Anyone who bothers to read this blog knows that I am firmly in the "hawk" camp, as it relates to the Liberals forcing an election. However, given the position the Liberals have publicly taken on the budget, to suddenly pivot and decide to bring down the government invites strong criticism.
I don't see any danger of a "blowback" over Cadman itself, as others have argued. Not only does this scandal pass the smell test, it is a reeking heap of smoldering bison dung. I have no worries that the Liberals could pay a political price for forcing this issue, it will remain a point of debate for months to come.
Why I hesitate, in adopting Turner's "pull the plug" advice over Cadman, it is just too opportunistic to be credible. Last week, Liberals spent their entire time trying to develop clever ways to avoid an election. This scandal breaks, and then suddenly, Liberals have found a solid spine, it's time to go. The chronology is too cute for words, and I doubt Canadian voters would be overly impressed with the obvious motivations. No, the Liberals have made their bed, the opportunity has passed, the optics of a reversal are dreadful.
This scandal will fester for quite some time, the ethics committee work guarantees a steady diet, not to mention what the RCMP comes up with. In other words, we have time to use this issue tactically, without appearing ridiculously opportunistic and hypocritical. When I say time, a few weeks is sufficient, allow something else to percolate, so the argument isn't entirely about Cadman.
I would suggest this looming showdown over the Canadian Wheat Board will provide the cover, a perceived genuine stance, enough to look credible. If the Conservatives want to force this issue down the Liberals throat, then it provides the perfect occasion to say enough is enough, with Cadman lurking, an almost certain election issue. In my mind, that's the smart play, avoid the quick kneejerk, lie in wait and then pounce on another matter, apart from the one's the Liberals have already compromised. The Liberals must avoid the frame of naked opportunism, that is the only way that Cadman doesn't work against the government.