Peter and the secret handshake?


Why is Peter MacKay still in the federal cabinet? I mean, really.

Let us traipse through the potato patch of what should have been the meteoric down and down, and down some more career trajectory of our man in Ottawa, a man most famous for his love life, his entitled-to-his-entitlements adventures on our dime and his—let’s be kind—fudged public pronouncements.

Let’s start at the apogee of his political life—winning the leadership of the Progressive Conservative party on May 31, 2003. He only won because of a secret-handshake “gentlemen’s agreement” with rival David Orchard in which he promised, among other things, not to merge the party with Stephen Harper’s right-wing Canadian Alliance.

Less than five months later, MacKay hopped into bed with Harper.

The train wreck has been gathering downhill momentum ever since.

When MacKay isn’t being called to account for publicly referring to his former girlfriend, Tory-turned-Liberal Belinda Stronach, as a dog—a charge he denied—he’s being accused of lying about the seven-times-more-than-he-claimed cost of Canada’s mission to Libya (denied), the true cost of the government’s planned F-35 jet purchase (denied), the…

Does anyone see a pattern here?

Or in the fact that MacKay racked up close to $3-million worth of flights aboard government VIP Challenger jets over four years, more than any other minister except Prime Minister Harper, who must fly government planes for security reasons. Other ministers are supposed to take commercial flights whenever possible. Peter MacKay apparently didn’t get that memo.

Even more troubling is MacKay’s take-no-responsibility-blame-the-opposition-blame-the-media-blame-the-bureaucrats petulance whenever he gets caught.

According to recently released emails, for example, his aides even chastised Defence department officials about their “lacklustre” defence of his indefensible use of a search-and-rescue helicopter as his private taxi back from a remote fishing camp vacation in 2010.

MacKay, as usual, had offered several self-serving, choose-your-own adventure explanations for his behaviour.

The wonder is that Stephen Harper—who can hardly be counted as an ideological or social soulmate—keeps MacKay in his cabinet?

Secret handshake? Interesting question.

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