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Canadian Politics

Cowichan Conversations: Steelhead LNG Roll Out Plans For A Pipeline Between Bamberton and Washington State

Posted September 1, 2015 by Richard Hughes

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

When Malahat Nation Chief Michael Harry announced that they had purchased the 526 acre Bamberton property there were hopes of some beneficial developments for the beleaguered Malahat people.

They have faired

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Canada

Big Telecom are trying to make the Internet like cable TV and we have to stop them

Posted September 1, 2015 by Josh Tabish

Last week, one of Canada’s Big Telecom giants announced a controversial new scheme that will give them more power to control how you use the Internet on your mobile devices – and, if we don’t speak up, the Big Three will soon follow suit.

Videotron wants the power to hand-choose which mobile streaming apps and services are more expensive than others. How are they doing this? By bundling them into outdated Cable-TV-style packages for mobile phone users. As a result, they’re giving unfair advantage to the services they decide are “worthy” of our attention and discriminating against others – an anti-user practice that positions them as gatekeepers of our mobile networks, and violates Canada’s open Internet (AKA: Net Neutrality) rules.

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Canada

OpenMedia.ca: Big Telecom are trying to make the Internet like cable TV and we have to stop them

Posted September 1, 2015 by Josh Tabish

Last week, one of Canada’s Big Telecom giants announced a controversial new scheme that will give them more power to control how you use the Internet on your mobile devices – and, if we don’t speak up, the Big Three will soon follow suit.

Videotron wants the power to hand-choose which mobile streaming apps and services are more expensive than others. How are they doing this? By bundling them into outdated Cable-TV-style packages for mobile phone users. As a result, they’re giving unfair advantage to the services they decide are “worthy” of our attention and discriminating against others – an anti-user (Read more…)

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Conservatives

The Canadian Progressive: Mrs. Universe urges Canada’s First Nations to vote out Harper

Posted September 1, 2015 by Obert Madondo

Newly-crowned Mrs. Universe, Ashley Callingbull, is calling on First Nations people in Canada to vote out Stephen Harper during the 2015 federal election.

The post Mrs. Universe urges Canada’s First Nations to vote out Harper appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

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Canadian Politics

Cowichan Conversations: Opinion: Why does Canada jail migrants? Changes in immigration policy have had devastating effect on families

Posted September 1, 2015 by Richard Hughes

Richard Hughes

Immigrants and refugees have been abused and mistreated, but there circumstances are mostly unseen. This site, ‘Never Home’, is a call for us to take action over the immigration abuses that

Read more…

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Election

Common Sense Canadian: Why privacy matters in this Canadian election

Posted August 31, 2015 by Anonymous

Most Canadians do not want to give up their privacy rights. This election, will you vote for online privacy? Pledge your vote at OurDigitalFuture.ca

Article by Kevin Grandia for Common Sen…

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General

The Duffy Trial: Not Unexpected Consequences

Posted August 30, 2015 by CuriosityCat
Can we expect this soon?

For those Conservative spokespersons who don’t believe that the sorry tale of a Prime Minister’s Office scrambling to come up with the very best way to deceive the public, as told by witnesses at the Senator Duffy expenses trial, has had an effect on the popularity of their leader and of their party, welcome to the latest polls.

Here’s the gist:
The latest survey by Ipsos Reid for Global News, also published Thursday, showed weakening support for the Conservatives. Like Forum, it placed the Tories in third place, though with 29 per cent. That put them one point behind the Liberals, while the NDP led with 33 per cent. The poll represented a swing of two points from the Conservatives to the Liberals compared to Ipsos Reid’s poll from two weeks previously. But compared to the firm’s last pre-campaign survey at the end of July, the Conservatives have lost four points, with the Liberals picking up five.
That must really gall Stephen Harper. He has, we are told, a visceral dislike of the Liberal Party (because it has the word ‘liberal’ in it’s name, perhaps? – The Cat), and of the LPC leader, Justin Trudeau. Some say he has sworn to wipe out the LPC, leaving the field open to only two choices, the Conservative Party and the godless socialists.
And this?

Well, if you want to change the contours of Canadian politics, you have to either change the way in which Canadians hold elections (as both the LPC and NDP have committed to doing, by scrapping the FPTP system), or you have to do things and say things that appeal to a lot of voters.
That means not hiding from questions (Only 5 for me!), or preventing your candidates for MP from answering questions or from debating their opponents. It means answering questions asked in the House. And questions asked on the hustings.
It also means not persisting with the Frank Luntzian spin (aka framing) when it is obvious to all that the truth lies elsewhere.
I guess it would not surprise most Canadians to see the Conservatives lose votes, considering their record, their behavior, and especially the sorry spectacle of the PMO that the Duffy trial opened up for voters.
Welcome to those chickens, Mr. Harper: they are yours, coming home to roost.
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Canada

Rabble: Fact-checking the Conservatives’ rural broadband strategy

Posted August 28, 2015 by Anonymous

The government’s rural broadband strategy falls way short of our digital platform and here’s why.
We need to fight back by pledging to vote now at OurDigitalFuture.ca
Article by Nora Loreto for…

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Books

Did the Church Create or Co-Opt Human Rights?

Posted August 28, 2015 by Austin Dacey

After Ireland made history in May 2015 by becoming the first country to legalize same-sex…

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Capitalism

SoulCycle Looks to Sell its Soul

Posted August 25, 2015 by Michael Schulson

Since its inception in 2006, SoulCycle has done two things really, really well. First of…

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General

Duffy scandal: The Troublespotter who did not read line 5 of the email

Posted August 25, 2015 by CuriosityCat
Chris Troublespotter Woodcock

Imagine you hold one of the most powerful offices you can hold in a democracy such as ours, and your job is this:

“My job was to spot trouble, try to identify it and come up with a strategy for dealing with it,” Mr. Woodcock testified.
And one day you spot some trouble brewing:
He said the Duffy affair landed on his radar in February, 2013, as stories appeared in the media about Mr. Duffy’s expenses related to his long-time house in Ottawa.

“Suddenly, we were encountering a bunch of unwelcome stories about members of the government caucus who were claiming expenses that, on the surface, they did not appear to be entitled to,” Mr. Woodcock said. “It was viewed as an entitlement issue and viewed as just not consistent with our approach to governing and our approach to expenses.”
Mr. Woodcock went on to work with Mr. Duffy to develop lines to provide on a background basis to reporters, but he also discouraged him from doing media interviews that would feed further stories on the matter.
Now imagine this scenario: you get a five line email about this heap of trouble, and you deal with it, but you miss something:
Despite his central role in the crisis-management strategy, Mr. Woodcock said he found out only in May, 2013, that Mr. Wright had paid $90,172.24 to cover the expenses of Mr. Duffy. In particular, Mr. Woodcock said he did not read the second paragraph of an e-mail in March, 2013, in which Mr. Wright said: “For you only: I am personally covering Duffy’s $90K.”

