You'll understand if I don't agree with the modifier employed by Macleans Magazine when, with typical hand-wringing, it labelled May, 2013 "The worst month in the history of Canadian politics."
Crawford Kilian, however, in the May 18 edition of TheTyee.ca, perfectly captured the current that has flowed us through these bright days of spring. In his brilliantly titled "The Conservative Party of Canada as Performance Art," Kilian wrote: "Connoisseurs of schadenfreude — those who take joy in others' misery — have had a wonderful week."
All of comedy is based in schadenfreude. And conservatives serve up comedy in ways that centrist and left-wing politicians cannot dream of. Television shows like This Hour has 22 Minutes and The Mercer Report remind us how Canada's other political parties have never hauled the likes of a Stockwell Day or Preston Manning onto the national stage, let alone left the bloated remains of a Mike Duffy or Rob Ford to wash ashore and rot on the beaches of public opinion.
Still, the ever-swelling Duffygate scandal seems straightforward enough. In order to shut down the politically embarrassing public audit of over-entitled conservative senator Mike Duffy, the Prime Minister's — the PM's! — multimillionaire chief of staff Nigel Wright took the "national interest" into his own hands and "secretly" wrote a personal cheque to make the audit go away. The PM was very angry, in a faux-dramatic kind of way, and voiced his great displeasure to his flock of shee... er, minions and ministers, disavowing knowledge of the deed and summarily throwing Wright under the bus. Followed swiftly by Duffy and the also-under-audit Pamela Wallin, who joined a third conservative senator under audit—Patrick Brazeau—previously tossed from caucus because of charges of sexual assault etc. etc. ad nauseam. It's crowded under the conservative bus these days and about to get a whole lot cozier with the addition of Stephen Harper's great pal and unabashed supporter, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.
Ford has been unable to stay out of trouble since the election that brought him to power on promises to "stop the gravy train" at City Hall (except, clearly, in the cafeteria), but his litany of other transgressions pale in comparison to that which will accrue if an alleged video depicting him smoking crack with drug dealers turns out to be true. Especially since it has been suggested that people may have been killed over the video that was offered to news outlets like website Gawker and the Toronto Star newspaper for a mere $200 K. (It's not lost on most that the main reason for publicly shilling the video would be to force Ford to up-bid. "He resigns as mayor or he's dead in a ditch — I don't know what comes first," a Ford ex-staffer is quoted in a revealing Maclean's article.)
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