"Political Ethics", An Oxymoron - Alcyonenews

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Posted September 16, 2020

"Political Ethics", An Oxymoron

I have been saying and writing that Canada and Canadians deserve better than the governance we get. I refuse to accept that we have to be governed by people like BC Legislature Speaker Daryl Plecas who flew to London on our dime accompanied by Clerk James and Sergeant at Arms Lentz to try on a Speaker's triptych hat. Surely we deserve better than that.

It has become routine for politicians caught wrongdoing to wait out the storm. If it does not subside they call their in-house "Image fixer" and if they have not as yet appointed one go to the market and hire "independent" private guilt-laundering entrepreneurs to do the job.

The appeal of special investigators is in that they do their job mostly in hiding thereby having ample leeway to exercise "discretion". The investigators are hired or retained for being "sympathetic" to those whom they are investigating while remaining thoroughly "independent". The alternative is the police, but they are prone to take the matter to open court thereby letting the people see what the culprits need to hide.

Let's glance at the widely familiar Brian Mulroney— Karlheinz Schriber, Airbus — Air Canada scandal. Schriber bribed Mulroney with at least $225,000, in lawful money of Canada, in cash, unlawfully paid in a hotel room, rented for the intercourse. The scandal was high profile and breached all roadblocks ending up in court. Its "resolution" left the justice system with a big "black eye".

The Court let Brian keep the bribe money after electing to believe that he had "earned" it by promoting Italian "pasta"; and ordered Brian be reimbursed for the over $2M in legal fees it cost to prove that the kerfuffle was about pasta; the court ordered rich compensation be paid to Brian for the inconvenience caused him by reckless people who could not tell apart macaroni from jetliners; and, of course, Brian got to keep the "Right Honourable" title, for life thereafter.

Karlheinz was shipped to rot in a German jail, from where he could not be heard in Canada. His "extradition" from Canada was swift, very much unlike the current one of Meng Wanzhou which lingers in Vancouver.

Canadians, irreverent as we are, remain of the view that the Rt. Hon. Brian, a.k.a "Lyin' Brian", was not really entangled in spaghetti pasta. We see the outcome of the scandal as being, let's say, a giant mistrial. But if it was, the Minister of Justice would have appealed it. N' est ce pas?

What is certain is this and similar cases encourage instead of deterring malfeasance at the apex of the governance pyramid. People in high places can "err" with virtual impunity to be envied by a bloke shoplifting a loaf of bread to feed his hungry children, as Anatole France would have said.

No, I do not advocate against forgiveness, leniency, magnanimity, and the other attributes of a civilized society — these principles do not need support, they thrive on merit. What I write about is the propensity of magistrates to dishonour the trust society places in them; and the system which lets them to do it again.

Minister of Finance Bill Morneau had to repay $41,000 which he shouldn't have taken from the WE Charity. Prime Minister Trudeau declared that his confidence in Morneau was unshaken. That Trudeau, while being similarly charged, would expect the populace to relax at his expression of confidence in Morneau manifests arrogance and a loss of touch with ethics. A few days later, Trudeau accepted Morneau's resignation, but the damage was done.

Trudeau himself was involved in the $1B government contract with the WE Charity; Trudeau himself had appeared in WE Charity "shows"; Trudeau's wife; and Trudeau's brother; and ditto Trudeau's mother. Fun for the whole family and I would guess they miss it now. The exposure caused the WE Charity contract to hurriedly melt away. But the dust would not settle and the investigation goes on. It forced Trudeau to defend himself against democracy by shutting down the parliament. Worse yet, it may force him to cause an election, in an effort to outrun the outcome of the investigation.

The Governor General Julie Payette is also currently under investigation for conduct, let us call it "un-royal" and leave it that. There is no doubt that others at the "top" would be under investigation if we knew what they have done or are doing. But again, if we had made them operate in the open, in all likelihood, all or most "leaders" would have refrained from offending common honesty.
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