Part of the Ol’ Duff’s Day in Court series.
The Duffy trial is an enigma, confusing because its unsavoury proceedings bring us so much joy. It has a similar appeal to an erection induced by a bestial orgy; sure, the whole thing is bad news, but one can’t help but feel a desire to get everything possible out of it while it lasts, especially when David Attenborough is narrating. The latest news out of Duffy’s trial is that Duffy and Stephen Harper disagreed on the details of Duffy’s Senate appointment. Evidence shows that Duffy preferred to represent Ontario, where he lived. Harper, on the other hand, wanted Duffy to represent P.E.I. because that’s the Senate seat he needed to fill. It was a difference of wants and needs.
Both parties knew that Duffy had the goods to be a Senator in either Ontario or P.E.I. After all, he owned $4,000 worth of property in each province—constitutional obligation met! Presumably, the disagreement started when Duffy asked to represent the province in which he resides. Harper didn’t need a Senator from Ontario, so why would he ask Duffy to do that job? He needed a Senator from P.E.I., so that’s what Duffy had to be. As the old, questionable saying goes, “beggars can’t be choosers.”
Duffy begged, but Stephen went against his wish. According to Duffy’s diary, which is—by virtue of having been written by the defendant—a flimsy piece of evidence, Duffy accepted the appointment, but was uneasy about the terms. It took him several days to sign his residency declaration. He initiated communication with the PMO and met with Senate Leader Marjory LeBreton to discuss his eligibility. He was reassured that owning property in P.E.I. was all he needed to do in order to be a Senator for that province, “even if [he] live[d] in Ottawa 99% of the time.” As the newer, still questionable saying goes, “just fill out the form and collect the benefits.” Glad to clear that up!
So what’s the big news here? Well, this evidence suggests that, contrary to what each man says, neither Duffy nor Harper can claim innocence in this scandal. Each man played an important role in the deception and corruption that now define Senate politics in the public eye. The only difference between the two men is that Harper still thinks he can avoid accountability by staying silent, while Duffy knows he’s going down and is prepared to bring everyone, including Stephen, with him.
For now, this shitstorm continues to develop in plain sight. The angel on my shoulder knows that I should avert my gaze, but the little devil on my other shoulder loves the sound of David Attenborough’s voice. It’s hard to look away.