Four more no shows today, a pattern which is irrefutable, apart from "take leave of our senses" hyper-partisans. Why hide, if you have nothing to hide?:
The Conservative Party is being accused of obstructing a Commons committee investigating elections financing after three potential witnesses said they were told by the party not to show up.
The Tories categorically denied the allegation after four more summoned party agents failed to appear this morning, raising further concerns by ethics committee chair Paul Szabo that there is a pattern.
“It appears to be consistent with the (previous) indication that proposed witnesses had given us” that the party had told them not to co-operate, Szabao told reporters after adjourning the morning’s session.
NDP MP Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre) said there is an onus on the ethics committee to investigate reports that some witnesses are being urged not to testify, even though they have received summons to appear.
“It is an obstruction of justice to advise somebody to not to not attend a parliamentary committee when they are summoned, just as it would be wrong for a lawyer to advise their client to ignore some court date,” Martin said.
Conservative MP Gary Goodyear (Cambridge) absolutely denied that anyone from the party has instructed witnesses not to show.
"That is absolutely false,” Goodyear said.
False? More like blatantly obvious.
The Conservatives must have concluded that things would go very badly for their party agents, deciding to take the hit of obstruction, over the spectacle of illegalities. Neither option works, although it seems the Conservatives are just drawing more attention to a mid-summer Committee, than would otherwise be there under normal circumstances.
I'm not sure I understand the wisdom of having every news outlet plastering this juicy angle onto their sites, not sure how that helps the Conservatives claims of unfair treatment, we did nothing wrong. As a matter of fact, between today and yesterday's developments, it seems the Conservatives are fueling the perception that something is amiss with their past practices, doing more damage than any witness could possibly do. Pulling stunts, obstruction, added to the already uncomfortable dynamic of attacking democratic institutions, and the Conservatives are clearly losing the battle of perceptions. Contrast this behavior with Harper's boastful "confidence in our legal position" bravado, and it suggests reason for suspicion. If you are "solid", then you don't need to hide, obstruct and confuse, you just throw out the facts and let reasonable minds see your credible position. Conservatives are dreaming, if they think their case is bolstered with these tactics, if anything they are only reinforcing an unflattering perception with the public. What we are seeing is within the realm of the guilty, it shows no relationship to the unjustly accused.