The Conservative denial machine is in full swing this afternoon, as I predicted it would be yesterday. Now that Stephen Harper has deliberately made himself complicit in the lie, we may be quite sure that his arrogant, deceitful kleptocrat of a deputy, Peter MacKay, will never be disciplined for lying to Parliament despite documented proof of his crimes. The Conservatives are betting that Canadians have grown so cynical about politics that they don’t care whether they are being lied to by their leaders or not. Judging by the comments thread over at CBC, this is a successful gamble. In fact, I’m coming to think a number of loyalist supporters of the government actually enjoy being lied to. It’s like church. Or Santa Claus.
In any event, my disgust over this sad spectacle is rapidly shifting from the government to the news media. They’re not happy about being deceived on the Montreal phone hoax. They’re not happy about being lied to about MacKay deducting his personal vacation from the military’s search and rescue budget. But are we really supposed to believe that these sorts of angry editorials are anything more than insincere fakery?
In some regimes, the capacity to say something like “there are no Americans in Baghdad” with a straight face might be considered as asset to anyone in public life. That shouldn’t be the case in Canada. Lying to Parliament is an assault on democracy… The issue is honesty, and the ethical code that the prime minister has a duty to establish in his cabinet. If a government can and will lie about little things, it can and will lie about big things.
Sorry, Ottawa Citizen, but I’m not buying it for a moment. You endorsed the Harper regime in May, when you knew it was lying to you about Tony Clement’s gazebos, and Bev Oda’s magic pen, and the party’s in-and-out money laundering, and a half-dozen more percolating scandals to boot. What’s more, you’ll endorse the Harper regime in the next election too. You know you will. So please, either commit to your role as a free press and take responsibility for your actions, or spare us the pathetic charade. You have no more moral credibility than the government you claim to be criticizing, which you will no doubt be praising next week.Tweet