Wednesday, November 02, 2005

media on Gomery report: roundup

The Globe pundits are defiant.
While Mr.Simpson's point is simple. The whole affair is overblown, less move on:
It obviously injured the Liberals, especially in Quebec — and especially after Paul Martin went over the top in exaggerating the importance of the sponsorship scandal.
By the time we vote, this'll all be dust in the wind

If you think Simpson is out of his mind and you're digusted with his showy cinicism here's a more nuanced Mr. Ibbitson. While he admits that having another party in power might be the best medicine to prevent such a scandal from happening in the future, in his mind the Conservatives are still not up to the task:
Healthy democracies rotate political parties: to exploit the brief period of probity that accompanies a new party's arrival in power, until the culture of entitlement seeps into their souls as well. But the Conservatives alienate so many Canadians, for so many different reasons, that power continues to elude them, leaving this dysfunctional mess as a status quo with little hope of change.
A never-ending story that just gets sorrier and sorrier
What exactly is alienatable to so many Canadians remains a bit of a mistery. But don't worry folks, we feel your pain but we just can't let those eeeeevil tories with their scary Harper to take power away from the natural governing party.

Meanwhile in the Post:
Andrew Coyne shatters to pieces all so familiar line of distinction between Martin and Cretien:
Suppose, in the wake of the scandal, the corporation brought in a new CEO -- not just promoted the senior VP, but hired someone wholly unconnected with the firm. The new CEO could protest with absolute justice that he could not personally be held to blame for the misdeeds that had gone on under his predecessor. But would that absolve the corporation as a whole of liability? No it would not.
A Liberal culture of impunity
Andrew Coyne

Colby Cosh digs the roots up - how it all started:
On Feb. 1 and 2 of 1996, the cabinet convened at a retreat to conduct a post-mortem on the referendum campaign and review methods of preventing a recurrence. This is the point at which the Liberals made a collective decision to make aggressive brand-building in Quebec a permanent strategy; everyone at that table, including then-finance minister Martin, would have thought of Chuck Guite's name and accomplishments in this context. In the Attorney-General's submission to the Gomery Commission, that decision was described as a commitment to "increase the visibility of the Government of Canada mainly, but not exclusively, in the province of Quebec." And this is the ground on which the idea of the sponsorship program has always been defended.

But the actual cabinet minutes contain significantly different language. The report of the unity committee headed by Marcel Masse, which was presented at the retreat to the other ministers of the Crown, called for "a substantial strengthening of the Liberal Party of Quebec." It is extraordinary and offensive that such a thing should be uttered at a cabinet meeting of any kind, but we have not heard that Mr. Martin (or anyone else) made any objection.[emphasis mine] Is anyone really surprised that so much money should find its way into the pockets of Liberal cronies after an open call for the partisan "strengthening" of the Liberal party at the public expense?
The Liberals' original sin
Colby Cosh


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