“I actually didn’t see that line until late June, 2013, and I was quite surprised when I saw it,” he testified.
Mr. Woodcock said he only saw the first paragraph of the e-mail, which answered his question on the appropriate response to questions about whether the Conservative Party had paid back Mr. Duffy’s expenses, and then moved on.
Mr. Woodcock said he continued to deal with the matter as if Mr. Duffy had personally paid his own expenses, pointing to an e-mail exchange in April with Mr. Wright that suggested he thought Mr. Duffy had paid the money.
Imagine that! You are so busy you miss that one very important line.
And so this means that you don’t know that Nigel Wright, the Chief of Staff to the prime minister, was personally paying some ninety thousand dollars to senator Duffy, to allow Duffy to repay contested expenses.
You must be mortified, because, although you are the chief troublespotter for the PM, you missed some vital information that would almost certainly have spoiled the PM’s day.
In fact, for almost a year and half, the mess haunts your boss, and now you find yourself in the witness box, as a crown witness, in the criminal trial of senator Duffy.
Mortifying, ain’t it?
But not half as mortifying as having the barracuda barrister defending the senator, Donald Bayne, doubt your story that you somehow, inexplicably, missed that one sentence:
His lawyer, Donald Bayne, started a tough cross-examination of Mr. Woodcock on Monday afternoon, asking him why he did not feel the need to inform Mr. Harper about the payment from Mr. Wright, or even the Conservative Party’s willingness earlier in the controversy to pick up the tab when it was believed to total about $30,000.

“Your claim is just like Ray Novak’s: ‘Gee, I got the e-mail, it’s only to me, but golly, I’ve never read it,’” Mr. Bayne said.
Still, cheer up, Mr Chris Troublespotter Woodcock: you have a few more hours in the witness box with barrister Bayne tomorrow. Perhaps between the two of you you can manage to sort things out so that the lawyer understands how easy it is to miss stuff.
Even in short emails.
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General

Senategate: Most Canadians Believe Stephen Harper is Lying

Posted August 23, 2015 by Simon

As we all know Stephen Harper has a lot of other problems to worry about. 

The economy is tanking, and so are his polls.

And as we know he has other fish to fry…

But he should also worry about his drowning credibility.

Because when it comes to the Senate scandal most Canadians think he’s lying.
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General

Remembering Jack Layton and the New Orange Tsunami

Posted August 23, 2015 by Simon

It’s hard to believe that it’s now been four years since Jack Layton died, and the hopes of so many turned to sadness.

And yesterday evening, when I returned from the island to the ferry dock named after him, I paused for a moment before this statue in my neighbourhood.

I didn’t stay long because I pass the statue almost every day. Anything I had to say I said long ago. Like thank you, or how cruel life can be.

But I did stay long enough to think that wherever that happy warrior’s spirit roams, it must be singing. 

Because the orange wave he created in Quebec, is now becoming an orange tsunami. 
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General

Fish Man Harper and the Latest Con Whopper

Posted August 22, 2015 by Simon

Gawd. If Stephen Harper wasn’t such a monster you’d almost have to feel sorry for him.

He just can’t do ANYTHING right these days, and his massive propaganda machine just keeps making him look like an absolute IDIOT.

Just the other day they ran the wrong picture of a couple to promote adoption in Canada…

And now in an ad to promote BC’s salmon fishery they’ve done it again.
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General

Stephen Harper’s Nightmare Week in Campaign Hell

Posted August 22, 2015 by Simon

I can only imagine Stephen Harper’s state of mind,  after what must have been for him a week in the hell of his own making.

For it was the week the Duffy scandal shredded what was left of his credibility. The week his campaign went off the rails.

The week that revealed the ugly face of his angry old Con base…

And ended with Great Desperate Leader defiling young Canadians.
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General

Look for Ms Clean to replace Harper as Leader of the Opposition on October 20

Posted August 21, 2015 by CuriosityCat
Dianne Watts, Leader of the Opposition?

With poll after poll showing the most likely election result in our federal election on October 19 will be a majority of seats held by the opposition parties, the NDP and LPC, the chances of Stephen Harper remaining as prime minister are slim to zero.

There might be a bit of messiness if he decided to stay in power as a minority government, but the more likely outcome is that, in the wee hours of the morning of October 20, Harper will walk to the podium of his riding meeting, and step down as leader of the Conservative Party, and also as MP for that riding.
The jockeying for the post of leader of the Conservative Party will then start in earnest, although it is probably being spoken about in quiet terms in many a Tory household right now.
The Conservative Party, its reputation in shreds due to the many scandals, with the Duffy senate scandal the latest, will be seeking someone to clean house; someone with an unblemished reputation; and most likely someone with no close connections to Harper.
And that most likely means that Dianne Wattswill be selected by Tory party members to take over as permanent leader of the Conservative Party.
Watts is running for Harper’s Conservatives in BC, where the CPC won in 2011:
Now the articulate Ms. Watts, who was once touted as ex-premier Gordon Campbell’s successor until she decided she was more interested in governing Surrey, has been acclaimed to the Tory nomination in South Surrey-White Rock. The Tories won the riding then known as South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale with 54 per cent of the vote over the NDP in 2011.
The Tories could do far worse. With even Doug Ford expecting to run for leader of the CPC come October, there will be several candidates.
However, Ms Watts is the real goods: a clean record, with demonstrated competence in working with all parties to issues, a talent for good communication, a personality that actually attracts people rather than repels them, and a sharp brain, Ms Watts is the favourite right now.
One major advantage she has is that she belongs to neither of the two parties that were wedded in intrigue when Harper united the right. So she will be an easy leader for all members to unite behind.
Expect the Conservative Party under Watts to move rapidly to the centre on social issues, ditching the paranoia of the party under Harper.
And with the scrapping the First Past the Post system of electing our MPs highly likely in early 2016, Ms Watts will lead a rejuvenated party, restored to its progressive roots, in the next election. The chances of such a party, lead by her, playing a major and constructive role in the new broadbased cooperation that the new modified proportional representation system will require, is very high.
Ms Watts will be good to go on October 20.
In a good way, of course.
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General

Stephen Harper and the Great Con Adoption Scam

Posted August 21, 2015 by Simon

It’s Stephen Harper’s latest desperate plan to try to soften his image, and make himself more popular.

