Friday, May 16, 2008

Cadscam isn't over

All the RCMP decision means is there isn’t enough information to support criminal charges. That’s no surprise, I said that months ago. Heresay isn't legally admissible, Chuck Cadman can't testify, and those that made the offer/s to him have no reason to fall on their swords. The RCMP didn't say the charges were false. They said they can't be proven in a court of law.

The fact remains, the behaviour of the Conservatives during the Cadman affair, and since it came to light, is sketchy and unethical at best.

The fact remains, the Conservatives have yet to come clean and answer very basic, simple questions about their behaviour and their actions. Instead, they have deflected and obfuscated.

The fact remains, the Conservatives have yet to offer a explanation for just what sort of offer they made to a man on his deathbed that makes any sense at all.

The fact remains, the Conservatives have not explained what Stephen Harper meant on that tape when he said “financial considerations” and they haven’t told us what Harper knew, and when.

And why is Dona Cadman still a Conservative candidate if the party thinks she made the whole thing up?

There are many unanswered questions, and Canadians are still owed proper explications. Here’s what we do know. The Conservative Party made some sort of offer involving “financial considerations” in an attempt to secure the vote of a man dying of cancer. I don't think that's in dispute.

Was there any illegality involved? I don’t know. Clearly, at this point there isn’t sufficient evidence to support any charges. This thing was never going to be settled in court though. The public will have its say in the next election, and the public doesn’t need the RCMP or the judicial system to tell it offering a dying MP “financial considerations” for his vote is disgusting and morally wrong.

And as for the Conservative libel lawsuit against the Liberals, why would it be dropped? First of all, even if it looked like the case would be lost, frankly I think the spectacle of discovery, a public jury trial, and Stephen Harper on the stand testifying about the Zytaruk tape, would be worth whatever the libel award would end up being. Pass the hat for donations on that one, I'll chip in $20 to see Harper et al on the stand, under oath.

However, this libel suit won't hinge on the merits of the allegations; it’s whether or not statements made inside the House of Commons can be repeated verbatim in a news release under the shield of immunity. The argument there is as strong today as it was yesterday, and frankly, with the potential ramifications of the Conservative opinion for new media and bloggers (could be we sued for reporting on debate in the HoC?) the issue shouldn’t be abandoned.

Cadscam over? Far from it. With the RCMP investigation out of the way, now there’s absolutely no reason why the parliamentary ethics committee can’t begin to look into this. I trust that, like some of their blogging supporters, the NDP will now support such parliamentary investigation.

Trust me, this thing is far from over. Canadians need answers.

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Anonymous said...

Jeff are you able to read? This is what the page that you linked to says:

"The RCMP have concluded their investigation into allegations of bribery in the so-called Cadman affair, saying there is NO EVIDENCE TO FILE CHARGES." It is the very first sentence of the article open your eyes;)

Of course Liberal justice critic Domenic LeBlanc would try to spin this.

But the fact is that "NO EVIDENCE" is a big difference from "not enough information."

Anyone with a brain knows this.

Robert McClelland said...

It's over Hillary.

Barcs said...

"This thing was never going to be settled in court though."

As in you don't have any proof,.... just fear and smear.

It's worked in the past, but I don't think the optics are there. Especially when you start considering the alternative.

Speaking of the alternative. Do you think the Conservatives will dredge up video and writings of Dion and his anti carbon tax stand and place it beside his announcement of a carbon tax??

Harper might be the most corrupt, mean, politician taking the country in the wrong direction. (atleast according to the spinners).... but when I make my choice (not till late next year)

I will still have to consider the alternative. And as much innuendo and accusations that have never been denied (btw you have never denied your support for a madman aiming a giant space laser at the earth and destroying it). I still get to read about Dion, and learn about him; And watch him compromise principles in votes because you might not win; and flip flop; and raise taxes; and increase spending, etc etc.

Maybe you can find enough innuendo to change my vote someday, but I prefer to base my decision on actual proof, actions, and ability.

Mike514 said...

The mounties find no evidence to file charges, yet the opposition persists.

You talk about the court of public opinion. How will the optics of this turn out? "Opposition pursues witch hunt despite RCMP decision." Will that sit well with the public? It'll make them look petty and vindictive.

900ft Jesus said...

well, the Mulroney/Schreiber affair was thought to be over when the RCMP pulled back, but it isn't. The Baird/O'Brien case got quiet for awhile, but investigation has stepped up on that as well.

