Scandals and scroundrels
by Shelley Tomlinson
Liberal leadership contender Joe Volpe returned
$27,000 in donations he received from some minor
According to recent reports in Canada’s national
dailies, Volpe received five donations of $5,400 each
from contributors under the age of 18. The legal
monetary limit of a donation to a leadership campaign is
There’s been a slight controversy surrounding the
contributions and Volpe has decided to return the money
so that the perception of integrity remains intact.
Does it really matter if integrity remains intact or
if he quietly keeps the money?
Politics is about money and buying votes. It’s about
selling your belief system and the next day nobody
really caring because there’s another “scandal” close at
Peter Mackay, if anyone wishes to remember, became
the final leader of the Progressive Conservative Party
He sold his integrity to win the leadership in the
fourth round of the campaign. He won by making a
backroom deal with David Orchard.
Mackay promised he would not unite the right if
Orchard promised to throw his supporters votes over to
Mackay in the final round.
By the following federal election in June 2004 there
was no such thing as the Progressive Conservative Party
The Progressive Conservatives ceased to exist because
Pete Mackay decided to ignore his deal with David
Orchard and unite the right. Not that I’m bitter that
Pete Mackay ignored his own promises and completely
destroyed the Progressive Conservative Party.
On his website, Pete Mackay said after becoming
leader he “realized” that the merger of the two parties
was the only way to offer Canadians an alternative to
the Liberal Party.
So, Pete Mackay lied. Or, sorry, he “realized” the
error of his ways.
And how was he rewarded? Within two years of becoming
leader of a now defunct party and merging the two
right-wing parties, Mackay was rewarded with a plum
He is no longer earning the puny base salary of lowly
backbench MP’s (for those who care: nearly $150,000 a
year) but he also gets a substantial bonus (read: an
extra $70,800 a year).
Note to self: in order to earn a substantial raise
and promotion, promise to do one thing and then do the
exact opposite all the while pretending you only changed
your mind about the issue after the initial promise was
Although, I guess, all these scandals are better than
the alternative. At least there’s a veneer of
respectability and an attempt to remain trustworthy.
The alternative would be a tyranny where the
government simply did what they wanted without even
caring about image.
Shelley Tomlinson is a reporter with The Melfort