Duffy addresses local PC faithful

Dave Mathieson
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Mike Duffy

AMHERST – Conservative senator Mike Duffy was the guest speaker as 60 provincial Progressive Conservative party members for Cumberland North gathered to elect a new executive Saturday morning at the Christ Church Parish Hall in Amherst.

Duffy was sometimes partisan and sometimes non-partisan, taking shots at all federal politicians, including Progressive Conservative MP Helena Guergis, who called Prince Edward Island a “hellhole” at the Charlottetown Airport.

“Sometime we make mistakes,” Duffy said. “Sometimes people lose their temper in airports. We’re not perfect.”

“Actually, I’ll be going to that hellhole this afternoon but some people’s version of hell is my version of heaven.”

Duffy, who grew up on Prince Edward Island and was a journalist for more than 40 years prior to becoming a senator, believes most political bickering is manufactured by opposition parties so voters get tired of politics and throw out the party in power.

“People say they can’t stand all this bickering and fighting. It’s like parents with teenagers in the back of the car,” Duffy said. “They say, ‘Stop it, I don’t care which one started it, just stop it.’

“We have to remind our friends and neighbours that these arguments are manufactured for a reason and that is to wear people out. This is a deliberate tactic on the part of the opposition.”

He uses the Afghan detainees issue as an example.

“That happened when the Liberals were in power,” Duffy said. “It’s not like Canadian soldiers to go out and torture people but the opposition is raising this because they have nothing positive to say about themselves.”

He also blamed the media for helping stir discontent.

“When I went to the school of hard knocks, we were told to be fair and balanced,” Duffy said. “That school doesn’t exist any more. Kids who go to King’s, or the other schools across the country, are taught from two main texts.”

Duffy said the two schools of thought come together in Noam Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent and books about the theory of critical thinking.

“When you put critical thinking together with Noam Chomsky, what you’ve got is a group of people who are taught from the ages of 18, 19 and 20 that what we stand for, private enterprise, a system that has generated more wealth for more people because people take risks and build businesses, is bad.

“But we have nothing to apologize for,” Duffy added. 

“Don’t lose faith because the vast majority of people are not out on the fringe where these other people are.

“We don’t believe in telling Canadians how to live their lives,” Duffy said. 

“We think they’re pretty smart themselves and know what they want to do and what their priorities are.

“We want to get out of the way so Canadians can build this great country.”



Organizations: Christ Church Parish Hall, Charlottetown Airport

Geographic location: AMHERST, Prince Edward Island, Cumberland North

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Recent comments

  • Greg
    March 15, 2010 - 21:49

    Wow . . . really Mr. Duffy? Do you have ANY idea what critical thinking is? Certainly there is no evidence in your practice. And do you really think there is anything in Canadian education that looks remotely like 'speaking truth to power?' Not that power needs to hear the truth - it usually knows it. Right, Mike?

  • Roy Sinclair
    March 15, 2010 - 18:03

    This story contains a misleading report of what Minister Guergis called PEI. According to the authoritative report in the The Globe & Mail, she did NOT say that PEI is a 'hellhole' but rather said that it is a 'sh!thole' -- see http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/guergis-apologizes-for-outburst-to-airport-staff/article1482043/ There is, of course, a world of difference.

  • LindaL
    March 15, 2010 - 13:12

    As a Senator, Duffy is a breath of fresh air. He is straightforward and compassionate -- and I think a good role model. Guergis made a mistake -- and so did Chretien when he choked that protestor. She has apologoized, but if she is a continuing problem, she should be gone. One blow-up is not sufficient grounds for immediate dismissal. I am wondering if some of the intolerance for her behavior might have to do with the fact that she is a woman -- no mistakes or you are out! She has also done many good things. Having said that, I think she has blotted her copy book and will likely not remain in the upper echelons of power unless her future performance is stellar.

  • Joe Hueglin
    March 15, 2010 - 12:06

    "Um. There hasn't been a federal PC party since 2003." Inaccurate. There is a continuing registered Federal PC Party PC Party on the ballot, Progressive Canadian Party as full name due to the Chief Electoral Officer turning down Progressive Canadian Party of Canada. Visit progressivecanadian. ca. Progressive-conservatives still have this option to the neo-conservatives of Harper & Company Joe Hueglin

  • James
    March 15, 2010 - 11:53

    Mike Duffy tells it like it is. When Guergis loses her temper and blasts everyone around her he gently admonishes her and contradicts what she says. On the Afghan detainee issue Duffy correctly points out that the Afghan prisoners handed over to the Afghan authorities were following an inadequate protocol prepared by the Liberals when they were in power. Once the Conservatives became aware of it's deficiencies they replaced it. The Liberals have some nerve attacking the Conservatives over this issue when it was they who created the problem in the first place. And the Liberals make it worse by smearing our troops in the process.

  • Not PC
    March 15, 2010 - 11:08

    Um. There hasn't been a federal PC party since 2003.

  • alsandor
    March 15, 2010 - 10:57

    If the Duffy thinks the public have had enough of bickering, he can bring the matter up to the caucus meeting tomorrow morning and demand that the government cease acting like children. Preach by example, for a change. Otherwise, stop blaming the opposition for doing what their job requires them to do which is oppose the government, hence the word "opposition".