By buying more votes with OUR money. 

But sadly for him there’s something terribly wrong with that picture.

And it’s just more Con fraud.
Read more »

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General

Duffygate: Benjamin Perrin Demolishes the Harperite Conspiracy

Posted August 20, 2015 by Simon

Benjamin Perrin had only been the PMO lawyer for a year before the Duffy scandal erupted so he wasn’t part of the Con cult.

He never drank the Koolaid.

So today when his turn came to testify at the Duffy trial he let the truth fly. 

And managed to knock down Stephen Harper, Nigel Wright, and Ray Novak. 
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General

Duffy scandal: The differences between the Duffy Trial and the Harper (Governance) Public Trial

Posted August 20, 2015 by CuriosityCat

PM Stephen Harper, the leader of the “Harper Government”, is on trial by the public for the manner in which he governed his Prime Minister’s Office (the PMO), while senator Duffy is facing 31 charges in his criminal trial.

That there are two trials is undeniable, despite the PM’s attempt to only talk about the Duffy criminal trial.
What are the differences between the two trials?
The Type of Trial:
The Duffy trial is a criminal trial, held according to the criminal laws of Canada, which deal with the types of charges, what evidence may be led, the crime of perjury if a sworn witness does not tell the truth at a trial.
The Harper Governance Trial is not a criminal trial. It is an exercise in the democratic rights of citizens living in a democratic country like Canada, to demand high levels of competence and honesty in the conduct of public affairs by our elected officials, including our Prime Minister, our senators and our Members of Parliament.
There is an intersection of events, witnesses, and statements between the two trials, with the evidence produced in the Duffy criminal trial (especially the hundreds of emails that were sent from and to the PMO and that were produced as evidence in the criminal trial) forming the basis for evidence in the Harper Governance Trial.
The Accused:
Duffy, a former senator, is charged with 31 serious counts of fraud and bribery; these are criminal charges. He is the only one to date charged with these crimes. Others might be charged at a later date, if the public prosecutor deems the evidence shows other crimes have been charged. Witnesses at the Duffy criminal trial might also be charged with perjury, should the public prosecutor decide that the evidence for perjury exists.
Stephen Harper, the current prime minister, stands in the dock of public opinion, accused of misgoverning his PMO.
The Charges:
Duffy faces 31 criminal charges.
The charges against Harper deal with his behavior (past and present) with respect to the high standards of competence and honesty that Canadians expect of their elected representatives.
The charges are set out  in my earlier post, and in this earlier post, and can be reduced to this summary:
Lawrence Martin puts it succinctly:
On the Senate controversy alone, the work of PMO operatives included: promising Mr. Duffy he would be removed from an independent audit; concocting a secret plan to have the taxpayer-supported Tory treasury pay Mr. Duffy’s debts while telling the public a different story; planning to create a puppet-on-a-string Senate subcommittee to create a constitutional formula that would allow Mr. Duffy to continue sitting as a Prince Edward Island senator; repeatedly ordering up blatantly false party responses to questions in the Commons on the controversy.
I have summarized the charges as including these:

It is also about the judgment of the prime minister, and his tolerance for those in his Prime Minister’s Office who planned and carried out a scheme to deceive the public.
What does it say about a man who professes to be the best person to lead our country during tough economic times and in threat of further terror attacks, if he is reluctant to even consider whether he should be cleaning house? At the very least, he should be explaining why he is not distancing himself from those involved in planning and carrying out a scheme to deceive the public, interfere in a legitimate senate internal and external audit, and write scripts for others to use that are false.
What does it say about the leadership competence of a man who continues to take advice from an advisor who might, according to statements by the harried and uncomfortable looking Conservative Party spokesperson, be involved in the cover up?
And, as Lawrence Marin put it, it is about Integrity, and I see think this question reflects that conclusion:
Can you trust a man who runs an office where his most important advisors are party to such actions?
The Burden of Proof:
The onus is on the public prosecutor to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Duffy committed each of the 31 acts he is charged with. This is a very high standard of proof, required in criminal cases to protect our rights, and is much higher than the lower standard of balance of probabilities used in civil cases.
In the Harper Governance Trial, a far different standard of proof applies: the standard that voters apply to their elected representatives. It is simply the common sense conclusions of ordinary Canadians as to who is telling the truth, who is not, who is involved in planning and carrying out a scheme to deceive the public, and who knew about that scheme.
The Prosecutors:
The public prosecutor is trying Duffy’s criminal case.
In the Harper Governance Trial, the media have taken their rightful place as the prosecutors on behalf of the citizens of a democracy like ours. They are the ones producing evidence, dissecting evidence, and seeking new witnesses for the court of public perception that Harper now finds himself in.
The Court:
A judge is hearing the Duffy criminal trial, and will make the decision of guilt or innocence. There is no jury.
The Harper Governance Trial is being heard by very Canadian citizen, who have a democratic right to assume the role of the court in the Duffy case. So we, the citizens, are both judge and jury of PM Harper.
The Nature of the Evidence:
Most of the evidence produced in the Duffy criminal trial spills over into the Harper Governance Trial. The evidence under oath of members of the PMO, of any senators and others who might still be called, and the emails tabled, are also evidence in the Harper Governance Trial.
Harper also faces evidence of his past statements, in parliament and outside, and the statements made by MPs, Conservative Party spokespersons (think of the statement that it would be ‘unfathomable’ for Ray Novak to know that Wright was paying Duffy the $90,000, and Ray not telling his boss, Harper), CPC talking points in Parliament by MPs, interviews and other sources unearthed by the media.
The Decision Date:
After the explosive start of the Duffy criminal trial, we can expect about another week of evidence led by state witnesses, and then the court will be adjourned to December, long after the next election.
The conclusion of the Harper Governance Trial comes with brutal simplicity when voters cast votes on October 19. And the trial will continue until 8pm on that day.
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General

Stephen Harper and the Fateful Attraction of Ray Novak

Posted August 20, 2015 by Simon

He’s trying to carry on his campaign as if nothing has changed. As if the Duffy trial was a mere distraction.

But Stephen Harper couldn’t conceal a wince yesterday, when reporters asked him about his beloved Ray Novak.

And whether he was planning to fire him. 
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General

The Duffy Trial and the Anger of the Con Base

Posted August 20, 2015 by Simon

By now most people have seen the video of that angry old Con attacking reporters for asking questions about the Duffy trial.

And it has become a popular internet meme. 


Chris Sigurdson.

But if you thought that Stephen Harper might be smiling, or in his case opening his mouth and showing his teeth, at that show of support from a member of his Con base, you’d be wrong.

