What a week in Canadian politics, eh?
Anticipating that the week’s highlight, news-wise at least, would be testimony from Gerald Butts, Michael Wernick, and Nathalie Drouin, I was blindsided on Monday by Jane Philpott’s resignation. As Rex Murphy put it,
Two serious women of unsullied integrity, who committed their fortunes to joining your government, have told the public that morally they could stay no longer. Mr. Trudeau owes them the courtesy of an answer, and the country of which he is the prime minister, a candid and complete accounting.
On this week’s events, of course, as on all other aspects of this mess, opinions still vary and likely will continue to. After listening to and reading commentators with various affiliations and varying degrees of partisanship, I think that people heard the new/reprised testimony through the filter of what they believed going in:
- Committed Trudeau-philes heard confirmation that there was nothing wrong at all, at all
- Liberals and Liberal sympathizers heard that there was now — Oh, happy day! — a reasonable doubt
- Committed Conservatives, Committed Liberals who hate Team Trudeau (think of the long years of the Martin/Chretien wars), and Professional Skeptics heard an accomplished political operative cleverly throwing doubt on Wilson-Raybould’s testimony by speaking more in sorrow than in anger
What now? If nothing else comes to light, then this will be just one of many issues in the coming election. It’s pretty clear that the Liberal majority on the House of Commons Justice Committee won’t be voting to call any additional witnesses on this matter.
Hear no evil . . .
On the other hand, the unnamed source(s) of the original Globe & Mail story is/are still out there, as far as I know. So it’s possible that another shoe will drop.
Finally, this week also saw the beginning of Lent and a daily Lenten reflection in my inbox. I wonder what advice G.K. Chesterton might offer the Prime Minister.
The very worst sort of story may be the very best sort of confession.
– G.K. Chesterton (America, Oct. 30, 1926)
If withering (verbal) fire amuses you, check out this summary of comments (on a Liberal’s site!) on the Prime Minister’s press conference after all the testimony.
If you’re a Westerner or want to understand their point of view, check out Brad Wall’s take on the focus on SNC-Lavalin jobs.
If you missed their statements in real-time:
- Gerald Butts
- Michael Wernick (highlights only)
- Michael Wernick & Nathalie Drouin (full testimony in video)
- Prime Minister Trudeau