But Kennedy Stewart* wrote in the Sun that this could have been a political maneuver.
The explosive allegations about transferred Canadian prisoners being tortured by Afghan officials and the stink of a government cover-up might initially seem detrimental to Stephen Harper. However these events might eventually prove personally advantageous to the prime minister. Harper's uncharacteristic low-key role on this issue hints he is throwing his closest rival to the wolves to fortify his leadership position.Slipping in the polls, again, Stephen Harper is probably feeling just as much pressure from within, so why not eliminate his competition? If the party wants a leadership review, who do they have to replace him? Jim Prentice was another competitor, but he's gone.
Stockwell Day? Jason Kenney? Both dumber than a bag of broken hammers.
Rumour has it that MacKay may be leaving politics and taking a job in the private sector. If true this could fulfil another Harper wish. He stated that his party must eradicate itself of Red Tories, former members of the Progressive Conservatives. With Prentice, MacKay and Thompson gone, I think that about does it.
The next election is critical for Harper and he needs to win a majority or face dissent in the ranks. If Harper fails to secure a majority, party insiders will begin to look for successors, basing their decision on whether to push out Harper according to the estimated strength of any potential new leader. Before this incident, Peter MacKay was no doubt Harper's strongest potential leadership challenger.The detainee issue was swept under the rug, but there are definitely signs that MacKay is being pushed out. He is not even in the loop over the latest decision to extend the Afghan "mission".
Of course MacKay is suggesting that the rumours aren't true, but he also assured us that he would never sell us out to the Reform-Alliance. He's going to have to do better than that to convince me.
*Harper will let MacKay suck up Afghanistan torture poison to preserve leadership, By Kennedy Stewart, Special to the Sun, November 30, 2009 (no longer available on line)