded.


West End Bob said...

Ahhhhhh, excellent point, Cap'n!

I've been wondering why stevie would subject himself to back-bench status and you've cleared it up . . . .

WILLY said...

Duffy's lawyer should ask for continuance to delay the trial until the summer. Stretch out the period of time that Harper will have to sit on a back bench watching the son of his anti-Christ rip apart his life's work. There is some justice in that, which might be all that we get.

Good catch WEB (cool your initials spell web, very tricky)

Owen Gray said...

There's method to his madness.

Sixth Estate said...

Perhaps you're right but I suspect that more of it is that in the back of his head he still thinks he's at least going to use this position to engineer who gets to succeed him.

I don't base this on anything in particular other than that the first thing that was going through his head as he watched the election results come in and made this decision probably wasn't, "I better not make the Duffy scandal any worse."

Dave said...

6E I might go along with that except that Harper has never showed the slightest interest in anyone or anything but himself. He doesn't give a whit about the party, (or the country, for that matter), since, in his view, the only way either are great is with him at the head.
I don't think he cares about making the Duffy scandal worse either. It's about his own self-preservation and vulnerability. I'm pretty sure a defence attorney would have him declared hostile right from the get go and then start aiming the "criminally culpable" sword in Harper's direction. There is, after all, at least one former PMO staffer who came within blonde hair of saying Harper knew and approved of the payment of a bribe. This is about saving his own ass.

Anonymous said...

You're right.
He's pulling a Pinochet right enough.
It is interesting that he finished being PM as he spent most of his time in that office - gutless and delivering news from far off places and not directly himself.
Stephen Harper is an inveterate coward and that has never changed.

Boris said...

This is also where he finds out if he has any friends left in his own party. He has lost his hardline authority and has just led the party into a humiliating defeat. Anyone in his own ranks with an axe to grind has their chance. Parliamentary privilege or not, what happens to him from here on is anyone's guess. Regarding Duffy, it'll be interesting to see how parliament responds if there's an overwhelming case for calling him as a witness or charge him wth something.

Edstock said...

Sales of whoopee cushions will hit an all-time high.

Dana said...

I suspect part of it is also that he believes he can control the Con senators. The reality is that every day he remains in the House and in Ottawa is one more day the Conservative Party cannot rebuild.

West End Bob said...

Dana -

The reality is that every day he remains in the House and in Ottawa is one more day the Conservative Party cannot rebuild.

In that case, let's hope he never leaves ! ! ! !

Dana said...

Bob, you never had the experience of our old Progressive Conservative Party. They were a fine centre right alternative. I didn't always agree with their policies and I didn't always like some of them but I never once came to believe that they had malevolent intent or that their love of country was any less than my own. I would be quite happy to see the PC Party re-emerge from the rubble.

Dana said...

However, in the meantime I won't rest easy til Stevie has tendered his resignation to Johnson, Johnson has accepted it and asked Justin Trudeau to form a government. Johnson is a perfidious enough bastard to betray the whole process.

The Mound of Sound said...

I suppose the Crown overlooked that when they subpoenaed several sitting senators to be called to the trial. Dave, yes it is a general rule that's primarily applied in the case of a sitting prime minister but Shifty is now an opposition backbencher. I think he would have trouble ducking a subpoena, particularly where the evidence raises a suggestion of a political prosecution and corruption of the state police apparatus.

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