Wow. There's an old saying: "Power Corrupts".
It seems with Mike Duffy, he's turning out to be the proof of just how corrupt things are within the Conservative Party of Canada. When CBC turns up an e-mail where Duffy is basically demanding to be made a cabinet minister.
Not only does it speak to a sense of entitlement on Duffy's part, but it also gives us a little window of insight into some of the techniques that have developed to exploit the taxpayer dollar to the benefit of the CPC since Harper came to power.
Six months after he was appointed to the Senate, Mike Duffy was in consultations with Conservatives about an expanded role in the party and increased compensation, including his own suggestion he be named a minister without portfolio to get a car and staff, according to an email exchange obtained by CBC News.Seriously. Just consider the sense of entitlement that this implies. Duffy thinks that he doing so much "good for the party" that he deserves a political appointment to the cabinet table? Interesting. It says a great deal about the atmosphere the party under Harper.
At first, it may seem rather odd to have a member of the Senate named to a cabinet minister. But then there is Harper:
Marjory LeBreton, speaking to reporters in the Senate foyer, said, "It's ridiculous. The idea that the prime minister or anyone would pass over elected members of the House of Commons and name Mike Duffy as a minister? It's so ridiculous it's not even funny. It's totally bizarre. Who knows, who knows, but when I read it, when I read it — I don't know who the recipient of the email was — but when I read it I went, like, there isn't a chance of a snowball in hell of this ever happening, and I never spoke to him about it."
However, as soon as Harper formed government in 2006 he advised the Governor General to appoint Montreal businessman and Conservative fundraiser Michael Fortier to the Senate, and immediately put him in cabinet as public works minister. Harper had no Conservative MPs elected in Montreal, and needed a Montreal voice in his cabinet. Fortier promised to run in the next election in 2008, but he was defeated and was not reappointed to the Senate.
LeBreton herself was named from the Senate as a minister of state for seniors for a few years by Harper, although as government Senate leader she is automatically a cabinet member.I do note that the party adviser that Duffy was corresponding with seems to be cool to the ideas, the responses are not rooted in whether the path Duffy was proposing was right or wrong, but rather they were based on whether there was a cost to the party if Duffy got caught.
Remember, the party leader sets the tone. For Mr. Duffy to believe that he could make such a suggestion and get away with it, he had to have gotten the idea from somewhere. I'm sure that Duffy very much believes that he is entitled to his entitlements, but the idea that double billing the taxpayer, or using taxpayer resources to fund what is obviously going to be partisan activities says a great deal. At the end of the day, this goes back to Mr. Harper's desk - directly.