Saturday, March 01, 2008

But, You Were Supposed To Be Different

The apologists main line of defence, regarding the Cadman affair, rehash what the Liberals did, Stronach, Grewal, etc. Even if you accept the comparison, in my view, it only serves as proof of Conservative hypocrisy. Remember, this is the party that ran on moral superiority, a return to honesty and ethical standards. The dirty Liberals, mired in scandal, a craven group that would do anything to hold power, abusing their privilege, betraying the public trust. The Conservatives were different, with pius zeal, thrusting themselves onto the pedestal.

At the very least, what we have learned, sketchy ethical lines are not a partisan domain. Conservatives must come to grips with a harsh reality, they are no better, possibly worse, than the crazen Liberals, of which they despise. The more people bring up the Liberal past, the more they acknowledge that their own party plays by similar rules, are equally as suspect.

A tough pill to swallow, because really the banner was always about accountability, clean government, high standards. Corruption was the domain of others, allowing for some false sense of superiority, tsk, tsk. It has to be hard for Conservative supporters, coming to grips with reality, they are not the moralists, the white knights pure as snow. No, in arguing that the Liberals did things, they also must confront the fact that their party rolls in the mud with the best of them.

Patronage appointments, dodgy financial election tactics, scandal, the pursuit of power at all costs, no longer specific to a hated entity, but clearly a bi-partisan condition. What a painful revelation, no longer can supporters cling to the illusion, the moral arrogance evaporated, mere men of questionable character, forced to use past Liberal deeds as justification for the same. Ouch.


Anonymous said...

These allegations look worse.
(1)They directly implicate the Prime Minister (when he was Leader of the Opposition, but his statements now as PM appear misleading on this matter and shift as the evidence unfolds).
(2) They were not out in the open, like the Stronach case.
(3) In the Grewel case it was the Conservative who approached the Liberals looking for a deal and who altered the tapes and it was never clear that the Liberals actually offered something. Here the allegation is something of considerable financial worth was actually offered at the initiative of the Conservatives and the leader (now PM) was aware of at least some of this. So it really merits investigation.

But, the hypocrisy, yes that really bothers me. I find different people react differently to hypocrisy. Personally, I detest it.

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

This is a really good point. And it took the Liberals how many years in power to become that corrupt? A decade? The Conservatives are the accelerated version, I guess.

Steve V said...

Oh, I believe it is much worse, just a commentary on the irony of using Libs to defend Con tactics.


Apparently, this gang was corrupt in opposition, well ahead of the Liberal curve ;)

Peter Dodson said...

I think it speaks more to the point that Cons, like most people in power, will look the other way at their own transgressions when they have power. The issue of ethical lapses is only important when others do it and you're trying to stay in power or maintain power. As long as you are in power, you're own transgressions don't matter - it's the power that matters and towing the party line.

Anonymous said...

Every day, deals are swung in Ottawa. When Martin changed some parts of his last budget to win NDP votes, was that bribery?

Yes, no money was directly passed to NDP members, but, was any in the Cadman case?

The reality is that politics is politics and much of it is done in gray, shady areas.

What the Cadman case reveals is that the Conservatives play politics in gray, shady areas, just like many Liberals in the past.

I would suggest that the Liberals pound on patronage appointments (even though in the past they have been guilty of the same) to continue eroding the perception that Conservatives are above the Liberals morally.

Then, say Dion is different. Because it is. And would anyone think anything different? And make sure that sticks. Because if it does not, both NDP and Greens will benefit. Because I remember this is how Rae became premier in NDP - after the Conservatives and then the Liberals lost the respect of voters.

Anonymous said...

You hit the nail on the head Steve.

After all of their pomp and circumstance, I did expect them to be better. I guess that was naive of me.

So neither party is morally better than the other, and the next campaign (for me) will be about ideas, as in who has the best ideas for the country as a whole, affecting everyone.

I have to admit though, the Libs start from a bit of a whole - Garth is my MP and he annoys me no end. I give a slight advantage to Harper over Dion, but that can easily be overcome by a strong campaign from Dion. But having Garth means the Libs REALLY need to wow me.

Scotian said...

What this shows is what I have said all along, that the Harper CPC leadership is not only corrupt; it is corrupt in a manner atypical to our system/history. I used to make the point about corruption traditionally in our system being pork, patronage and money scandals, that what scared me about Harper and company was that their corruption was something far more dangerous, corruption of power and abuse of power/position to advance in secrecy that which they could not advance openly. At the time of the last election I was mocked repeatedly for claiming that Harper was something qualitatively worse than the tired, stale Liberals, and that the Grewal case in particular showed a willingness to use any tool to gain/hold power no matter its legality, and would deny it if exposed/caught no matter what the facts/evidence showed about who was the side that edited those tapes (CPC hands had to have done it because the chain of custody from initial recording to May 31 05 release was solely CPC, yet Harper said any such claims were fiction from the Liberal war room and Liberal media bias/conspiracy against Conservatives).

I argued that the Grewal fraud showed just how far Harper would go and how far he would go to cover it up, and that if he would do such while in Opposition then in power it would only be worse. This business with Cadman and his attempt to deny (until his own voice contradicted him) any such impropriety shows that my concerns were justified. I could never understand these people that looked at Harper and saw this shining beacon of ethics, me I looked at him and saw the most disturbing and worrisome power hungry say anything do anything party leader in my lifetime.

I've detailed the Grewal thing many times at Saundrie so I think I can speak with some authority on that issue, the Stronach argument was always a bad one because of the well documented conflict between Harper and his wing and Stronach before she crossed, Turner was thrown out because he refused to stop acting like an MP is supposed to act (as opposed to Harper's idea of how they are supposed to act which is in contradiction to normal Parliamentary tradition), Emerson was clearly bought by his refusal to lose the power of a cabinet position (his timing and his total lack of conflict with Martin prior to the election loss makes that abundantly clear) that came with the defeat of Martin's Liberals by Harper's CPC (What does it say about Harper that he just finished an election trashing all the Liberals represented and then went shopping for Emerson?) and goes into talks with the CPC the following day after the election, negotiates that change yet hides it from his then Liberal colleagues until the first day of the CPC government being sworn into power showing Emerson’s ethical misconduct and Harper's in his embrace of such a person.

This matter with Cadman though is something else yet again. It appears to be a naked bribery attempt for a specific vote, and the basis for it was the fact the man was dying and would be leaving behind loved ones who he would want taken care of as much as possible. That they would prey on such fears all to swing a vote to bring down a government shows a level of raw anything goes power politics that I have never seen prior to the Harper CPC, even Reform and the CA wasn't quite this bad, although CA came closer than any other as Reform at least had some principled members along with the power hungry ones in leadership areas.

How anyone can look at what is out there in the public record and not see the criminality and the utter contempt for anything remotely resembling principles/ethics when it gets in the way of seeking/holding power is a level of delusion and/or deception I am simply not capable of. I knew the Libs were tired, stale and had their own corruption issues (although Gomery did help remove a lot of that along with Chr├ętien’s retirement) but even so I saw them as the less dangerous, destructive, and corrupt choice in the last election cycle, which I said at the time to the mockery of those CPC supporters that thought I was obviously too deluded by Liberal partisanship to know any better, this despite my not being a Liberal partisan which of course they wouldn't believe. Well, yet again I have been proven correct in my assessment of the Harper CPC, and yet again I watch CPC defenders manage to ignore the rampant hypocrisy and corruption that comes from the top of their party/government and permeates throughout the actions of the CPC as both party and government. Canadians deserve a lot better than this, this is GOP republicanism at its worst and not typical Canadian politics, not even typical Canadian corruption for that matter.

Anonymous said...

I agree Scotian, and I see related signs in how Harper treats people. Not only those he disdains for being appointed by Liberals, like Lunn, but even a friend (and Tory fundraiser) like Burns (who he made look like he was firing as AECL Chair, just to score political points).

The Grewel case was bad and the in-and-out scheme was bad for its enforced top-down approach. Leaders enforcing unethical behaviour is particularly bad because it captures even people who otherwise would behave in an ethical way.

Anonymous said...

I meant Keen (not Lunn).

Anonymous said...

This should not be an arguement about who is more corrupt, that they are corrupt is reason enough that people should look to other choices. Shitty and Shittier is hardly sound basis for picking our leaders.

Perhaps this is reason to give the
Greens or as much as I'm loathe to say it the NDP a chance.

Anonymous said...

Grewal had to resign - because it was shown that Grewal messed with the tapes - people forget that.

Most of the Liberals that were around during their scandal times aren't even there anymore - there are new kids on the block.

Trouble with voting Green (although I'd like them to get seats over the NDP) is it will guarantee a Harper majority. I think this is a time when people may have to hold their noses to get rid of him.

I think the NDP are worn out, old and no new vision or plans - oh, well, they want to make family day a federal holiday - such vision.

The influence Charles McVety is having on the CPC is cause for concern - ie. Dobson, Robertson, Falwell in the US.

I think it needs to be stopped in its track and fast.

Anonymous said...

I tend to look at the ethical stand the party leadership takes. While there is obviously a lot more opportunity for corruption the more power a party has, I have not been impressed with Layton.

Even though I was voting NDP at the time, because I didn't find the Liberal leadership any more inspiring, I thought the way Layton handled the David Oliver smear was atrocious and I wasn't impressed with the way they attacked Goodale either. Even as an NDPer, I just didn't see Goodale as a crook.

Scotian said...

Anonymous said...

"Grewal had to resign - because it was shown that Grewal messed with the tapes - people forget that." 4:42 PM, March 01, 2008

Actually, this was not proven, it was never revealed who was responsible for the edits that I ever saw, and I am someone that has paid close attention to this matter from the outset. The only thing that can be assumed was that it was CPC hands that made the edits because the chain of custody was from initial recording to release of the so called full and complete release of May 31 05 by the CPC. While I am willing to believe that Grewal was the most probable candidate for the editing, that is not the same thing, and besides, what des it say about the CPC workers that did the translating, transcribing and supposedly authentication that they missed the very obvious editing noise byproducts that were so obvious to people like myself when we heard the May 31 05 release from the outset?

So I cannot agree with your assumption as fact unless you can cite specific evidence that proves what you are claiming here. I do think Grewal was forced out as the token scapegoat well after the fact so as to leave that impression, but that is not the same thing at all as saying it proves Grewal himself was the editor.