Last week, Justin Trudeau appointed Michael Wernick Clerk of the Privy Council, replacing Harper appointee Janice Charette. The change caused a great deal of weeping and gnashing of teeth among Conservatives, who claimed the Trudeau appointment was partisan. Michael Harris writes
That was Jason Kenney’s cue to morph into Jason Fallon and crack up the Twitter-sphere.
“The CPC government never appointed a partisan to a PCO position. We would have been (rightfully) pilloried had we done so.”
One wonders what planet is living on:
Reality check? The public service under Harper was about as independent as Paul Calandra practising his non sequiturs in front of a mirror. Harper wanted senior civil servants to remember who appointed them and to do what they were told, full stop.
Now there is no question that Ms. Charette is intelligent, qualified, likeable and highly respected; after all, she had been deputy clerk of the Privy Council before her elevation to the top job in 2014.
But it is also public record that Ms. Charette was once Chief of Staff of then federal Conservative leader Jean Charest, that charming chameleon of Canadian politics who can’t quite decide between spots or stripes. Before that, Charette worked in the offices of senior Mulroney cabinet ministers Don Mazankowski, Michael Wilson, and Kim Campbell. Partisan? Maybe a teenie bit?
But Kenney wasn't fooling anybody:
The Twitter-sphere’s BS-o-meter twitched like a bisected snake. For two hours, the “reminders” of a decade of the Harper government’s sins and peccadilloes rained down on Banquet Boy like a monsoon. This was now not about the PCO, it was about everything. The bodies popped out of the ground like extras in a zombie flick.
The CPC was scorched for deleting all gun registry data and then backdating legislation to make it legal; blasted for falsely accusing the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of doing something “unseemly” on the illegal appointment of Mark Nadon to the court; ripped for greeting Chinese panda bears at Pearson Airport instead of native walkers who endured a two-month march through the dead of winter from Hudson Bay to Ottawa; and denounced for keeping Green Party leader Elizabeth May out of climate conferences and TV debates….
On and on it went, a deluge pouring down on a man without an ark. And it was all well deserved.
Last week, south of the border, Donald Trump claimed that he could shoot someone and remain a popular choice for president.
Insanity is generally defined as losing touch with reality. Clearly, modern conservatism has tipped over the edge and become a cult.