Thursday, April 12, 2007

Harper stacks the deck

Not content with an Auditor General's report that said the previous government's polling practices were "fine," the Conservatives' investigation of the previous Liberal government's polling practices as an election looms within the next year is topped off with the choice of a separatist to run the investigation: "Ex-separatist to head probe into ad contracts." So the separatists and Conservatives can continue to smear the Liberals in the next election campaign with ammunition from a sham investigation into people no longer associated with the current Liberal team.
A former Quebec separatist cabinet minister who played a key role in the 1995 referendum campaign has been hired by the Harper Conservatives to investigate the polling contracts of the previous Liberal government.

The Liberals are calling it a "partisan witch hunt."

And Daniel Paillé, the "independent adviser" hired to conduct the investigation, refused to say yesterday whether he is still a separatist. He told reporters that this is a "private question" and "very personal."

". . . Religious and politics aspects of somebody for me is private," he said.
...
Mr. Paillé served in the very senior and political role of industry minister in Jacques Parizeau's PQ government from 1994 to 1996 -- during the lead-up and aftermath of the 1995 referendum that almost broke up the country.
Playing footsie with the separatists used to be the particular province of Brian Mulroney. Now we get confirmation Harper's playing the same game. An incredible wink at a former separatist cabinet minister here. Not to mention the inherent bias in choosing a blatant partisan to investigate an opposing political party. I mean, why don't you just have Jason Kenney do it?

Just incredible. They didn't even try to mask their intentions. At least it'll be easy to criticize the report as partisan hackery.

Kenneth Starr, anyone?