It’s the latest political soap opera featuring money changing hands, backroom deals, passionate pleas, hints of rebellion, and a little grey area.
The twists and turns continued last week as Mike Duffy’s lawyer stood up at a press briefing and pointed the finger squarely in the direction of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. For a while Harper dodged the questions. But late last week he began to peel back the layers. “Several people” knew of the $90 thousand cheque given by Nigel Wright to Duffy; press reports say 13. How that many people knew and yet the big boss himself didn’t remains a mystery; yet another twist in this sordid affair.
Then Friday happened. Patrick Brazeau said he was offered a deal for leniency if he would cut the nonsense, and the Conservative House Leader in the Senate Carrigan admitted it. Brazeau should be treated as a separate case; here’s the one example where a full suspension is warranted. Over the weekend, more hints of leniency towards Wallin, and Brazeau in exchange for Duffy in an interview Carrigan gave to Radio Canada. How much of that was politically motivated remains to be seen.
Why does Duffy have a giant target on his back? My theory: Mike Duffy has been around Ottawa for a very long time. I think he’s got something on Harper… something fairly incriminating. And he has evidence, and will release it. This whole scandal hinges on proof; if Duffy has it, and it’s verified then it’s over for Stephen Harper. It still sticks to Harper even without the proof; after all who named these three to the Senate? It speaks directly to his judgement, and leadership.
That’s the scandal so far as I see it. This week: motions, amendments, a vote, and a convention. How does a former journalist react when they have nothing to lose? Stay tuned.