Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Second Raitt

Lisa Raitt is in trouble for leaving behind confidential AECL documents at a CTV studio. Before jumping in to this meltdown, kudos to Bob Rae for one of the best lines of the year:

"One plausible explanation is maybe she thought CTV was a branch of the government, I can't explain it"

As for Raitt, this one is definitely unfortunate – she was a rising star in the government, and people of all political stripes describe her as likeable and bright. But the Bernier precedent has been set (even if the circumstances aren't completely identical), and there doesn't seem to be a way around it:

"It obviously was not done on purpose. It was a mistake. But it doesn't matter. It was clearly done and that has to be treated appropriately. There are precedents and this obviously is a warning to all Ministers."

-Prime Minister Stephen Harper,, May 26 2008



  • Seems unfortunate. I didn't even mind the Bernier thing, I thought it was overblown -- people make mistakes, and Ministers are people.

    But that WAS a good Rae line!!!

    By Anonymous Jason bo Green, at 6:52 p.m.  

  • I've read some research on ministerial resignations in Canada, and this case falls distinctly on the opposite side of the line from ministerial resignation.

    The line? Who did it. Bernier left it in his girlfriend's home himself. The aide is not the minister.

    This is not to say that she shouldn't resign. It's to say that the lack of completely identical circumstances with the Bernier affair is an extremely pertinent one, historically speaking.

    Now, if you can say that because it was missing for so long there was some personal failure on her part, that might put this back on the other side of the line. But that's not how the story is playing.

    By Blogger Gauntlet, at 7:34 p.m.  

  • But shouldn't there be some sort of ministerial accountability for her staff's actions...especially since (according to CTV) it was her briefing book and she made no attempts to get it back for a week?

    Now, I do see a possible difference in that:

    a) the document may have been less sensitive than the NATO folder

    b) presumably CTV is a bit more trustworthy than Couillard, so it's unlikely any real harm would have come from this

    Of course, both those points are very debatable.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 8:43 p.m.  

  • How did the aide get her job? I would suspect it was on the recommendation of the Minister. Such positions are very political.

    The parliamentary tradition of Ministerial responsibility is becoming more and more lacking in Canada.

    By Blogger UU4077, at 12:47 p.m.  

  • Nice zinger by Rae.

    Traditionally, what would happen is the minister would resign and, if the PM wanted him around, he would be quickly re-appointed.

    I see no reason why that shouldn't happen in this case with Raitt, if Harper wants her in the cabinet.

    Behaving otherwise is silly.

    By Blogger Ben (The Tiger in Exile), at 12:59 p.m.  

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