If you want to see what a witch hunt looks like, take a look at this Google search page. I found it by typing in the words “Mike Duffy found not guilty but ….” There are 261,000 entries that question that outcome in one way or another!
What most of them allege is that: (1) The court was wrong because______ (fill in the blank for a reason); (2) Being found not guilty not the same as being innocent; and (3) Former PM Stephen Harper was really to blame.
Truly, Mr. Harper would have had to have superhuman abilities to do what so many accuse him of knowing and doing. I mean, can any Prime Minister be everywhere and know everything within his PMO, caucus and government departments?
No, of course he can’t. Which is precisely why no one ever blamed former Liberal PM Jean Chretien or any staffers in his PMO, for the Sponsorship Scandal.
Then, there is the principle of the “Presumption of Innocence” — as my last post discussed. Yet, in reading the media rebuttals to Duffy’s acquittal, it is rarely even mentioned. It is as though media and public opinion is now all that really matters.
In that regard, there was the Andrew Coyne column headline: When not criminal does not equal innocent. Coyne spends his entire column articulating why he feels the judge’s ruling didn’t really get to the issues. And, he does a good job of it, even if I disagree with most of what he says. However, it is his last sentence that I find most shocking.
“… in the end we are left with the same dilemma as when we started. A sitting legislator was paid a large sum of money under the table by the prime minister’s chief of staff to collaborate in deceiving the public about a matter embarrassing to the government, a matter that was then being investigated by the legislature.
If that is not illegal, it bloody well should be.”
Wow! As a former academic (in education and psychology) I can assume that the Coyne column will be used as a “debate topic” in law classes for years to come.
Anyway, I can’t help wonder exactly what would have had to happen for many of the 261,000 in the Google search I mentioned at the start of this post to believe justice had been done in the Duffy trial?
Duffy going to jail? Certain PMO staffers going to jail? Or, perhaps even former PM Harper going to jail?
I mean, look at all the allegations against the former PM and his PMO over the last three years and isn’t that what this media driven witch hunt has really been about?