Wednesday, February 11, 2009

No dice

"No Dion, no Cadman suit, Harper says."
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Wednesday he dropped his libel lawsuit against the Liberals only because St├ęphane Dion is no longer party leader, and not because he has anything to hide in the Chuck Cadman affair.
“I have already said all I have to say about this case. I would note that the leader of the Liberal Party is no longer in his position. Maybe the Leader of the NDP had something to do with that too,” Mr. Harper said, alluding to failed plans for a coalition government led by Mr. Dion and Mr. Layton.
We know that Mr. Dion was not a party to Mr. Harper's defamation action, so the fact that Dion is no longer leader of the Liberal party, which was sued, is patently irrelevant:
In a $2.5-million lawsuit filed by Harper’s lawyers in Ontario Superior Court on March 13, the documents named only the Liberal party and did not mention Dion or the other two MPs. This suggests he will pursue his libel suit against only the party and not the politicians.
Further, Ignatieff was initially named, along with Dion and Goodale, by Harper in his notice of libel, served prior to the filing of the official claim with the court. So Ignatieff was as much a part of the suit as Dion ever was in that sense. To suggest that the dropping of the lawsuit was linked only to Dion and his departure is, to put it mildly, disingenuous.

Harper's clearly trying to spin Dion's departure as a convenient cover, to give the impression that the suit was an old war between him and Dion that it's time to let go. And in tying it to Dion, true to form, he subtly insinuates that the lawsuit was somehow Mr. Dion's fault. He seems to have run with the notion in the Globe's editorial this morning, picking up on their handy framing of the suit as the Dion Liberals having overplayed their hand. What nonsense. We know he dropped the case just before he had to ante up with his evidence and the possibility of losing was looming large. But if he can get some more mileage out of Mr. Dion, he's always up for that.

Harper again disappoints. When he has to speak, unscripted, he always shows us exactly who he is.

(h/t Disaffected Lib, CV)