Because there was another angry old guy at that rally, and he’s Harper’s nightmare.
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General

Conapocalypse: The Duffy Trial’s Explosive New Revelations

Posted August 19, 2015 by Simon

It’s the smoking gun. Or should I say the smoking flamethrower? 

The Con conspiracy has finally been exposed.

It now seems that Ray Novak, Harper’s beloved Chief of Staff, knew all about Nigel Wright’s payment to Mike Duffy. 
Read more »

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General

Harper Thugs Attack the Media at Con Rally !!!!!

Posted August 18, 2015 by Simon

They are Stephen Harper’s ghastly audience. The hand picked Con fanatics who are allowed to attend his rallies.

They hate it when reporters ask their Great Leader any questions, especially those about the sordid Duffy scandal.

And even though he only allows five questions a day, it drives them CRAAAAAZY.

So now they’re trying to muzzle the media, or assault them in the foulest manner. 
Read more »

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General

Election 2015: Is the Liberal Party ready for October 20th?

Posted August 18, 2015 by CuriosityCat
Who will be our next PM? Probably Harper

We vote on October 19. It will be a cliffhanger, with final results only out early the next day. A minority government is possible, as the Poll Tracker shows with today’s results:

The Poll Tracker’s polling average currently awards the Tories 29.3 per cent of the vote and between 99 and 139 seats nationally, compared to 32.3 per cent and 110 to 139 seats for the first-place NDP. The Liberals, with 27.3 per cent support and a projected range of 77 to 110 seats, have a better chance of finishing second in the seat count than at any time since April.
But what happens on October 20?
Is Justin Trudeau ready for the fast and furious actions what will be required of his party that very day?
Stephen Harper will have first dibs on trying to form a government even if he only wins the second or third highest number of seats (my underlining):
In Westminster systems, in minority situations, the incumbent government usually has the first opportunity to attempt to win the confidence of the House. This is so even if the incumbents have fewer seats – the incumbent prime minister still holds his or her commission for the duration of the writ period and immediately following an election.
If (s)he cannot form a government that commands the confidence of the House then it is expected that (s)he will resign that commission voluntarily – it is not considered acceptable for the Sovereign (or her representative) to revoke said commission unless the prime minister was acting in serious breach of constitutional protocol.
Nevertheless, usually an incumbent government that loses its plurality in the House simply resigns, especially if the main opposition party is only a few seats short of having a majority or if it feels it has no chance of winning the support of enough members of smaller parties to win an initial confidence vote.
Nevertheless, the now-common practice of the party with the most seats forming the government has led to a widespread misconception among voters that a convention exists whereby the party with the most seats always gets to form the government. In fact, the most compelling reason for this practice is that the party with the most seats can survive confidence votes so long as the smaller party (or parties) simply abstain from confidence votes, whereas a governing party without a plurality in the House needs at least one other party to vote with it at all times (assuming the largest party will always vote no confidence, but that is almost certain to occur when they are denied the opportunity to govern). This means that in most situations, the party with the most seats has the best chance and the least complicated route to winning a confidence vote, regardless of its place on the political spectrum. At the Canadian federal level, in the four most recent of the five occasions a governing party lost the plurality without another winning a majority (1957, 1963, 1979, and 2006) the incumbent governments resigned rather than attempt to stay in power.
Whatever party forms the government must either form a coalition with one or more other parties, or they must win some form of support from the other parties or independents so as to avoid no-confidence motions. Because of no-confidence motions, minority governments are frequently short-lived or fall before their term is expired. The leader of a minority government will also often call an election in hopes of winning a stronger mandate from the electorate. In Canada, for instance, federal minority governments last an average of 18 months.
So, in the early hours of October 20 Stephen Harper, still Prime Minister, will reflect on the election results and consider these important facts.
Did he win a majority of seats in the House? If so, game over; he simply forms the majority government and rules for the next four plus years.
Did he win the most seats in the House, but not the majority, or did Mulcair’s NDP win the most seats, but not a majority? THIS DOES NOT MATTER. Even if Harper wins fewer seats than Mulcair does, Harper gets first dibs on forming a government, not Mulcair.
So Harper then sets about calling the House into session, and trying to win the confidence of the House in the Throne Speech.
Come Kitty: Time to go for it!

He can cheerfully set about doing this, even if Mulcair’s NDP has more MPs than the Conservatives have, because our convention allows him to do this.
Before he does this, Harper will ask himself: Can I gain the confidence of the House? The convention, as spelled out in the third paragraph in the quote above, is for him to resign “if it feels it has no chance of winning the support of enough members of smaller parties to win an initial confidence vote.”
What will Harper be feeling on the morning  of October 20?
Right now, Stpehen Harper has good reason for feeling that he HAS a chance of winning support of enough members of smaller parties (the Greens, the Bloc, the Liberal Party, the NDP), for two reasons:
1.      He can table a Throne Speech that speaks to the needs and wants of those smaller parties and might persuade them to vote confidence in  his government (the focus will be on the Liberal Party, because he will most likely need more votes than the Greens and the Bloc and any independents can cobble together to stay in power and survive an NDP vote of no confidence in him; therefore, his Throne Speech will be crafted to appeal to Liberal MPs);
2.     Justin Trudeau has publicly ruled out any cooperation between the Liberal Party under his leadership and Mulcair’s NDP, through a coalition, and so Harper has every reason to expect that he still has a chance to gain support from the Liberal MPs of his Throne Speech.
Where does that leave Mulcair and his NDP MPs?

The answer is simple: twisting in the wind. They can do nothing until Harper is defeated in a Throne Speech, or, if he survives the first one, on a money bill (probably a budget) some time later.

Mulcair has publicly announced a willingness to enter into a “coalition” government with the Liberals to prevent Harper gaining power again after the election.
If the NDP and LPC leaders had huddled down over the past year and hammered out the terms of a formal coalition government, and announced this publicly, then Harper would have no reason to feel that he has a chance to win enough support from other parties in order to gain the confidence of the House. He would have to win a majority of seats, OR, in such a case, simply resign and step down as prime minister on October 20, allowing the Governor General to ask Mulcair, as the leader of the party with the next highest number of MPs, to try to form a government that has the confidence of the House.
So, where does that leave the voters?
We can either vote in sufficient numbers to ensure that one party gains enough seats to have a majority of seats in the House (either Harper or Mulcair or Trudeau’s party). This means that party’s leader will become PM.
Or we can start preparing for the intense negotiations that will start in early October 20, as Harper tries to get either Mulcair or Trudeau onside with a legislative program that will persuade them to prop up his government. Thomas, buddy: you want a national day care system? You got it! Justin, buddy: you want equal funding for First Nations education? You got it!