    • Marvin Henderson
      March 16, 2010 - 12:40

      @ALSANDOR: "Preach by example, for a change." I think Duffy might already be doing that: he's taking a stand against critical thinking, and he obviously isn't practicing it himself.

  • Pete Kirby
    March 15, 2010 - 10:48

    Senate reform NOW!! Yes, Senators should be appointed - but only by blue-ribbon panel - on the basis of their proven abilities, experience and record of service to their country. We need scientists, educators, international jurists, economists, human rights advocates, historians and environmentalists - but, for God's sake, no more Duffys!

  • willie
    March 15, 2010 - 09:59

    This is especially for Jane Tabor the Libs left wing media mouth piece, Jane if you want to know why Jaffer got off so lightly, ask "the horses mouth" the Atty Gen , the Premier,or the Justice Minister-- they are all part of the ONTARIO LIBERAL GOV'T and they and they alone have all the answers.

  • terry boulanger
    March 15, 2010 - 09:41

    just wondering how comegeurgis wasn t tasered like people get tasered in canadian airport. just a thought

  • Malcolm Barry
    March 15, 2010 - 09:34

    It would be better for Senator Duffy to say nothing and it appears he was told to speak of the brat Guergis by the PMO. He lost his credibility some time ago as he continues to enjoy life at the highest level.

  • Dan
    March 15, 2010 - 09:34

    Duffy represents the poster boy for why we need to abolish the senate. Duffy would be wise to keep his trap shut. Any average Canadian that would have done what Helena Guergis did, would have been tasered and locked up. The problem with todays Conservative party is they are neither progressive nor have they retained any of the priniciples that formed the reform party. Power corrupts.

  • The pot calls the kettle black.
    March 15, 2010 - 09:33

    Duffy represents the poster boy for why we need to abolish the senate. Duffy would be wise to keep his trap shut. Any average Canadian that would have done what Helena Guergis did, would have been tasered and locked up. The problem with todays Conservative party is they are neither progressive nor have they retained any of the priniciples that formed the reform party. Power corrupts.

  • MCbellecourt
    March 15, 2010 - 09:16

    Hello, Amherst, from BC. Just one little detail in your article--the Conservative Party is no longer Progressive either in name, or vision, for that matter. The "Progressive" was dropped from the name when they merged with the Reform and Alliance Parties. As for Mike Duffy, I'd just say Pot meet Kettle. Senators are expected to park their partisan views outside the door, and Duffy is openly defying that century+ old tradition. He is not more fit to be a Senator any more than Geurgis is suited for Cabinet and I quite frankly would like to see less of both of them, and Rahim Jaffer, in the daily news. Geurgis has made a sad joke out of the struggle for women's causes, Jaffer has made a farce out of the law and order mantra, and Duffy has made a sick joke of the Senate. Enough from this trio already.

  • Richard Blake
    March 15, 2010 - 08:22

    RE: MP Helena Guergis, who called Prince Edward Island a Hellhole, tried to open security doors, insulted the airport workers at the Charlottetown Airport was her doing. She made a mistake all right, she should have been detained, locked up and checked for drugs. Anyone of us "the public" would have been detained and probably fined Mike, I am surprised that you blame the opposition for this, I do not recall any members of the 3 opposition encouraging this junior minister to act out the way she did,you should be ashamed to condone her actions by saying she made a mistake, maybe if she would have mistreated an individual you could say she made a mistake and her apology could have been seen more sincere Mike, she carried on and on like someone under the influence, I for one was really offended by this junior minister,s actions, she attacked all Canadians by calling a province where she still has family a HELLHOLE.. When will all you Conservative wake up and deal with this atrocious behaviour of this junior minister, it is not simply Canadians watching the news it is all over the world. What kind of message is she sending out there. She does not belong in any Government, she needs a reality check and be disciplined

  • Sandra
    March 15, 2010 - 08:15

    Oh that's rich - Duffy, Mr. Wink, Wink, Nudge, Nudge. Clean your own doorstep there Duffy. How can people sit a listen to this phony and keep a straight face?

  • kate
    March 15, 2010 - 08:11

    So if the Opposition is to blame for the Afghan torture issue and they are asking for an inquiry where does that leave the Harper Party? Who exactly IS supporting Canada, the Geneva conventions, and our military in Afghanistan? And, Duffy is really starting to sound like he's taken one too many hard knocks without a helmet. Is he trying to imply that he was a good journalist? And if he's also trying to imply that the Harper Party is trying to stay out of our way so we can run our own lives then why all the airport over-security? Why did we bail out USAmerican auto business and buy a bunch of 40 year mortgages from our banks? Is that because business is good and taxpayers are bad so we can just keep buying out businesses and subsidizing them so they can keep going and we can own their debt? I call B. S. Duffy.

  • graham watt
    March 15, 2010 - 07:25

    Mr. Duffy has to be one of the most insincere people I have ever had the misfortune to see and hear on television. Poor John Diefenbaker, whom I knew and admired, must be spinning in his grave.