Thursday, March 13, 2008

Walking Away from Accountability/Democracy

Well, Harper filed his suit against the Liberal Party today. For whatever reason, he did not pursue his suit against Dion, Ignatieff and Goodale. Oh, wait, maybe the reason is he didn't have a case that he could win.

Interestingly, he's taken a page out of Mulroney's book and is suing for approximately the same amount. I wonder if we'll see him at a Committee in a few years time?

Anyway, the statement of claim is rather interesting. In addition to citing any and all terms used on the Liberal web site that Harper's lawyers believe constitute libel, they also drag Paul Martin, Gloria Galloway and of course the author himself into it, (not suing them though...yet), in an apparent attempt to determine where the leak of the book came from. I'm not certain how that directly relates to their case but hey, it's not unusual for Harper to fish with a very wide net and malign everyone within it's reach.

In Galloway's (G&M) case, they have a copy of an e-mail sent by the publisher, to her on February 27, 2008. It says,

This is an unproofed excerpt, with just the especially incriminating part of the book if you want to use it...

The implication I guess is that the publisher is behind the leak and that Galloway aided and abetted. My question is how did they get hold of that e-mail and my comment would be that even a 6 year old can see that context is not provided here, right down to the, ...., .

On Paul Martin the publisher suggests that the leak didn't come from their office and went on to say,

"It must have been from one of the reviewers that the author had contacted."

Paul Martin was not the only one who received a pre-release of course, but pish tosh, let's not let facts get in the way. It would be an interesting turn if Martin sued Harper.

I'm not a lawyer, but it seems to me that many of the claims made will be easily rebutted. The tape of Harper speaking, clearly refutes some of them but of course within the claim they are suggesting that the tape is incomplete and doctored. They suggest that it picks up in mid-conversation with Harper and ends in mid-conversation. Here's the transcript, judge for yourself.

Zytaruk: "I mean, there was an insurance policy for a million dollars. Do you know anything about that?"
Harper: "I don't know the details. I know that there were discussions, uh, this is not for publication?"
Zytaruk: "This (inaudible) for the book. Not for the newspaper. This is for the book."
Harper: "Um, I don't know the details. I can tell you that I had told the individuals, I mean, they wanted to do it. But I told them they were wasting their time. I said Chuck had made up his mind, he was going to vote with the Liberals and I knew why and I respected the decision. But they were just, they were convinced there was, there were financial issues. There may or may not have been, but I said that's not, you know, I mean, I, that's not going to change."
Zytaruk: "You said (inaudible) beforehand and stuff? It wasn't even a party guy, or maybe some friends, if it was people actually in the party?"
Harper: "No, no, they were legitimately representing the party. I said don't press him. I mean, you have this theory that it's, you know, financial insecurity and, you know, just, you know, if that's what you're saying, make that case but don't press it. I don't think, my view was, my view had been for two or three weeks preceding it, was that Chuck was not going to force an election. I just, we had all kinds of our guys were calling him, and trying to persuade him, I mean, but I just had concluded that's where he stood and respected that."
Zytaruk: "Thank you for that. And when (inaudible)."
Harper: "But the, uh, the offer to Chuck was that it was only to replace financial considerations he might lose due to an election."
Zytaruk: "Oh, OK."
Harper: "OK? That's my understanding of what they were talking about."
Zytaruk: "But, the thing is, though, you made it clear you weren't big on the idea in the first place?"
Harper: "Well, I just thought Chuck had made up his mind, in my own view ..."
Zytaruk: "Oh, okay. So, it's not like, he's like, (inaudible)."
Harper: "I talked to Chuck myself. I talked to (inaudible). You know, I talked to him, oh, two or three weeks before that, and then several weeks before that. I mean, you know, I kind of had a sense of where he was going."
Zytaruk: "Well, thank you very much."

Did anyone see Harper in the House today? He looked pathetic. He pulled at his shirt cuffs like a little boy and complained about how the big, bad, Lib's had made terrible claims about him, so he was going to sue them, just like any other Canadian would do. Big tough Harper decided to hide behind a law suit, rather than face the music that not only Lib's, but the Bloq and occasionally the NDP are playing for him. All he has to do is sing, but adding a U to that word is more his style.