My expecations? Harper will go for broke:

Given Harper’s total conviction that he is the best man to be prime minister, and his visceral dislike of both the socialist NDP and Trudeau and his Liberals, I expect Harper to drive ahead, trying to gain support through feelers sent out to both Mulcair and Trudeau, and to table a Throne Speech as long after the election as he can possibly arrange, hoping for a miracle. Remember, his target is to run out the clock and then have another election, as my earlier post explains.
Only if his Throne Speech is voted down will he resign. My guess is that he will ask the Governor General to prorogue Parliament and call a new election, despite our parliamentary conventions. The past actions of Harper and the shenanigans of his senior advisors as revealed in the Duffy trial show us a band of men and women with scant respect for our parliamentary traditions.

The role of the Governor General as representative of our Queen:

That request will then put the Governor General in the hot seat. Will he agree and dissolve parliament, despite our conventions, or will be ask Mulcair to try to put together a government that can win the confidence of the House?
If the Governor General agreed to dissolve the House and call an election, in the circumstances set out above, we will be plunged into the worst constitutional crisis that this country has faced since the Quebec referendum on independence. 

We can expect deputations of concerned Canadians flocking to Buckingham Palace to plead with the Queen of Canada to overrule her representative here. We can expect massive street demonstrations, in every major city in the country. We can expect work stoppages in major cities. We can expect pickets six deep in front of Parliament and the prime minister’s residence.

And if the Governor General persisted with his dissolution of parliament, we can expect the most vicious of election campaigns we have ever experienced, with deep disgust at the power of our Queen and her representative, and a take no prisoners type of electioneering. Oh, and perhaps revolts against Mulcair and Trudeau continuing to lead their parties, given the sorry mess that has resulted in the circumstances I set out above.
Whatever happens, interesting times await us!
Constitutional lawyers, time to sharpen your pencils, hone your sound bites, and contact the media to offer your assistance in the hourly analysis of the problems that await.
Media, time to put together your contingency speedy response squads, setting up your legal and political experts, having dry runs before election day, and then running program after program about the tense political situation we will face on the morning of October 20.
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General

Nigel Wright and the Trial of Stephen Harper

Posted August 18, 2015 by Simon

His friends on Bay Street and in the MSM describe Nigel Wright as a “straight shooter.” A man who wouldn’t lie about anything.

But the evidence presented at the Duffy trial so far has shown him to be a grubby schemer, who would do anything to protect the image of the Con regime, and his depraved master.

And the story he is spinning couldn’t be more absurd. 
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General

Canadian Vets Begin Their Battle Against the Con Regime

Posted August 18, 2015 by Simon

It’s one of the foulest chapters in the dark history of Stephen Harper’s monstrous government. The betrayal of our veterans and the brutal treatment of our wounded soldiers.

The shameful war on those who have served their country, that continues to this day.

A group of Canadian military veterans said they were denied access to a Stephen Harper event held at a legion in New Brunswick Monday morning.

So i’m really glad to see that yesterday was the also the day that a group of veterans launched its assault on the Con regime.
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Duffy trial: Nigel Wright and Emails change the ballot box question

Posted August 17, 2015 by CuriosityCat
The Plausible Deniability chickens come home

Stephen Harper, blinking furiously, tries to stick to his two self-chosen ballot box questions (security and economic growth), while disregarding question after question about what he knew about the cesspool of misdirection and lies that a group of senior Conservatives indulged in while trying to make the Duffy matter disappear.

Donald Bayne, the methodical, effective barrister defending senator Duffy from 31 serious charges, has gone through the hundreds of emails tabled in court, walking state witness Nigel Wright through each one, and exploring who said what, to whom, when and why.
In the process, the answers Wright has given, the glaring statements in the PMO and other emails, and the prime minister’s evasive answers to legitimate questions from journalists, have achieved one major shift: they have changed the ballot box question.
The ballot box question is now Integrity.
Lawrence Martin has  a must-read article in today’s Globe & Mail on this dramatic change:
I was speculating a while back that if integrity becomes a big issue in this campaign, Mr. Harper is in serious trouble. It is indeed becoming an important issue. The campaign still has two months to go. That’s two months for the Conservatives to move Canadian minds onto something else. They need to hope that the people, like Mr. Novak, don’t read the e-mails.
Stephen “I know nutting” Harper

I believe that Martin’s conclusion is spot on.  Prime Minister Harper is now the one in the political witness box, with the obligation to explain, in plausible detail, to voters what the heck took place in his Prime Minister’s Office during the months in question.

In particular, Harper has to give adequate answers to these actions that Martin clearly summarizes in his article, if he is to stand a snowball’s hope in hell of holding on to his seats in this election:
The Mike Duffy trial is proving to have significant public value. With the thousands of e-mails tabled, it opens a window on the operation of the Prime Minister’s Office. It’s not as good as an oral record like the Nixon White House tapes. But it’s the next best thing.
Serial abuses of power are something that have long been suspected of Stephen Harper’s team. They’ve been written about in books and articles by some journalists starting many years ago. Other scribes have pooh-poohed the notion, saying it’s being too tough on the Conservative Leader. But with the text traffic, we get harder evidence of some of the activities. A trove of exhibit A’s.
On the Senate controversy alone, the work of PMO operatives included: promising Mr. Duffy he would be removed from an independent audit; concocting a secret plan to have the taxpayer-supported Tory treasury pay Mr. Duffy’s debts while telling the public a different story; planning to create a puppet-on-a-string Senate subcommittee to create a constitutional formula that would allow Mr. Duffy to continue sitting as a Prince Edward Island senator; repeatedly ordering up blatantly false party responses to questions in the Commons on the controversy.
Stephen “Mr Accountable” Harper

Nigel Wright, as Mr. Harper’s chief of staff, was an architect of much of the scheming. On Friday, journalists wrote of him being in a “shaken” state while Mr. Duffy’s lawyer Donald Bayne pinned him to the wall with one e-mail revelation after another. On Monday, the grilling continued with Mr. Wright trying to hold to the line that Mr. Harper was kept in the dark about repayment plans for Mr. Duffy’s expenses.

On the hustings, the Senate controversy continued to dog Mr. Harper, keeping him on the defensive, the media continually challenging his version of events. Mr. Harper, who confers with his senior staff several times a day, repeats daily he was kept out of the loop on the scandal. He may well sustain the belief that he didn’t know specifically of the infamous $90,000 payout. But all the other nefarious plotting? Will the public believe he didn’t know about any of it?
There it is, spelled out so clearly that anyone thinking of voting for this government needs to have a ready answer to his or her conscience for each of the questionable actions that Martin so deftly sets out.
Can you trust a man who runs an office where his most important advisors are party to such actions?
As for me, I want my democracy back, and I will vote accordingly come election day.
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Canada

Canadian Elections Explained. Mostly.

