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So is the Liberal Party of Canada corrupt?


Hux
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This is a good article for those buying the overly simplistic "all Liberals are corrupt" stuff.

It's my hope that people are equally weary in believing what ALL parties are telling them, and the media.

All the parties are equally lusting for power, and I sense that there is sometimes some naivite (sp?) among some who think that certain parties, say the NDP or CPC - are somehow acting on some higher purity of motivation, don't buy it.

Get the facts and don't forget to vote!

"Let's not overuse the term 'corrupt'"

Globe and Mail

January 3, 2006

Page: A13

By: Anthony Westell

The issue trumping all others in this election is the charge that the Liberal

government and the Liberal Party are corrupt. Conservative Leader Stephen Harper

repeats this as if it were a fact beyond dispute, and the media do not challenge

him. The charge is one of those untruths that, when repeated often enough,

become "true."

Even to suggest that it is untrue, as I just have, will shock many people. So

let us examine the evidence. Mr. Harper bases his charge on the report by Mr.

Justice John Gomery on what has become known as the Adscam scandal. The judge

uncovered a sordid scheme that took place a decade ago when Jean Chrétien was

prime minister in which a few politicians and civil servants in Ottawa grossly

overpaid advertising agencies in Montreal that then pocketed part of the cash

and kicked back some to organizers for the Quebec Liberal Party.

Having established the facts to his own satisfaction, Judge Gomery asked: "Who

is responsible?" Answering the question, he specifically cleared Paul Martin and

all the members of his cabinet: "On the evidence there is no basis for

attributing blame or responsibility to any other minister of the Chrétien

cabinet, since they, like all members of Parliament, were not informed of the

initiatives being authorized by Mr. [Jean] Pelletier [Mr. Chrétien's chief of

staff] and their funding from the unity reserve. Mr. Martin, whose role as

finance minister did not involve him in the supervision of spending by the PMO

[Prime Minister's Office] or PWGSC [Public Works and Government Services

Canada], is entitled, like other ministers in the Quebec caucus, to be

exonerated from any blame for carelessness or misconduct."

Mark that phrase, "entitled . . . to be exonerated": It's as if Mr. Harper and

others throwing around charges of corruption in this government were ready to

believe everything in the Gomery report except that Mr. Martin and his cabinet

are not corrupt, or guilty of overlooking corruption.

Yes, there are accusations against members of the previous government, but they

are not as serious, in the sense of being widespread, as we are led to believe.

Mr. Chrétien cannot escape responsibility, says the report -- but responsibility

for lax administration, not corruption. "The absence of any evidence of direct

involvement [in the kickback scheme] entitles both Mr. Pelletier and Mr.

Chrétien to be exonerated from blame . . ." Mr. Chrétien is challenging in court

even the finding of bad management.

The only other minister held responsible for anything is Alfonso Gagliano. Judge

Gomery found that, despite his denials, the former public works minister was

closely involved in the direction of the program intended to raise the federal

profile in Quebec -- "Mr. Gagliano became directly involved in decisions to

provide funding to events and projects for partisan purposes, having little to

do with considerations of national unity" -- and was responsible for the

activities of his political staff, who were even more involved. Mr. Gagliano

left politics in 2002.

So is the Liberal Party of Canada corrupt? Judge Gomery referred only to the

"Liberal Party of Canada (Quebec)," which, he said, could not escape

responsibility for the conduct of its officers, and he named four persons. It is

absurd to extrapolate from that that the entire Liberal Party is corrupt.

Ironically, the minister credited with cleaning up the mess when he took over

from Mr. Gagliano is Finance Minister Ralph Goodale, who is now on the political

hook after the RCMP launched a criminal investigation into whether the federal

government's plans for income trusts were leaked. According to Judge Gomery,

normal procedures had not been followed in the administration of the sponsorship

program, leaving it open to error, abuse and careless administration: "Mr.

Goodale saw these flaws immediately and froze the program" until controls could

be put in place.

Does any of this sound like the systemic corruption that is supposed to riddle

the Martin government? Of course not. There are plenty of reasons one might wish

to toss the Liberals out of office, but corruption is not one of them. To keep

making a baseless charge demeans the country in foreign eyes and encourages the

cynicism too many Canadians already feel about their democracy.

Anthony Westell, a former Globe and Mail Ottawa bureau chief, is author of

Reinventing Canada.

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Hey Huxy, while you're posting, can you explain what the deal is with this Marjijuana policy survey?

Press conference

Invitation

NORML Canada launches it’s marijuana policy survey for candidates in the 2006 federal election.

