Monday, September 01, 2008

Passing sentence on the Conservative Party

Even with Stephen Harper's mad, frightened dash to get into an election before the house of cards that is his alleged reputation for “leadership and competence” comes tumbling down, there are still a some interesting time-bombs that could blow-up in his face mid-campaign.

Just off hand, there's Julie Couillard's tell-all book, telling her life story from cavorting with biker gang members to canoodling with former foreign affairs minister Maxime Bernier and his classified briefs. It's release date is Oct. 14, but count on some juicy excerpts being released to the hungry media hordes mid-campaign to maximize publicity.

The catalog says the book will cover Couillard's life from her upbringing in a modest Montreal suburb through her relationships with men embroiled in the world of Montreal's criminal biker gangs through to her experiences in the corridors of power on the arm of former Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier where she met a number of world leaders including U.S. President George W. Bush.

Moreover, it looks like Couillard is going to use the book to set the record straight and settle more than a few scores. "In this profoundly human autobiography, she responds to the multiple lies, half-truths and speculation that has been written about her over the course of the last few months," reads the catalog.

Then there's Stephen Harper's lawsuit against the Liberal Party for libel relating to the Chuck Cadman affair and the allegations the Conservatives offered a $1 million life insurance policy to the dying MP if he voted with the Conservatives in a confidence vote. Speaking of which, Harper still has yet to explain just what he meant by “financial considerations”, just who supposedly doctored the recording of him talking about it, why they'd do that, how any editing would change the meaning of what he said...basically, he's offered no credible explanation for the affair or his role in it.

Anyway, the lawsuit is proceeding and the next hearing should take place during the campaign:

But Mr. Dearden revealed that the next hearing in the case — a potentially explosive court drama that could take place in the midst of an expected federal election campaign — may now have to be postponed.

Postpone, now why would Harper's lawyer want to do that? I thought he wanted this case to proceed expeditiously, to hold those dastardly Liberals to account for their libelous libels? I guess that takes back-seat to headlines mid-campaign reminding us of allegations of the Conservatives trying to buy off MPs. But doesn't he want his personality back before the election?

Lastly for our campaign calendar, there's a federal court hearing relating to the death penalty, always a meaty campaign topic. You may recall that shortly coming to power, Harper and Stockwell Day decided they didn't really care anymore if Canadians got executed abroad, ending a long-running policy of seeking clemency for Canadians facing the death penalty in other countries.

The widely expected mid-October federal election would see one of the Conservative government's most controversial decisions -- its refusal to seek clemency for a Canadian on death row in the United States -- put on trial at the height of the campaign.

The Federal Court of Canada has scheduled a two-day judicial review of Canada's new policy on the death penalty to begin Sept. 29 in Toronto.

A legal team representing Alberta-born murderer Ronald Smith, 50, and government lawyers will present opposing arguments about the October 2007 policy change, which ended a long-standing federal practice of automatically seeking clemency for any Canadian facing execution in a foreign country.

This should generate some interesting debate mid-campaign. Canadians have firmly rejected the death penalty as morally unconscionable and unacceptable to our legal system. The Conservatives are going to have to explain to Canadians why they are doing an end-run around that consensus, and explain whether or not this is the beginning of a plan to re-introduce capital punishment in Canada. If we won't accept capital punishment here, we shouldn't abandon our citizens to it overseas, no matter how heinous their crimes.

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MississaugaPeter said...

Deja vu.

Ontario Liberal premier David Peterson did the same stupid thing many years ago, and lost as a result of it.

David Peterson was significantly ahead in the polls when he called a premature election that was to occur just days before a Liberal fundraiser by the name of Patti Starr was to go to court.

In the end, the Liberals went from 95 seats to 36 seats, and Patti Starr got 6 months. Ontario also got 5 years of Bob Rae as premier.

If history repeats itself, Stephane will benefit from the actions of a reckless, arrogant, too clever for his own good, leader (now Harper).

MississaugaPeter said...

Those folks in the Dion war room should get something out soon to counter:

Meanwhile, Dion Libs set to meet in Winnipeg posh Fort Garry Hotel ...where luxurious rooms offer feather mattress beds and pillows, down duvet, fine italian linen, even bathrobes and Evian water brought all the way from France, regardless of carbon footprint, not to mention high-speed wireless internet for quick access to favourite online news destinations ...While in the 'Peg, Dion's Libs will be able to take in 'the best brunch in town' right at the hotel, although remains unclear if the embattled leader will avail himself of the on-site 'Ten Spa' where he can be 'treated and pampered in elegant surrounding', including a decadent 6-hour special where he can enjoy a 'custom facial, signature pedicure, hot cream manicure, mini body scrub, relaxtion massage, and the ever-popular 'Cleopatra Milk and Oil Cocoon' ...Local celebrities who may or may not be within rubbing-shoulder proximity during the indulgent pampering include national radio host Charles Adler ...Meanwhile, it remains unclear what, if anything, Dion is planning to do to offset the carbon footprint of this pre-electoral political schmoozer ...

found on Bourque.

If the Dion war room does not issue a statement by the evening news, it will show they are really not up for the task of a national campaign.

RuralSandi said...

So says Bourque.....sigh....Harper's media man.

Moving on.......

A BCer in Toronto said...

Ah, Pierre Bourque. The stupidest commentary that advertising money can buy.

Barcs said...

If history repeats?

Might want to look at history then.. and the 2 elections Chretien called early and the 1 that Martin did after taking over.

All 3 returning the party to government. (tho Martin only got a minority)

History repeating itself indeed....

Barcs said...


Yeah bourque is real strong on Harper.

I think (like most of the "non-biased media" he is out for headlines and dollars.

Like this one that belongs in the enquirer rather than a real paper.

This one is obviously hot news:
"Finally ! Pre-order Couillard's saucy tell-all now !"