Posted August 17, 2015 by Chandra Clarke

Chandra Clarke

Being very sensibly immersed in summer, you may not have heard the most recent political news: Canadians are preparing for a federal election for this autumn. This is almost unheard of here, as political parties usually have the good sense to call fall elections in the… you know… fall. However, the incumbent party apparently wants […]

Chandra Clarke – This material is safe for work. No really, it is.

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Stephen Harper, Ray Novak, and the Great PMO Cover Up

Posted August 17, 2015 by Simon

Well he can run but he can’t hide. Everywhere Chicken Harper goes he is dogged by the Duffy scandal.

And asked to answer the latest burning question:

If his beloved aide Ray Novak knew all about the attempted cover-up and Nigel Wright’s scheme to pay off Ol’ Duff, why did he stay silent and allow Con cabinet ministers to lie like thieves?

And why hasn’t Harper fired him? 
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Why Stephen Harper Has Suddenly Stopped Talking About the Russians

Posted August 17, 2015 by Simon

It’s the greatest Arctic mystery since the Franklin expedition. 

Why after taunting the Russians and their leader for the last two years, in relentless pursuit of the ethnic vote. 

And shooting his mouth off like a cannon, as only that Con clown could…

Why is Stephen Harper suddenly not talking about the Russians anymore?

Why has he suddenly gone silent even after their equally desperate and deranged leader issued this disturbing challenge? 
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Stephen Harper’s Disastrous Possibly Fatal Duffy Mistake

Posted August 16, 2015 by Simon

When Stephen Harper decided to launch the election campaign into the midsummer storm of the Duffy trial, he must have thought he could get away with it.

His criminal mind must have hoped that the campaign would distract Canadians, and limit the damage to him and his Cons.

But as even John Ivison points out, with every passing day that decision is looking more and more disastrous. 
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A New Poll Suggests the Cons Are In Third Place

Posted August 15, 2015 by Simon

It’s never easy for me to leave Scotland, the idyllic little country where a progressive government has driven the Cons to extinction.

And it wasn’t easy for me to blog as I biked from one small fishing village to another with my lap top in my haversack. But I did my best, for this time I couldn’t wait to get back.

And this couldn’t have been a better homecoming present. 
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The Duffy Senate trial: The Missing Prime Minister “Shut Down” Email

Posted August 15, 2015 by CuriosityCat
Barrister Bayne, Duffy and Nigel Wright chronicleherald

Yesterday Donald Bayne, the bulldog barrister acting for senator Duffy in Duffy’s criminal trial, focused on an email that Nigel Wright, the prime minister’s former chief of staff, had not disclosed as part of the 400 plus pages of email data dump.

Found here, in Macleans delightfully detailed analyses of every day of the trial, the email deals with PM Harper’s statement that he would have “shut down” an inquiry long before it reached the stage it did:

Consider the events in Courtroom 33, where Sen. Mike Duffy is on trial on 31 charges of breach of trust, fraud and bribery.

Our story begins with Duffy’s lawyer, Donald Bayne.

Bayne was examining Nigel Wright, Stephen Harper’s former chief of staff, and he wanted to know why fellow aide Ray Novak’s email to Wright relaying Stephen Harper’s edict on an aspect of the Senate expense scandal was one of very few emails on the matter that Wright had never given police.

That question made Wright look terribly uneasy.

The Novak email and another from Ben Perrin, the PM’s in-house counsel, were both redacted from Wright’s binder of Duffy-related emails.

“Privileged and not relevant,” he’d labelled them.

Wright explained that the Harper decision contained in the Novak communication—”Had I known we were going down this road I would have shut it down long before this memo,” the PM said of efforts by the Tory leadership in the Senate to nail down residence criteria for senators—was strictly part of a policy discussion, and not germane to an ethics commission inquiry for which Wright had prepared the materials.

Later, he said, after the RCMP launched a Duffy probe, investigators inherited the dossier as Wright had initially compiled it.

The explanation was barely plausible, and the room sniffed it.

As Bayne quickly pointed out, Wright had included just about every other email at his disposal touching on the expense scandal. Why did it appear he’d redacted only these?

Bayne’s suggestion was unmistakable: Wright remained Harper’s loyal disciple, and he’d failed to include the Novak email because he was protecting his former boss and the Conservative Party brand.

This Harper communication, after all, put the PM at the very centre of high-level discussions around how to contain the Duffy expense-claim crisis. In his ruling, Harper had cannily identified the main issue, and it wasn’t about what constitutes residency for a senator: “This issue is about $’s,” Harper wrote, “not this.”

Bayne seemed reluctant to believe Wright’s explanation, and he asked Justice Charles Vaillancourt whether this wasn’t a good time to take the morning break.

Another good example of just why controlling prime ministers should call early elections, before any major court trials start. The wheels of justice grind slowly, but inexorably: ask PM Harper how he feels about it right now.
Message control during a criminal trial of politicians in Canada, given our rule of law, is beyond the ability of even the most powerful person in the land.
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The Duffy Senate Scandal: Nigel Wright tells the truth and sinks Harper

Posted August 15, 2015 by CuriosityCat

Things have veered sharply off course for the most controlling politician Canada has had for many decades. What was to be a tightly controlled and swiftly administered exercise in damage control, has turned into a nightmarish exposure party that is guaranteed to sink Stephen Harper’s government in the coming elections.

The Feint & The Hand Grenade:
What went wrong?
Two things: a highly skilled barrister who uses The Feint and The Hand Grenade tactics in a masterful way during his cross examination of state witnesses, and a former chief of staff who wrote many emails, with copies to a Who’s Who of senior Conservative Party advisors in the Prime Minister’s Office, and the Senate.
And a touch of hubris:
Add to that explosive mix a prime minister who has kept himself insulated from the rough and tough reality of real life for so long that he has fallen into a common trap: a belief in his ability to manage everything, and a belief in the sound bites his government creates in lieu of real dialogue with Canadians.
With hindsight, it is easy enough to see the elements of an ancient Greek tragedy gradually taking shape: Narcissus bending over the water, captivated by his own image; the collision between a man determined to bend fate to his wishes but finding that fate is inescapable; the consternation when what is sown, is reaped.
The Big Question:
Duffy’s counsel, Donald Bayne, has used The Feint to great effect in his cross examination of Nigel Wright. The chattering classes were fixated on The Big Question, which they falsely believe to be What did the Prime Minister know and When did he Know it? Wright came into the court determined to answer this question, if it was asked, and to state that the prime minister did not know about his “gift” of $90,000 to Duffy. The prime minister’s talking points for months had included three themes: (i) the prime minister did not know about the gift until March 15; (ii) the RCMP had not found any evidence that the prime minister knew of the gift; and (iii) the prime minister had taken steps timeously against the only two people responsible for the mess, Wright and Duffy.
Bayne feinted with The Big Question, edging up to it in his cross examination, getting Wright to answer it. But all the time Bayne was working something else: establishing just how many people in very senior positions were involved in a conspiracy to force Duffy to do things they wanted him to do, in order to make the problem go away.
In  his questioning, Bayne used the second effective tactic (which he will use with other witnesses, included a clutch of senators and current senior advisors to the prime minister, when their turn comes in the witness box): the Hand Grenade.

