Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Talking Points

I may post more on the Grewal tapes once I have time to read through all the transcripts (which appear to have been translated by Babelfish at first glance). For now I'll simply state that the official Liberal line that "no offer was made" likely needs changing. Consider this bit from one of the transcripts, courtesy of Ujjal Dosanj:

As I said earlier, no Prime Minister would ever want to compromise himself with
that kind of appropriate because he want to be able to say "I did not make a
deak in it, there was no deal"

True enough. But consider this later line:

I'm sure rewards are there at some point, right. No one can forget such gestures
but they require certain degree of deniability. [A big laugh] Right, you
understand thing.

So, my point is, saying that "no offer was made" is likely not the best line to use when the Minister of Health is on tape saying there needs to be "deniability" and then laughing. It's abundantly clear after reading the transcripts that an unspoken offer was made.

Now, I'm still a little perplexed as to why this is any different than the deal struck with Belinda but everyone appears intent on making a big story out of it so it's likely best if the Liberals come up with a better defense than the meek lines they've been using (Wells comments on their other "Grewal wouldn't take no for an answer" line at his site).

45 Comments:

  • Greath point on 'deniability.'

    It's one thing to say we don't want to lie, it's another thing to say we're in a position to deny it.

    It's also one thing for a chief of staff to have this conversation, while it may be another thing entirely for a Minister of the Crown.

    By Anonymous Declan McManus, at 5:08 PM  

  • Were these tapes edited in the period of May 18, when they were first mentioned publicly, to today, May 31, when they are finally released?

    TM's comments surely were not run through babblefish, yet they read as though they were. Odd.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:08 PM  

  • Before you criticize the Liberals for saying "he wouldn't take no for an answer", consider it as a whole. Even in the segments of the tapes released today, Grewal was asking for specific assurances of rewards to come, and he did not get those assurances. Certainly, Murphy and Dosanjh crossed the line into sleaze by implying that benefits could come, but as you point out yourself no offer was made.

    Keep in mind: these were the segments of the tapes that Grewal himself and the CPC chose to reveal. Some of the tapes have the start and finish cut from them, and there is the further possibility that certain tapes were altogether withheld by them because they looked unflattering. If this was the best Grewal and the CPC can come up with, you can only imagine how unflattering the rest of the withheld material looks for Grewal.

    What I see here is an incompetent politician, Grewal (anyone else remember his spat with the BC Liberals where everyone called him a liar?), who wanted a promise of a perk for switching sides but did not get it -- so then he decided to not switch sides and turn over the tapes to his party and the media. It seems pretty obvious to me that this was not a ploy to trap the Liberals, he was legitimately looking for a way to have a way out ahead of the storms brewing for him with the RCMP and ethics commission. I don't think he even realized how big of a deal all this would be, and I think the whole looks terrible on him.

    That said Murphy and Dosanjh don't look all that rosy either and they ought to resign, but that is highly unlikely in today's political climate. Better for the Liberals to keep on repeating that they didn't make an offer (which they clearly did not), and just choose to ignore how sleazy they look. This keeps discussions in the media partisan "the liberals say this, the conservatives say that" as opposed to having a more decisive headline "liberals admit wrongdoing".

    On the other hand, Harper would be wise to boot Grewal from the party. Take a stand against shenanigans like this and try to make the CPC appear as if it is standing above the fray of politicians trading votes for favours. I don't think it would make the CPC look bad to do this, if anything they'd win twice by having the Liberals look bad and getting rid of some of the rogue elements of the party that make them look amateurish. Will be interesting to see what they do.

    By Anonymous Ryan, at 6:33 PM  

  • This is big stuff, but I don't think we should judge the Liberals' position on this issue to quickly.

    A lot can be happen in a conversation, and tapings of conversations can be manipulated doctored. Also, in the heat of the moment, people can say things they really don't mean at all. They may even be led to say certain things that, outside of any clear context, appear to mean what some people (= Conservatives) want it to mean.

