So, our man-child prime minister, who cannot understand principles and who cannot tolerate criticism removed Dr Jane Philpott from the caucus. He did so before the caucus, itself, had a chance to debate the issue, likely, I suspect for two reasons:
- Someone, Gerald Butts is still, very likely, pulling his strings, told him that he would appear leader-like if he took decisive action, on his own … instead, of course, he just looks like a weak, cowardly, vindictive little twit; and
- Someone, another puppet master, maybe Katie Telford, his brainy chief-of-staff, warned him that allowing the caucus to weigh in would only expose the festering sores of discontent with and worries about his
leadershipmanagement of the Party and the government and during any debate one or two more caucus members might quit.
I fully understand why Ms Wilson-Raybould had to go. Her attacks on the Party and on the government have put her offside. My guess is that she will now move on to attack Justin Trudeau on other fronts … she will, I suspect, tell us that Justin Trudeau is a fake feminist and no friend, at all, to First Nations. My guess is that she will sit and run again, and win big, as an independent in Vancouver-Granville. In the process I expect her to shatter much of the Real Change myth that Team Trudeau created in 2015.
Dr Philpott is another matter. As late a 22 March she was re-tweeting Liberal propaganda from Ralph Goodale …
… and on 20 March she posted her own “good news” about the 2019 budget:
Then, just over a week later, she was booted out of the caucus.
But she issued a statement on her Facebook page in which she said: “Tonight I was expelled from the caucus of the Liberal Party of Canada. Sadly the decision was made without me being provided any opportunity to speak to national caucus. This is profoundly disheartening for me, my staff and my family – and I know people in Markham-Stouffville will also be disappointed … [she added that] … I was accused publicly by people in caucus of not being loyal, of trying to bring down the Prime Minister, of being politically motivated, and of being motivated by my friendship with Jody Wilson-Raybould. These accusations were coupled with public suggestions that I should be forced out of caucus … [but, she says] … These attacks were based on inaccuracies and falsehoods. I did not initiate the crisis now facing the party or the Prime Minister. Nor did Jody Wilson-Raybould.”
Round 1, it seems to me, to The Honourable Dr Philpott: “”Tonight I was expelled from the caucus of the Liberal Party of Canada … [without] … being provided any opportunity to speak to national caucus … [based on] … accusations … [that] … were based on inaccuracies and falsehoods. I did not initiate the crisis now facing the party or the Prime Minister. Nor did Jody Wilson-Raybould.” It’s all ‘he said / she said‘ of course, but does anyone with the brains the gods gave to green peppers actually believe anything Justin Trudeau says?
Just why was Dr Philpott expelled? Because Ms Wilson-Raybould recorded a phone call? Because she resigned from, probably, the third most powerful cabinet post …. in order to gain power? Or is it all Stephen Harper’s fault?
I am one of many who wishes that Ms Wilson-Raybould had not felt compelled to make an audio tape of a telephone call without advising the other party that he was being recorded, and Dr Philpott sidesteps that issue. But she does say that “I was not able to support the recommended response … [the various and continuously variable talking points put forward, day-after-day, week-after-week, by the PMO] … to deny these allegations … [rather] … My constitutional obligations including Cabinet solidarity and collective responsibility compelled me to resign as a Cabinet member under these circumstances.” The implication is that most of the cabinet and the caucus have failed to meet their “constitutional obligations.”
In a direct counter-attack on the prime minister, Dr Philpott says that her decision to resign from cabinet was not “about a lack of loyalty. On the contrary, I recommended that the government acknowledge what happened in order to move forward. This was an expression of loyalty, not disloyalty — in the same way that Jody Wilson-Raybould attempted to protect the Prime Minister from the obvious short-term and long-term consequences of attempts to interfere with prosecutorial independence — but to no avail.” She still holds the moral high ground.
She says that “I have also been criticized for not telling my complete story in Parliament because I would be shielded by Parliamentary immunity. Much of the story has now been told by Jody Wilson-Raybould as a result of the additional information she provided to the Justice Committee. Anything else is covered by Cabinet privilege that has not been waived. It would be irresponsible for me to breach Cabinet privilege simply because I could do so without being prosecuted for the breach. Parliamentary privilege is not designed as a licence for breaching your constitutional and ethical obligations.” This is ground that has been covered, before, by others; the ‘criticism’ is total; rubbish and those, mostly Liberal MPs and serving and former Liberal ministers, who make it have rubbish heaps for brains.
