Love him or loathe him, Stephen Harper doesn't come across as a sleazy character, far from it. Sure he's made a boat load of promises and commitments that he's later broken or completely ignored, but that's par for the course in the political arena. Trudeau, Mulroney, Chretien and Stephen Harper would all qualify for lifetime memberships in The Liars Club. But sleaze is probably not an adjective you would apply to Canada's Prime Minister pro-tem.
He's a fundamentalist Christian who belongs to the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church for goodness sake. Harper comes across as very straight laced, irrespective of him singing about 'getting high with a little help from his friends'. I'm certain he looked upon that lyric as a spiritual high, nothing to do with smoking wacky tabacky.
So why do sleazy and thoroughly disreputable people keep popping up around him?
Bruce Carson was one of Harper's closest advisors. (STORY HERE) Why would Canada's Prime Minister want advice from a lawyer disbarred for stealing money from his clients? Doesn't anyone look into this stuff? Harper is famous for being a micro-managing control freak, surly he knew about this guy's history, unless he's incompetent.
Now there's trouble brewing with Montreal area "star" candidate, Agop Evereklian. The Conservative nominee was found guilty of writing bad cheques and was ordered by the courts to re-pay $30,000 to a former business partner. (STORY HERE)
There's so much stuff out there about the Harper Regime's sleaze ball tactics and utter disdain for democracy that reading it all becomes almost too much, even for a political blogger. Altering documents, defrauding taxpayers by ignoring election financing rules, refusing to cede to Parliamentary requests for costs of proposed initiatives like billion dollar U.S. style prisons.
I think I might have the answer to why Harper is surrounded by so much sleaze though.
Stephen regards himself as more of an American style presidential candidate than as the leader of a Canadian federal party. No more traditional Canadian scrums, just tightly controlled press conferences a la George Dubya Bush. Voters are not being asked to vote for the Conservatives, instead its the Harper government, Canada's dear leader. All Stephen Harper, all the time.
So his candidates and advisors and other associated toadies are irrelevant. Stephen could hire Bernie Madoff as an economic guru, who cares? Jim Flaherty's economic forecasts are only good for a week or so anyway, but so what?
With an ego like Harper's I imagine he might have difficulty attracting decent talent anyway. What respectable and intelligent person wants to work with an egomaniac and control freak?
Maybe the only people willing to put up with Harper are those whose past indiscretions leave them with precious few options.
Click the button below to vote for Canadian Soapbox at CanadianBlogosphere, then click green.
(You can vote once every day)