    I'd be very careful about jumping to conclusions, but I believe that Grewal took the first step and approached the Liberals, rather than the other way around.

    Let's not forget that the CPC people have been getting desperate. Who knows what they may have done to produce these tapes (and manipulation is not a factor I would exclude at this point)?

    By Anonymous Calgary Observer, at 8:01 PM  

  • Whore, John and Pimps

    By Blogger 陈星, at 8:42 PM  

  • "they didn't make an offer (which they clearly did not)"

    You're clearly in denial. To anyone with a good grasp of the English language, UD and TM were pretty clear GG would be rewarded for abstaining from the vote. Don't worry though. The Canadian public don't care how corrupt the government is. After all, all three federal parties are nothing more but brands offering the same thing. It just so happens the Liberal's market themselves better. Principles, policy, vision? Please... these parties flip flop and steal policy from one another so often the meaning behind the brands are negligible. It's not so much the fear of Harper keeping the Liberal's in power, it's indifference.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:00 PM  

  • I find it extremely interesting that the middleman (SK) called Grewal 23 times according to phone records.

    Grewal and his wife represented two votes...the pressure was on ; the pot was being sweetened right from the top.
    Apparently Grewal had been enticed with bribes twice before by the Liberals ; both times he said no; both times he was made out to be the bad guy.
    Then, look what happened to Inky Mark. Goodale called him from Regina when Paul Martin was there and offered him ambassador, senate, whatever.
    Inky said no - he told his party and the media about the attempted bribes and who did the media believe? .
    The Liberals. And they made Inky out to be a quack and a liar.
    I don't blame Grewal for taping these conversations. The media is still "pretending" that the Liberals did nothing wrong and Grewal is the bad guy. Even with the proof right in front of them.
    Some democracy we have in this one party state.

    By Blogger HearHere, at 9:20 PM  

  • Clearly an offer *was* made.

    If the quid pro quo is to say that "no blunt offer will be made to maintain deniability, but it's 99.9% certain you'll get something in a couple weeks", then that's an offer. It's disinenguous to say otherwise.

    And if the Tories had manipulated the content of the tapes (a little too high-tech, I think), we would have heard the accusation from the Liberals by now.

    By Blogger matt, at 9:43 PM  

  • I don't know, I'm no hard core Liberal but I don't think there was an offer, I mean they say there is no offer.

    It seems to me that Douche and Murph are at worse playing the guy. Like, he could save the government so what are they gonna say " Look, Sidewall, or whatever your name was, you can vote with us, but after that you can rot in hell..." It sounds to me that they were just suggesting "Hey man, I have an itchy back and you could scratch it or whatever, but there is no bonus for moving that hand any lower than it needs to be, get it?"

    Sounds reasonable to me, I mean it's hardly "Gurmit, I am your father, join me and together we can rule the galaxy!"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:28 PM  

  • I also forgot to say that if anything these tapes make Harper look worse than anyone else. Like who condones recording private conversations and releasing them to the public? That's pretty dirty pool. I wonder what they (New Conservatives) were saying to our friends the independents? Imagine if just for shits and giggles Cadman stands up and says " I have a tape of this conversation I had on May 17 with Ezra Levant..."

    But the final proof that no deal was offered is that Belinda got one and he did not. It's not like he's a Bryson or somebody who looks and sounds credible in a cabinet position, so the Libs were, as my previous post pondered just playing him to see if he could save the government without filling cabinet up with a bunch of ship-jumping nobodys.

    Martin was so busy on the Belinda file, I guess, that I tend buy his line that he knew (or cared) nothing or little about it, and sent Murph out to see if there was fire to go along with the smoke.

    Your pal,
    Absinthe

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:19 PM  

  • Absinthe, you're dreaming if you think this makes Harper look bad. This definitely taints the Liberals. Grewal's actions are certainly not puritan but most people will still focus on the content of the tapes rather than how and why they were gathered. Considering the timing and the cynicism of the Belinda fiasco this really doesn't help. It also doesn't help that her talking points soon after crossing the floor were the same one's TM were suggesting to GG.

