Saturday, May 13, 2006

Enough is enough

I’ve been reading today in many blogs, Liberal and Conservative, about Stephen Harper’s promise to sue the Liberal Party for what his Conservative brethren have divined to be still missing money from the sponsorship scandal that they believe ended-up in Liberal coffers. And it’s pissing me off.

I’ve been of mixed thoughts about the issue throughout the day.


On the one hand, it’s obvious and shameless political opportunism. The Conservatives are using public money to further their political interests (ironically, what they say the Liberals did with sponsorship) and damage their political opponent.


But on the other hand, I thought, well, a crime was committed, and how can we be seen to impede the investigation and resolution of that crime? I’m mad as hell too.


I am also mad, though, at the continual smearing of the Liberal Party as a whole for the actions of a few bad apples. Enough is enough. We don’t have to put up with it, and we shouldn’t put up with it.


We’ve cowered in the corner for too long and said I’m sorry, please, don’t hurt me. In fact, it was the Liberal government that called in the Auditor General to investigate. It was the Liberal government that called in the RCMP to investigate. It was the Liberal government that called the Gomery Commission to investigate the affair, an investigation that cost more than was alleged to be misspent. It was the Liberal Party that paid back every dollar that independent judicial investigation, whose chief counsel was a staunch Conservative, determined improperly ended-up in Liberal coffers.


That’s the record. Those are the facts. And yet still we let the opposition smear all Liberals with this brush. And instead of saying bullshit, we let them. And we helped them. We went across the country and made sure everyone knew just how mad we were too.


Enough is enough. I did nothing wrong. Most Liberals did nothing wrong. A very few did. Those that did have been identified by the auditor general, the Gomery Commission, and the RCMP. They have and are facing justice. The system is working.


The Liberal Party has paid its penance. The Conservatives are desperate to keep this in the news. Looking at their record, I can see why. They know such a lawsuit isn’t legally feasible, but they don’t care. It’s about keeping an old story in the news for political advantage, and they’re willing to use taxpayer dollars to do so. But we need to stop rolling over. Enough is enough. It’s time to stop being pussies and fight them on this.


One of my favourite shows, The West Wing, is ending Sunday and thinking of this issue I was reminded of a scene from the third season episode “Gone Quiet”. It’s the presidential campaign, and consultant Bruno blows up at Sam for his refusal to stand-up to the Republicans.


"We all need some therapy because somebody came along and said liberal means soft on crime, soft on drugs, soft on Communism, soft on defense. And we're going to tax you back to the stone age because people shouldn't have to work if they don't want to. And instead of saying 'Well, excuse me, you right-wing reactionary, xenophobic, homophobic, anti-education, anti-choice, pro-gun Leave it to Beaver trip back to the '50s'. We cowered in the corner and say, 'Please don't hurt me'. . . .


That’s been us for too long. Well, enough is enough. I’m honest and hardworking, I pay my taxes and I love my country. I’m also a proud Liberal. It’s time we reclaim our brand. You want to call me corrupt? Not without a fight.

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11 comments:

Matt said...

"In fact, it was the Liberal government that called in the Auditor General to investigate."
After they were caught, once they had no other choice, of course.

"It was the Liberal government that called in the RCMP to investigate."
Again, only after the scandal became public. Why wasn't this investigation launched at the first hint of scandal?

"It was the Liberal government that called the Gomery Commission to investigate the affair"
And also refused to give Justice Gomery the authority to seek out criminal activity during the investigation.

"And yet still we let the opposition smear all Liberals with this brush."
Have you forgotten that the Liberals are the opposition? I wonder if it has something to do with that Adscam I've heard so much about...

"The Liberal Party has paid its penance."
Hardly. The Liberal Party has allegedly repaid what it was proven to have received in kickbacks, but has justice really been served here? I don't think so.

"Enough is enough. I did nothing wrong. .... You want to call me corrupt? Not without a fight."
I really don't think anyone's been calling you corrupt Jeff. Certainly not me, I don't know you. Guite, Brault & Co. on the other hand are a different story, and I - along with many, many Canadians - also have strong suspicions about some highups in the past couple Liberal governments.

