It’s political roundup time, as we go cross country — and perhaps take a quick trip south of the border to catch up on the ongoing train wreck there — to see what’s happening.
Here’s one for lovers of bureaucracy. It seems that the public service payroll system, Phoenix, is not working all that well and some public servants, especially those who don’t work traditional hours, are being underpaid, or not paid at all. One Health Canada employee told CBC News that she is being paid out of petty cash because they can’t seem to resolve her payroll problems.
Enough petty cash lying around to pay a government workers salary? Wow, that’s a lot of cups of coffee.
But don’t you worry. The government is on it. The solution? Hire more people to answer calls at the complaints office because there have been … er, complaints that complainers can’t get through. Brilliant. It’s that kind of sharp thinking that keeps the wheels of government grinding so not-speedily.
We all know that formerly disgraced Senator Mike Duffy was found not guilty of all charges related to bribery, payoffs etc. etc. this past month.
And oh, how the pundits have weighed in on this.
“The man is covered in sleaze. And he’s a senator again, and there’s nothing we can do about it,” wrote Chris Selley in the National Post.
Robert Staley, who represented Prime Minister Stephen Harper during the RCMP investigation of the events surrounding the Duffy payoff, took to the pages of the Ottawa Citizen to praise his client Harper thusly, “An early decision was made by our client to waive lawyer/client privilege so that all PMO documents relevant to Mr. Duffy, including those reflecting contemporaneous legal advice, were available to the RCMP. Although this decision was politically inexpedient, it was the right thing to do and was an unequivocal act of integrity and accountability by the prime minister.”
Ah, when political expediency can also be an act of unequivocal integrity, that’s when you’ve got yourself a perfect storm.
An editorial in the Summerside PEI Journal Pioneer said this of their senator, “He portrayed himself during his trial as a hard-working senator who has Prince Edward Island’s best interests at heart.”
My favourite was the story in the satirical Canadian newspaper, the Beaverton, which reported that after his acquittal, Duffy claimed travel expenses from the Senate, indicating that his second residence was inside Ottawa’s Elgin Street courthouse where he spent a good chunk of the past year. Now, that’s funny.
Finally, Trump. Yeah, I’m sorry, you are not escaping him this week, because there were some big days for the Donald. With wins in five primaries this week, Trump now has 987 of the 1237 committed delegates required for securing the nomination. His opponents, who are beginning to display all the political acumen of two of the Three Stooges, or the lead characters in Dumb and Dumber, hatched a magnificent plan. They would join forces so to speak, John Kasich and Ted Cruz, would “let each other have” different states. Kasich steps back and gives way to Cruz in Indiana. Cruz returns the favour in Oregon. The plan is that then voters will line up behind one or the other and down Trump. That’s brilliant on the level of whoever dreamed up hiring more people to take complaint calls in Canada. Neither one would actually take their name off the ballot of course, because… well, because they are idiots. And in fact their plan fell apart not 24 hours later.
And then in an act of sheer, brazen, I don’t even know what, Cruz announced his running mate. His running mate! Traditionally running mates aren’t announced until the nomination is secure because otherwise there is no need to have a running mate. But Cruz announced former candidate Carly Fiorina as the woman who won’t be Vice President along side the man who won’t be President, Ted Cruz. I believe that’s called chutzpah.
Who would have thought Cruz would have more chutzpah than Trump? Trump by the way delivered his first foreign policy speech this week. It was a delicious bowl of alphabet soup full contradictions and plain old, say what? Too bad I didn’t have more space to describe it more fully. Looks like you will escape Trump this week.
There’s always next week. Stay tuned.
Carolyn Grant is the Editor of the Kimberley Daily Bulletin