(DawgNews, Ottawa, August 9). A number of Conservative sleeper agents have been discovered in the House of Commons. Known collectively as the "Liberal Caucus," and led by Russian-American ex-pat Michael Ignatieff, most have now been returned to their party and are currently being debriefed in the Langevin Block. Ignatieff, however, is presently a fugitive, fleeing by bicycle.
"We suspected it all along," said Paul Dewar, foreign affairs critic for the NDP. "It seemed almost strategic the way they'd fold at the slightest opportunity, never press an advantage, support the government in key votes dozens of times."
Dewar noted that the Liberals had ended up opposing pay equity, defending the genocidal Colombian regime, hyping the Alberta tar sands and even arranging to lose a crucial vote on maternal health. "They just never seemed to have a principle they thought was worth defending," said Dewar. "Now we know it was more than simple opportunism and incompetence."
Liberal Gerald Kennedy said re-joining the Conservatives "would take some getting used to," but Bob Rae was more positive, saying that "it's not really much of a change for us, frankly, although it's a little embarrassing." He looked forward to working more openly with PM Stephen Harper, calling the latter "a leader for the times," and noted that there would be "no election in the foreseeable future. No way. That's not how we roll."
Some outraged constituents across the country have demanded resignations and by-elections. "We were tricked," said David Emerson, 64, a Vancouver businessman. But Harper's Chief of Staff, Guy Giorno, strongly defended his party's actions. "It's not like they were ever meant to be a real alternative," he said, "but people voted for them anyway. Nobody forced them to." Welcoming the agents in from the cold, he said, "Never mind 'crossing the floor.' We seek unity, not division."
What remains a mystery is how the agents were finally exposed. Some have speculated that the time was ripe. "After the long-form census, the Afghan detainee cover-up, the G-20 and the unreported criminals stuff," said former broadcaster and now Conservative Senator Mike Duffy, "we realized we could pretty much get away with anything. I figure the government deliberately blew its own cover. No need for it anymore."
His colleague Pamela Wallin agreed: "Honesty is the best policy," she said. "We've had a good run, but you really can't fool all the people all the time."