A BCer in Toronto said...

After they were caught, once they had no other choice, of course.

Not quite. An FOI request brought iregularaties to the attention of the government, which triggered an internal investigation, which was then turned over to the AG to investigate.

Again, only after the scandal became public. Why wasn't this investigation launched at the first hint of scandal?

The RCMP launches investigations whenever it wants. The government, once the AG's report was complete, indicating possible criminal activity, forwarded it to the RCMP.

And also refused to give Justice Gomery the authority to seek out criminal activity during the investigation.

Because that's the RCMP's job, and the RCMP was actively investigating the case. To let Gomery probe criminality during an active RCMP investigation would have prejudiced the RCMP's investigation, and made it difficult/impossible for the RCMP to do its job.

Have you forgotten that the Liberals are the opposition?

I don't mean Her Majesty's Opposition, I mean our opposition. Our opponents.

Hardly. The Liberal Party has allegedly repaid what it was proven to have received in kickbacks, but has justice really been served here? I don't think so.

OK, first off, I've had enough of this "allegedly repaid" nonesense I keep hearing around the blogsphere. During the campaign CTV posted the cancelled checks on its Web site. It happened, it has been repaid.

Second point, what was repaid was what Gomery and the RCMP determined the Liberal Party ended up with. Is that every $ of the $40 million ellegedly mismanaged here? No. But did every $ go to the Liberal Party? No. Remember how this scandal worked. Let's say $100 goes to ad company for little or no work. $50 is spend on actual advertising, $10 is donated by the company to the Liberals, $40 is spend by the ad executive on DVDs. The initial problem was there wasn't the paperwork to determine how that $100 was spent, and if there was value for money. Investigation showed there wasn't, that ad should only have cost the government $50. So that leaves $50 improperly spent. Of that, $10 ended up in Liberal coffers, they should and have paid it back. The other $40 ended up elsewhere. The ad guy spent it on Habs tickets, cristal, whatever. He fraudently obtained it, he should pay it back.

Again, the Liberals paid back what extensive investigations by Gomery and the RCMP said ended-up in its coffers. The rest, if it can be recovered, needs to be recovered elsewhere. Harper knows this, he's just playing political games.

I really don't think anyone's been calling you corrupt Jeff... Guite, Brault & Co. on the other hand...strong suspicions about some highups in the past couple Liberal governments.

Not me by name, no. But every time some says Liberals are corrupt, or those Lieberals, Liberanos, etc., they're smearing every Liberal member from coast to coast with that same brush.

And Harper isn't planning to sue "Guite, Brault & Co." or unamed Liberal highups, he's planning to sue the Liberal Party. If he thinks person A or person B is responsible, sue them. Go to town. But the Liberal Party isn't responsible for the actions of those few people that acted without its consent or knowledge, and as I said has repaid what ended up in its coffers.

Robert said...

I'm with you Jeff.

It's rough being kicked when you're down, especially when you didn't do anything to deserve it.

The point we need to reach is where we are exhonerated by the court of public opinion; Harper and the Conservatives are just trying their best to keep that judgement against us.

HearHere said...

Since this was a Liberal scandal orchestrated by Liberals why is it that the taxpayers ended up paying millions and millions and millions of dollars for the Gomery inquiry PLUS we picked up the lawyer fees for the alleged perpetrators?

Should the taxpayers of Canada not also sue the Liberal party for costs?

Just asking.

Robert said...

Interesting question... I'm not sure that legal costs can be recovered for litigation in Canada... ?

polarslam said...

As a Liberal I question the political motives behind Harper's move, but also as a Liberal I want to see any money stolen by the party or much more likely by individuals associated with the party paid back to the government of Canada.

Let the issue be fully laid out there by Mr. Harper and let us deal with the consequences because I feel the short term pain of a few more Liberal indivduals being sued is less than the long term pain of allowing the Tories to smear the whole party every camapign with the accusastion that some money was not recovered.

A BCer in Toronto said...

'm not sure that legal costs can be recovered for litigation in Canada...

Gomery wasn't litigation, it was a judicial inquiry called by the federal government. So, no.

