Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Why are Liberals wasting time debating whether or not to let disgraced sponsorship figures back into the party?
Liberal Leader Stephane Dion is facing questions about whether he supports welcoming back in to the party one of the key figures from the sponsorship scandal.

Dion told Quebec newspaper Le Soleil that he has no objections to Marc-Yvan Cote being allowed to resume his Liberal membership.

Cote, a former party organizer in Quebec, was one of 10 members banned for life from the party by former prime minister Paul Martin in the wake of the sponsorship scandal.

Dion added that Cote's punishment was "exaggerated,'' and that he'd recognized his error and shouldn't be penalized for life.

I don’t care if some Liberals are sympathetic, or feel the punishment was too harsh, the fact of the matter is the optics of a return are HORRIBLE. If these people really are “good” Liberals, then the best thing they can do for the party is stay as far away as possible. You made your bed, lie in it and consider yourself lucky that your fate wasn’t worse than having a membership torn up. If there is a more asinine waste of collective energy than concerning ourselves with these crooks, let me know. What a fantastic message to send to Canadians.


ottlib said...

It does seem like a no-brainer doesn't it?

Liberals tend to be fair minded, it is one of their strengths, but you have to draw the line somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I hope all Liberal bloggers draw the line on this one. Bad idea, horrible idea. Stupid idea. And don't pass the buck to anyone else in the party, Dion needs to say it won't happen and that it was mistake musing about it in public, no matter what he feels about the individuals personally.

This is much bigger than that - and he needs to show he gets it.

Anonymous said...

You just illustrated a conflict in your thinking. If indeed these are "good people", then how can you go on and say "you made your bed now lie in it."

What if they didn't make this particular bed? What if they are indeed, mistakenly accussed. If this, as you said, is just about optics, then why are you so fervent about their guilt?

I don't pretend to know the details of the case. But it seems to me that the majority of people are reacting in a knee-jerk fashion.

Just look on the G&M or any other blog today commenting on this issue. Everyone is saying the same thing, and when that happens, something very eerie is a foot.

So before we lock away people without establishing their guilt (as we do with muslims), maybe we should step back and chill out for a moment.

Anonymous said...

It really does not matter..Harp will never let this one get by. I would say let them prove themsleves 100%. The Liberals are asking for trouble, and that is all they need right now..anyone to remind the Cons of the Sponsorship scandal and the media is right one to it.!

Anonymous said...

I hate to be arguing on this. But in some cases the optics do override other considerations. The G&M piece is specifically talking about a person who carried about briefcases of money obtained illegally. Think about that for a moment. No . . . REALLY think about that for a moment.

Now, you know what, he's not in jail - never will be. But he was told he could not be a part of the party again - EVER. He can get over that; his life will go on. But the party would not recover from allowing people who knowingly conspire, no matter how tangentially, with money laundering to just come back to the fold like it was a family spat.

The mistake Dion made today is the mistake you are making. Feeling for the individual is not enough.

It is not enough to the Canadian people - or frankly me - to try to parse some obscure reason why that minimal request to go in peace away from us was somehow "too harsh."

This type of activity normally lands people in jail. And that is what a lot of Canada believes should have happenned in this case.

So, NO, is the only appropriate response from the membership of the Liberal party.

Anonymous said...

First he brings back Chretien's hatchet-man Marcel Masse, the guy who pretty much gutted the federal programs that made Canada, well, Canada. And now he opens the door to former adscam high-flyers.

With respect to anon #2's comment, the fact that Cote was guilty or not shouldn't matter here. The general public will now have every right to assume that Dion is nothing but the front-man for the old Liberal establishment.

Anonymous said...

If any of those ten are allowed back in I will tear up my membership in protest. Maybe years from now, or after they publicly apologize to the party and to Canadians for what they did, but until then, no f***ing way.

We all have to be strong about this.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and what does a "lifetime ban" mean anyways? Not much it would seem.

Mike said...

Uhm yeah guys, I hope you guys say no, otherwise nothing Harper has done will matter - you will had the Cons the next election...

wilson said...

''During the Gomery inquiry into the sponsorship scandal, Cote testified that he received $120,000 in $100 bills from the executive director of the party’s Quebec wing. He distributed that money to 12 Liberal candidates in the 1997 federal election.''

Maybe Dion wants him back for his 'election readiness' committee.??

Anonymous said...

Geez Louise. This is big and pure unadulterated trouble about to happen to Dion and the LPC if he lets Cote back in.
It would be great to forgive, forget, and let him back in the fold, but we'll get roasted from both within the party and by everyone else outside the party aside from the John Howard society. Dion, you really haven't impressed too much so far - you're doing nothing for me except continuing that trend.

Karen said...

As I understand it, it is not up to Dion to rule on this. There is a process that must go through the executive.

Just a suggestion, but if we all feel strongly about this, in addition to blogging, we should write to the party.

Jim Prentice and Maxime Bernier, have pounced already. That said, I'm not sure this will have leg's. The usual suspects will jump up and down, but until we know all the facts and how it is handled, I tend to think it may much to do about nothing.

Please, do not misunderstand me. I think the optics are terrible, but I'll step back and see what happens. There is AdScam fatigue out there and if the Conservatives go nut's over something that becomes nothing, they'll only confirm to Canadians that they have nothing else to prop themselves up with.

So again, rather than tear up membership cards, please voice your opinion to the Executive.

Karen said...

Okay, take it back in terms of it being nothing.

I just heard Duffy, ready for his "come-back". He's MOST excited by this story. First, he'll play it up, second, he'll have sympathy big time.

I know most people think he's cuddley. Here's an inside scoop, he thinks that more than anyone. He was more than sleazy toward women, perhaps his health scare will change his ways.

He's conservative at his core, but will try to present this otherwise.

Write people! Change the "line" that Lib's should use as a retort. Suggest one.

DazzlinDino said...

As Wilson pointed out, Cote' testified about the money. What I don't understand is why anyone would want someone with that reputation back in the party, it makes no sense. I'm a Conservative, but I'm not naive enough to think everyone is....or should be for that matter. What I do know however, is if someone in my party actually confessed and was thrown from the party, I would be enraged, and even more so if someone decided they should be let back in.

Adscam was not a partisan thing, it was people ripping off Canadian taxpayers. Sure they used the money mostly for the Liberal party, but it was for self gain, not partisan politics.

Cote' ADMITTED to criminal acts, and if I were a Liberal I would write my closest Liberal representation to protest the whole idea. Seriously, if the shoe were on the other foot, you would all think the same.