Saturday, November 10, 2007

We Used to be Friends

After seven pages of coverage in today's Globe, I'm sure everyone has already heard about Harper's call for a probe into the Mulroney airbus affair by an independent third party (maybe they'll bring Bernard Roy back due to his experience at the Gomery inquiry...).

I'll give Harper credit for doing the right thing here. Given that Mulroney is a bit of a mentor to him and that many in his party are still loyal to the former PM, this certainly wasn't an easy decision for Harper to make.

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26 Comments:

  • Isn't Bernard Roy an old friend of Mulroney's? .... that is a no, no.

    By Blogger Lizt., at 7:36 PM  

  • Yeah, I was kidding. Roy was Mulroney's best man and worked closely with him.

    That's why there was a lot of flack for him getting picked to go after the Libs with the Adscam probe.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 7:40 PM  

  • Karlheinz is a desparate man, implicating a sitting PM, to avoid extradition to Germany.
    Harper gets a firsthand intro to Mulroney politics

    By Blogger art, at 8:35 PM  

  • Mulroney has loyalty in the party, but I'm very sure Harper does not see Mulroney as a mentor. Any kind words from Harper re: Mulroney are a political necessity in order to not alienate his base.

    Harper's political career was launched to destroy Mulroney and the Tories (Reform Party anyone?). Harper quit the Tories because he couldn't stand the Mulroney government. I really don't think Harper considers Mulroney a mentor.

    By Blogger Mustafa Hirji, at 8:54 PM  

  • I dont know, CG.. methinks you might be giving Harper a bit too much credit here. After all, last week he was threatening to look into every liberal PM preceding him. It was only after Harper's name was mentioned as being in the affidavit that he dropped Mulroney and the resistance to an inquiry faster then a hot potato.

    By Blogger Scott Tribe, at 12:03 AM  

  • It isn't getting talked about enough, but I doubt there would be a probe at all if Harper wasn't implicated personally.

    I thought this was 'dangerous', anyway? The reversal would be easier to swallow if the earlier refusals weren't so hyper-partisan.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:24 AM  

  • It isn't getting talked about enough, but I doubt there would be a probe at all if Harper wasn't implicated personally.

    Okay, I'll bite. How has Harper been "implicated" in Mulroney getting money from Schreiber?

    By Blogger The Invisible Hand, at 1:13 AM  

  • Sorry, but I think I have to ditto, Scott Tribe's thoughts on this one . . .

    I keep thinking if the roles were reversed - if there was any hint of connection between Dion and something tangible like a letter sent to his office implicating crimes conducted by a former pm while in office - Harper and company would have already dropped half a mill on ads across Canada . . . "Dion is not a leader and he covers up criminal activity"


    So I don't find myself fretting his loss of friendship and pondering how tragically difficult it must be for him to do the "right" thing.

    Bottom line is the last thing he wanted to do was be knocked silly with calls into his office's mishandling the situation by letting the affidavit go through a news cycle or two. He just covered his neck by trying to get in front of the story . . . hardly a noble parting of ways with a past mentor.

    I wonder how far the specific parsing of words will get him . . . "Mulroney never spoke to me "on behalf of" Schreiber" is a far cry from saying they never discussed the matter. And what about this letter sent to Harper's office by Schreiber saying payment arrangements were made while Mulroney was in office? How far can you hide behind the "letter was never passed on to Harper" line when his office received a letter indicating crimes had taken place by a former PM while he was in office.

    Is he still not responsible? Or shouldn't a "leader" espousing accountability accept that responsibility?

    That's my two cents anyway.

    By Blogger Joseph, at 1:47 AM  

  • If this probe leads to a full blown inquiry, I will pull my hair out in clumps. Taxpayers will be on the hook for legal and administrative fees that will be far beyond the $2 million taxpayer dollars in question. Huge waste of money and not in the public interest. There are bigger fish to fry out there like homelessness, problems in the manufacturing sector, a national child care strategy, health care...

    By Blogger The Grumpy Voter, at 2:10 AM  

  • If it does go to inquiry, maybe we will find out why the Libs sat on this story since 2003.
    The Mulroney 'cash' affair came out in paper back too, and was buried.
    Why? 2 election campaigns, and no 5th Estate indepth report....
    Norman Spector writes this:
    '...More important, the Liberals - once rumoured to have agreed not to ask questions about the affair in the House of Commons if the Conservatives stayed mum on Paul Martin's skeletons - now see an opportunity for political gain...'

