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Duffy Trial Day 7 – Justice Delayed

It appears that the Mike Duffy Trial may well be turning into the trial of the century, if for no other reason that the judge has now conceded that there is no end in sight as to when it will be finished. In other words, it may end up taking a century to get through it.

That is of concern, at least to me, because I don’t know if I can last that long. I mean, I’ll try because I’m that kind of dedicated guy but they’re now talking about the possibility the trial could extend into next year. Really? That’s asking a bit much from folks like me no matter how dedicated we have been up to now in our support of justice being served.

And I’ve been dedicated. I literally pour minutes of work into covering the Duffy trial each and every day and they are high intensity minutes at the very least.

It starts in the morning around 5:30 am. I’m up although I’m not all that happy about it. It takes me a half an hour or so to get my eyes in focus so that I can navigate my way to my office/studio down the hall from the bedroom. Maggie usually is kind enough to bring me a coffee on her way to take her shower. I read the news online, drink my coffee and smoke a couple of cigarettes (don’t nag me about it, it is what it is so let’s just move on).

Then I think but fortunately I don’t have to think for very long because by the time I’ve managed to get all of that done, Maggie’s ready to go to work so off we go. I used to try to think in the car but I’m distracted by Maggie and the wingnuts on the road. We have a lot of bad drivers around these days and in the morning, Maggie is like Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music.

It’s very difficult to think seriously when you have someone sitting beside you singing, The hills are alive with the sound of music. I don’t sing much and never in the morning.

In the end, I have to admit that it might be a good thing though. I don’t greet the day all song and smiles like Maggie. I need to creep into it gently and too much thinking too early might damage something internally. Certainly that seems to be the opinion of most online trolls these days who don’t seem to want to risk potential damage that might be caused by any thought at all.

When I get back home, I putter. Puttering is important. It helps to clear out the intellectual debris and clutter from the day before but after a half hour or so of puttering, I’m usually sufficiently theta-clear, as the Scientologists refer to it, to wade into the events of the Duffy trial from the day before.

I had already read about them earlier when I read the news but I really wasn’t paying attention to be honest so I have to read them again.  But once I have – I’m focused.

“Send me in coach, I’m ready to play.”

Typically it doesn’t take very long to extract the meat of the previous day’s testimony because the lawyer for the defence belabours each and every point until even I understand it and that can take awhile. I do get bored at times because after I ‘get it’, I would like to move on but – we don’t move on. There is more belabouring and I have come to the realization that my brain has a belabouring limit and simply refuses to accept anymore.

At that point I know I can’t wait any longer because it is time to report in to my loyal readers who are counting on me to give them in-depth analysis of the big doings. So I carefully craft a blog post over the next few minutes, run it through spellcheck which doesn’t spell any better than I do and then post it.

By that time – I’m exhausted. My brain is frazzled by the complexities of the cost of picture frames and personal trainers; not to mention some of the bigger words used by my more professional colleagues in the media – the real media, not the pretend media on the dark edges of the Internet as the National Post’s Andrew Coyne once described blogs just like mine. I wasn’t offended by the way. I thought it gave us bloggers a kind of rebel-like cachet.

The thought of being a rebel without having to leave the house to actually do something rebellious is quite appealing at my age.

Once the post is finished, that brings on another round of puttering and even sometimes – a nap. I consider a nap during the day to be one of life’s little luxuries and I sometimes wonder if the Duffy trial would be accelerated if everyone involved took a nap over the noon hour. It works for me.

If the court is working at the same pace that I do – it’s not any wonder that it’s going to take a very long time to reach a conclusion.

I’m retired and so I really don’t have to report in to anyone or account for my time, other than to Maggie, of course. She likes to keep tabs on me, not because she’s suspicious but because she knows among other things I am also quite clumsy and she worries that I might have fallen off a ladder – again – or down a rabbit hole or something.

Who knows what kind of trouble I could get into in Wonderland? I get into enough trouble sitting at home just writing and posting what I write online.

But even at my forgiving pace, I still kind of lumber along faster than this trial is progressing. Surely to God they could pick it up a bit. We’re not asking for a sprint but it doesn’t have to be the Olympic torch Relay either. Somewhere in between would be sufficient for most of us.

While I appreciate that it is important to examine every piece of evidence carefully and to cross-examine every witness to extract all of the relevant detail to ensure arriving at a fair verdict, let’s move it along boys. We need to get to the good stuff.

Bring on Nigel Wright, Senators LeBreton and Stewart-Olsen. Give us something – anything – that will reassure us that justice is being served or at least can be as entertaining as Parliament’s dog and pony show.

Good God but this trial is becoming about as exciting as Ottawa on a Tuesday night. Although excruciating might be a better adjective to describe both.

Justice delayed is justice denied or something like that so let’s get on with it. We know now that the Senate’s rules were vague, poorly defined and that Senators were given an excessive amount of discretionary latitude in determining what constituted a legitimate expense. The current witness herself even admitted that despite the fact that the Senate’s rules didn’t allow for after-the-fact contracts, she advised Senator Duffy on how to get around those rules.

We also know thanks to Senator Nancy Ruth’s disdain for ice-cold Camembert, that even though the rules were tightened up as a result of the Duffy fiasco, the current flock in the Upper Chamber still doesn’t get it or take them seriously.

Clearly this is less legal than a systemic administrative and ethics issue.

Spank Senators or fire them – whatever – but let’s move on to the serious charges like bribery rather than wallowing in the minutiae of administrative bungling and abuse of privilege that has permeated the Senate for decades. Cleaning up the rules and oversight can be handled by Parliament. Our MPs clearly don’t seem to have much else of any real importance to do so let them spend all the time they want trying to address how to reform expense administration in the Senate. If nothing else, it might just keep them out of trouble for a bit, or at the very least, out of our hair.

The defence is taking its own sweet time but I don’t really blame it, I blame the Crown and the RCMP. In their eagerness to get some kind of conviction they have leveled so many frivolous charges that it has already derailed an efficient trying of fact from the more serious charges before the court.

It’s a typical bureaucratic mindset which believes the more you can throw into something the more important it is. Usually that simply results in creating unnecessary complexity which invariably negates anything even closely resembling efficiency – and it always ends up costing us more money than it should.

Here’s the bottom line.

This trial shouldn’t be about the rules that were or were not in place prior to Senator Duffy’s appointment. Those are administrative considerations that should have been addressed a very long time ago. This trial should be about who interfered with the audit of Duffer-do’s expense claims and whether or not the Old Duff took a bribe and who, if anyone bribed him. It should be about whether the government acted improperly in trying  to ‘manage’ the entire affair for political reasons and it should be about whether or not the Prime Minister lied to Parliament and the Canadian people or his staff misled him.

Picture frames and trips to buy puppies are as irrelevant as Justin Trudeau’s hair so let’s get on with it and quit wasting our time and money.

Justice delayed may well be justice denied but justice trivialized is justice ignored. Surely we didn’t create our justice system over centuries to have it become just one more long drawn out circus side show.


Duffygate – The Trial of the Decade

Day 1: The Lines are Drawn at DuffyGate

Day 2: The Trial, Taxes and Semantics

Duffy Trial Day 3: “You Look Marvelous”

Duffy Trial Day 4: What We’ve Learned

Duffy Trial Day 5: Framed!

Duffy Trial Day 6 – Counting Words


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