Don’t let Duffy become a campaign issue

Don't let Duffy become a campaign issue Enough of the Duffy distraction! What really matters are the issues of substance before us as we voters decide for whom to mark our ballots. It's ridiculous that the media and the opposition parties are casting th

Enough of the Duffy distraction! What really matters are the issues of substance before us as we voters decide for whom to mark our ballots.

It’s ridiculous that the media and the opposition parties are casting the Duffy debacle as a defining issue. Rather, the main purpose of the furor over Duffy’s case appears to be to derail the Conservative election campaign, smudge reputations and provide cover for the weak case for a change of government to Tweedledee or Tweedledum – Mulcair or Trudeau.

What else could be the reason for the daily hand-wringing over the Prime Minister’s Office’s actions? Not only did no one in the PMO steal or misappropriate money, $90,000 was put back into the public purse! (That’s unlike the NDP, which used taxpayers money to pay their party operatives, and the Liberals scandals, too many to mention, including Adscam and the Grandmere Golf Course).

Who paid Duffy’s expenses, who knew about it and whether it should have been done openly instead of on the down-low are really of little consequence.

That is not to say that the PMO did not handle the issue of repaying Duffy’s expense claims in a ham-handed way, but technically, Duffy is, in fact, the one who repaid his expenses. That Nigel Wright gave him the money does not change the fact that it was Duffy who then wrote his own cheque and presented it to the Senate bean-counters and thereby to the Receiver General of Canada.

This is no different than one family member giving another family member who has a debt the money to pay that debt. Neither was the plan of the PMO to quietly take care of Duffy’s expenses any different that the desire of any of us to avoid publicity and embarrassment due to the questionable actions of a family member or an employee.

I also think it unlikely the PM knew that Wright was going to give his own money to Duffy. Generally leaders don’t bother themselves with the details of minor issues. They delegate to others, simply saying, “Take care of it.” Wright did and thought it the right thing to do, but he has been hung out to dry simply because the media and the opposition called for blood.

And if the PM did know Nigel Wright was going to use his own money, so what? If it is dishonest for not openly admitting his party had a wart, so be it, but that is not something that merits any consideration in our decision on how to vote. Dishonesty worth caring about has to be much more serious than this nonsense.

Finally, so what if the prime minister did appoint Senators Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau? Virtually everyone at the time, including opposition spokespersons and the CBC from whence came Duffy and Wallin, thought those were great appointments. That they proved unworthy is on them, not on the PM.

Now how about turning to real issues.

Rick Tone


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