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sponsorship scandal

Looks like a February federal election is in the cards… maybe.

This is a colossally stupid move on the part of the three opposition parties. The Liberals are still leading the polls despite the Gomery inquiry, and it’s unlikely to change between now and February. Moreover, the Liberals themselves had promised to dissolve Parliament by March anyway. What’s to be gained by re-electing a Liberal minority – essentially the status quo – two months earlier?

You know, American-style fixed election dates are starting to look like a better and better idea.

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Justice John Gomery released his first report today on the inquiry into the sponsorship scandal. Here is a link to the report in its entirety.

So now what?

We all pretty much knew what it was going to say. If anything, the report was soft on Martin, putting most of the blame on Chretien and allowing Martin to escape relatively unscathed (though with serious questions as to how competent a finance minister who knew nothing about his government’s finances is at running a country).

Martin repeated his pledge to call an election within 30 days of receiving the final report. The Bloc wants to bring down the government right now, though that may have more to do with fuelling separatist fire in Quebec than with the actual governing of Canada. Whether now or later, an election is almost certain to yield increased Bloc support, similar Tory and NDP votes, and another Liberal minority government. In other words, something pretty close to today’s status quo.

Because the fact remains that no matter how badly the Liberals screw up, no matter how much money they steal from the electorate, there is no alternative. Nobody east of Saskatchewan believes that Harper’s the man for the job… the NDP will remain (thankfully) on the fringe, and the Bloc is a Quebec-only party that can sweep here and still never govern.

Want to break the logjam? De-unite the right. The Liberals look central because the NDP attracts the fringe left. Form a fringe-right party to house all the kooks, and suddenly we might have an electable Conservative party… if they can get off their holy crusades about gay marriage long enough to take the pulse of the nation and actually come up with a reasonable platform.

Until then, the Gomery report will fuel voter frustration and will increase support in Quebec for sovereignty while tying the Federal Government’s hands in a future referendum campaign. But it won’t ultimately have much effect on who leads the nation. Paul Martin could break into all of our houses in person and cart off our furniture; he’d still get elected until such time as a viable alternative exists.

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More reflections on the sponsorship scandal

04.21.2005

There is widespread disgust with the Liberals on the sponsorship scandal. Of course, everyone has their own spin and view on what’s going on, and much of this is influenced by their political outlook and which party they support. But on the whole, it seems that the disgusted people fall into three broad categories: People […]

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Martin fights for his political life

04.21.2005

Perhaps the only politician in Canada with more woes than Charest, Prime Minister Paul Martin addressed the nation on prime time television, delivering a recorded speech designed to plead for his political life. Watching him was a bit wince-worthy, but ultimately he got his message across. He apologized without admitting direct involvement or guilt, accepted […]

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Am I the only one…

04.10.2005

With all the fallout from the sponsorship scandal bringing down the Liberal government, am I the only one who doesn’t want another quick election? Sure, we can’t just let them get away with such corruption. But what does anyone think would happen with an election? Is there really any chance of a party besides the […]

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Publication ban: An antiquated notion?

04.05.2005

Legal notice: There are no links whatsoever in this post. Ok, now that I’ve covered that… the publication ban on certain testimony at the Gomery Inquiry is the big story right now. Or, make that the big non-story. It’s almost amusing watching media outlets fall all over each other to report on how they’re “not […]

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Golf is life

02.08.2005

That’s what my dad likes to claim, anyway. I don’t know about that. But for Jean Chrétien, testifying at the sponsorship inquiry, the claim is probably more like golf is politics: In one of the statements that particularly angered Mr. Chrétien in December, Mr. Justice John Gomery, who is presiding over the inquiry, said the […]

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It’s tough being in advertising these days

02.25.2004

Is it just me, or are people in my field taking a bit of a beating in the press lately: Hey, I’d still rather be in advertising than a lawyer joke.

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Martin: I didn’t know

02.13.2004

So, on a scale of 1 to 10, just how credible is PM Paul Martin when he says he didn’t know about the Chretien corruption scandal? The prime minister said he will leave it to the judicial inquiry he announced this week to find out which crown corporation officials were complicit in the scam cited […]

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