Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Mulroney's Waterloo

Coming this spring to CBC, the explosive sequel to "Gomery" takes a no holds barred look at the Brian Mulroney Airbus Affair. The excitement of the Gomery Inquiry will be re-lived and, while the cast is different, like any good reality show we've got the same endearing stereotype cast you've come to know and love - the ex-PM out for revenge, party infighting, envelopes of cash, shady businessmen, splashy headlines, an opposition out for blood. Who knows how it will end? Who will get voted out this time?

Wow. It's been a busy few days. When we last left you, Stephen Harper was set to call a probe to investigate if an inquiry into the Mulroney-Schreiber affair was necessary.

Then, late Monday night, Mulroney himself came forward demanding a full blown inquiry. I know Mulroney wants to clear his name and is probably looking forward to a chance to settle some old political scores but it's hard to see how this ends well for him. There was a great 22 Minutes skit after the Airbus settlement. When asked to explain the 2 million dollars that were "wasted", the "mounties" answered "when I think about the look in the eyes of the average Canadian at the thought that maybe, just maybe, Brian Mulroney would be going to jail - well, you just can't put a price tag on that kind of happiness." We all saw how the Gomery inquiry, which found no wrongdoings by Martin or Chretien, stuck to them; Even if Brian is cleared, between his reputation and the fishy business of cash transfer, it's impossible for his reputation not to take a personal hit.

Following this, on Tuesday, Harper stunned everyone by calling the "extremely dangerous" inquiry he had warned against just a week prior.

As one might imagine, there's a ton of coverage on this in today's papers. Maclean's has a good round-up of the Mulroney/Harper friendship, the QP fireworks, and the media coverage. The Globe has a series of articles where we learn, among other things, that "Because Mr. [Frank] Moores is dead, he can't be a witness at the public inquiry."

The big news today is that University of Waterloo President David Johnson will draft the terms of reference for the inquiry.

So, the big question is, will all this help or hurt Harper? Well, it certainly won't help him, that's for darn sure. Given that the Conservative Party has disintegrated and reformed itself since these events took place, it really shouldn't be impacting Harper, but one imagines he'll take a hit on this, in the short term at least. The Liberals are certainly going to try and use this to burn the bridge on the ethics issue since it's one of the areas where the Tories currently have the upper hand on them. With the "in and out scandal" going nowhere, this might be their chance to neutralize the CPC on ethics. There are enough open questions about letters to Harper that, at the very least, they can try to drag him and his party into it.

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17 Comments:

  • At the risk of sounding like a huge geek, it's becoming increasingly clear that Harper is like Sylar in the NBC TV series "Heroes": he's sucking up the powers of Canadian politicos and then casting them off into the void, becoming stronger and more terrifying.

    I think it will be years before we can step back and accurately appreciate the inhuman way this man lives and breathes politics.

    By Blogger Matt Grant, at 3:45 PM  

  • I demand that Frank Moores be exhumed and brought to testify. The truth will out!

    By Blogger IslandLiberal, at 3:50 PM  

  • Matt,

    You have left out a far geekier Heroes interpretation. Cylar became the president but only by MIMICKING Nathan Petrelli. Thus we cannot leave out the possibility that Stephen Harper was killed years ago, and, in fact, Brian Mulroney killed a mimic, gained their powers, and has disguised himself as Stephen Harper.

    Does anybody know whether Mulroney/Harper has killed any cheerleaders recently?

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 3:54 PM  

  • Only Liberals use the dead to VOTE!

    We'll see where this inquiry leads.

    Muldoon will have a heyday on the witness stand and the Libs will be the target.

    Dion, more than the CONS could hope for....

    By Blogger art, at 6:01 PM  

  • It’s actually much much worse, if you ask me. ‘Stephan Harper’ is actually a George Bush clone. It’s the prelude to an invasion!

    On the other, the conservatives would already have had a majority if the Joe Clark clone had won. Too bad!

