Thursday, June 04, 2009

Scapegoat or the right call?

Yeah, this story is one of these things which I think is going to end up backfiring a bit. Perhaps nothing happens from it and it all blows over in a few days. The life cycle on these kinds of scandals is so short these days.

But here's the thing...from my reading of this, the Conservatives probably handled this right. Not leaving the actual briefing binder and documents at the TV station. That was dumb. And this is a government that does appear to have a hard time keeping ahold of documents. I don't think they binders are lubed up or anything, but they do seem to keep squirting away and into the hands of people who shouldn't have them.

But here's the thing, I guarentee you Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt was not the ones responsible for tracking that briefing binder. It was an aide who dragged it to the TV station, and who was supposed to drag it back to the office afterwards. And that person didn't. Until this became news the minister probably had no idea it was missing. And that's not her fault. It's the reason she has a large staff to keep track of these things. "Where's the briefing binder?" should not be on the priorities radar of a senior federal government cabinent minister. Furthermore, I don't want it to be. If it is, then clearly this is a minister with too much time on their hands.

Yet, she did the honourable thing and offered to fall on her sword. And the prime minister said no. Which I guess is commendable because it certainly would have been the easy way out. Fire Raitt and move on, scandal over. Instead, he lets her keep her position, but the aide gets canned. Which, again, if this person was in charge of the briefing binder and not only failed to take it from the TV station but didn't notice it was missing for a week is probably a good call. This is not a person you want handling your nuclear secrets. Literally.

Still, it does look a bit much like the Minister finding a scapegoat for a screw-up. Someone else pointed out, Ministers take curtain calls all the time for the hard work the legions of anonymous staffers and aides put in, so shouldn't they take the blame when one of them screws up so massively that it causes national headlines and a security breach?

I'm not sure. It feels right that the aide took the fall for this. Although I am curious about who the aide is, what experience that person had to hold that position and whether or not there was any relation to the Minister. And if there was...if this aide was a relative or family friend, well, then you might want to start looking for rope at the nearest Home Hardware. Or if you want to argue the content of the documents makes the minister look incompetent and should resign, well, you might have a point. But I don't think leaving them behind is a cause for her to resign.

Barring that, well, then I'm sorry to disappoint the hordes or Harper haters out there, but I think this was handled right. But don't worry, I'm sure they'll screw up something else massively soon enough that you can latch your hatred onto.

Last Five
1. Take it on the run - Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies
2. Blister in the sun - Violent Femmes
3. I feel the rain - The Trews
4. Pope - Prince
5. Best of you - Foo Fighters*


Amy H. said...

lubed up documents... snortle...

Anonymous said...

What a shock it was to see the Harperites pumped here. NOT.

Adam Snider said...

I'm not a Harper fan by any means (though, I occasionally agree with him), but I definitely have to agree with you on this one. You've already said it better than I could have, so I'll just leave it at that.