Sunday, July 03, 2005

Rex Murphy: Grewal tapes a negative peak of parliamentary behaviour

In his column on Friday, Rex Murphy comments on the tumultuous session of parliament that's just ended (google link here):

Above all else, this session was strange and, at times, weird. Witness the Grewal tapes. They were, in their sad mixture of sly imbecility, low-handedness and the dim incompetence in their presentation (a bit here, a snip there, eight minutes now, four hours later), a kind of negative peak of parliamentary behaviour.

The tapes episode did possibly fatal damage to Gurmant Grewal, but its more consequential damage was to Stephen Harper. That Mr. Harper didn't, from the get-go, dismiss Mr. Grewal's ploy (you don't spy on your colleagues, even if they're Liberals) was one more unignorable example that his leadership instincts are spotty at best and, at times, just plainly inexplicable.
Murphy passes over, I think, the most troubling part of this episode. Harper did not merely fail to dismiss Grewal's surrepticious recording, but his office compounded the offense by editing the tapes in order to make Grewal look better and the Liberals worse (see here, here, and here). (Harper's office admitted responsibility for the edits in the suicide note, see here). It is small wonder that the Canadian public has trouble trusting Harper when he has associated himself with such chicanerie.