WHY DID HARPER TRY TO PROTECT BERNIER?

In a recent posting on Maxime Bernier and his girlfriend, Suzanne commented that the whole thing was “a tempest in a teapot.” Some tempest. Some teapot.

It is now clear that Bernier has been in over his head from the time Harper appointed him. And in appointing him (to please Quebec) Harper’s political instincts trumped his common sense.

Bernier, starting with his gaffe about the governor of Kabul, has inflicted more harm on the prestigious office of foreign affairs than any other minister in my life time. Then Bernier started an ill-starred affair with Julie Couillard, the erstwhile moll of several crooks, one of whom was gunned down in a settling of accounts.

Yet all the while Harper and his government defended Bernier day after day in question period. The prime minister even accused the Liberals of being a bunch of “gossipy women” when they were asking legitimate questions about whether national security was involved in the Bernier case.

Then came the straw that broke Harper’s back. Turns out that Bernier left classified documents, dealing with sensitive issues like NATO and Russia, in his girl friend’s condominium. All hell broke loose and within a couple of hours Harper demanded Bernier’s resignation (something he should have done weeks ago?)

Why in the world did Harper continue to shield his minister after the PM realized he was an empty suit, all-hat-no-cattle? Does Harper put his political fortunes in Quebec ahead of the national security of the country?

Maxime Bernier displayed bad judgement during his tenure in Foreign Affairs but Harper showed equally bad judgement appointing him in the first place. Happily Bernier is now gone. Hopefully Harper will follow him out in the next election.

What do you think?

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17 Comments »

  1. 1
    Cate McB Says:

    I agree! This is “amateur hour on the Rideau” as Bob Rae has said, and Harper needs to go ASAP.

  2. 2
    Joe Agnost Says:

    “Why in the world did Harper continue to shield his minister after the PM realized he was an empty suit, all-hat-no-cattle?”

    You’re assuming a lot here aren’t you? When do YOU think Harper knew Bernier was “an empty suit”? Stories about his ex-girlfriend’s old aquaintances don’t mean squat to me – I thought THAT was blown out of proportion.

    Perhaps his gaffe in afghanistan a few weeks back should have been enough, but other than that what did he do that was so bad (before this latest revelation)?

    “Does Harper put his political fortunes in Quebec ahead of the national security of the country?”

    Of course he does!! Just like the gov’t before his did, and the one before that and the one before that…… do you see where this is going?

    “Hopefully Harper will follow him out in the next election.”

    The problem is that there is nobody to replace him! There really isn’t… I don’t like Harper much either, but until there is a viable alternative I don’t see any way out! It’s better than Dion/Layton – that’s for SURE!

  3. 3
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    Let’s face it, this country, and most of it’s components, is out of decent leaders whatever party you look at. Years of discrediting politicians and paying them grudgingly compared to what they get in private life has sent valuable contenders running for cover. We are left with the bottom of the barrel…and we collectively deserve it.
    On the other hand Harper is a control freak. He needs people who think like him, the Emersons, Cannons, Stralh, or docilely will do his bidding in exchange for a limousine like the Berniers, MacKays, Days, Verners, Oda et al.
    Next time around I think I’ll vote for the Levitation party

  4. 4
    Barbara Says:

    Why not grant Hillary Canadian citizenship and set her atop some party or other so you all can vote for her?

  5. 5
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    Well Barbara, maybe not Hillary, but I would consider Edwards or Obama.

  6. 6
    Joe Agnost Says:

    “Why not grant Hillary Canadian citizenship and set her atop some party or other so you all can vote for her?”

    Because I don’t like her – there’s no way I’d vote for her!

  7. 7
    Cornelius T. Zen Says:

    Good morrow, all!
    Harper defended Bernier because Harper was defending Harper. Harper sees all and sundry in his caucus as extensions of himself, and should he be displeased with such extensions (‘allo, Garth Turner!) he will, of his own accord, amputate with extreme prejudice. On the other hand, Bernier was a sop to the Quebec caucus, and, as such, represented a very important investment of self. However, gangrene set in, and something(-body) had to be chopped.
    The consensus here appears to be that Harper is the best of a bad lot. Excusez-moi? Jobs are flying overseas at a dizzying rate, the housing market is circling the drain, the surplus has been pissed away like beer from a sailor on shore leave, our soldiers are getting blown to bits on a “peace-keeping” mission in Afghanistan, all on Harper’s watch, and he is the best we have? Shall no-one rid me of this turbulent priest? CTZen.

  8. 8
    Joe Agnost Says:

    So who do you suggest as a good replacement for Harper CTZen?? Of the 3 main parties (2 really, the NDP will always be on the outside looking in) who would make a better leader?

  9. 9
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    Obviously, Joe, none of the above nor anyone waiting in the wings. And Harper is no better. So? Let’s think out of the box. Maybe power should, temporarily of course, be devolved to the Council of the Federation presided over by Phil Fontaine. Crazy? Not much more than our present parliament.
    By the way, CTZen is right.

  10. 10
    Chimera Says:

    CTZen is right — absolutely!

    As for who could replace him…there is lots to choose from, if you get rid of the “qualifications” that bought him in the first place. I mean, really…do y’all want another Harper? Even the blue tories are getting weary of making excuses for their boy.

  11. 11
    Joe Agnost Says:

    Don’t get me wrong – I agree with CTZen… I was just commenting on the fact that there are no decent choices in the field right now. None.

    “As for who could replace him…there is lots to choose from”

    I was talking about the current choices. I know there are some good politicians out there – there has to be! We just don’t have one leading any of the parties right now.

  12. 12

    “Let’s face it, this country, and most of it’s components, is out of decent leaders whatever party you look at. Years of discrediting politicians and paying them grudgingly compared to what they get in private life has sent valuable contenders running for cover. We are left with the bottom of the barrel…and we collectively deserve it.”

    I agree. Though I suspect for different reasons.

    The U.S. can keep Hillary. She’s no leader.

  13. 13
    Barbara Says:

    I hope you all know I was only joking about Hillary. My beloved high school teacher, Sister Irma, used to say you could say something good about anybody — even the devil: he’s persistent! And so is Hillary. I just get the feeling sometimes that she is more appreciated in Canada than at home.

  14. 14
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    I’m not sure of that Barbara. She may have been a few months ago but she blew it. I’m only guessing but I believe even Neil is wavering.

  15. 15
    Heidi Gulatee Says:

    Coming from Switzerland, I prefer government by commitee.All the parties take risponsibilities and no one only complains. I always find the opposition wastes a lot of energy and not much happens.
    I prefer as many representatives as possibel as in men and women, black and white and all other colors. We need to understand the needs of our people to be abel to represent them.
    There needs to be one head of government, as they have in my country, above the comitee. I just do not trust one person to do the right thing most of the time.
    I am curious of your comments!
    But this is what democatie means to me.

  16. 16
    Heidi Gulatee Says:

    Just one more comment, in Switzerland the “Bundesraete”(the highest seven people) are all white and till a short time ago there were no women. I guess I have to retract a bit about democratie .

  17. 17
    Peter LeBlanc Says:

    Harper was right in defending Bernier until facts presented themselves in this new discovered evidence. He dumped him and did the right thing.

    I am a Jack Layton fan.


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