“Throughout these events,” she writes, “I have continued to support Liberal policies and the commitments we made. As a member of Cabinet, I would have been compelled to support in Question Period and in the media the government’s response to the SNC-Lavalin case and speak in support of that response. I could not do this and as a result, I was compelled to resign. I thought there should be scope within the caucus and the party for a range of views on the SNC-Lavalin case including the views I expressed directly to the Prime Minister. Indeed, the need has never been greater for a measured re-evaluation of how the government should respond to this issue. What I have heard from Canadians is that they want to know the truth.” Once again, I think that the overwhelming majority of fair minded Canadians will agree that it it is far more likely that she and Ms Wilson-Raybould are telling the truth than that Justin Trudeau is doing so. Another round to Dr Philpott.
She concludes that “That being said, it appears that the caucus is intent on staying the current course, regardless of its short-term and long-term consequences to the party and to the country, and it has been decided that there is no place for me in the caucus … [and] … I ran to be a Member of Parliament for the purpose of improving people’s lives. Nothing will stop me from continuing in that pursuit. I will continue to proudly represent the people of Markham-Stouffville for the remainder of this term.“
It sounds like she is unsure about running again, as an independent.; and both Dr Philpott and Ms Wilson-Raybould conformed that in a statement reported on by the Globe and Mail.
At bottom, 55 after days after this political crisis began ~ that’s as long as the siege of Peking in the year 1900, by the way ~ with a story in the Globe and Mail, a few facts seem to be undisputed: Justin Trudeau and his closest political and policy advisors attempted to pressure Jody Wilson-Raybould into interfering with a prosecution; no one denies that. Some people claim they were doing so out of valid concerns about an issue of national importance; that seems debatable. What seems abundantly clear is that at least one element of the Shawcross Doctrine was violated, and, therefore, at the very least, an unconstitutional act was committed by Team Trudeau; no one seems to deny that, although several claim not to know about the law … true, I am sure, in the case of the prime minister. In fact, Conservative MP Michel Chong makes a convincing case, on social media,* that “The rule of law, once again, has been undermined by PM Trudeau and the Liberal government with MP Wilson-Raybould’s and MP Philpott’s expulsion from caucus.” He cites §49 of the Parliament of Canada Act which deals, specifically, (§49.2 (a) and (b)) with how caucuses must vote to expel a member, and says that Justin Trudeau failed to follow that law. Ms Wilson-Raybould, who does understand the law, and at least one judge and legal scholar who also understands the law, says that this, putting pressure on the Attorney General to interfere in a prosecution, is a serious legal and ethical issue. The fact the Ms Wilson-Raybould resisted the pressure is beside the point; it is illegal to even apply that pressure. But the response?
The government’s response is to punish those who are trying to uphold the law. How can that be proper? One cannot be blamed for concluding that Team Trudeau is trying to coverup something even more serious.
Given how astute Dr Philpott and Ms Wilson-Raybould have been in how they have managed this whole affair I expect that there is more to follow, and likely at the most inauspicious (for Team Trudeau) times. I believe that Dr Philpott and Ms Wilson-Raybould believe that Justin Trudeau is ethically unfit for the high office he holds, and they want him gone, for the sake of their Party and for Canada’s sake, too.
If the Liberals ~ the party executive, the cabinet and the caucus ~ have the brains and the ethical standards that, as I said, above, the gods gave to green peppers, then they would overthrow Justin Trudeau, now, because he is an abject failure and he has no ‘coat-tails’ upon which Liberal ‘nobodies‘ can ride to office in 2019, and toss him (and some of his hangers-on, too) on to the trash heap of political history, where he belongs. They have at least one good, solid (French Canadian) candidate to be an interim leader. They also have, in Dr Jane Philpott a potential leader and prime minister … except that Justin Trudeau expelled her from the caucus.