piranha: red origami crane (Default)
[personal profile] piranha
for those to whom the words "sponsorship scandal" mean nothing, quick intro:

after the 1995 referendum on quebec sovereignty a fund had been set up to help promote federalism. the money was supposed to be used to improve canada’s profile in quebec by helping pay for social and cultural events and programs. after a while rumours started surfacing that the fund was nothing more than a vehicle to reward liberal party supporters in quebec, and investigative reporters began to nose around and unearthed information that raised more and more questions. finally, in early 2002, chrétien had little choice but to ask the auditor general to investigate.

in early 2004 that audit was released, and it was absolutely scathing: $100 million was paid to a variety of communications agencies in the form of fees and commissions -- without producing any benefit for canada. various crown corporations were involved in questionable transfers of money.

the audit cost the liberals dearly; they lost their majority in the last election and have been reduced to a minority government that's holding on by the skin of its teeth only because of a deal struck with the NDP.

newly elected prime minister martin fired a bunch of people in positions of responsibility, and initiated a full-scale investigation, the first official results of which we are seeing today. the inquiry is led by justice john gomery.

the gomery report blames chrétien, but clears martin. the major findings can be found here, and the full report here. but there seems no evidence actually showing that chrétien got his fingers dirty himself. and gomery is not seen as impartial in some circles -- there are people who think he's unduly biased against chrétien. he's, in short, no fitzgerald.

i'm not fond of martin, but i don't buy the hatemongering against him either, that he "must have known" because he was finance minister. he didn't write the checques. i also don't buy the idea that he had to know because he was chrétien's second in command. he wasn't chrétien's confidant nor his ally, and i would actually think that any chrétien crony would keep such sensitive information from him.

we'll see how this shakes out -- martin has been trying all along to distance himself from chrétien and his people, which is believable because of the nasty power games that were played before martin took over from chrétien. but it might not be good enough if people get too disgusted with the liberals overall. martin has promised new elections after the final gomery results in february of next year. the conservatives are salivating to bring the government down, but they have been steadily sinking in the polls again since they salivated just a little bit too much during the budget vote.

on 2005-11-01 23:23 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] necturus.livejournal.com
Aren't the conservatives likely to push an agenda of intolerance at home and fall into line with Bush's foreign policy? Don't they want to spend lots of money on the military? From what I've read on the CBC Web site they don't sound like very pleasant people.

on 2005-11-02 22:33 (UTC)
ext_481: origami crane (Default)
Posted by [identity profile] pir-anha.livejournal.com
their beliefs are not very pleasant from where i stand. or, to be more precise, the socially conservative wing of that party is not very pleasant; i have a lot fewer problems with the so-called "red tories" (fiscally conservative, socially semi-liberal). still, the conservatives are not quite as bad as the republicans are, and we are without that influential evangelical "christian" wing, but yeah, they would make canada to be more like the US. as long as the liberals don't fuck up (which they have, with this scandal), the conservatives, despite forcing themselves into an alliance that still rubs some in the party the wrong way, don't have a large chance of winning an election. the liberals really are representative of a larger chunk of canadians. and stephen harper, the conservative party leader, scares a lot of people; they see him as cold.

i hope come election time the fact that we would now be mired in the mess in iraq if we had a conservative government will be brought up repeatedly.

on 2005-11-02 17:28 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] huashan.livejournal.com
newly elected prime minister martin fired a bunch of people in positions of responsibility,
Well...there's your problem right there! Hasn't Canada learned from the fantastic example set by the US yet? Fire people with absolutely no responsibility and promote the people responsible for the misdeeds. That's the way to build a good strong stable government. That and denying at all costs that anything was ever done wrong ore even less than perfectly.

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