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071110.wcospector10/BNStory/specialComment/home

    Now, after 8 years in court, the-to-be-deported-in-10-days German says Mulroney received $100,000 while still in office, huh? it took 8 years to remember that little detail?
    Oh, and for good measure, toss in an allegation that the sitting PM had talks with Mulroney too.

    If it doesn't go to inquiry Grumpy, it will have to be for better reason than cost.

    By Blogger wilson, at 11:11 AM  

  • Spector is about as credible a source as Mulroney himself. Cute trick how he says they were "rumoured" to be staying mum to avoid questions about Martin. What a complete and utter sleaze Spector is.

    Frankly, this is a win/win situation for Harper. If it turns out Mulroney is clean on this issue, no problem. And if he isn't, no one but a few equally sleazy loyalists like Spector and Mackay will feel anything but joy at seeing him go down. Real Reformers hate Mulroney. So do real PCs.

    By Blogger Reality Bites, at 11:38 AM  

  • "After all, last week he was threatening to look into every liberal PM preceding him."

    This has all sorts of benefits for Harper. It distances himself from the Airbus affair and also seems to open up the prospects of other investigations. I think this is a first move.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:38 PM  

  • I thought there would be a media pile-on to "payback" Harper for the way he has treated the media, but the media have been fair about this.
    Dion was a disaster on Question Period with Jane Taber.
    The NDP spin seems to be that the Liberals and Conservatives are both untrustworthy. They should be bringing up Andre Oulettes case with Revenue Canada to undermine the Liberals.

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 1:43 PM  

  • grumpy; If this probe finds that a full out investigation is needed, it's probably worth it, given the implications being tossed out there.

    As for Harper, sure he took his time doing this, but this is what the opposition has been asking for. One of the other bloggers made the point that it's kind of silly how opposition parties always demand something and then aren't happy when it happens. I tend to agree - this is what the Libs and NDP wanted so I think there's something to be said for giving reluctant credit for the PM for agreeing to it.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 1:51 PM  

  • To say Mulroney is a mentor to Harper is ludicrous. Harper despises Mulroney.

    Harper left/abandoned the Mulroney government at its peak in 1986/87 because it was abhorent to him, and he went home to Alberta to help form the Reform Party. Harper was the guy who convinced Prestron Manning to oppose the Charlottetown Accord.

    Because he has "made the peace" with Progressive Conservatives and made nice with Mulroney to assuage Mulroney's massive ego is just in the Machievellian nature of Harper.

    By Blogger whyshouldIsellyourwheat, at 5:09 PM  

  • Most PC voters dumped them in '93, for what we suspected was good reason. The so-called "investigation" did not convince me differently.

    How long before the JC era comes back to haunt Libs further? Who's hands are clean here?

    This should be re-investigated without any political interference, and charges should be laid, as appropriate. The political class is not above the law.

    By Blogger Möbius, at 5:49 PM  

  • I don’t agree with the statement "I'll give Harper credit for doing the right thing here"
    The PM, since taking office, had one thing in mind, preparing for election. The government is actually not governing but merely preparing for election. I think that the PM is hoping that this would faze away and that he will get credit for calling for it (remember Harper's first reaction to Dion's request for an investigation?).

    I have to say that even though all actions made by Harper had to do with preparation for elections, the only exceptional case is the policies of foreign affairs where there seems to be this strange "harmonization" with the policies of George W.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:00 PM  

  • This is an absolute win-win for Harper. First, he diverted attention away from Dion's poverty plan. Second, he in effect gave what the opposition wanted. CG, Warren Kinsella and the rest are all Liberals who have 'given it' to Harper for calling this semi-inqury.

    Having said that - what do we expect to come out of this? Under a Liberal government with the entire RCMP behind them they couldn't get anything on Mulroney, what makes people think that a Conservative government will find anything different? Moreover, never - ever - would anyone of Mulroney's stature, in person, accept an envelope with $300,000 in it. Chretien wouldn't do it, Harper wouldn't - it just doesn't happen. There are intermediaries for a reason.

