Sunday, July 8, 2012

Some ponderings on Bev Oda’s “retirement”

I’ve been wondering about a few things the last week or so.

The Bev Oda affair for one, it just doesn’t seem to add up for me.

Bear with me a bit here.  I’m no fan of Bev Oda and her champagne lifestyle, but her sudden departure makes me wonder what is going on behind the curtain.

I don’t think that her antics were that much of a problem for Stephen Harper, I think he used the distraction caused by her gaffes to allow other things to slide by more easily.

We are a fickle bunch, and when we all start grabbing our torches and pitchforks to chase Bev or Peter around Steve does mostly nothing.  A few of his designated fire control people stand up and try to deflect and dilute the charges, but all in all they do nothing.

Except for two events in my memory…  Helena Geurgis was fired right out of the party and Bev Oda stepping down and quitting politics.

The thing is, we don’t know most of the facts.  We might see some of them come to light for Helena in her lawsuit against Harper, but the real stuff will stay buried.  It just seems odd that she was defended on and on and then apparently the rope snapped.  Was it because her hubby, a former rising star in the Harper Team was deemed an idiot?  We may never know.

Now Bev Oda stepping down is a lot less messy for Harper but I don’t know if he gave her an ultimatum or not.

There have been a few times, like when Max Bernier left the NATO files marked “secret” at his girlfriend’s house, but other than a quick shuffle there was nothing.  Sure Max lost his Ministerial Post, but he’s back and all is forgiven.  So what happened with Bev?

Elizabeth May wrote an article about Bev Oda’s departure [Read it here: ] .  I enjoyed her view on this event.  It made me think.

Ms. May wondered why the $16 OJ stuck but the $20 Million on Harper’s security slides off.  I figure that it is simply because we Canadians can identify with the price of the orange juice.  We buy orange juice, we see the price in the store, and we can identify with that.  A Million Dollars or Twenty Million, we just cannot wrap our heads around amounts like that.  They’re just words.

But still it just doesn’t add up for me.  Others have done worse but had no real penalty imposed on them, but now Bev is stepping down and walking away.

This leaves me wondering why Bev Oda is leaving.

I seriously don’t think that she has done anything so horrid that Stephen Harper demanded her resignation.  Like I said, others have done worse and not been touched.  Add to that the fact that she caused a stir which distracted all of us from time to time and moved the spot light away from Lord Stephen which he used to his advantage.

Let’s face it, the (Not) fiasco was far worse than this.  Bev Oda was found to be in contempt of the House in that case.  Yet Bev was re-elected and given Ministerial duty again (Thanks Steve).

I hear rumblings that Bev was micromanaging CIDA.  That Bev was the highest paid manager in the department, but the micromanaging was felt to be coming from the PMO.  Lord Stephen was supposedly behind the meddling, possibly because of the (Not) affair.  Bev had a management background, she would likely know to get the best people available for a job and then let them do it.  That is what effective bosses do.

So maybe Bev got fed up.  Maybe she decided that she’s had enough abuse from the public and from the PMO and decided that it would be so nice to just walk away… and did.

The other option I’ve wondered about is whether or not the back benchers had something to do with this.

There have been a few MPs speaking out in public about their constituents’ anger about Ministerial excess.  They were scared that this could affect their re-election chances and they were not going to have that.  How loud would the noise in the caucus have to be to get Lord Stephen to back down to his back benchers?

Maybe Harper just asked for the keys to the executive washroom back, maybe Bev saw which way the wind was blowing and walked?

In any case, this does not have the earmarks of a Stephen Harper move.  Harper only plays when he holds the cards and he is a master of getting the upper hand and holding it. We’ve seen this in the past when he turned the tables on the Opposition “Coalition” and dictated the election from the moment the writ was dropped.

 In this case, he seems to have been caught off guard, with no one groomed to step in at CIDA, so he tosses Fantino in who is by no means a star player but he does know how to follow a script.

Stephen Harper would not have let Bev Oda walk out unless he had someone in the offing for her Cabinet Post and for her Riding, and he appears to have neither.  No it appears that things are happening behind the curtain that Lord Stephen cannot control, and I’ll bet some chairs getting kicked because of it.

What’s your take on this?

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