Harper's 'Convenient' Ethics
An "election pledge in the Conservatives' accountability program.
Under the heading "Strengthen the role of the Ethics Commissioner," the document says: "Stephen Harper will . . . prevent the prime minister from overruling the ethics commissioner on whether the prime minister, a minister, or an official is in violation of the conflict of interest code.""
From the Globe and Mail
Stephen Harper is shopping around for a replacement for Ethics Commisioner Shapiro. Shapiro is an officer of Parliament and answers to the House of Commons, not Harper, and Shapiro says he will take his direction only from the House.
It's funny how Stephen Harper and the conservatives have convenient ethics with regard to investigations.
What was good for the Liberals is apparently not good for Conservatives. Harper called for an investigation of the Liberals every single day, and is now apparently trying to avoid an investigation into his inducement for Emerson to cross the floor.
Harper was pretty loud about the "Grewal Affair". Remember Harper bleating about people stepping aside until accusations are investigated?
"While many Conservative lawmakers tried to distance themselves from Grewal, Stephen Harper, the Conservative Party leader, defended him and used the tapes to deliver more attacks against the government. He called on Murphy and Dosanjh to step aside until the accusations that they offered jobs for votes were settled. Other opposition leaders have also called on the two officials to go on leave."
NY TIMES NEWS SERVICE , Toronto
Monday, Jun 20, 2005,Page 7
Harper is not so loud about his own shenanigans.
The Ottawa Citizen said:
"During the investigation, Mr. Harper put off meeting with Mr. Shapiro, who wanted to confirm some details about the Tory leader's tangential involvement in Mr. Grewal's adventure. They couldn't schedule an appointment between last August and November, the commissioner says, though Mr. Shapiro's questions were satisfactorily answered by one of Mr. Harper's close aides.
Mr. Harper should have found time. If he means to clean up government, he'll have to resist all the temptations presented to those in power, including the impulse to skip inconvenient meetings with officers of Parliament. Voters will respect a politician who admits to small failures, provided he commits no big ones. Mr. Harper should have told Mr. Shapiro whatever he knew about Mr. Grewal's activities, even if what he knew wasn't flattering."
"Mr. Harper's task as prime minister will be to stop the routine sleaziness in government at its source. He'll have to hold his MPs, his staff and himself to the very highest standards, and to come clean when they fall short. It won't be easy."
Setting a high ethical bar
The Ottawa Citizen
January 27, 2006