What an ass, what an embarrassment of a PM. If the man would only answer the questions that are being asked of him this could have been done with long ago. Harper, upon receiving the first question in the House, could have produced a document that outlined the offer made to Cadman but rather than do that they saw strategy in the story. They felt they could milk this into a sob story for the poor, poor PM who has been libelled by that nasty Leader of the opposition. I think Harper has even said that all would be revealed in court. (He also said he'd see Dion in court and we now know that is not going to happen.) Well, obviously he has something to reveal, so why doesn't he reveal it in the House?

He's either got nothing or he has something and either way, he's wasting our time. He's turning his back on democracy and has chosen a craven, ideological path that should come as a shock to no one.

These suits drag on forever and I've no doubt that brave Mr. Harper will refuse to answer questions from now on. Though technically I'm not sure he can hide behind the 'before the courts' thing, unless he interprets the Conservative Party to be comprised of only himself? Oh right, he does. Yes his lawsuit is Harper vs the Liberal Party, but the accusations reach beyond him of course.

Funny how the bully's are always exposed as being cowards isn't it?


Anonymous said...

I do not know where all of this is going , but Liberals instead of nitpicking the party and leader should stick together and support the party more than ever. Harper is a megomaniac, who is very crafty and very paranoid.

Steve V said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve V said...

Harper was never the bully, but he was the bullied, I think that's the core there.

One part about this that I find curious. All this talk about his fancy dance legal team, never lost a case, blah, blah, blah. And yet, they apparently completely misfired, as it relates to Dion, Iggy and Goodale.

This suit is one of those moments, where I think we've given Harper too much credit. I look at a lot of polls, and rarely do you see opinion so one sided as to what Canadians thought of Harper suing. No support whatsoever outside of core Conservatives, the numbers particularly abysmal in Ontario. An election looms, and yet he moves forward, reinforcing a negative impression of himself, guaranteeing awkward answers on the campaign trail, as he hides behind a process people don't support. There sense of anger and retailation has gotten the better of them here, because this path gets them nowhere.

I've said it before, the Liberals greatest asset is Stephen Harper.

Karen said...

He is indeed anon. While I hear you on the nitpicking, I've been guilty of it too, I don't think we should restrict anyone from saying their piece.

That said, I think even those who find fault with Dion's strategy are striving for the same thing. That would be the ouster of Harper.

I personally do not think we fair well by denigrating Dion, but I'm a bit of a stickler on shutting voices down.

Karen said...

Well said Steve!

Indeed the dropping of the primary targets, Dion, Ignatieff and Goodale showed a great failing on their part. Or, it demonstrated the petulance of this PM and his insistance to shoot out side the target.

He no doubt insisted on the names being included and I suspect he was warned it would go nowhere. Rather than take advice, he took advantage. He could use that taunt in the House, as could his lackies, specifically, Van Loan and Moore.

You're right. The Lib's greatest asset is Harper. In fact my head is spinning today with all the material he and his 'allowed to speak' gang have provided.

Tomorrow is another day and perhaps I'll be able to tie it all together.

Anonymous said...

You make little stupid remarks by talking about Harper pulling at his cuffs.

Take a look at YOUR leader. He can't even speak English. I only understand half of what he's saying. When the president of France speaks English I can understand him. When the Prime Minister of Italy speaks I can understand him. But when the Prime Minister of a mostly English speaking country like Canada speaks in a language I don't understand, that's really pathetic.

I read all these Liberal blogs and see everybody bitching about the Conservatives. If you are so unhappy, call the people you voted for and have them oust the government. Because right now Liberals act like school children. Calling people names but when push comes to shove they run and hide.

Anonymous said...

Mulroney defamation $2.1 million. Harper libel $2.5 million. The acorn does not fall far from the oak.

Anonymous said...

I think the original intent to sue naming Dion and others was an intimidation tactic. They likely thought there was a possibility they would back down, which would have been a big coup. Since they can't directly connect the website content to Dion and others, I doubt the lawyers made a mistake on this. It's all part of legal intimidation and threats.

RuralSandi said...

I see the Anon bigots are roaming about - bet Anon 12:08 is a CPC supporter. Seems that being conservative means being a bigot.

Harper said in the HofC, QP yesterday that the evidence will come out in court - oh really, why not bring it out now if he has it to clear his name? Something smells here.

Harper succeeded in making himself look more guilty to me with this legal action. He doth protest too much.