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Was Guergis kicked out of the Conservative Party due to mere optics?

I read this last night from Aaron Wherry over at Macleans:

The private investigator says the Prime Minister’s Office did not accurately report to the ethics commissioner the information he passed on to them. He says he has no evidence as to the conduct of Ms. Guergis in his “possession or knowledge.” The concern, he says, was “optics”.

But, the PMO’s chief parrot defends the decision, citing the evidence that Jaffer was using Guergis’ office and email accounts for his personal business dealings. So, since Harper hasn’t said a word yet about the reasons why Guergis was deposed, would that be his official reason why, since Soudas, his director of communications,  is apparently citing that? If so, what’s so secretive about that which causes Harper to refuse to cite it publicly?

Otherwise, it appears Harper threw Guergis out of the CPC on an allegation this PI guy claims he never made. I don’t know how much of this PI’s testimony you can take at face value; but if he’s correct,  then Guergis was thrown under the bus  because the negative publicity was apparently a public opinion liability, in Harper’s view, and he decided not to wait before finding out whether the allegations (whatever they are) were true or not.

Again, I’m not going to make Hurricane Helena into a tragic heroine here, because I don’t think she was Cabinet material, and she did some nakedly partisan things in the past (ie. reveal Dion and Ignatieff’s travel schedule to Afghanistan – a security no-no), but I wouldn’t mind at all if she decided to get mad at her treatment by Harper (The “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” attitude), and run as an independent in Simcoe-Gray to try to win the riding, or at least spoil the Conservative vote and allow the Liberals to come up the middle.

UPDATE @ 3:18 pm: Helena reacts to the PI’s testimony.

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6 comments to Was Guergis kicked out of the Conservative Party due to mere optics?

  • Well, let’s look at the women who can replace her. Problem is there aren’t any. Nada. Zip. Zilch. If this is talent in Harper’s inner core, we’re in really bad trouble.

  • ridenrain

    Another woman candidate for the Liberal party?

    • Jon Pertwee

      @ridenrain, what’s the matter jealous?

      I can just imagine ridenrain at a dance; sitting alone at the table, all the ladies nervous because of his pervy glances, his idea of a chat up is lecturing them on how they are just silly women and don’t know better.

      Keep on providing the laughs ridenrain; of course beyond your wardrobe and dancing.

  • Big Winnie

    1) According to government, they had other information to explain her “firing”:

    “The government reacted by insisting that it had information from more than one source. In particular, the Prime Minister’s Office justified Mr. Harper’s actions by pointing to evidence that subsequently emerged suggesting that Mr. Jaffer sought government funds on behalf of other companies in Ms. Guergis’s office, or using one of her office’s e-mail accounts.”

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/private-investigator-tells-committee-he-has-no-evidence-against-guergis/article1566722/

    However, this info came out after she “resigned”.

    2) On Power and Politics last night (1:21:00), David Akin discussed the letter sent from the Ethics Commissioner to the Ethics Committee indicating that Snowdy was the person who provided the info upon which the PM acted.

    http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/News/Politics/ID=1492312295

    During Snowdy’s testimony yesterday, I don’t recall him mentioning that Jaffer was using his wife’s office to conduct his business. The only thing I recall is that the assumption was that Jaffer was the “backdoor” to the government. That being the case, what other information was the government in possesion of, have they released this other info and why did it take so long for MPs to release docs relating to the committee?

  • But does Harper really have any proof of Guergis being associated with the drug lifestyle? Snowdy says he has no such proof. It would appear that unless an as yet unnamed witness was involved, the only proof of a drug connection was the coke found on Rahim. The problem there is that the coke was found months ago and Harper was supporting Guergis right up until the day she started wearing bus tire tracks.

    Did the story take on more salaciousness as it passed from Snowdy to Hamilton to Giorno to Harper? Was Harper looking for an excuse to turf the problematic junior minister and jumped at the opportunity? By referring to “serious allegations” requiring RCMP involvement, did he slander her? Is the RCMP investigating those serious allegations presumably given to them by the PM? The Ethics Commish apparently could find nothing to follow up on; especially , after Snowdy rejected some of the statements in Giorno’s letter to her. Does the RCMP have anything to follow up on?

    Is the improper use of a Blackberry, email account and parliamentary office something that the RCMP would be concerned with? Do Guergis’s transgressions rise to the level of Bernier’s lapse in security of secret military documents? Did Bernier’s popularity save him and Guergis’s lack of popularity doom her? Was there any sexism involved?

    I think Scott’s idea that a scorned Guergis could spell trouble for Harper is appealing. It’d be quite the turnabout if she were able to come out on top, though I doubt that will happen. Harper’s got too many layers of protection around him: prospective fall guys.

  • I think she was turfed for personal reasons between her and Harper. He sees her as a drug user/supporter, and has stated publicly that he thinks drug users are never “respectable”. He had been defending her, and after he had proof that she is associated with the drug lifestyle, he chose to stop protecting her, which he was quite capable of doing.

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