Yesterday’s events in the Senate certainly made for good political theatre. Mike Duffy’s statement left me wondering how someone on sick leave could deliver such a lengthy and passionate performance.
But Mike always did enjoy the limelight. It probably energized him.
In any case I do believe that CBC’s Chris Hall has honed in on the salient issue: This has now evolved into a credibility war – and there will only be one survivor left on the island when the dust settles.
There are a few things to keep in mind: Both the PM and Mike Duffy have parliamentary privilege in the House of Commons and Senate respectively (as explained by Ditchburn and Bryden):
Duffy is protected from legal action over the allegations because his comments were made in the Senate chamber. He also did not provide documentation, though he claimed to have written material to back up his allegations.
Moreover, as Wilson pointed out in the previous post, there really is nothing new here in terms of allegations against the Prime Minister other than nuances that MSM is trying desperately to connect.
And BTW how was Duffy able to deliver exact quotes from his alleged meeting with PM Harper and Nigel Wright? Did he record the conversation? If so were the PM and Wright aware of that at the time?
But Duffy is cornered now. He is a desperate man fighting for his entitlements and what he may indeed sincerely believe is his version of the truth.
Unfortunately there is enough mud thrown now that the Prime Minister’s integrity is being called into question. That has to be resolved somehow – and as quickly as possible.
* * * *
Spin Assassin has more: Duffy Goes Nuclear.
Another important item from Chris Hall’s article:
The prime minister’s spokesman, Jason MacDonald, dismissed Duffy’s portrayal of the meeting as nothing new.
“It’s on the public record,” he said in a statement. “The prime minister made it clear any inappropriate expenses should be repaid. That’s it. That’s the only time the prime minister discussed Mr. Duffy’s expenses with him.”
“This issue, Mr. Speaker, is not a matter of perception. What I said to our caucus and I said to the caucus as a whole when this issue came up, that you cannot claim an expense you did not incur. That is not right, that is not proper and that will not be tolerated in this party.”