The Conservative government will launch an investigation today into alleged Liberal-era irregularities in taxpayer-funded opinion polling.Hmmm....now let me think. Where have we seen a similar tactic in the news recently? Think hard...yes, it's the U.S. attorney scandal currently dogging the Bush administration. A highly disproportionate number of Democrats have found themselves the targets of federal investigations by U.S. attorneys during the Bush administration. Coincidence? The evidence being unravelled by congressional committees suggests not. Incidents have been raised in New Mexico - where David Iglesias was famously harassed by Republicans for not indicting Democrats prior to the November midterms - to New Jersey, where a Bush fundraiser became U.S. attorney and launched a mid-election campaign investigation into a sitting N.J. Democratic Senator. Suggestions about further election campaign shenanigans in Wisconsin this past weekend. A favoured tactic of the Karl Rove administration, misuse of the justice system for partisan gain.
Public Works Minister Michael Fortier will launch the probe at a Parliament Hill news conference this morning, casting it as the fulfilment of another election campaign commitment from 2006, according to government sources.
But the announcement appears designed to place Stéphane Dion's Liberal party under a cloud of suspicion, on what could be the eve of a federal election campaign.
The public works department and major polling firms have been negotiating the terms of the investigation for months.
But rather than a wide-ranging look into the relationship between the federal government and polling companies, sources suggest it will have a narrow focus on the relationship between the Liberals and Earnscliffe Strategy Group, an Ottawa-based government relations and communications firm that had close links to former prime minister Paul Martin when he was finance minister.
Now am I suggesting it's entirely analogous? Not completely. But it's pretty close. And it's not like Harper's crew will be looking at Conservative transgressions we've seen. They're citing the practice of receiving verbal reports for taxpayer funded research as a problem, for example. Well how about the lack of a report being provided by special agent Wajid Khan about his jaunt to the Middle East? Or how about the use of taxpayer funds to tell Mini Bush and his gang to stop saying "cut and run" and other Bush administration faves? How about that?
Nope, can't do it. Can't let a little hypocrisy stand in the way of our pursuit of a majority now, can we?