Watch for it; it is very simple.

Bayne asks questions about something sensitive, elicits responses, then lets it rest, while murmuring that he will come back to it later. The witness is left wondering what will come next, when Bayne returns to that topic. This unsettles the witness – it is as if the lawyer has placed a hand grenade in front of the witness, carefully pulled the pin out, then wrapped a thin rubber band around the grenade to prevent it exploding. Then the lawyer leaves the room, figuratively, and the hapless witness stands staring at the thin rubber band and the dangerous hand grenade, wondering when it will go off.

The Big Question for Bayne is not the one the chattering classes think it is. It is something different, but far more relevant to the narrative Bayne is constructing as part of the defence to the charges. What Bayne is working on is to replace the crown’s case that Duffy accepted a bribe in return for an advantage,  with a more plausible story: that Duffy was the victim of duress  by senior officers and senators, who exerted pressure on him to do something he did not want to do.
And to do this, he has walked Wright through page after page of the four hundred plus pages of emails the crown provided to the court, and will walk him through more next week, before starting the same process with every other state witness.
And, to me, that walk-through to date has been very persuasive: Wright’s emails and the emails of others in the PMO and senate, have had many clear statements of Duffy balking and then being pressurized to do something he just did not want to do.
The Big Driver:
The political question the prime minister has to answer in this election campaign is really this: Why did he knowingly participate and encourage his staff and senators to create and implement a plan to shut down an audit?
Andrew Coyne

This is best explained by Andrew Coyne’s article in the National Post:
The secret payment to a sitting legislator by the prime minister’s former chief of staff has understandably attracted most of the attention: it is, after all, at the heart of the fraud and breach of trust case against Duffy. The attempt to tamper with the audit, if it is mentioned at all, is treated as a secondary matter. But it is clear from the emails that the effort to pay off Duffy’s expenses was driven as much by the audit as by any other concern. And that understanding helps to explain one of the central mysteries of the case.
And:

A finding by the auditors that Duffy’s house in Ottawa, where he had lived for many years, was not his “secondary” residence, as he had claimed, would have greatly complicated the storyline Wright & Co. were hoping to construct for him.

If, on the other hand, Duffy were to pre-emptively pay back the expenses, then the matter would surely become moot. 

There would be no need for Deloitte & Touche to make a finding on the residency issue, as there would no longer be any claim for them to adjudicate. Or so it was to be suggested to them, via the Conservatives’ contacts there.

The plan to pay off Duffy’s expenses, then, first by the Conservative Party and then, when the full amount of his expense claims were known, by Wright, was not just an attempt to keep Duffy quiescent, but also, indirectly, the auditors — and through them to influence the Senate committee, and the public at large.

And Andrew Coyne has also ably summarized the serious ethical issues at stake in this dismal development, in his other article, found here. Those issues are what are important in this sorry saga.
The klutz factor:
But why the wish to make the audit go away?
I believe the most plausible explanation is that if the legal right of one or two or more sitting Conservative senators to represent the provinces they claim to represent, was questioned by the audit, then the public will want to know who was responsible for this taking place. And this lands on the doorstep of the prime minister, who would look like a klutz for appointing a senator without taking steps beforehand to make sure the appointment was legal.
Impact on Harper:
The impact on Harper of the developments in the court room has been devastating.
The Big Question

You can see this when you compare his physical behavior when questioned about the Duffy case with his behaviour in Parliament.

In Parliament, he has been able to avoid answering questions by giving carefully crafted media line (sound bite) non-answers to questions during question period. His raucous cheering squad of MPs have helped, jumping to their feet to cheer every evasion.

And before and during the campaign, Harper has insulated himself by voluntarily stepping into a cocoon, keeping away from meddlesome crowds and questions.

Unfortunately, he is being forced by the campaign to answer questions, and his physical distress is apparent.

When one journalist started a question to Harper with the words Good to Go (which will be Harper’s contribution to Canadian political history), Harper visibly flinched, with a sharp, shuddering, painful intake of breath, before forcing himself to breathe and then parrot his media line answer.
And his eyes when answering Duffy questions tell the story of a man under intense pressure, probably conscious that every day of the Duffy trial means his chances of remaining prime minister are diminished.
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The Day Duffy’s Lawyer Went After Stephen Harper

Posted August 14, 2015 by Simon

Ever since the trial of Mike Duffy began, his lawyer Donald Bayne has been circling over Stephen Harper, like a hawk over a rabbit.

But today all that changed.

When Bayne swooped out of the sky, and went in for the kill.
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The Passion of Nigel Wright and the Depravity of Jesus Harper

Posted August 13, 2015 by Simon

It couldn’t be a more outrageous statement, or if you are a Christian a more blasphemous one.

But there was Jesus Harper’s fallen but still faithful disciple Nigel Wright, citing the   the Bible to defend his actions in the Mike Duffy scandal.
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Duffy senate scandal: Nigel Wright says PM Harper “good to go” on coverup points

Posted August 13, 2015 by CuriosityCat

As expected, the now famous words “good to go” were front and centre in the cross examination of state witness Wright by Duffy’s defence counsel yesterday (my underlining):

It gripped a packed courtroom, not because Wright dropped bombshells but because the top insider finally told the story behind one of the biggest mysteries in the capital — what role did Prime Minister Stephen Harper play in what Wright called a “plan” to “force” Duffy to repay housing expenses claimed for his Ottawa home.