"No evidence to file charges" doesn't mean none will show up. Harper still hasn't explained what he meant about his comments caught on tape. Why not?

Statements by the surviving Cadmans and others may be hearsay, but while those aren't enough to press charges, it doesn't mean they are lies. So unless some of you who say the CONs didn't offer a bribe are ready to say those people are lying, then you can't say it's over, because there are still unanswered questions.

"No evidence" by RCMP standards by which they file charges does not mean that there is not enough information to warrant looking for that evidence.

Had this been a Liberal or NDP, or Bloc party involved, I'd feel the same way, and I am very sure many, many CONs would not drop this either, had another party been involved.

Anonymous said...

900 ft Jesus I don't know what you have been smoking,but what ever it is stop it;)

I shouldn't be surprised though.This is the same liberal party who keeps telling all of us that the Conservatives are a bad government,but at the same time they are the ones who are propping up this government. So go figure;)

Gayle said...

The RCMP have no authority to compel individuals to speak to them. The fact there is no evidence to lay charges could simply be a function of the fact the RCMP could not obtain statements from Findley about what was discussed with Cadman.

The statements made by Cadman to his family may have been admissible, but in light of the fact he also made public statements contradicting what he told his family, the weight that could be put on them would be minimal.

Things are different in a committee. The committee can subpoena Findley and compel his testimony. If the NDP want to be consistent they must support the liberals and the Bloc and allow this to go to the Ethics Committee.

Unknown said...

What. A. Crock. Of. A. Post.

"No evidence" means no evidence.

Ask Belinda who, "altruistically", bolted to the Liberal Party at the best possible moment, for her and for Martin.

No evidence.

Puniest "scandal" ever. But in step with the hackneyed "hidden agenda". Good-on that the Liberals are facing two lawsuits for libel/defamation. They deserve it.

What a waste of bandwidth.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I read in the paper that the "former treasurer of an area federal Liberal riding association was sentenced yesterday to 12 months' house arrest and strict curfews for committing a fraud a high-level party official tried to cover up."

Perhaps you would like to write about fact, rather than fiction?

Saskboy said...

burpnrun, your comment is the crock. We can all listen to Harper on audio tape, and read the Criminal Code. "No evidence" is in the context of what is admissible in a court. The court of public opinion will punish Harper instead for his crime.

Barcs said...

"The court of public opinion will punish Harper instead for his crime."

Because evidence isn't really necessary, nor is the central philosophy of the Canadian judicial system: Innocent until proven guilty"

But like 900ft jesus states, now that the law couldn't find any fault we should continue with a partisan witch hunt to create more of that innuendo and smear kind of proof. What does the law know anyway?

Mike said...

Dear Con apologists and others commenting from 100 Queen:

"No Evidence to File Charges" means just that. In order to "file charges", the evidence must be physical or, in the absence of physical evidence, testimony that is not hearsay and can be corroborated. It must meet a burden that would stand up to scrutiny in a criminal court.

So the Mounties may have found evidence of wrongdoing, but none that could be used to "file charges" - meaning the information is, as others here have pointed out, of a quality that could not be admissible in a criminal court.

If there was a civil action, I suspect it would meet the burden.

I think this warrants an inquiry, because Chuck was offered something, by someone in the Conservative Party and the party seem very insistent on covering it up.

Who knows, maybe after a judicial inquiry or a parliamentary hearing, the Mounties will have some evidence.

of course, that;s just what you guys are scared of, isn't it?

Barcs said...

Not really scared mike.

Cus if the inquiry ever gets to close to the conservative government,... they will just shut it down early like Chretien. Or they could set the terms of reference narrow so it only looks at the Green party like Martin did with sponsorship.

I am perfectly willing to reopen those 3-4-5 of the Chretien/Martin era with a conservative written terms of reference in return for opening up the "scandal" to its own inquiry.

Of course there still might be questions like Rodriguez's during the Mulroney-Schreiber inquiry that have nothing to do with the mandate. But with a judge chairing the inquiry instead of a partisan they will easily be ruled out of order.

Gayle said...

barcs - funny how you would approve your government taking the same steps you disapprove of Chretien for doing.

But that aside, this issue does not require an inquiry...yet. What it does require is an investigation by the Ethics Committee.

Barcs said...

I never said I agreed with it Gayle.

I said that I expected it.

I also said that given the praise for Chretien around here that I expect that many would support Harper doing the same. Harper really did learn alot about how to play politics from the man himself.