I got into a discussion yesterday about this Mike Duffy business. OK. An argument.
My correspondent felt sorry for Duffy “putting him through all that”, but I felt differently.
For as long as I can remember, but we’ll call it twenty years, Duffy was a journalist/correspondent on federal politics in Ottawa.
My best image of Duffy is standing with a microphone in, or near, the house of commons with today’s update on the going-ons in parliament.
That was his job.
Now, suppose you spend twenty years in a professional capacity reporting on parliament and the senate.
It’s your job to learn what is going on in parliament and the senate.
You learn what is going on in parliament and the senate.
In particular you wine and dine other people, gossip, share news, garner tips, and generally accumulate a very good idea of how it all works, parliament and the senate.
You could probably deliver a pretty good course (at post-graduate level!) on federal politics, but I don’t know whether Duffy had the time for that.
At all events, after, say, twenty years as a full-time professional reporter, Duffy must have known how everything worked, and how everyone worked-the-system.
To argue otherwise would be to suggest that Duffy was either an idiot or an imbecile, and I am not suggesting that at all.
Fast-forward to the day when Stephen Harper asks Duffy to be a senator.
After twenty years as a full-time professional reporter, Duffy knows how everything works, and how everyone worked-the-system, and what his appointment will mean to him and to the prime minister.
Twenty years of discussion prepares you for everything.
It follows then that Mike Duffy, of all people, was perhaps best equipped to understand what he was getting into, best equipped to know just how much the system could be used to harvest extra cash, free trips, or whatever other conveniences were available.
Who among us has spent twenty years in, say, Information technology and not once said to a friend over lunch or dinner “Say the word ‘computer’ to me, and then I can claim it as a business expense”?
Duffy knew what path he was following; he knew how narrow it was; he knew what lay either side. And he chose that path.
My correspondent asked “But why would he do that?” and I said I didn’t know, unless, perhaps, it was Greed.
I figured that after a career as a high-profile journalist/correspondent on federal politics in Ottawa, Duffy must have a darn good pension, probably with benefits; more than enough to eat at the local diner three times a day for the rest of his life.
What would cause a person in a position of retirement to sign up for a job which was to involve traveling, wining and dining, hosting, escorting and generally being showered with Good Things?
I’m just sayin’ ...