 Wright testified Harper had no detailed knowledge of his personal decision to pay for Duffy — which would come later — or of Wright’s initial belief that the Conservative Fund of Canada would pay Duffy’s disputed expenses first pegged at $32,000…
But Wright’s testimony appeared to clear Harper of a role in that. Still, it painted a damning picture of a PMO in full damage-control mode.
Wright detailed a meeting in Harper’s office on Feb. 22, 2013 when the two men spoke alone at the height of Wright’s efforts to stem the bad news. Wright testified he briefed Harper only “in very broad terms” about the conditions he’d agreed to after tough negotiations with Duffy’s lawyer. Wright said he told Harper that Duffy would repay, and the Conservative government would agree to a communications strategy.
Wright said Harper needed to approve the media plan to have Conservative caucus members back Duffy, who would state publicly that his Ottawa housing expense claims were simply “a mistake” — not an abuse of his entitlements. Wright said forcing Duffy to agree to that was a “risk” and set a precedent that could come back to haunt Harper because they did not know how many other Conservative senators and MPs could be caught up in scandal and might be forced to pay back expenses they might legally be entitled to claim.
Wright said Harper agreed.
“His (Harper’s) view was basically that irrespective of (any) kind of legal entitlement, or technical entitlement, the standard we’d hold ourselves to was that claims not only had to comply with the rules . . . they also had to be right and appropriate,” Wright said.
Asked directly what Wright had meant when he wrote other PMO staffers “we are good to go from the PM,” Wright told assistant Crown attorney Jason Neubauer that “good to go means that the points I wanted to raise with the prime minister had been raised and that we could proceed with the plan.”
Note the words: we could proceed with “the plan.”
What was The Plan?

This is how Duffy’s counsel framed the “good to go” issue in his opening address earlier this year:
In his opening statement last April, Bayne said Wright was “good to go” on a plan to “extort’’ a misleading admission of guilt from Duffy. He read a statement Wright gave to RCMP in which he acknowledged Duffy was going to be forced to repay money he might not owe.
What does PM Harper think the words “good to go” mean?
This:
Even before Wright takes the oath, inconsistencies in the Harper narrative have again surfaced.

 What did he mean by three words which have become the shorthand for this affair — “good to go?”
Wright, in a Feb. 22, 2013 email to PMO legal counsel Benjamin Perrin says, “I do want to speak to the PM before everything is considered final.”
An hour later, Wright sends another email stating: “We are good to go from the PM once Ben has his confirmation from Payne (Duffy’s lawyer).”
Earlier this week, Harper said the “good to go” never came from him.
“The words you are quoting are not my words,’’ Harper told a reporter at an Ottawa campaign stop. “They are somebody else’s. I have said repeatedly, and I think the facts are clear, I did not know about — that Mr. Wright had (given) payment to Mr. Duffy.’’
But in November 2013 NDP leader Tom Mulcair asked Harper in the Commons: “Good to go with what?”
Harper responded: “Good to go with Mr. Duffy repaying his own expenses as he has acknowledged I told him personally as he told everybody he had done, including the Canadian public.”
See also the Huffington Post article on the Good To Go issue.
The Plan and Media Lines:
Back to Wrightabout The Plan:
He says the email that said they were “good to go from the PM” was in reference to Duffy’s so-called media lines — what he would say publicly about the controversy and his efforts to repay.
OK, now we’re getting somewhere. Good To Go, according to the man who wrote these words, refer to “media lines”.
So, what were the “media lines” that Duffy was to use in describing the solution to his home expenses problem?

They were the script that a senator who had claimed some $90,000 for living expenses he incurred in living in Ottawa, while “residing” in his constituency in his home province, was to use to explain to the Canadian public what the “true” story was about the problem.
This enters the territory of the “scenario of repayment”:
On Wednesday, Wright testified about a “scenario for repayment” in which the PMO would cover Duffy’s expenses, the senator would admit to a “possible error” on his expense forms, and the potential scandal would quietly go away.
That “scenario of repayment” included a statement by Duffy that he had personally repaid the expenses, which was not true.
So, The Plan included a senator reading from a script prepared for him by himself and known to, among others, members of the Prime Minister’s Office, that would give Canadian voters and taxpayers a false impression of the true facts, so that the issue could go away.
Reaction of the media:
If I was a senior advisor to PM Harper, I would be running around sounding every alarm bell I could reach, after listening to and watching the reaction of the media on CTV and CBC.
The shock and distaste on the faces of the senior journalists appearing in the news broadcasts of these two channels, as the cross examination of Wright went on its remorseless way, and as they absorbed the tone and contents of the close to 400 pages of emails introduced into court and made public, was something to behold.
Yesterday was the day that Stephen Harper lost the mainstream media because of the detailed steps taken by so many Conservative senators and officers and members of the PMO to cover up the truth of what actually happened in the Duffy case.
That loss is extremely serious, in the middle of a long campaign.
And the same shock and disbelief is apparent in the faces of and behavior of journalists asking Harper questions about the Duffy trial on the campaign trail.

Media Lines and Watergate:

The closest analogy I can think of in north American politics is the roiling of the media as the Watergate saga unfolded on daily television, with stories being muddled, and finally the infamous tapes being disclosed. The Duffy emails are, in my view, similar to the Watergate tapes: they tell a story of the ethics and beliefs of top politicians in Ottawa which is difficult to listen to, hard to accept, and just totally wrong, on so many grounds
Stephen Harper can kiss goodbye his chance to be prime minister when the new year dawns, thanks partly to Good To Go and The Plan.
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Nigel Wright, Stephen Harper, and the Great Con Cover Up

Posted August 12, 2015 by Simon

They say Nigel Wright is an honest man, who just happened to be working for the most morally corrupt leader of the most morally corrupt government this country has ever known.

And all that was missing on his first day of testimony at the Duffy trial was a halo over his head.

Even if the story he told was just too good to be true. 
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The Incredible Cowardice of Bubble Boy Harper

Posted August 12, 2015 by Simon

As you know Stephen Harper is planning to put as much distance between himself and the Mike Duffy trial as he possibly can. 

Even if that means taking his travelling closet to the North Pole. 

Stephen Harper is heading to Northern Canada in the days after his former chief of staff Nigel Wright begins testifying at the Mike Duffy trial, a campaign itinerary that will take the Conservative Leader far from the story as it begins unfolding in an Ottawa courtroom.

But sadly for him it probably won’t be far enough. And will only add to his growing reputation as the coward in the closet. Or as Tasha Kheiriddin calls him, the boy boss in the bubble. 
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Stephen Harper and the Murderous War on Drugs

Posted August 11, 2015 by Simon

Well I knew the depraved and increasingly desperate Stephen Harper would say or do anything to try to distract us from the Duffy trial.

And sure enough I was right. First came his latest attempt to resuscitate the Great War on Terror.

And now comes yet another attempt to revive the Great War on Drugs. 
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