    It's no secret the Tories were courting the independants but there's something you fail to realize. The Conservatives aren't in power and have nothing to reward the independants for voting with them. However, the party in power is not allowed to abuse their position of power by promising any benefit.

    Even if they were playing him, like you suggest, it's still wrong because a deal is a deal whether they lied or not. Funny, you consider the acquisition of the tape dirty pool but think this act is perfectly fine.

    Oh btw... i'm not a Conservative or an NDP supporter but this is one sorry government we have and to hear the logic some people use to support them actually sickens me and puts me off politics that much more.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:21 AM  

  • So ... I'm trying to think of a political environment where the leader of a party does not dangle baubles in front of opponents, in exchange for support.

    Can we get a life, here? Bauble-dangling is a last resort. Which is exactly where Martin was?

    We'd have thanked him for just letting go and dropping us into an elex'n? I don't think so. He had a duty to entice opponents to support him. And, in the last resort .....

    And, btw, he didn't have to entice Belinda Stronach to come over ... she was pushed out of the CPC because she conducted herself as (as the fundies put it so often) as a Jezebel, holidaying in the hotel with MacKay. She got "called into the principal's office .... MacKay didn't - sound familiar girls?

    bigroy

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:32 AM  

  • Roy, you are right. I'm sure that Belinda just happened to be walking by a Martin press conference and popped her head in to see what was going down, and low and behold! they were giving her a cabinet position! what luck.

    I mean you guys miss the point. The whole puropse of a political party is to sieze or retain power, not to give out lessons in ethics (something the ol'reform party never understood...)

    Here comes this guy offering a two seat package deal, so what are they going to do? Tell him off?

    Like I said, the tapes don't sound that bad to me, they keep saying there is no offer, so that means there is no offer.

    As everybody knows from contract law, that to enter into a contract to do something illegal is not a contract, so the existance of the tapes leads me to think grewal was gonna use them to blackmail the libs later if he did not get his way. There was no way they could write anything down and he knew it.

    Harper the vulture jumped on this unsavoury matter and he is just getting tainted by the stink. What a loser.

    Your pal,
    Absinthe

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:09 AM  

  • I agree Big Roy.

    Though, we should probably change the law that truly reflects this reality. Right now, it's against the law to do such a thing. That's the problem here. People do accept this happens in politics but because it's against the law the government turns to lies, deception and double speak and it's so obvious they're lying it becomes a sickening exercise that alientates people from politics. There is just too much lying going on and the public are completely tuning out. If this keeps up I expect voter turnout to dive even worse than it has been. It's not good at all for democracy or the country. There needs to be a lot more transparancy and an honest take of how things really work in politics to reverse this change. Right now, political parties treat the general public like children and the 7 second sound bite media simplify it even more by regurgitating the party's talking points and lies. It's a truly despicable scene to watch. The thought of taking part in this process is beyond me.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:18 AM  

  • Ok, so here's a deal: all you Liberal supporters can be disgusted with everyone, and not vote next time. The Conservative voters can crawl over broken glass to the polling booths.

    Everyone's happy.

    Right? Right? Huh?

    By Blogger The Tiger, at 10:37 AM  

  • Anonymous: Sombody, like Big Roy, who treats "election" as synonymous with "the pit of hell" is not likely to be swayed by appeals to democracy.

    By Anonymous MarkC, at 10:38 AM  

  • Hello, Liberal supporters. You've heard the tapes, you've seen the transcripts, you've seen Paul Martin's reaction. It's time to switch

    By Anonymous Jiminy Cricket, at 10:43 AM  

  • 504 Timeout....

    Nothing there, just like the New Conservative leadership, Cricket.

    Love,
    Absinthe

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:04 AM  

  • Ooops. Typing with those little gloves on is hard.