    BTW, have you guys seen the latest Decima polls (October 30)?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 6:21 PM  

  • The Liberals thought they had an issue with the "in and out scandal" and then John Ivison did an article saying Liberal MP Dominic Leblanc and NDP MP Libby Davies were involved in the same kind of antics they were accusing the Conservatives of doing. The opposition MP's did not return calls to the reproter.
    L. Ian MacDonald has written how Mulroney is relishing a chance to have Chretien and Allan Rock under oath.
    I think the only person who will benefit from this mess is Jack Layton.

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 8:47 PM  

  • L. Ian MacDonald is a long-time Mulroney apologist. He was his principal speechwriter from 1985 to 1988. Considering what happened to his popularity during those years, one night think he wasn't a very good one, but there's only so much polishing of a turd that is possible.

    As nuna d. above will be discovering personally over the next few months.

    By Blogger Reality Bites, at 9:37 PM  

  • As an old time one time Liberal I know there is a lot of talent in the party, but it was not allowed to come to the top.

    Rae should be leading the party. He*s a master at sidestepping, smiling and being cheerful while CBC*s Carole Off is trying to nail him on hang-noose questions.

    Off is a pro, but Rae is a master at coming out on top.

    Liberals could easily advance in the polls by choosing a >constructive< cause.

    Government has shamefully hit Canada*s two Electric Vehicle firms with an unfair refusal to license their use in Canada even though they met standards. Mansbridge video.

    TonyGuitar.blogspot.com

    Liberals could come to the rescue of jobs, manufacturing enterprise and heavy health costs of respiratory diease and athsma from city smog.

    This top world expert, author of * America off Oil, * will make anyone current today, just by watching this video.

    http://www.eenews.net/gw/

    Amazing, yet why are liberals missing these opportunities? = TG

    By Blogger TonyGuitar, at 12:57 AM  

  • BTW, do you guys understand what’s happening?

    It’s like a gangster movie. Bad guy (Schreiber) is in a jam. He asks his political insider (Mulroney) to help. Harper gets dragged in. Did Mulroney or associates ever ask him to help Schreiber?

    Mulroney abandons Schreiber. Bad Guy decides to return the favour.

    Schreiber is willing to turn state’s evidence against Mulroney if it keeps him in Canada. He wants a deal with the government. He gives up his partner in crime if he gets a guarantee that he will remain in Canada while Mulroney goes through the courts.

    The conservatives are in trouble. They’re damned if they do. And, damned if they don’t. They can refuse Schreiber’s offer, but Schreiber would go public anyway as revenge.

    Problem for harper? Schreiber’s offer is ‘lost’ in the PMO. Who knew and when did they know? This is knowledge about an alleged criminal offence.

    That’s why the terms of reference for the inquiry is so important. The politicians in both LPC and CPC are trying to limit the damage. Who else can Schreiber implicit?

    Personally, I would rather have a full inquiry to expose the political corruption in the establishment. It’s a cancer eating away at Canadian society.

    What’s the lesson for politicians? Don’t get in bed with bloodsuckers. There’s no honour among thieves.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 2:20 AM  

  • Trying to tie Harper to the Airbus scandal is a bit like trying to tie Bob Rae to the Kennedy assassination (no CG NOT Gerard!). Most Canadians have a pretty good sense of recent history and find the idea a little grasping, a fact which is supported by the most recent poll by the Globe & Mail/CTV (see today's globe).

    However, there is another element to this that I'm surprised no one has mentioned, which is that within the CP this may provide SHPM with an opportunity to marginalize the old guard of the PC that still inhabit pockets of power and influence.

    Just a thought...

    By Blogger fair sailing, at 2:44 AM  

  • Realty Bites: L. Ian MacDonald is a long-time Mulroney apologist. He was his principal speechwriter from 1985 to 1988. Considering what happened to his popularity during those years...

    You mean winning a second consecutive majority?

