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. Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers