I haven’t commented much of the Gomery inquiry so far on this site, mainly since Warren’s written enough on it for the entire blogsphere combined over the past month. So I’m just going to rapid fire out a few comments:
1. I’ve read a lot of opinions from people who feel Chretien shouldn’t be questioning Gomery or pressing forward on legal action. To be clear, I’m not sure Gomery’s comments to date, as stupid as they were, are justification for him to recuse himself from the trial. But…surely Chretien has a right to ask him to. A judge who is going to decide much of his legacy, and who should be impartial, called the guy “small town cheap”. If I were on trial and I got even so much as a hint that the judge might be biased against me, I’d certainly raise a stink about it. Anyone who says Chretien should just bend over and take it wants to see blood rather than a fair trial.
2. Allan Greg was right all along. He’s said from the beginning that the cost of investigating this scandal will cost more the amount of money that was misspent. Now, we find out, the tab is 60 million and counting.
3. The choice of Bernard Roy as counsel is stupefying. As others have said, it would be akin to having Eddie Goldenberg as counsel the next time (since, of course, there will be a next time) Brian Mulroney goes on trial. Or akin to a Montague trying a Capulet. Or, you know, having Jerry Falwell tried by SpongeBob SquarePants.
4. If you are a delegate to the Conservative or Liberal conventions in March, I’d hold off another week before buying a plane ticket. Given the federal budget will come down a week after Chretien and Martin testify back-to-back, if something bad comes out of their appearances, you can bet we’re heading for an election. I don’t think that will happen, but it’s a possibility.
5. And if the Liberal government should fall on this, or if Martin Jr. should look bad on the stand, remember who called the inquiry. I honestly think this may be the worst managed scandal in Canadian history. From a political perspective, calling the judicial scandal was a huge mistake. And the consequences are now being felt.