“Democracy works the same way. Full and True disclosure of relevant information in all aspects of democratic society gives citizens the capacity to filter truths from falsehoods.” David Johnston, ex GG of Canada.
Ad hominem is Latin for the “do not shoot the messenger” adage. Meant to protect messengers, it is often misused to protect authors of malice. I was prompted to write this piece by the sad spectacle of former Governor General David Johnson trying to wriggle out from his culpability in hashing up the Trudeau effort to evade an investigation on foreign interference in Canadian politics.
There was he the superannuated Head of State of Canada, telling us, the populace, that he has been a good boy, eating his broccoli and washing behind his ears, throughout his life. We should trust him, he insinuates. Because he is only a messenger-rapporteur of “news” we, through our duly, foreign-interference-free elected PM Trudeau II, sent him to sniff out information and inform us accordingly. He took a look and quickly pulled shut the curtain on the political stage. He told us that he decided we should not know what is happening, and he resolved not tell us, because if he would tell us, we will regret knowing, because knowing runs against the national interest of Canada. This deduction in not exemplary.
He was chosen to find out if there is any truth to rumours about foreign governments expanding their usual branch-plant input into our governance and engage in direct manipulation of our Democracy. Trudeau selected Johnston for the mission, because he needed his reputation for objectivity to peddle stuff that was not marketable on merit. The idea being that voters would trust the ex GG thereby drowning the request for investigation of what Trudeau wanted forgotten. But the plan faltered, people “de-trusted” the GG and he went public to shore up his crumbing credibility which was rendering him as ineffective as Samson after a haircut. Johnston discovered, he said, that the reason we did not know what we wanted to learn was that the stuff was secret. Can you visualize the moment rapporteur Johnston shocked Trudeau with his discovery that the stuff was classified “secret”? It was a lucky strike Johnston detected the secrecy of the stuff thereby averting the catastrophic effects it would have had if he had let the cat out of the bag.
Then there is the matter of the “Trap”. Trudeau and Johnston are blackmailing the opposition party bosses to enter into the secret cocoon, by locking up their lips. This, lest the culprit nations get wind of being investigated and lay low thereby handicapping the investigation. Clever, is it not? If the Opposition bosses fall for it, it will be interpreted by the PM’s PR brigadiers to mean that the whole populace is satisfied that the stuff is justifiably secret and the Johnson coverup is ingeniously strategic. All being in the national interest of re-“electing” Trudeau ...
Then there is the Conflict of Interest issue. The people would not mind the friendship of the current PM with the former GG, because GG are born “im-party-al”, or because the people have been conditioned to think of the GG being above partisanship. This time around it did not work that way.
It did not work because, to start with, Johnston did not decline Trudeau’s call as he ought to have done, and because he cannot claim ignorance of Ottawa politicking. And Trudeau, was aware of the Conflict of Interest reality, but went ahead to involve Johnston. All this against the background that a mere perception of conflict of interest is damned Planet-wide, save for in Ottawa town.
In Ottawa, survival-after-being-caught red-handed is routine. Jean Chretien was recently caught supplementing his pension by lobbying the government of Canada for China and nothing happened to him. Ditto when he bought us our glorious fleet of four rusty submarines, those which scare our enemies away from our shores, thereby defending our freedom to be governed by Trudeau, Mulroney, Chretien and so on.
A most important facet of the Johnston fiasco is that he authored a book titled: “Trust – 20 ways to build a better country” from which I lifted the undertitle quote. The book is brimming with innuendo. His purpose is to make us trust those who “govern us”. He hardly mentions trust-worthiness of those who we are to trust. He cites no instance of people denying trust to any politician deserving it. He distinguishes not between “screweur and screwee” (Ottawa Franglais), he seeks “blind trust”. “We trust our fellow car-drivers to stop at the red (traffic) light” he writes, we should equally trust the politicians to govern us in our best interest, even when they receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in $1,000 dollar bills in brown paperbags, in hotel rooms.
I run out of space but I will not digress without divulging that I for one will take a Gerda Munsinger scandal, before the one I discuss ... because it is sex rich and lie lean.