Saturday, July 24, 2010

Will Stephen Harper Feel the Wrath of Guergis?

Helena Guergis, after being cleared of criminal charges (though she still faces an ethics violation) had asked for a face to face with Stephen Harper. Which face?

Guess we'll never know.

However, she has stated that she will be running in the next election, possibly as an independent. Guergis, who was a staffer in the Mike Harris government, is not ready to hang up her lawn signs, even if the good old boys in the party told her to take off her shoes and get back in the kitchen where she belongs, now that she is pregnant.

James Travers has an interesting take:

Fear and confusion are power tools. Craftsman Stephen Harper is using both by banishing Helena Guergis and supporting Tony Clement’s quixotic tilt at the census. If cause and effect were connected in this capital, Guergis would be back in caucus today and Clement would be out of cabinet. After all, the RCMP has cleared her of criminal wrong-doing in connection with husband Rahim Jaffer’s back corridor lobbying while a summer storm is rising over the industry minister’s bizarre assault on a benign target.

But that’s not how official Ottawa works. What matters here is control and the Prime Minister is proving the point by blatantly exercising it so arbitrarily.

... A weak minister and public embarrassment, Guergis delivered ample reasons for dismissal well before she and Jaffer became titillating news. Still, harsh understates the punishment imposed by a Prime Minister who has yet to explain why he tolerates sorry performances and nasty behavior from some colleagues only to crush Guergis. A special joy of authoritarian leadership is that no justification is required. Ministers serve at the Prime Minister’s pleasure and no one carries party colours without Harper’s signed approval.

I'm no fan of Guergis, but anyone who challenges Harper is OK in my book.

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