    By Anonymous Jiminy Cricket, at 12:13 PM  

  • Tapes Edited?

    Who cares, clearly the government was involved in illegal deal making.

    Tapes Incomplete?

    Who cares, why was the government willing to negotiate anything.

    Devoid Leadership?

    Yes, I guess PM the PM being involved in blatent lying, vote-buying, and backroom deal making is the kind of leadership Absinthe follows.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:02 PM  

  • Wake up man, that's life. It may not be like that behind the Subway counter, but if you think Tories are above pocket-lining have a look at the Alberta Govt.

    Yours always,
    Absinthe.
    xoxoxox

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:18 PM  

  • Absinthe,

    You are nothing but a low life corruption apologist, whose head is buried up your arse such that everything smell the same rotten scent of decaying matter... Nothing will ever wake you up from your stupor of decades of lies and deception fed in your daily staple (your mother's milk perhaps, nahh, folks like you do not have mothers or fathers because you are born out of same sex couplings). Nothing will change your view that you and the liberals are the super race that is destined to rule this nation ( visions of hammer and sickle and swastikas combined)...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:32 PM  

  • Jack Chen says: "Whore, John and Pimps"

    By 陈星 Jack Chen, at 6:42 PM

    Right on Jack. Only problem is: where are the police to arrest the scumbags when you really need them?
    Oh I forgot. We'll just have another royal inquiry about it. Canada is good at that sort of thing.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:52 PM  

  • I'm still a little confused as to how this is different from Belinda's deal? I mean, obviously negotiations take place anytime someone crosses the floor.

    The Liberal defense of this is weak, I'll admit, but I think Scott Reid's best defense was the "what are we? morons?" line he used a few days back. Of course they'd talk to Grewal about crossing the floor if he came to them. He probably danced a little closer to offering a reward than he should have, but doesn't this always happen?

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 1:55 PM  

  • It's no different from Belinda's deal, unless you believe that Belinda's deal had something to do with "principle". These tapes show that the Liberals were simply trying to get CPC MPs to come over by offering them personal benefits. Why do some people think "well, that's just the way it is done?" Both this and Belinda's deal show that the Liberals have contempt for our constitution, our democracy, and us personally and individually as Canadians. Don't agree? Then explain why Martin chose Belinda to be in charge of "democratic renewal"?

    By Anonymous MarkC, at 2:26 PM  

  • Why do you people go to the nitty gritty of details to justify corruption??? Whether you are a Conservative, Liberal, Green, Yellow , zebra striped or whatever political colors you don, there is no amount of dissection of details that can justify CORRUPTION. Now, it so happens that the Liberals have been entrusted, albeit marginally, by the Canadian electorate to run this country for the last 12 years and it also so happened that all these dark matter occurred under the authority and the watchful EYES of the LIBERALS. Long and Short, the Liberals failed to govern this country and they must be booted out now, not 4 years from now, not next year !

    Are you willing to entrust the care of your children to an "alleged" child molester/rapist? Are you willing to hand over your bank account and finances to "alleged" bank robbers and theives ? If you answer YES to both of these questions , then you really deserve your fate.. Bend over, spread your legs and let's just ram it down so you can choke on it !!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:36 PM  

  • Hey man, I guess that whole sandwich artist thing musta hit a little too close to home. Sorry, I come see you instead of Ronald next time. I'm also sorry you boyfriend dumped you and you

    CalgaryGrit, U R so right, like it's not like Belinda did not get a deal, that's what I don't get, it's so obvious that GG instigated the whole thing, and what else are the libs supposed to say?

    Poor GG looks like a backup Grad date in this whole thing: never yes, never no. Even saying "we can do something in a couple of weeks with 99% certainty" is not a deal, they coulda said "oh well, GG your number is up we can't do anything for you, thanks for saving our ass, go see if Harper takes you back". The fact that that possibility exists means there was no deal.

    Live with it.

