Monday, March 10, 2008

Tough Guy

Despite the fact Canadians overwhelming reject Harper's legal threats, according to Duffy, the Liberals can expect the paperwork to move forward "any day":
Top Liberals recently became the subject of a legal threat after posting claims about the incident on their website. It marks the first time a sitting Prime Minister has sued the opposition for libel.

Liberal Leader Stephane Dion, the Liberal Party of Canada and MPs Ralph Goodale and Ignatieff have been threatened with a lawsuit and expect the paperwork any day, something Ignatieff says is not in keeping with Canada's democratic traditions.

"In the House of Commons I raise matters that are of legitimate public concern," Ignatieff said. "What do we get? We get sued. Why is the prime minister trying to sue members of Parliament when they're trying to do their job?"

I thought Travers said it best, very unbecoming for the Prime Minister to "hide behind the skirt of the legal system". Given the fact you can still view the articles in question on, it would appear people are shaking in their boots tonight. The service will guarantee one thing, another round of discussion in the press, which invariably brings more questions about unsatisfactory answers.


Gayle said...

After all that posturing, I guess he really could not back down.

I maintain he did not start this with the intention of following through, but when Dion called his bluff he had no choice.

I think the media will be met with "I cannot comment on a matter that is before the courts" when they ask him about Cadman on the campaign trail.

Hopefully the liberals will be able to have this whole thing punted on an application for summary judgement.

burlivespipe said...

Why wouldn't he push this to the wall? He's got pocket-loads of cash to spend, so handing some to a few lawyers while trying to besmirch more Liberals seem par for the course. Never mind that it makes him look like a muscle-bound (ok, that's not the analogy that comes to mind when you see him) third-string quarterback. As proven by his track record, he's often his own worst enemy. And hopefully this will give even more MSM types a chance to tie litiginous Harper, the Grewal tapes, and the Riddell case together.

RuralSandi said...

To me, this proves that Harper CAN'T take a punch - he's hiding behind the skirts of the legal system.

What is really being shown here is that Harper CAN'T handle a crisis.

That's not leadership. He reminds me of bully-kids in a school yard. Bullies always have to have a team behind them - they can't stand up on their own.

David Akin said something interesting last week when he was on Mike Duffy - he said that perhaps Harper would have to prove that Dion, Goodale and Ignatieff wrote the stuff on the website and set it up - I never thought of that and I don't know if it holds water.

Gayle said...

Actually that is true Sandi. He has no case against the individuals.

His case against the party rests on the notion that you cannot quote what is said inside the House on a website - something that will concern most political bloggers. Why the liberals would have a huge lawsuit against Stephen Taylor.

Ti-Guy said...

I think the Harpies are perfectly serious about this. Offensive tactics play well to their base (regardless of the issue or the evidence at hand). They just love a fight; one they can watch and cheer on and make witless comments about. It's not going to attract any more voters (hasn't in two years, after all) but it solidifies their brand. The media loves this type of stuff as well, so this kind of thing works really well for the Harpies. works for anyone, really. Too bad it has nothing to do with peace, order and good government.

ALW said...

Do you people not understand the concept of libel? Because that’s really what this about.

For far too long, Liberals have run around calling conservatives every name under the sun, including fascist, Nazis, racists, rednecks, homophobes etc etc. It’s high time somebody called them out on it.

If this lawsuit does anything, maybe it will make politicians think twice the next time they want to take an unsubstantiated slanderous swipe at their opponents. I for one am sick and tired of having to rebut totally baseless allegations - during campaign ‘06 I recall the anonymous phonebanking that was canvassing my riding warning that the Tories were, apparently, going to ban abortion and take away senior’s pensions.

From now on, if you’re going to make stuff up about people, you’re going to wear it in court. It’s that simple. That’s how it works with everyone else; I am not sure why politicians should be exceptions.

Steve V said...

"For far too long, Liberals have run around calling conservatives every name under the sun"

When it comes to name calling, these characters don't have a leg to stand on, and the fact you fail to acknowledge that makes your point irrelevant.

ALW said...


You seem to believe you are an expert on the legal definition of libel. I guess we shall soon see, won't we?

It's hilarious for anyone to call litigation for libel "hiding behind the skirt of the law". On the contrary, it is using the law as a shield to protect oneself against baseless accusations.

This is just like the Mulroney-Schrieber affair: a desperate attempt by Liberals to try and get the focus off their own weak and vacillating leader. That effort failed, and this will too.

Steve V said...


" I guess we shall soon see, won't we?"

Yes, 2012 is just around the corner. Yawn me a river, and go troll somewhere else, your Con hypocrisy isn't welcome here.

Gayle said...

alw - do YOU understand the concept of parliamentary privilege?

You do realize that if Harper wins this little libel suit no news agency or blogger will be able to quote Hansard again.

Yes, nasty things are said in the House sometimes. Sometimes an MP is accused of supporting terrorists over Canadian troops, or it is speculated their father in law has ties to terrorist organizations, or the party is full of extremists, or an MP is a "dog".

As for nasty rumours about abortion rights, I would add nasty allegations about bringing back deficit financing or supporting child pornography.