So long, sunny ways.
Former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould’s testimony last week in which she alleged unrelenting pressure was put on her by Liberal colleagues to call off a prosecution and cut a deal with construction giant SNC-Lavalin has ushered in serious storm clouds for the party.
Wilson-Raybould’s powerful words pulled back the veil on backroom political manoeuvres that most of the country isn’t privy to and strongly suggested there is one set of rules for the powerful and connected and another set for the rest of us.
Never mind “legalities,” Wilson-Raybould said she was told. The main concern for Liberal fixers was finding a solution to a political problem – how to save jobs at SNC-Lavalin and limit political damage in Quebec.
As in other recent political scandals, when someone with integrity on the “inside” is prepared to speak, it’s suddenly apparent just how normal and accepted such political practices are.
Trudeau – whose version of events directly contradicts that of Wilson-Raybould – does not come out of this looking clean.
Let’s not forget it was dirty politics involving the revelation of corruption between his party and Quebec businesses which toppled the last Liberal reign.
Granted, the scandal is not a “pocketbook” issue that tends to resonate with voters. But besides Trudeau’s personal brand of bright optimism – now cast into serious doubt – one of the key messages of the Liberals to average voters has been that they are a better option than the Conservatives because they will “do government” differently.
So far it looks a lot like business as usual in the corridors of power.