No politician has ever been removed from caucus in the history of Parliamentary politics in Canada.
That is what I gather from Canadian media yesterday, The level of near hysteria and hyperbole would have you believe that the concept of democracy in Canada itself is under attack.
It was a massacre they said.
You would have thought that Jody Wilson Raybould and Jane Philpott have been locked out of the halls of power and have been permanently barred from the House of Commons. Never mind that they are both free to sit as independents, or can caucus with any other party. They are also free to run in the upcoming election as independents or as candidates from other parties.
It seems that Canadian media has forgotten the concept of cause and effect. Both Jane Philpott and Jody Wilson-Raybould chose to resign from cabinet, they chose to leak stories to the media, they both chose to give interviews that undermined their own party and government. Both chose to show no confidence in their leader and Prime Minister in public.
Jody Wilson-Raybould chose to surreptitiously record a privileged phone call with the Secretary of the Cabinet, hide it from the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights or in the initial disclosure to the same committee. Wilson-Raybould only chose to disclose this unethical recording when it became convenient to do so. Never mind that Jody Wilson-Raybould chose to disclose her self-serving letter asking to remain in caucus to the press when caucus communication is confidential. This wasn’t about speaking truth to power, it was about speaking power to ego. This was all about Jody Wilson-Raybould.
The cause is the first part of the equation. Being removed from caucus is the effect. Cause, meet effect. You cannot have an effective caucus or government when you have members actively working to undermine the government from the inside. Removing the both of them was the only recourse.
This was the last part of their plan, martyrdom.
On the bright side, Jody Wilson-Raybould made the Conservative Party of Canada show concern for an Indigenous woman. You would have thought that 1000-4000 missing and murdered Indigenous women would have been a priority for Canadian Conservatives – I guess they weren’t able to play politics with that issue the same way they have with Jody Wilson-Raybould. If only the Conservative Party was as concerned with pay equity, Status of Women, Women’s Reproductive Choice, or equality as they are about the machinations of the Liberal caucus. You can almost cut the hypocrisy with a dull butter knife.
This story stopped being about SNC-Lavalin a long time ago. Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott made it about themselves. It should be telling that not one member of the Liberal caucus has joined them, or supported them publicly. It should be telling that fellow cabinet ministers and caucus member condemned their action en masse, and called for their removal from caucus.
The truth is, any Prime Minister from Pierre Trudeau to Stephen Harper would have removed Jane Philpott and Jody Wilson-Raybould from caucus, any major political party leader would have done the same. It was a no-brainer, regardless of Canadian media is now telling you.
Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott have become convenient hashtags for opposition parties and a certain subsection of Canadian journalists, as well as a convenient rallying cry for opponents of the Trudeau government until new shiny trinkets come along or the next media created faux scandal.
Hysteria and hyperbole over actual journalism, same as it ever was.