Wednesday, June 01, 2005

A Tale of Two Tories

If offering a Cabinet position in exchange for crossing the floor is worthy of all of this hullabaloo, how exactly did Belinda Stronach join the Liberals and wind up in Cabinet right away? I know there aren't any tapes out there but I find it extremely far fetched that the topic of a Cabinet position never came up during her evening chit-chat with Paul at 24 Sussex. I mean, did he just tap her on the way to the press conference and say:

"Oh, by the way Belinda. I know we never talked about this, but you're going into Cabinet. I know it's a very complex file, but I'm sure you'll have no problem with it."

The best defense came from Scott Reid with his "What are we? Morons?" line. Now, I'm not advocating they use that line a lot since it's not exactly a rhetorical question but it just seems to me that a conversation like this must always happen with an MP crossing the floor. That's not to say the RCMP shouldn't investigate or that Ujjal and Murphy didn't cross any lines - this whole affair is unsavoury, to put it mildly.

But how come everyone dwells on what may have been an offer of a Cabinet position to one Tory, when there was a firm offer to Belinda that was accepted?


  • There's lots of blame for both sides. Clearly Grewal was seeking personal advantage in crossing the floor, there is no evidence that he was crossing on any principle other than a personal gain.

    It's equally obvious is Murphy and co were playing a very delicate game and while avoiding the words that might convict them in court, they were clearly making a deal.

    Did that happen with Belinda? Probably, but it's not on tape -- too bad.

    For me though, the issue demonstrates Martin's lack of credibility, his disingenuous nature, and his untrustworthyness. It demonstrates that he is happy to 'mislead with intent'. No child would be allowed to believe they were telling the truth if they used the same excuses as Martin has.

    It's also useful to remember the context of these discussions. They were held during a time when he was delaying a vote of confidence that he should have held already. He was delaying the fall of his government until he could use illegitimate means to gain an advantage,

    Each aspect of the affair is problematic in itself. Taken as a whole they smell very very bad.

    By Blogger KevinG, at 3:33 p.m.  

  • In the case of Belinda, it could be argued that no tape is required, because the facts (i.e., the outcome) speak for themselves.

    Regardless, I don't think that the law thought of Belinda's case. She made a decision for herself, as a person, less so than as a politician, if we are to believe her reasoning, and made the switch. I mean, if we applied this section of the criminal code, nobody could ever switch parties without facing criminal charges.

    The fact that she ended up in a Cabinet position may not have been part of any negotiations that may have transpired or not.

    On a personal note, I don't think she acted like a team player. I don't mind her switching parties; I just don't like the way she did. When you're part of a team, you just don't desert your team like that (no matter what you might think of the team).

    Then again, something really nasty may have occurred between her and Harper, and if that's case, her actions would make a bit more sense. If you ask me, Belinda should just come clean and tell us the full story and nothing but the full story about what went on.

    In Grewal's case, however, we know that he approached the Liberals. It remains unclear at this time whether he did so because he had a genuine interest in "selling" his vote and that of his wife or whether he really was trying to pull off a sting operation that went awry.

    I am definitely more inclined to believe the Liberal side of the story. Let's not forget that Grewal was being investigated by the RCMP, and his true motive for contacting the Liberals might have been a belief on his part that they might clear him off those charges.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:49 p.m.  

  • The RCMP investigation of Grewal was instigated by the Lieberal party to get any dirt they could on him. Actually, if the libs were sincere about investigating immigration fraud, they would be investigating their own Immigration and Refugee Departments, and the Dept of Justice - the real bastions of immigration fraud. Oh, but one could hardly expect the libs to do the right thing in that regard, eh?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:43 p.m.  

  • The part of this that has people (myself included) rolling their eyes in disgust isn't the potential Cabinet post, it's the potential Senate seat.

    By Blogger Idealistic Pragmatist, at 5:07 p.m.  

  • calgary observer: "In Grewal's case, however, we know that he approached the Liberals."

    Well, no, we don't know that. That is the Lib's position. His position is otherwise. You can choose to believe who you wish, but don't be disingenuous about stating what we do and do not know.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:16 p.m.  

  • Idealist; I agree that the Senate seat and interference into the RCMP/ethics commisioner investigation are definitely a different story.

    But looking at the transcripts, it does look like Murphy and Dosanj dance around that issue a lot more than the Cabinet post.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 5:34 p.m.  

  • Of course they dance around the Senate seat a lot more--if they hadn't, what they did would have been illegal. (As it stands, it was merely kind of gross.)

    By Blogger Idealistic Pragmatist, at 5:38 p.m.  

  • I have to laugh at all those that think Belinda was lured across the floor and given a plum post as a reward by the Liberals!

    Was she or was she not in Harper's shadow cabinet? Does this then mean that Harper thought she would add value being in a cabinet type position? If a cabinet type role in the Conservative shadow cabinet was OK for Belinda then why would a cabinet position in the Liberal party not make sense? Or would you all have us believe that Harper did not think Belinda was any good in his shadow cabinet (which he had constructed and filled) but decided to leave her there anyway because he had no idea how to manage moving the best people in and getting those that could not do the job out (of his own shadow cabinet)?

    Further, if Harper thought Belinda was a liability for a week or so befor she crossed the floor then again why did he not remove her from his shadow cabinet and or restrict her from attending the weekend Conservative strategy session that was held a few days prior to the vote and her subsequent crossing the floor?

    Prior to the vote, if Belinda had left the Conservatives and sat as an Independent instead of crossing the floor to the Liberals then am I to understand that the Conservatives would have won the vote or is it more than probable that Belinda would still have voted for the Liberal position and the same result would have ensued, that the motion to defeat the government would not pass?

    And still further, if Harper and the Conservatives really believe that everyone in the party can vote their conscience then even if Belinda had stayed in the Conservative ranks she, by her own admissions, would have had a problem voting to defeat the government because of what it would give the Bloc regarding more seats and possibly bring them a step closer to another separation referendum.

    Bottom line is that Belinda was disillusioned with the Conservative platform and Harper could not convince her to stay nor did he seem to know how to manage someone within the ranks that was (in his words) a liability.

    Belinda left and all of this is just Conservative sour grapes. Get over it. Belinda is gone, Stephen. How about showing us how you as a decisive manager and the leader of your party with a vision will sway the public's votes towards the Conservatives. As it is now the meager attempts you have demonstrated at how you manage the people in your own shadow caucus and your inability to provide a vision that people inside and outside the Conservative party can resonate with and fight for is starting to embarassingly show (e.g., Don't look now but your fly is down! If you need help pulling it up please let someone know!)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:57 p.m.  

  • Let's look at it this way... why are we crying foul over a lousy cabinet post or plum diplomatic position... this is politics no? Maybe we should also be investigating the $4 billion bribe to the NDP in return for their votes... C'mon, this is stupid?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:53 a.m.  

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