Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Conning of Canadians

This government came to power by playing the corruption card. As they hiccuped the name Gomery throughout their campaign, they also claimed that they would be the government to clean everything up.

This week they find themselves chin deep in the alleged wrongdoings of one of their predecessors. Should this government be held to account for the sins of the past? They make it a practice to paint all Liberals as crooked so should they not receive the same treatment, be held to the same account?

Well, that's a matter of debate I suppose and of course there are differences in the two cases. But when you examine those differences, it's quite interesting to draw out the facts. Conservatives hate to admit this, but Gomery did not implicate any political figure. Conversely, the former PM, Mulroney himself, is at the core of the current sordid affair.

True, Harper was not in Mulroney's cabinet, while Paul Martin was in Chretien's, but Chretien as the leader of the party was not implicated. The former leader of the Conservative, (then PC of course), is of course implicated.

So can we simply say that Harper wasn't there, therefore he cannot be linked? Nope. Not in my mind anyway. The PCO knew the information that Harper referred to on Friday 7 months ago. Seven months ago! Only 3 things can be true. Willful blindness, complicity or incompetence. In my view, with the knowledge I have now, I'd say it's the latter.

Before the right wing readers go ballistic, I will also say that by definition, Chretien not knowing what was going on, he and his office also showed incompetence. Not criminality, not corruption, but a degree of incompetence.

The PMO under Harper should have been made aware of the correspondence coming in from Shreiber. In fact, he should have made a point upon taking office that anything to do with this case be brought to his attention. Apparently he did not. It is said that he asked some questions when he took office, such as, "Is there anything I should know?" and was told no. He took that advice and probed no deeper. Therein lies the mistake.

What he failed to do, out of loyalty no doubt to his friend Mulroney, was look to the future and make the file a priority. You see, the allegations had been out there for some time and were well known. There was every reason to keep an eye on it.

Chretien on the other hand, could not ask that a priority be made of something that he was not aware of. Should tighter controls/reporting have been put in place concerning the advertising program? No doubt, but the fact remains that there was no knowledge of impropriety proceeding it's exposure. Btw, it should be noted that the Lib's called the enquiry on themselves...the Con's have not.

Looking to the future is not Harper's strength. Oh, he has a vision of a narrow Canada, but he seems unable to comprehend the breadth and impact of current decisions aimed at achieving that future. He is focused on tactics at the expense of strategy.

That is how we are being conned.

The focus on tactics as it relates to the environment for instance. Ad's and vacuous statements that amount to no real action, but they tell Canadians they are doing something finally. They are not.

The same is true as it relates to what they are doing for the military...but I won't go there today.

Accountability is the biggest laugh of all really and that is what they campaigned on. That was their platform. Their claim is that they passed the toughest Accountability Bill in history.

It was indeed passed, but what they fail to tell us is that they have not fully enacted it. Why? Well, it wouldn't allow them to apply constraints on the very issues they screamed about before coming to power. In fact, they want to avail themselves of those failings, once done, then perhaps clamp down.

Conservatives, thine name is hypocrisy.

I am glad that these issues are being reported on, but somehow it hasn't yet penetrated the Canadian psyche. Examples are provided in this particular story and I think that is great. We need more of this. We also need more than a one story wonder. The Dion is not a leader meme, has surely worn itself out? Why not stick to this stuff, the reality of what is going on?

The Dion file has merit and should not be ignored, but good grief as it relates to the country, why not hound what is real rather than that which is fabricated?

I'm sensing that the media is doing more homework and I for one am glad of it. Many more Access to Information sought documents are coming out now.

Canadians are being conned and I'm hopeful that the media will be able to make this clear. It's complex to be sure and should not be dumbed down, but the masses must be able to relate to it.

Repetition seems to be the name of that game, why not now when it matters?


Ryan said...

I heard the Conservatives are actually running the "Dion is not a leader" commercials today. REMEMBRANCE DAY for Christ's sake!

Support the troops, I guess!

wilson said...

Just one question. The whole world knew in Nov 2003, that the German dude alleged he paid Mulroney $300K. G&M broke the story, Kaplan wrote a book on the alleged affair.
Yet Chretien did not use the scandal in the 2004 election, and Martin didn't use it against Harper in the 2006 election (right after the Income Trust affair would have been pretty good timing, don't yah think?)
Why not?

I say, dig away Libs, you may unearth your own skeltons.

Manuel said...

