Tony Clement is reported to have said in one interview this week that "There’s not a micron of difference of opinion between myself and the prime minister on this."
Now it appears from some reports that Clement actually argued, in Cabinet, against the change but was overruled by His Harpiness. After tugging at his forelock he then went out into the wider, more intelligent, real world and tried to sell what was essentially unsellable, using all the tools so readily at hand for the Reform-a-Tories – lies, obfuscation, denial, blame, misdirection, fear.
By all accounts Tony Clement is not a stupid man, and one whom I assume went into politics with honourable intent. But where is the honour when he so clearly checks his integrity at the Cabinet doors? (And that’s not to pick on Clement. Think Poilievre, Baird, LeBreton, Day, and on, and on, and on – well some of them really are stupid, but you get the point.)
I’ve blogged on this before (http://viewsfromthelake-eh.blogspot.com/2007/11/if-we-both-think-alike-one-of-us-is.html), and like I said then, I just don’t understand how smart people can let themselves be manipulated and abused by a tin-pot dictator day in and day out without screaming “enough” and trying to salvage at least a small amount of their pride. I know many others who have quit more lucrative jobs (myself included) for far less reason, so what is their excuse?
I know some would say it’s easier to effect change from within, and that’s true to a point, but I would also suggest that when your boss tells you to lie in public it’s time to take a stand, and I for one, would hope that at least one or two of the principled people in whom we entrust the management of our country would stand up and be counted.
But sadly, in Canadian politics today, I can’t think of a single Member of Parliament that I would trust to do the right thing.