    Respectfuly,
    Absinthe

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:40 PM  

  • This may happen all the time but it's the lying that will hurt in the long run. Mike Duffy claimed, yesterday on Countdown, that the reason politicians lie so much is because it's worked for the last 30yrs. It may have worked but for how long and at what cost? The respect for our political party's and our democratic institution is at an all-time low. Everyone hoped Martin would be true to his word that he would address this "very serious" issue. Well, it seems he's just done much worse or at the very least maintained the status quo. I may not see eye to eye with the Conservatives but I have to give them credit. When they thought Mulroney and his gang were corrupt and arrogant they showed them the door. Perhaps it's time Liberal's did the same. To me, this Liberal regime doesn't resemble any of the values that once made it great. That's unfortunate. Martin seemed to talk a great game but... I fail to see any honest move to improve it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:54 PM  

  • Slightly off-topic, but whats with all the anonymous postngs on here all of a sudden?

    By Anonymous Scott Tribe, at 3:22 PM  

  • Scott, maybe the dozing Canukistanian sheep are finally waking up and smelling the fiberal manure pile.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:57 PM  

  • Or maybe they dont have the guts to admit who they are when they post their stuff.. its so easy to say controversial things if you can hide behind a cloak of anonymity. Personally.. I think all anonymous postings should be disallowed and banned.

    I think it has to do with the wing-nuts not having a place to vent their venom anymore on Coyne's site and going elsewhere, wherever a comment section may be.

    By Anonymous Scott Tribe, at 5:33 PM  

  • Scott:
    Trying to find a link on your click through so I can e-mail you and reveal my secret identity.

    Yours,

    Absinthe.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:40 PM  

  • This whole accusation of GG coming forward is ridiculous. That is, of course, if you think logically, not liberally.

    If GG was looking for a bribe, according to the tapes, he got it, so why didnt he take it?

    Answer: he wasnt, he taped the bribes to prove what was going on, so he wasnt ridiculed a la Inky Mark.

    If GG was looking for a bribe, why would he tape anything?

    Answer: there is none, if he was actually looking to jump ship, these tapes make no sense at all and would flash fry him in the CPC as well. Again, he was looking for proof.

    First Newfoundland, then Ontario, the NDP, Inky Mark, Belinda Stronach, Grewal, and Cadman (??). It is evident there is no one PM the PM isn't willing to pay for their vote.

    What a man of integrity. VOTE LIBERAL!

    By Anonymous YouKnowIt, at 7:19 PM  

  • My email address isnt that hard to find.... I'm sure if you look even half-heartedly.. you'll find it.

    Accusing Cadman of vote bribery is a bit much. He said he asked for no favours, and then stated it was the Conservatives who offered not to run against him in any subsequent election and to hepl pay for some of his election finances... nah.. that didnt sound like any offers of buying his vote now does it?

    By Blogger Scott Tribe, at 10:55 PM  

  • @YouKnowIt

    How much do you know about the BC political scene? Gurmant is notorious for this type of tactic, both in business and in politics.

    Why do you think Harper only offers guarded support, saying that he HAD to believe him? What's a leader to do?

    Harper, if he wishes to appear to be "above the fray", should ask for the Grewals' resignations. If he continues to support them, he's gonna sink into their quagmire.

    By Anonymous Noel M, at 10:47 PM  

  • STRONACH DIGESTIVE COOKIES
    For those still getting gas from Stronach's move (and there seem to be a lot on this blog) ... according to the fundies on the net, she is a Jezebel (I use the nice words ... others restrict themselves to four letter words).

    She was called "into the principal's office" after coming back from holidaying in the hotels of the Carribean with MacKay. Nobody's saying what she was "called into the principal's office about."

    She wasn't in any trouble with the Party for any reason .... excepting being a leader in the CPC and blatantly putting herself in a bad light according to some "family values" party members.

    And you're surprised she took that as an insult?

    C'mon, guys. You think a woman isn't going to take offence?
    bigroy

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