Either way the current conservatives are mostly made up from an different party base either way anyone forget the terms Reform and Alliance? and Mulroney was with who? oh right the P.C's a party of it's own.

wilson said...

Reformers and Bloc used to be PC under Mulroney.

Harper quit the PCs BECAUSE of Mulroney. Went on to author the Reform Party's policies.

Big stretch to try to link Harper to any Mulroney affair.

Anonymous said...

So why is Harper so worried? Just because he has Mulroney on his transition team? Because Harper has highlighted Mulroney as a bastion for his own fight? Why is Harper so worried about Mulroney? That's the question.

burlivespipe said...

Wilson's too busy working on his faux thesis on ethics.
When you're a CON you park your ethics at the door. Funny how he isn't able to see the amazing hypocrisy of one week the PM threatening people asking questions about new evidence on an old scandal, and then suddenly the next week the same PM stands at attention and calls for a third-party effort into sifting thru the affair, now that the PM's own name is linked. He knew that his own name could be linked due to the fact that the evidence was delivered to his office SEVEN MONTHS AGO!
Time to invest in redactable ink, I think.

Anonymous said...

Wilson seems to think that blaming Liberals for everything cleanses the CPC of any wrong doing whatsoever - dumb or what.

Ryan said...

I think the point to be made here is that Harper has gone out of his way in linking Dion and the current Liberals to the Chretien and Martin scandals. So why not fight fire with fire?

Mulroney has become somewhat of a mentor for Harper in the last while:

If Harper is linked, even in friendship, to the ever-corrupt Mulroney, it'll look pretty bad for him.

Harper's trying the same tactic that Mulroney did. Court Red Tories, Quebec Nationalists and Social Conservatives. Let's hope it works out the same in the end.

Dame said...

Just the main thing.... the Conservative party /and its vote base / is extremely fractiousand Now it shows the original Cracks.

Now they start to defend their little fractions.

And regarding Harper's defense of "nobody tells me anything...I Knew nothing ..LOLOLOOOOOOOO

Well he says he didn't know and in the same breath he says These are NEW ALLEGETIONS...


Conmen !!!

Duping us to Max..

Jay said...

I see wilson is still up to trying to blame the liberals for a problem associated with her political choice. She's been all over liblogs today/yesterday beating this dead horse.

Its not rocket science Sharon. Your party is possibly corrupt with your leader asscociated with the source. Unlike adscam where no politican was implicated and only 3 conservatives and a BQ were found guilty. No liberals. Are your bluster is about an idea that has no basis.

If you want to look at the grander scheme, I'd have to say that in recent history the conservatives seem to attract this sort of problem. And they spawned the BQ for us all to enjoy.

Voting conservative is like gambling. More likely than not you pay and get nothing in return.

The adage Tory times are hard times exists for a reason and you Westerners seem to relish self inflicted misery.

Jay said...

Persoanlly, I am very ancy over the looming split in the conservative party. What will we get this time? Last time we got the BQ and reform/alliance.

I predict a republican party after the reformers flee Harper, leaving the progressives with the conservative brand that will tank once again.

knb said...

ryan, I'm glad I didn't see or hear the ads. What a class act the con brain trust is, gheesh.

Wilson, the government, Lib's at the time, had paid Mulroney 2.1 million in compensation. I hardly think they were going to walk into that quagmire again do you?

You say that the whole world knew about the Schreiber/Mulroney affair. What you omit is that Mulroney was denying it...all the way to the bank. Furthermore, he lied under oath and we did NOT know that Mulroney took the money while he was still in office.

Harper knew though, or rather he should have. The PCO knew, 7 months ago.

No matter how you cut it, something is wrong here. I'm not suggesting that Harper has done anything illegal but to suggest that he cannot be tied to it is naive. He's tied to Mulroney personally and politically and no amount of white washing will change that.

The other person who stands to be damaged here is MacKay, who know's Schreiber quite well.

Burl, you make a good point about parking ethics at the door. The con's have gone out of their way to defend every outrageous thing Harper has done since being elected. Remarkable really.

Marta It will be interesting to see if there are any splits that show. Most Reformers couldn't stand Mulroney. Message control is still tight but we'll have to see if that can be maintained.

jay Wilson is a woman?

I hear what you are saying about the Con party, but a Canadian Republican party will go nowhere in this country.

The one to watch now is Layton. You can bet that he'll be playing this to the hilt. From a strategy point of view, you can't blame him, however I doubt he'll get too far.

