Now, boys ‘n’ girls, don’t be fooled by the title of this post. By any means, I do ^Not feel sorry for Bevie Odeous, nor should any of you. All of her transgressions, from Kairos fun with document doctoring to limo rides and lavish hotels, chased down with 16$ orange juice were and are reprehensible by any stretch of the imagination. However, I still want to explore the two questions I ask in the title of this post.
First, I’m not buying that she was ready for retirement as a source close to Bevie suggests. Like commenter, Holly Stick suggests over at Dr. Dawg’s, I, too, now find Harpercon backbencher, Brent Ratheberger’s timing for his rants on cabinet ministers’ spending curious. Given that Bevie handed her resignation in 2 weeks ago, which was just before ol’ Brent started a ravin’ and a rantin’, it is possible that he was putting on a show for Stevie’s benefit; to help Stevie save face, perhaps?
Let’s remember that Stevie did maintain Bevie in her exact same role as International Cooperation minister following last May’s election. However, that one, I will put squarely on the voters of Durham. After all, they knew about the document doctoring then; then Speaker Peter Milliken actually found against her in that whole debacle, yet they all voted overwhelmingly for her, even raised her vote count just a tad to boot. That had to have been an endorsement for her, so, why wouldn’t STevie have maintained her in that very same role at the time?
Fast forward to now, July 2012. She finally resigns and the final straw was 16$ orange juice, swanky hotels and limos. Had no one made this much of a fuss, would she be offering her resignation today? Me thinks not so fast.
Although she turns 68 within the next few weeks, and the odds of her running in the next election were pretty slim, I don’t believe she was planning to retire. The simple reason being that if she were planning retirement, she would have announced her plans to retire along with Chuck Strahl, Ol’ Stock Day and ol’ Cummins last spring and not run for re election. She did. This, to me, indicates that she at least planned on serving most of her term out.
Like I said earlier, while her sins are reprehensible, there are far bigger sinners in the Harpercons these days. I have to wonder if they’re going to be let off the hook entirely, or if they’re ‘punishments’ are going to be far lighter. Let’s look at this merry band of thieves shall we?
Petey MacKay with his big F-35 misspending and mishandling, as well as misadventures on search and rescue helecopters. There is speculation that he will probably be shuffled out of defence in the next cabinet shuffle, but the odds are that he’ll simply move sideways and swap with another high profile minister, something like justice, public security, or foreign affairs. Some punishment! But then, it can be argued that Stevie Spiteful does owe his ‘success’ and that of his party to ol’ Petey hisself. It is after all, thanks to Petey and the ol’ double cross with David Orchard way back when that Stevie is where he is today, now isn’t it? But still…
What about Robocop Fantino? He, who was appointed in the newly created cabinet post of “associate defense minister”, supposedly in charge of procurement. He’s in this F-35 boondoggle up to his beady little eye-balls. Plus, he doesn’t really perform all that well in the House of Commons. He was essentially to be Petey MacKay’s babysitter, a job that he failed at. Hell, procurement ended up at the doorstep of none other than Public works– hello, Farm Haired Rona Ambrose, she who has been running double duty as minister of state for status of women since Helena Guergis was booted out of Harpercon caucus. Further evidence that Status of Women is a mere after thought, if any kind of thought at all to Stevie. Anyway, all this to say, how much does anyone want to bet that Rona would be punished more severely than Robocop Fantino?
How’s about ol’ Vic ‘lock ‘em up’ Toews? He, who torpedoed his own Bill C-30, the warrantless online spying bill when he accused dissenters of being “with the child pornographers”? Subsequently, details of divorce, obtained legally from public documents, were displayed on Twitter. What an embarrassment to Stevie! Will Stevie demote him, at least? Even a demotion is still better treatment than the Harpercon women receive for less.
Tony Clement gets rewarded for slush fund tricks and 50,000$ glowsticks at G8 and the like by getting to have his sticky mits in the trough.
What about Dean of Gastro? The blank checques are starting to fly around for all to see, proving spending illegalities for his election in 2008. Will Stevie give him the boot from being his parliamentary secretary? Will he throw him under the bus? I don’t think so, somehow.
Last but certainly not least, what about ol’ ’ethical’ Chrissie Paradis, our minister of industry and Stevie’s Quebec lieutenant? He, who has at least 3 different ethics investigations going on against him.
Even if any of these He MPs get demoted or simply shuffled outta cabinet, it simply does not compare to the consequences doled out to Bevie Oda or to Helena Guergis, where there ended up being no proof of wrong doing on her part.
Back to Farm haired Rona Ambrose. Remember her first cabinet post as environment minister. Yes, she failed miserably at it. Her so-called Clean Air Act was, to say the least, a bomb. We all remember how fast she was demoted. However, subsequent Harpercon environment ministers really didn’t do much better than she did, did they? I would have to say the current yes man, ol’ Petey Kent, can certainly compete with Farm Haired Rona for worst. Yet, anyone wanna bet that he remains exactly where he is?
Let’s also remember what happened to Diane Ablonczy when she somehow, doled out money to Toronto’s gay pride parade a few years back. She wasn’t given the boot, but her career never quite made it back up neither.
On the other hand, how could we forget ol’ Ex-Lax Max Bernier? Former Foreign Affairs minister (hard to believe he had that job in the first place, innit?). He, who left classified papers at his then girlfriend, Julie Couillard’s home. He was never booted out of caucus for this. In fact, I seem to remember those Harpercon cheerleaders as well as many in corporate media blaming Julie Couillard for this incident more than they blamed Ex-Lax Max. How twisted is that?
I’m sure I’ve barely scratched the surface of Harpercon double standards–different spanks for different genders. But those are just examples. Again, this does not excuse Bevie Odeous for all that she has done. We are not to feel sorry for her, boys ‘n’ girls, after all, she will retire with a far greater pension than most Canadian workers will dream of seeing. Hell, she may even get some plumb patronage appointment that Stevie Spiteful is so famous for handing out to Harpercon losers. However, we must remember that there are much bigger sinners in Harpercon cabinet, still in cabinet and are likely to remain in cabinet in some shape or form without or with very little consequence. And no, a simple demotion from minister to minister of state just doesn’t cut it. And no, not all are in the unique position of reminding Stevie that they owe their power and success to them as Petey MacKay is. What is their excuse?
More to the point, why do these Stepford Harpercon women continue to stick around knowing there isn’t much room to move up and how easy it is to fall from grace? Even after Helena Guergis was booted outta Harpercon reindeer games, though she started speaking out against Stevie, as an independent, she still voted every time with the Harpercons.