The recent controversy over the shady behavior of Conservative politicians in this province really makes me sick. The arrogance and lack of respect for the laws of the land astound me. The toothless penalties appear not to be a deterrent to these unscrupulous partisan that believe in winning at any cost.
To these people the ends justify the means. Playing by the rules is not an option. Playing loose and fast with the rules is the norm. This behavior is tolerated, if not encouraged by the powers that be. Is it any wonder that the public hold all politicians in such disdain?
Peter Penashue’s narrow win was a surprise. The first omen that there was going to be trouble came on the he was sworn in as a cabinet minister. He was nearly late for his swearing in ceremony at Rideau Hall after being trapped in a hotel elevator for 45 minutes. Perhaps a high power knew something that the rest of us did not?
This is the second time that Penashue’s election over spending has become an issue. The first time around it was written off as an accounting issue. That his campaign manager was a novice who had made honest mistakes. I found that hard to accept the first time out.
Now we learn that through family connections Penashue was provided with $17,711 in flights to remote communities during the 2011 federal election by Provincial Airlines that were not declared as expenses.
I can’t help but feel that Reg Bowers, the disgraced former agent (who was given a cozy appointment to the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board) has become a convenient scapegoat for this “end justifies the means” approach to politics.
The public smells a rat. It was balls to the walls in the 2011 campaign. Experienced Conservative operatives with long histories in the party senses an opportunity to squeak out a win. They flocked to Labrador to assist the campaign. Bowers was the name on the Elections Canada documentation but he was being directed by the "win at all costs" team. These behind the scene operatives are practitioners of the dark art of getting their candidate elected - winning is all that matters...picking up the pieces after is the last thing on their minds.
Now the chickens have come home to roost.
If Penashue possesses a shred of decency, an iota of honor, or just a minuscule respect for the democratic process he would resign.
If he will not resign, The Prime Minister should just fire him.