I want to see any money stolen by the party or much more likely by individuals associated with the party paid back...

So do I. And the money that Gomery and the RCMP identified as having gone to the Liberal Party has been paid back by the party. The rest ended up elsewhere, and it's those individuals that ended up with it that should be sued for it.

let us deal with the consequences because I feel the short term pain of a few more Liberal indivduals being sued is less than the long term pain of allowing the Tories to smear the whole party every camapign...

And if he wanted to sue a few individuals I'd say go for it, give 'em hell. If he has evidence that Person A pocketed X dollars, sue them.

But he's not promising to do that, he's promising to sue the Liberal Party. He doesn't expect to recover anything, the whole thing will cost the taxpayers money, it's just about politics. Will the case get thrown out for having absolutely no legal basis? Probably, and he knows that. But first he'll spendsa lot of taxpayer dollars on legal fees, say the worlds Liberal and corrupt together a few thousand times on tv and in the press, and call another election.

This isn't about justice, it's pure politics, and that's why we have to fight them on it.

Prairie Kid said...

Lets see now. Some ad executives have been dealt with in the courts and a public servant is being dealt with in the courts as we speak. Yet the people that benefited from this scam, namely the Liberal party, have not nor are they scheduled to be dealt with in court. No wonder Harper wants to sue the party.

ottlib said...

Over the years a few Conservatives, Alliance or Reform members have made statements that have been homophobic, racist, sexist, etc. Does that mean that all Conservatives are homophobic, intolerant, racist rednecks?

Of course not and I always got more pissed off at people who made such claims than the people who made the objectionable statements.

It is grossly unfair to accuse a whole group of people of something based on the statements or actions of a few.

So when Prairie Kid says something like "Yet the people that benefited from this scam, namely the Liberal party" I would remind him that 10 men, who happened to be members of the Quebec Wing of the Liberal Party, were identified as benefiting from the scandal. 10 men does not make the Liberal Party.

As BCer in TO states I had nothing to do with the sponsorship scandal and I resent people who lump me in with those 10 men by stating the Liberal Party is corrupt. That is blatantly false.

It is as blatantly false as calling Prairie Kid an intolerant, homophobic, racist, redneck prick just because he happens to support a political party that has Mr. Vellacott as one of its Members of Parliament.

Would you not agree PK?

The Rat said...

No Jeff, It's not enough. What the RCMP and Gomery uncovered were the recorded donations, not the infamous brown envelopes. The Liberal Audit wasn't a forensic audit and the Gomery audit was prohibited from looking at the grit books. There is a hell of a lot of money unaccounted for and this lawsuit will get to the heart of it.

As for your statement that "enough is enough". I have to say, "Hardly". Too many grits want to say it was just a few bad apples, or that it was only a few million dollars. Too many grits think that throwing a couple of ad executives under the bus is enough penance. Until more grits stop defending adscam as necessary to save Canada, or as a small blip, it won't be enough. You, and by that I mean YOU, Jeff, have to admit it was utterly disgusting abuse of power and purse for the benefit of the Liberal Party. You have to admit that it was common practice to illegaly pay Liberal campaigners through third parties. You have to admit you stole the democratic process from thousands of Quebecers (at least, and maybe many more Canadians). You haven't done it yet. Your leaders haven't done it yet. And you party has not allowed a proper accounting of it yet. When you do, THAT will be enough.

A BCer in Toronto said...

Oh my god, that is an impressive piece of revisionist history Rat, bravo! What rock have you been living under for the last, oh, four years?

Adscam bad. ADSCAM BAD. Liberals have been saying that continuously, and apologized many, many times. Ive said it. I'll say it again. ADSCAM BAD. We asked the AG to investigate, called a judicial inquiry, and called in the RCMP. Paul Martin went on a months long, coast to coast tour to tell Canadians just how Mad As Hell (TM) he was.

To say the Liberals have never acknowledged the badness of ad scam is foolish and asinine. If anything, we played it up as bigger than it was.

Nothing else more needs to be said that I haven't said in this thread already. If you truely want justice, and aren't just playing politics, that go after the actual recipients of those brown envelpes you speak of.