    Lastly, Schreiber is viewed as a nutcase...he is waiting to be shipped out of Canada, this can be twisted very easily into his last ditch effort to avoid going to jail, and he has made a lot of enemies over the years. His affidavid, even if it does have evidence to back it up, still leaves a lot of unanswered questions.

    A lot of pretty sparks but no fireworks. Dion and the rest of the Liberal team are going to have to come up with something a lot better if they expect to get a boost in the polls anytime soon.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:40 PM  

  • This could get out of hand if Dion is not careful. There is far more conjecture that could tie Dion to allegations (baseless or otherwise) surrounding Chretien and Martin's business dealings than there is tying PMSH to Mulroney - after all Dion was a cabinet minister throughout their tenure. A veritable Pandora's box that a good strategist like PMSH will be only to happy to take on...

    By Blogger fair sailing, at 2:03 AM  

  • First, I'll agree that many of these accusations by Scheiber must be taken at arms length. While the 5th estate has done a good job connecting some dots, more has to be unveiled to see if there is real depth to these accusations.

    However, I find it astounding that CG is giving a 'tip' to harper for essentially waiting until the dirty footsteps lead to his door before calling in some help. Prior to that he was throwing his weight around like some speakeasy thug, threatening to dig into the closets of other PMs (hey, here's a toupee that Uncle Louie wore! What, Mackenzie King prefered red undies - call in the guards!) when he's already began that plotline as soon as he stepped into 24 sussex.
    Nice to see the CONs with all their talking points working, tho. Before you start getting filthy and drooly over all those wet-dream illusions you've cooked up over 14 years of strong, economical management under JC/PM, let's see how this plays out, OK?
    Harper demonstrated during the Grewal affair an ignorance of ethics. That his office may have received information that would have illuminated a pretty hefty accusation against one of your 'mentors' -- and that's right, he's a mentor as it comes yoda teaching darth vader how to win the battles in quebec -- may just be turning more CON grassroots members away than their dumping duly-elected candidates and their insistence on running ad infinitum negative ads without an election...

    By Blogger burlivespipe, at 4:26 AM  

  • Calgary Grit is no longer an anonymous banning site!! Ye-Haw!

    I exorcise the demons of non-fun political talk.

    Now, to throw some of this water on that word verificator ---- I cast ye out!

    By Anonymous The Exorcist, at 10:13 AM  

  • “However, I find it astounding that CG is giving a 'tip' to harper for essentially waiting until the dirty footsteps lead to his door before calling in some help. Prior to that he was throwing his weight around like some speakeasy thug, threatening to dig into the closets of other PMs …may just be turning more CON grassroots members away than their dumping duly-elected candidates and their insistence on running ad infinitum negative ads without an election”

    Bravo! Well said.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 10:46 AM  

  • Grumpy Voter at 12:10am,

    Must agree with you. Two Million$ of our money banked and 20 Million$ likely to follow.

    The logic is missing. Evidence coming from a convicted felon behind bars with motives of desperation and nothing to lose?

    Mulroney must be dreaming about buying Pacific Island resorts with yachts berthed on the leeward side. He can*t lose.

    Schrieber says he has a suitcase full of evidence. In his posession where it is subject to tampering. No sane Judge would allow it.

    Mulroney wins again. Send Shrieber back to Germany for soul clensing. = TG

    By Blogger TonyGuitar, at 2:38 AM  

  • “Must agree with you. Two Million$ of our money banked and 20 Million$ likely to follow. The logic is missing.”

    Don’t understand your logic.

    The harper government isn’t going to call Mulroney a crook. So, there is no basis to sue the government. $20 million?

    It’s Schreiber that accusing Mulroney of being on the take. So, Mulroney should be suing Schreiber. Why hasn’t Mulroney sued the guy? Surely the truth will come out in court.

    Is it possible that the harperites fear the accusations are true?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 10:24 AM  

  • The accusations could well be true. Makes no difference.

    No sane judge is going to permit evidence from a *suitcase* held by a proven criminal and fugitive from Germany*s justice system. = TG

    By Blogger TonyGuitar, at 2:22 PM  

  • Surely, the guy is totally just.

    By Anonymous muebles las rozas, at 6:09 PM  

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