Ottawa, Jan 4th 2006, Given the prominence of marijuana prohibition in recent Canadian public discourse, it is truly surprising that the issue has not been raised in the present federal election campaign. Accordingly, NORML Canada has prepared a questionnaire to assess the opinions of candidates on this important debate - to ensure that the demand for legal reform doesn't get swept under the rug once again.

To present the questionnaire that has been mailed to every candidate, and explain NORML’s election awareness campaign, a press conference will be held this Thursday Jan 5th at 11am at the parliamentary press gallery in Ottawa, in the centre block on parliament hill.

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Mark that phrase, "entitled . . . to be exonerated": It's as if Mr. Harper and

others throwing around charges of corruption in this government were ready to

believe everything in the Gomery report except that Mr. Martin and his cabinet

are not corrupt, or guilty of overlooking corruption.

Sing it sister!! This is my main point of contention with the Conservative's motion to bring down the government. You either believe it to be a valid document or not. You don't get to pick and choose which conclusions you agree with. To do so is to challenge the legitimacy of the very document you are using to support your agenda.

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i don't think the liberal party of canada is corrupt.. but i do enjoy the constant criticism they've been getting lately. it's kind of refreshing actually.. coming out of a decade of liberal finger pointing, painting the right out to be inhumane, capitalist workhorses or george bush wannabes.. the libs had a hayday with mulroney.. he made it ever so easy. now today though, i'm sure some conservatives somewhere are putting their feet up on their desk over this one and i love it.

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If we're not criticising our leaders, then we're chumps.

I like the fact that, unlike in the States, nobody seems to have much difficulty taking the mickey out of our leaders at any given opportunity. How often does the US president get heckled in the normal course of things? Jesus, you'd think they missed the old monarchy.

My favourite video bit to show to ESL students remains the clip from This Hour Has 22 Minutes of Rick Mercer out at the Burger King with Jean Cretien. Pure gold.

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i've never seen that particular rick mercer clip but i used to love him back in my university days... the exposes on american knowledge of their friendly northerly neighbour were my favourite.. seal hunting in saskatchewan.. i used to laugh myself into tears over that stuff. i think that guy does wonders in aiding our struggle for a national identity, even if that national identity is only a collective anti-american sentiment. i'll take it. it sure beats those ridiculous gov't created tv commercials.. the one reminiscing louis riel is somewhat dramatic. the noose? i think i gasped when i first saw it.

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honestly.. i have no idea. never had one. i don't even know what a national identity is!

i would suppose it would be a warm and fuzzy feeling of some sort... the kind you get when you hear the national anthem being played after team canada just kicked team america's ass at hockey.. but it would be shared by all.

the value of which i have no idea.. perhaps in times of war, if we had a government who went to war, we could feel oh so patriotic and slap a yellow ribbon sticker on the bumpers of our cars and become the people that so many of us canadians despise.. the type that can rattle off battle statistics and name every monument and its significance in this great land. the type that no matter what the outcome, we always won. the value of it being the credibility given to our government.. the justification of an action. legitimacy, if you will.

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I still get teary eyed when Canada wins at hockey,--that is called "national pride" which really doesn't have much to do with "national identity".

Maybe, just maybe, this country is very progressive, and maybe just maybe the fact that we don't really have a distinct national identity is a possible stepping stone to creating universal unity and acceptance.

Which makes me very proud to be Canadian and which is another major reason why I will vote Liberal. There is nothing "progressive" about conservatism.

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I still get teary eyed when Canada wins at hockey,

me too.. i become super anxious.. biting my nails.. on the edge of the couch.. can't watch situations.

--that is called "national pride" which really doesn't have much to do with "national identity".

i beg to differ.. i think the formation of a national identity requires the sharing of these types of moments. the kind of moments that can be talked about collectively and that we all can 'identify' with. olympic hockey is a REALLY bad example but one of the closest i've got.

Maybe, just maybe, this country is very progressive, and maybe just maybe the fact that we don't really have a distinct national identity is a possible stepping stone to creating universal unity and acceptance.

i agree. Canada is an amazingly beautiful country and is home to some amazingly beautiful people. our problems on a global scale are miniscule and on the national scale aren't even big enough to turn a government. but i still find something in me that is longing for a greater connection of sorts. universal unity and acceptance is great, but it doesn't give me the sense of belonging i long for.

Which makes me very proud to be Canadian and which is another major reason why I will vote Liberal. There is nothing "progressive" about conservatism.

to each their own. :) i'm ready for change. stir the pot.

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I don't believe there is a single party that could be elected and not suffer some credibility and corruption issues, especially over successive re-elections. It's a sad part of human nature but it is not exclusive to any particular party.

So, no the Liberal Party is not in and of itself corrupt, that's silly. But certainly some Liberals have the capacity for corruption, as has been displayed.

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