Harper is running away from his scandals

Julian Wolfe
August 22nd, 2013

Parliament won’t resume until October, possibly October 21, thanks to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s latest decision to prorogue parliament as his party scrambles with damage control.

Harper is proroguing to hide from The Duffy Affair and The Wallin Affair, which won’t go away.

Recently, Wallin was ordered to repay over $120,000, following Duffy’s $90,000. The investigations into these senators has costed more than their owing, but in the case of both, we see a line of deceit and cover-up and who can forget the inside job behind Duffy? Harper’s right hand man cut a $90,000 cheque in exchange for Duffy’s silence and the Conservatives went from acclaiming honor to dressing up as sheep.

As a result, Harper plans to hit the reset button and give a new speech from the throne which would set a brand new agenda for the government, something that was anticipated since the Yahoo! Canada exposed a recent Conservative fundraising campaign which called supporters and told them the following.

“Next month, the House gets back in session and we’re worried that the media is going to pick up where they left off and that was the Senate issue. And you know, we want to focus on a lot of other things that we’ve done well.

We’re doing a big media campaign. The economy is our number one focus. Our country’s economy is the strongest in the G-7. Our taxes are the lowest they’ve been in 15 years. We’ve overhauled our criminal justice and immigration [systems] in the last 2 year’s we’ve had our majority.

But it seems most of the media coverage remains pretty negative.

So by doing this we can get our message out to Canadians. We will also have a new Speech from the Throne which will lay out the direction of the government for the next two years, as well, heading into the next election.

And we’re just asking for your support to get that message out with a 75% tax credit.

…When we go back in September we know what we’re going to be facing. We’re really trying to change that channel and that’s why we’re doing the campaign at the same time to get our…new agenda.”

There isn’t a better way to change the channel is there? However running away from problems only shows one thing, a sign of guilt. Whether it be or not, the optics of this political move will only further hurt Harper’s already tarnished reputation.

There are three ways of dealing with a scandal, first, you can hide from it, second, you can lie about it, and third, you can be honest about it. The optics of each vary: the first will make you look guilty, and like a coward, the second, once exposed as a lie, will damage your reputation badly, the third, shows the most integrity and usually takes the most guts to do, however, even someone who is guilty has a better chance of recovering from telling the truth than the alternatives.

Canadians are watching this time, and they are becoming increasingly frustrated with Harper’s attempts to dodge questions and accountability, something he once championed. Optically, hiding shows guilt and there is no worse time than now for Canadians to see guilt, especially in the midst of an upcoming Conservative convention.

Harper has decided to run away from his scandals, are you surprised? How well or badly has Harper dealt with his scandals?

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   Categories: Accountability, Integrity, Scandal, The Duffy Affair, The Wallin Affair

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On Monday, the longest campaign in modern history will come to a close and if current polls are any indication, Canada may be seeing a change in government after 9 years of Conservative rule under the leadership of Stephen Harper. Accountability was his calling card in 2006 and today, accountability may very well be one of the defining reasons for his departure.

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Prime Minister Stephen Harper left Rideau Hall this morning with Governor General David Johnston’s approval to drop the writ and Canadians are now officially headed to the polls on October 19. For the first time since fixed election date legislation was brought in by the Conservative government, a fixed election date has been followed.

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