Thursday, May 30, 2013

New column day

Here, on how Tom Mulcair's effective cross-examination of Stephen Harper serves as only one step toward the government we should want - i.e., one thoughtful and responsible enough to actually withstand answering real questions.

For further reading...

- Plenty of other commentators are rightly pointing out Harper's predictable retreat into obfuscation and deflection, including Chantal Hebert, John Ivison and Dan Lett.

- Andrew Coyne traces both the entire Clusterduff and the Cons' increasingly laughable talking points to an obsession with expediency over truth:
People don’t make ethical choices in isolation. They take their cues from those around and above them. Maybe Duffy’s expense padding had its roots in the Senate’s historically lax culture: indeed, given the absence of controls on senators’ expenses, it would be astonishing if only a couple of senators had succumbed to the temptation this presented.

But the efforts to cover this up, like the obstruction of the robocalls investigation or the curious lack of due diligence in the Porter appointment, are suggestive of something else: a habit of looking the other way at bad behaviour, if not actually encouraging it; and, when it is brought to light, of denying, and minimizing, and explaining it away.

This isn’t about a few senators padding their expense accounts, or criminal acts on the part of one or two individuals, or even what the prime minister knew when. It’s the whole moral code of this government that’s in question. This isn’t just a problem, something to be fixed — it’s existential. Whatever the various official investigations may or may not turn up, questions about the government’s character are now deeply planted in the public mind, in a way it shows no sign of being able to deal with, or even comprehending.
- And Thomas Walkom draws a parallel between Harper and Richard Nixon.

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