Justin Trudeau looks to have violated the ethics rules in the clearest way possible.
Personally, I hate this trope of calling all the politicians who don’t agree with your politics stupid.
Trump, Bush, Obama, Harper, Martin, Chretien, Sanders are not stupid people, they are leaders whom you may disagree with.
However, Justin Trudeau’s most recent mistake is the political equivalent of having to explain to a middle age man that he can not touch the stove because fire is hot.
What did he do? He voted “No” on a motion in the house over whether to hold an inquiry on the SNC-Lavalin scandal which involved the Prime Minister’s office (PMO) putting pressure on then AG Jody Raybold-Wilson.
Here are the rules as they stand:
Subsection 6(2): “No minister of the Crown, minister of state or parliamentary secretary shall, in his or her capacity as a member of the Senate or the House of Commons, debate or vote on a question that would place him or her in a conflict of interest.”
Section 21: “A public office holder shall recuse himself or herself from any discussion, decision, debate or vote on any matter in respect of which he or she would be in a conflict of interest.”
Jody Raybold-Wilson recused herself from the vote, even though she wanted to speak out. This is because she could clearly tell that the issue directly involved her.
Justin Trudeau, who last I checked is the Prime Minister of Canada, voted against the investigation into the Prime Minister and the PMO. Is he guilty of an ethics violation here? Obviously.
His only possible defenses would be “I forgot I was the Prime Minister” or “I had no idea Canada had laws that applied to me”.
The truly baffling thing about all this is that the Liberals have such a strong majority that his vote was completely meaningless. The motion was voted down 159-133, 158 would have mad no difference.
Justin Trudeau is already the first sitting Prime Minister to be convicted of an ethics violation for taking a vacation to the private island of a registered lobbyist, the Aga Khan. Now it looks like he will push the record up to two times in one term, not the most impressive record.
So, what will happen? Ultimately nothing. He will get a slap on the wrist at most and offer some classic Trudeau word-salad apology that blames Stephen Harper or whomever else he can think of.
The real fallout might be to his image. It is hard to market yourself as above the fry when you have been twice convicted of corruption.