The pretty girl who is like a melody may yet help end the Harper government’s discordant democracy song?

Jul 29th, 2012 | By | Category: In Brief

As far as we know Lady Gaga is not involved in any Canadian political scandal, yet, with or without Stephen Harper’s former Mr. Fix-It, Bruce Carson.

We’ve lately had a (nother) sudden rush of new visits to a piece first posted more than a year ago — in the middle of March 2011. The title in this case is “A pretty girl is like a melody .. has Canadian election of 2011 finally arrived on back of first ever contempt of Parliament censure?

Speculation about the 2011 Canadian federal election is no longer of any but premature historical interest. Yet presumably what has proved somewhat more enduring in  “A pretty girl is like a melody ..” is its sub plot about how : “The ‘abuse of democracy’ (or just abuse of power) theme has lately acquired dimensions beyond the current contempt of Parliament machinations … As CTV’s latest report notes as well: ‘Four Conservative party officials, including two Senators, have been charged with breaking election spending laws. And it was revealed Thursday the man once known as Harper’s Mr. Fix-It, Bruce Carson, is under RCMP investigation on allegations of influence peddling since he left the Prime Minister’s Office last year.’”

This young lady, apparently a former Ottawa escort known as Leanne, apparently does or did have the same phone number as the Michele McPherson, 22, who appears on a secret contract witnessed by the man once known as Stephen Harper's Mr. Fix-It, Bruce Carson.

The late July 2012 analogue here comes in fresh press reports from this past Friday: “Ex-Harper adviser Bruce Carson charged with influence peddling” ; and “Harper’s former aide charged with fraud … Bruce Carson, the former senior aide to Prime Minister Stephen Harper who has been accused of illegal lobbying, has been charged with influence peddling … The ‘A’ Division Commercial Crime Section of the RCMP said in a release issued Friday that Mr. Carson, 66, had been charged with one count of fraud on the government … Mr. Carson is accused of lobbying the office on Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan on behalf of his fiancée, a former escort who was trying to sell water-purification systems to first nations.”

In fact, this particular Bruce Carson scandal seems to have had little negative impact on the Harper Conservatives in what finally proved to be the May 2 federal election of last year. And back a year ago this past March Barbara Yaffe at the Vancouver Sun alluded to one good enough explanation: “The ‘abuse of democracy’ theme will play out against one the Conservatives plan to highlight: job creation and the economy … The Harper team believes voters will embrace the party that’s working to keep them employed.”

* * * *

Bruce Carson — a doctored photo, no doubt, but one with some truthful overtones, from an April 2011 posting on the Canadian aboriginal activist “Father Theo’s Blog,” entitled “The Talented Mr. Carson, Conman, Jailbird, Oil Lobbyist & Stephen Harper’s Mr. Fixit.”

For similar reasons, it seems less than an accident in July 2012 that on the same day Bruce Carson’s latest troubles hit the news we also heard “Ottawa’s deficit shrinks as world economies struggle” and (somewhat less in the spirit of Con Party talking points perhaps) “Ottawa’s deficit shrinks as tax income rises.”

This is all very nice, so long as the theme of “the party that’s working to keep them employed” seems credible enough, to enough voters who are too busy with their own much more interesting lives to pay all that close attention to federal politics. As we ourselves, however, gently suggested a few weeks ago: “PM Harper’s spin-doctor boasts about Canadian economy are wearing thin.”

Of course, who really knows just what will happen down the road? But Bruce Carson’s reappearance in today’s news does remind us of an at least not entirely implausible prospect we raised back in March 2011 ourselves.

From Montreal Simon on the website Canadian Progressive Voices / Vers un Canada progressiste, July 28, 2012.

Mr. Harper’s answer to any Canadian people who objected to what Barbara Yaffe had called his party’s “abuse of democracy” was (and still seems to be) this : “if you want a stable government that doesn’t keep on precipitating fresh elections every two years or so, give MY PARTY a majority of seats in Parliament at last. And there is polling evidence at the moment to suggest that, thanks to the arithmetical anomalies of our present multi-party, first-past-the-post electoral system in Canada, the ‘Harper Government’ just may get this kind of majority at some point early on this May 2011. But if it does it will not be (unlike the present combined opposition majority in the 40th Parliament), based on anything like the support of a majority of the diverse Canadian people, from coast to coast to coast.”

This slogan didn’t quite work in the spring of 2011, but it’s still out there on the www, waiting for 2015.

Moreover, we went on then (and would still do now), there is indeed “something very undemocratic about this state of affairs. And it may be that Stephen Harper’s most enduring legacy to the Canadian confederation — and the modern diverse Canadian people to whom this confederation is nowadays ultimately accountable — will be to bring our federal politics into such a state of dysfunction that the need for serious democratic political reform at last will become obvious to almost everyone.”

Unfair? Maybe (a little), but is it any worse than so many unfair low-road political tirades from the other side? Really?

Mr. Harper’s apologists will, of course again, say all this is nonsense. Others will just remember the pretty girl who is like a melody — and her sexagenarian  former jailbird and disbarred lawyer boyfriend Bruce Carson, who “was one of the more experienced hands in Harper’s generally young government when it came to power in 2006.” Those who live by the sword, etc, etc, etc.

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