Thursday, February 09, 2006

David and Goliath

We're now getting word that "non-partisan" David Emerson helped delay a softwood lumber deal with the United States for partisan reasons. Sure, the Martin PMO helped, but we expect duplicity and incompetence from them so their role in this isn't really news.

First of all, I have a hard time believing that this was part of some Machiavellian plan on Emerson's part (OMG! Was he the mole?!?!) but, once again, the optics aren't good. It certainly reveals that Emerson was willing to "play politics" (leaving the saint among men, Jack Layton, as the only politician left refusing to "play politics").

And now that the Liberals, in a completely out of character move, have leaked the deal, it's going to make it hard for Emerson to sign the same deal. Further compounding his difficulties in negotiating a deal would be this.

All that aside, most worrisome is the fact that the PMO felt it would help their re-election campaign by not having a deal with the US on softwood. I mean, why sign a deal to help the softwood industry when you can take cheap shots at George Bush for seven weeks? More evidence that the Liberal "banned member list" should include the people who ran this election campaign.


  • I find it confusing that the Liberals think this will help them.

    "Leaking" that they delayed a softwood lumber deal? Obvioudly any such move would have had to come directly from Paul Martin. This is going to backfire on the Liberals in a huge way.

    By Blogger Michael Fox, at 1:24 p.m.  

  • Well, unless Emerson stole the deal and hid it under his mattress so the PMO couldn't announce it, I suppose, all the while planning to turn the plans over to the Conservatives, I guess.

    And twirling his moustache at the time. Even if he had to rent a fake one.

    Announcing a deal would have been an immense boost to their fortunes. (Unless it's a bad deal?) Choosing to delay would have been idiotic, if true.

    By Blogger Wrye, at 2:00 p.m.  

  • You gotta love Torstar :).

    It would be hilarious if Emerson turned out to be the "mole" and was preventing the softwood deal from being finalized.

    Wow! I never imagined such a clusterf@#$ so early in a government's life. Poor Harper, he may well be in over his head.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:17 p.m.  

  • Gosh...David Emerson was more powerful in the Martin government than Paul Martin, and more powerful than The Board!

    This leak makes Paul Martin and The Board look bad, and the Liberal Party look bad...don't you think.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:29 p.m.  

  • I think that this leak was probably designed to cloud the "Emerson" waters AND to prevent the new government from trotting out a quick solution to the softwood dispute. A "two-for", so to speak.

    That said, and modest improvement on this alleged pre-bartered deal would be an improvement and could be palatable to Emerson and to Cabinet.

    If a solution comes out, the Liberals are probably going to be stuck with the "well, sir, you had a choice" history on this one, and the Emerson swapperoo is vindicated.

    So I'm having great difficulty figuring out why the Liberals blundered this one out of the stable.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:58 p.m.  

  • I find the PMO thing difficult to believe. I bet that it was really just the opinion of one or two people and not the real reason for agreement. If Emerson was able to convince BC that the deal was bad, he probably convinced the PM as well.

    By Blogger Jason Cherniak, at 3:22 p.m.  

  • The TorStar link in the original story is now dead. Could it be changed to one of the clone stories? eg
    [Greg Goss]

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:23 p.m.  

  • That's two strikes against the Liebrals:

    First strike - was Paul Martin not telling the Canadians about the severance package

    Second Strike - was Paul Martin delaying the Softwood lumber deal

    Wait until the books are opened ... then it will be strike three.

    Knowing that the Liebrasl are known for not being completely truthful with Canadians and all the scandels that they are involved in - and those that will be revealed in the not to distant future - Who in their right mind will believe anything a Liebral says??

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:10 p.m.  

  • The story raises a number of questions and answers others.

    First it is clear why Emerson crossed. He wanted to go down as the man who brought the softwood lumber dispute to an end. He wanted the glory.

    Second, Travers said the Conservatives knew about the deal too. What I want to know is when did they know. Did the deal have anything to do with the timing of the election? The deal was supposedly reached in early Novemeber. In all likelyhood the Conservatives knew then. A deal this big is almost impossible to keep secret. The Conservatives knew/would have know that if they forced an election they could bash the Liberals for the timing of any such an annoucement. According to Travers, the beer and popcorn boys were indeed worried about this.

    (With help from Canwest, the Tories scared the Liberals in firing Dingwall on trumped up charges. The beer and popcorn boys were afraid of their own shadow and realed back from controversy like vampires before garlic. Must not put forward innovative and progressive policies, or make decisions; must not defend those being smeared; some people may not like us taking a stand. Go the safe root always. Cut taxes.)

    By Blogger Koby, at 5:37 p.m.  

  • "First strike - was Paul Martin not telling the Canadians about the severance package."

    Pallister calling a 2 day conference for 24 a romantic dinner for two and the canwest reporting it as fact had nothing to do with the Dingwall being fired. No sir. Nothing.

    By Blogger Koby, at 5:41 p.m.  

  • Considering that Emerson didn't have the clout to stop Lapierre and the Board selling the Prince Rupert bulk terminal - a mere $20M deal, I am pretty skeptical that he could personally hold up a softwood agreement - a matter of $3.6Bn.

    But you never know....

    By Blogger deaner, at 7:42 p.m.  

  • "Pallister calling a 2 day conference for 24 a romantic dinner for two and the canwest reporting it as fact had nothing to do with the Dingwall being fired. No sir. Nothing."

    yes, everyone trembles before the titan of canadian politics brian pallister.

    anyone consider that the dinger deal and the softwood deal could be why emerson had no problem with leaving. that that may be the disagreement in principle that emerson had with the liberal party?

    oh no, he just wanted the limo and the pay raise. im sure CEO of CanFor only pays about 40k a year.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:00 p.m.  

  • Ugh,

    This story makes Emerson look bad and makes Martin and the Board look even worse.

    This was too important to people who's livelyhoods depend on the industry to play poltical games with.

    I'm not really seeing how this is going to help the Liberals look good? Can someone explain the strategy?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:51 p.m.  

  • How do you fucking liberals live with yourself? This rumore your spreading is absolutely false. Industry insiders were quoted as saying its false.

    However I guess that anything to get back at the fucking trough is OK in the name of Liberlism.

    I didn't vote in the previous election because I was too disgusted. Then I got intererested in the last election.

    Now I give up on politics. Fuck it. Politicians and party supporters are all the same. Corrupt, hollier than though fucking sleazbags. Some are just dumber than other.

    Horny* Toad

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:53 a.m.  

  • What!! The Liberals deliberately delaying the resolution of the softwood lumber agreement to gain political advantage. What an outrageous thing to say! As outrageous as suggesting that the Liberals would deliberately delay the awarding of the contract for new helicopters for our armed forces to avoid political embarassment, risking, and causing the deaths of some of our military people. Oh wait a minute, that was in fact the case, wasn't it??

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:56 p.m.  

  • It can't work in reality, that's exactly what I think.

    By Anonymous contactos barcelona, at 4:34 a.m.  

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