    By Anonymous The Invisible Hand, at 8:31 AM  

  • So the LPC's new renewal is nothing more than sniffing Schriebers farts & deciding that he is the key to the brass ring?Something tells me that this is going to bite many arses & not just the intended target of Mulrooney.

    By Anonymous dougie, at 9:56 AM  

  • I found it odd that the headline of the National Post yesterday was "Harper agrees to inquiry."

    Odd because I thought National Post was generally on Harper's side.

    To the uninformed, that headline makes it sound like Harper is the subject of the inquiry. That Harper is the one presumed guilty of misconduct.

    And that, moreover, he has relented to the pressure and finally agreed to an inquiry, but didn't otherwise doesn't want the inquiry himself.

    Why wasn't the headline simply "Harper orders inquiry"? Much less deceptive.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 10:05 AM  

  • “Trying to tie Harper to the Airbus scandal is a bit like trying to tie Bob Rae to the Kennedy assassination (no CG NOT Gerard!)… which is that within the CP this may provide SHPM with an opportunity to marginalize the old guard of the PC that still inhabit pockets of power and influence.”

    In that case, harper should not hesitate. He should order a full inquiry.

    Mulroney wants an inquiry too! He also wants to have his say. Who knows what he has to tell now that harper has severed ties with Mulroney?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 11:09 AM  

  • You mean winning a second consecutive majority?

    You got me. I guess my subconcious will do whatever it can to put distance between me and Mulroney.

    By Blogger Reality Bites, at 2:04 PM  

  • hmmmm this time Cruton & MAartin should be investigated. Gomery did NOT do so

    "the Cruton/Liberal Party Scandal


    "A while back, Prime Minister Stephen Harper was issuing a threat of sorts, saying if Liberals kept demanding an inquiry into Brian Mulroney's dealings, he might be forced to dig up Liberal skeletons as well.

    He wouldn't have to dig too deeply. In the Chrétien era, Shawinigate and other related intrigues left a stench like the sewers of 17th-century London. One shadowy spending controversy followed another.

    That $300,000 sum -- the amount Brian Mulroney received from Karlheinz Schreiber -- rings a bell. That's the same total Jean Chrétien was trying to get in return for his sale in 1993 of the Grand-Mère golf club. From his government, a rush of subsidies went into his riding, subsidies that, the opposition alleged, clearly enhanced his chances of getting his money back.

    Suspicious business dealings -- such as cash being handed over in hotel rooms -- strike a chord as well. For his bill of sale on the golf course, Mr. Chrétien produced not a formal contract with Toronto developer Jonas Prince but a scrap of paper with handwritten scrawl. Disputed grants and loans counted in the millions -- amounts larger than Mr. Mulroney received in legal settlements or Schreiber handouts. Opposition parties went to the RCMP with their outrage but were never able to get satisfactory answers.

    On one of the controversies, Mr. Chrétien was cleared by his handpicked ethics counsellor whom opposition leaders accused of being a pushover and by an RCMP review that, they said, didn't even include interviews with principals. Gradually, the odour went away.

    Then the sponsorship scandal hit. It showed, according to Mr. Justice John Gomery, that some Liberals were capable of serious financial mismanagement in Quebec. A new light was cast, but no one reached back, taking what the Gomery inquiry found and applying the template."

    By Anonymous Shawinigate, at 2:22 PM  

  • Hummm... only sixteen comments and many of those in the negative.

    The Schreiber thrust seems to have no groundswell even from Liberals.

    Seems the flotsam that rose to the top is out of touch with their own liberal base.

    Bob Rae likely just rolled his eyes on this hopeless venture.

    Greasing palms for big contracts is just business as usual. Not even our tax dollars but admittedly German tax revenue, I suppose.

    In any case it*s a yawner unless it breaks through to some of the 200 plus Cruto-Martini scams through Alan Rock or Liberals similarly placed.

    Check *Scamslist* or BendGovernment.blogspot.com = TG

    By Blogger TonyGuitar, at 5:01 PM  

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