Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bad day for Mr. Mulroney and other items...

1. The judge in the Mulroney-Schreiber inquiry issued a setback for Mr. Mulroney yesterday, who had sought to limit the inquiry to considering only the Ethics Code in place in 1985 for applicable standards to judge his conduct. The judge accepted the broader position of the Department of Justice, that the Criminal Code, the Income Tax Act, the Parliament of Canada Act, standing orders of the House of Commons, etc. may all be considered in terms of the standards to be used in assessing the appropriateness of Mr. Mulroney's conduct. In addition, the judge seemed to go out of his way to emphasize the high standards set out in Mulroney's own "Guidance for Ministers" by quoting from it a number of times. Mulroney could be hoist by his own petard as a result of having articulated a very high standard of conduct for his ministers (and therefore, himself, as enforcer of it), but we shall see. In case you're wondering, it starts up at the end of March. Globe story on the ruling today, here.

2. The Conservatives' fall election campaign cost them $19.4 million. Taking them close to spending virtually the entire amount they raised in 2008, $21 million. Perhaps backdrop to the settlement of the Cadman lawsuit. As my friend the Vigilant one would say, this is the "high burn rate" of funds raised, in action.

3. Speaking of the Cadman case, a voice cries in the wilderness, "Whatever happened to Harper's hard-fought lawsuit against the Liberal party?"
Incredible isn't it? Harper is content to leave in the public arena multiple statements that he admits label him a crook and he says caused him to be "brought into ridicule, scandal and contempt" because Dion is no longer the Grit boss.

What's been conveniently forgotten is that whatever happened or didn't happen before that key vote in May 2005 reflects on the integrity and honesty of both Harper and the Conservative party.

The public deserves to know what happened.

Who approached Cadman? What was said? What did Harper know and when did he know it?
Questions we would all like to know the answer to...what we really need and which is totally unrealistic in our system, a Patrick Fitzgerald to pursue such allegations. There are some things the Americans do much better than we do.

4. Should we laugh or cry at Mr. Flaherty's ridiculous assertion yesterday about mistakes to be expected in the rush to get stimulus spending out the door? Not the picture of a competent government that knows what it is doing. It's the picture of a government that waited too long...

5. When CBC funding and the Conservatives mix, that can't be good. It sounds like the CBC made some bad decisions to import expensive U.S. game shows and it's costing them now as ad revenues tank. Not surprising to hear James Moore's response, no to any help. Given the Conservatives' disdain for the CBC, expressed as recently as the election campaign, the response was predictable. The Conservatives, however, should not be permitted, under cover of this downturn, to achieve the weakening of the CBC, one of their long held goals. Repeating the current level of funding, if it's inadequate in view of the downturn, is not a full answer. And keep in mind, as I know some may be getting sick of hearing from me, that our financial affairs are in deficit as a result of the Conservatives own financial mismanagement. For them to achieve partisan goals toward the CBC as a result would be obscene.