Such hypocrites, the lot of them, from the mainstream media and political pundits, to the opposition leaders themselves. There is near hysteria about the Duffy/Wright/Harper issue even after we know the “PM is good to go” did not mean the PM knew that Wright would be paying for Duffy’s expenses.
I mean, who among them has not “managed issues” to eliminate or reduce bad press? It used to be called “public relations.” Now, more often than not, it’s called “damage control,” “communications” or “issues management.” It’s all inter-connected.
(1) NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair and his staff have been managing the “satellite office issue.” Who, for example, hasn’t heard that the spending of the $2.7 million funds used were following the rules and that they can prove it. Now read the final paragraphs of a Kady O’Malley CBC column:
“If he [Mulcair] can also provide conclusive, compelling evidence to back up his party’s claim that House administrators were fully aware of the satellite office staffing expenses, it will likely shut down any attempts by rival parties to prolong the House-mandated study by calling additional witnesses. Alternately, if the New Democrats appear to be holding back key documents….there’s a good bet that Mulcair’s appearance will do little to quell the controversy.”
Now, for those who have been following the Wright testimony this week at the Duffy trial, doesn’t that sound familiar? Except the above was said in a Parliamentary Committee hearing, not a criminal court’s proceedings.
(2) Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and his staff have been managing his response to the “not yet ready” issue presented in a Tory ad. Check out this Google search page on the topic that indicates that the Liberal Party has actually put out an ad saying Trudeau “is” ready. Plus he has spoken directly to the matter himself. As well, I have seen red T-shirts with that motto on the back.
My point is that issues management is what all politicians and political staff do. Sometimes strategic plans don’t work as hoped and staffers have to be flexible enough to respond to the punches. Regardless, there is only one man on trial right now and that is Senator Mike Duffy. He is on trial because he is alleged to have expensed his PEI property as his main residence so that he could claim he was travelling while in his Ottawa home. Why he is charged with bribery because Nigel Wright paid for his $90,000 worth of expenses I simply don’t understand.
As far as Wright is concerned, however, what comes to my mind is the old saying: “no good deed goes unpunished!”
Anyway, no matter how much progressives would like it to be true, Prime Minister Harper is not on trial. In other words, the PM has done nothing wrong. For those who claim no one was fired. Actually, someone WAS fired — Nigel Wright — over the fact the PM did not know that it was he and not the Senator himself, who paid Duffy’s expenses. Actually, that is the way it usually works. Wright was the Chief of Staff so he had to take the fall for the misunderstanding. And, yes, that is all it was — a misunderstanding.
Yet, listening to the CBC’s Power and Politics tonight I swear the host Rosemary Barton (who I like) and most of the pundits (other than Rick Anderson) thought the sky was falling and, as a listener, it seemed to me, were throwing out hysterical allegations and false narratives as they went along.
The crux of the matter is that what Wright and those who worked under him in the PMO were doing in the winter of 2013 was simply issues management. Nothing more. Nothing less — regardless of the terminology used by the Defence lawyer on Duffy’s case. Just as Mulcair and Trudeau’s staff and volunteers are doing now day in and day out during this election in their campaign.
Remember that every time you see or hear Mulcair and Trudeau ranting against the PM over the $90,000 bank draft that was used to repay taxpayers.
Remember that when mainstream media journalists refer to this matter as a huge Harper scandal. It is not.
But, most of all, remember what this election is really all about, by checking out my list of “100 reasons to vote Conservative” on October 19th, 2015.