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    "I Couldn't Care Less": Stephen Ha 

By Susanna Kelley
Sometimes, for those who truly place great value on our democracy, the arrogance of some of our elected leaders is nothing short of shocking.   
This is one of those times.
At Queen's Park, as we all know, the Liberal government has, according to the Auditor General, misspent over $1 billion to save several seats in a vain effort to get a majority.
It shut down the Legislature - the people's house - for months to try to halt investigation and criticism of that abuse of power.
At the same time, taxpayers continued to pay the salaries of xx MPPs while they campaigned full time to become leader of the Liberal Party and inherit the office of Premier - without any mandate from the voters.
In Ottawa, three Senators stand accused of filing dubious expenses totaling more than half a million dollars.
The RCMP says in filed court documents that Senator Pamela Wallin has committed fraud and breach of trust.
Nigel Wright, the former top advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, is being investigated for writing a $90,000 personal cheque to Senator Mike Duffy in order to make a scandal go away.
The Prime Minister refuses to give a straight answer to those who elected him about how it all came down.
The worst moment, however, came during Stephen Harper's speech to the Conservative Party convention in Calgary on Friday night.
"In terms of such opponents, I couldn't care less what they say," said Mr. Harper, referring to the opposition parties' demands tell the whole truth about the cheque Wright wrote to pay back Mr. Duffy's improper expenses.
Now, I get it that he was talking to the party faithful, where political bravado and partisanship are just the thing to work up the crowd.
But Mr. Harper well knew that his speech was being televised nationally, precisely because Canadians are paying close attention to the Senate scandal.
Mr. Harper has contradicted himself numerous times about whether Mr. Wright resigned or was fired because of the cheque. 
Think about it. 
The opposition parties represent the wishes of more than 60% of those Canadians who voted, because Mr. Harper's popular vote was just 39.6 per cent in the last election.
So the Prime Minister of Canada is saying, in reality, that he "couldn't care less" what 60% of voters want him to do.
Prime Ministers and Premiers, once elected, are supposed to represent all Canadians, not just their partisan supporters, and most try to find common ground that all factions can support.
Saying, "I couldn't care less" and blowing off 60% of those who voted says a lot about Stephen Harper's view of Canadian democracy.
Actually the political arrogance shown in ignoring the wishes of nearly two-thirds of those who voted dwarfs Pierre Trudeau's famous "Just watch me" answer when asked how far he would go to curtail civil liberties during the FLQ crisis. 
Looking closer to home, another example of political disrespect for voters is Rob Ford's apology on several Toronto radio stations to the long-suffering people of Toronto for "mistakes" he's made in the past.
When asked what those mistakes are, he acknowledged being drunk in a public place while mayor and said he'd get a driver.
He didn't say he'd stop drinking, just that he'll "slow down."
From what I've seen (and you may deduce from my last name my culture's expertise in this area), those who don't have a problem with alcohol have no problem giving it up altogether.
But most concerning of all when it comes to not respecting voters was Mr. Ford's refusal to address the question Torontonians have been asking, and he has been avoiding, since the story about the infamous video of the mayor allegedly smoking crack cocaine   surfaced: whether he has ever smoked crack cocaine in the past - not whether he smokes it now - and whether he has a drug problem now.
Instead, he announced he wouldn't resign, nor even take a leave of absence, to get his life under control.
Queen's Park's Liberals, Rob Ford, Stephen Harper.
It would be hard to find three more shining examples of the "culture of entitlement" that seems to be all too prevalent in to our politics in Canada these days.
  
  
 
"I Couldn't Care Less": Stephen Harper

 

 

By Susanna Kelley

Sometimes, for those who truly place great value on our democracy, the arrogance of some of our elected leaders is nothing short of shocking.   

This is one of those times.

At Queen's Park, as we all know, the Liberal government has, according to the Auditor General, misspent over $1 billion to save several seats in a vain effort to get a majority.

