Friday, August 01, 2008

Latest Friday Evening Release of Bad News

The practice of releasing bad news on a Friday, especially a long weekend Friday, is not new in Ottawa, but I wonder if anyone has done a count of how many times the Con's have done this?

Anyway, tonight a report was released that says Canada's reputation was hurt by Bernier's stupidity.

An internal review says Maxime Bernier's carelessness with government documents tarnished Canada's good reputation within NATO circles.

Of course in my view this is not the only incident that has damaged Canada's good name internationally. In fact, you could sum up the damage by simply evoking the name Stephen Harper.

It says the former foreign affairs minister's temporary misplacement of military summit briefing documents will likely be seen as an individual gaffe rather than a systemic failure.

But the report released late Friday before the long weekend says the incident was "injurious" to the national interest.

The Con's may be getting away with quite a bit at the moment, given that it's summer and few people are paying attention, (Ipsos Reid tonight, Con 34%, Lib 30%, NDP 14%, hmmm, Jack's only 3 points up from the Green's 11%), but come election time there will be quite a bit to work with.

Not much more information at this point. If anything interesting develops, I'll add to the post.

Globe Article here.


ottlib said...

I stated a few weeks ago that the Conservatives would go up in the polls this summer, probably to the 36% +/- 2% range, as a result of the incumbant advantage.

I hate to say "I told you so" but...:)

Then again if you look at these results and compare them to the last poll by this company you will note the change in the estimates are well within the margin of error. The changes could just as likely be the result of polling error as actual change in support.

So, I will keep my gloating to a minimum.

As well, this is Ipsos-Reid and Canwest Global we are talking about so for them to show such a small "rise" in Conservative support is more significant than the actual poll.

As for the report on Mr. Bernier. Well duh!!

I sincerely hope that no one in this government seriously believes Mr. Bernier's error did not have a negative impact on the working relationship with our NATO partners. It would not be a big impact but there would be one.

Much of the work of NATO is low level stuff that flies beneath the radar. It very often involves the exchange of information between member states. It is the exchange of this information which is probably seeing the most profound impact of Mr. Bernier's mistake. As well, do not underestimate the impact of the fact it took the government 5 weeks to discover the error.

There are probably a few mid to high-level functionaries within the NATO bureaucracy who are now a little leery about giving their counterparts in the Canadian government access to information that is not in Canada's vital interests.

ottlib said...

I visited the Montreal Gazette website to read Ms. Legault's article and they already have a headline up regarding this report.

It reads: "No 'significant injury' from Maxime Bernier's blunder, review concludes"

I guess you cannot expect anything less from a newspaper owned by the Aspers.

knb said...

Agreed on the poll ottlib. Good for you for calling it, but you're correct, it's within the margin of error.

I heard it on the news so I haven't dug up the poll. I'll leave that to the pro, Steve.

Ipsos is by no means balanced. Have you met John Wright? His political bent is pretty obvious, though he denies that. I presume he thinks most people have lost their hearing.

I agree with your NATO comments. It may be quaint to presume that Canada doesn't matter much, but we've played an important role diplomatically, which is always under the radar.

I really think this government has done much to tarnish our reputation in many venues.

knb said...

The Aspers give me 'the vapours', to tweak an old phrase.

ottlib said...

On another note knb, is this not the fourth release of bad news, on a Friday night, from this government this summer?

knb said...

At least ottlib. I think someone at MacLean's did an analysis. Not Kady. I'll see if I can find it over the weekend.

In the meantime, here's more on the poll.

Harper may think he's playing to Quebec, but he may want to think again.

Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised that the report blames Couillard.

In Quebec, let's not forget that an ex-Mulroney apologist Luc Lavoie is likely keeping back the story by asking journalist not to investigate.
Somehow, Mr Lavoie is a kind of mentor to Couillard...

I wonder if there is any connection between Fortier loosing his position and the fact that Mme Couilard was getting rather close to his organization. It's not like she did not party with the family man at the Notre-Dame-Of-Ile-Perrot golf course....

As for the report, it's whitewash. It's pathetic. Conservatives always blame others for their incompetence.

RuralSandi said...

Unbelievable....well, maybe not for the Tories. Blame everyone else.

So, we are to believe that Bernier never opened his brief case for 5 weeks?

I hope the women of Canada pay attention to this typical Tory attitude about women.

There really does need to be an proper investigation.....unfortunately, I don't really trust the RCMP anymore since Elliott is the Commissioner.

knb said...

sandi, Harper's numbers with women is not good now as you know.

If he keeps up this 'tough guy' stuff and they completely trash Couillard, I imagine they'll get worse.

I have no idea of whether or not she is in the clear, but that's not the point. It's how you handle it.