He'll make a lot of noise initially, comparing the 2 other parties of different sides of the same coin, etc. But, he'll be doing that now as things move along on this file. It'll be pesky background noise by the time we get to an election and the Lib's are presenting policy.

Anonymous said...

and the RIDDELL SUIT in Ottawa was settled....if they are not guilty ,why would they pay cash to shut a guy up...since riddell says he got a settlement and will no longer talk about being bribbed.

Jay said...

Almost positive wilson is a lady!

The alliance/reform was going nowhere too. They needed the conservative name and a tone down in order to get anywhere. I suspect these reformers will be much less likely to tone it down again. I imagine it will be a republican party with low support but as long as it keeps the crazies out of the conservative brand and splits the vote I have no complaints.

Jay said...

but anonymous, Harper himself said there was no deal before the election. Are you saying he lied?

*insert fake surprised look*

Anonymous said...

You don't settle out of court if you're innocent - so Harper "lied".

Funny, the CPC supporters are crying - why bother with a 15 year old scandale - duh - sponsorship was 12 years ago - 3 years difference.

Wilson -Chretien didn't didn't have the info that has come out now so your point is pointless. Face it, if Harper didn't know about the letter 7 months ago and it was hidden from him - those involved would have been fired - we all know that.

Ryan said...

Here's a good article somewhat related to your post:

(Paste the second line after the first, as I still have no idea how to embed html)

Ryan said...

When the Conservatives dig up dirt on Liberals, it's in the name of accountability, when the Liberals do it, it's partisanship. Hypocrisy.

knb said...

Well done Ryan. I missed that article but Luntz has not escaped my view.
He was the one who suggested the war room and told them how to spin.

I don't know if you watch QP and Politics every night, but I've noticed something on QP. The Con's have been attending media seminars. Duff asks them a question when they are in front of him and turn to the camera. It's crass and obvious and Duff seems to be fine with that.

Yeah, this guy is disgusting. Thank you for the reminder.

btw, if you want to link, here's an easy lesson. For every ( I use in the example, use this < instead.

So your article. If you did this, (a href="insert the http you've copied")insert the word you want us to link on(/a).

Arcane, I know, but that is what works here.

Red Canuck said...

Duff asks them a question when they are in front of him and turn to the camera. It's crass and obvious and Duff seems to be fine with that.

Heh. "Fat Bastard" is little more than a television extension of the CPC. It wouldn't surprise me if he himself was coaching them on media savvy. I'm also nauseated by those self-fellating ads with various politicians singing the praises of Duffy in little snippets. *puke*

burlivespipe said...

There's a pattern that's interesting, if you follow a few of Harper's missteps...
The Grewal affair - Harper promised to provide the whole tapes to media, and then supplied 'edited' tapes (one expert suggested it may have been doctored). Harper waffled with his part in the whole ordeal, eventually providing the tape to the police. Grewal is the fall guy.

Ridell accuses Harper and CONs of reneging on an agreement that would pay him expenses + to step aside for 'star candidate' Cutler. Harper denies that any promises were made. A settlement is reached, with part of that settlement being that Ridell won't disclose his settlement.

The PMO decrees that media will no longer be permitted to cover repatriation of returning soldiers' bodies from afghanistan; When some families report, despite PM and minister remarks, that they were not consulted, PM says the original decision was wrongly interpreted, finally allowing media to cover the tarmack ceremonies. He then takes a shot at parents of the dead soldier for talking to the media.

The CONs are implicated in an alleged bribary case in the Ottawa mayoralty race. One candidate says he was offered by the eventual winner a possible plum federal job if he steps aside, and is told CON members will arrange everything. John Reynolds and John Baiard are mentioned as sources of conversation...

Mulroney ad nauseum.

I'm now wondering about Jay's theory. If those silent footsteps Harper's suddenly hearing become heavy, is he pushed or does he jump?
His holier than thou act seems to be getting a good going over, and it looks good on him...

Ryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryan said...


Anonymous said...

That turning to the camera stuff.... that's all part of the plausible deniability schtick. If Duff can prove, with visuals, that they were not replying to him, he's good to go.

Really though, most pols WANT to be seen talking into the camera (pretending to talk to the Canadian audience) so are prompted to look into this or that red-lit camera.
Sure, there can be funny business played with cameras, no doubt the same as is played in politics.
Caveat emptor.
You liked it, you paid for it, you bought it. Deal with it now.