It shut down the Legislature - the people's house - for months to try to halt investigation and criticism of that abuse of power.

At the same time, taxpayers continued to pay the salaries of 4 MPPs while they campaigned full time to become leader of the Liberal Party and inherit the office of Premier - without any mandate from the voters.

In Ottawa, three Senators stand accused of filing dubious expenses totaling more than half a million dollars.

The RCMP says in filed court documents that Senator Pamela Wallin has committed fraud and breach of trust.

Nigel Wright, the former top advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, is being investigated for writing a $90,000 personal cheque to Senator Mike Duffy in order to make a scandal go away.

The Prime Minister refuses to give a straight answer to those who elected him about how it all came down.

The worst moment, however, came during Stephen Harper's speech to the Conservative Party convention in Calgary on Friday night.

"In terms of such opponents, I couldn't care less what they say," said Mr. Harper, referring to the opposition parties' demands tell the whole truth about the cheque Wright wrote to pay back Mr. Duffy's improper expenses.

Now, I get it that he was talking to the party faithful, where political bravado and partisanship are just the thing to work up the crowd.

But Mr. Harper well knew that his speech was being televised nationally, precisely because Canadians are paying close attention to the Senate scandal.

Mr. Harper has contradicted himself numerous times about whether Mr. Wright resigned or was fired because of the cheque.

Think about it.

The opposition parties represent the wishes of more than 60% of those Canadians who voted, because Mr. Harper's popular vote was just 39.6 per cent in the last election.

So the Prime Minister of Canada is saying, in reality, that he "couldn't care less" what 60% of voters want him to do.

Prime Ministers and Premiers, once elected, are supposed to represent all Canadians, not just their partisan supporters, and most try to find common ground that all factions can support.

Saying, "I couldn't care less" and blowing off 60% of those who voted says a lot about Stephen Harper's view of Canadian democracy.

Actually the political arrogance shown in ignoring the wishes of nearly two-thirds of those who voted dwarfs Pierre Trudeau's famous "Just watch me" answer when asked how far he would go to curtail civil liberties during the FLQ crisis.

Looking closer to home, another example of political disrespect for voters is Rob Ford's apology on several Toronto radio stations to the long-suffering people of Toronto for "mistakes" he's made in the past.

When asked what those mistakes are, he acknowledged being drunk in a public place while mayor and said he'd get a driver.

He didn't say he'd stop drinking, just that he'll "slow down."

From what I've seen (and you may deduce from my last name my cultural expertise in this area), those who don't have a problem with alcohol have no problem giving it up altogether.

But most concerning of all when it comes to not respecting voters was Mr. Ford's refusal to address the question Torontonians have been asking, and he has been avoiding, since the story about the infamous video of the mayor allegedly smoking crack cocaine   surfaced: whether he has ever smoked crack cocaine in the past - not whether he smokes it now - and whether he has a drug problem now.

Instead, he announced he wouldn't resign, nor even take a leave of absence, to get his life under control.

Queen's Park's Liberals, Stephen Harper and Rob Ford.

It would be hard to find three more shining examples of the "culture of entitlement" that seems to be all too prevalent in to our politics in Canada these days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Susanna Kelley

Susanna Kelley is Editor-in-Chief and Queen’s Park Bureau Chief for Ontario News Watch. A veteran political and investigative reporter, documentary-maker, host and media commentator, Susanna oversees and has final editorial control over all news production at Ontario News Watch. Susanna has reported for the CBC, the Canadian Press and served as Queen’s Park Bureau Chief for TVOntario for 13 years. She has also hosted a number of documentaries for CBC’s The Current, CBC Radio News and TVOntario’s Studio 2. Passionately dedicated to excellence in political journalism, and having covered both Parliament Hill and Queen’s Park, Susanna believes quality political reporting is essential to a healthy democracy. You can find Susanna here: @susannakelley
Posted date : October 23, 2013

View all of Susanna Kelley's columns
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