Since the Liberals and NDP share values, policies, and more importantly, a large common voter pool, it seems pretty obvious that the NDP wants to spin this Conservative scandal to smear the Liberals. Here is why they shouldn't do that:
* We need to clear this matter up completely and fairly. There are several layers of scandal here, from the whole Airbus-bribery scandal to the Mulroney-taking-money-while-in-office scandal to the Mulroney-getting-$2M scandal to Where-did-the-rest-of-Schreiber's-bribe-money-go.
* Partisan politics is going to prevent us from clearing this matter up. Spin will muddy the issues. The public will break on partisan lines. The investigation won't get accurate testimony. We'll never get to the truth.
* We need to restore faith in elected officials. Over-the-top partisan stunts have the opposite effect: they just make everyone look dirty and they just disgust the public.
I want to know the whole truth, even if the Liberals, NDP or Bloc are also implicated in this primarily-Conservative scandal. Canada's squeaky clean self-image has been stripped away to a scary, brutal possibility that our top government officials have been taking bribes from arms dealers. The shit is going to hit the fan and we need our elected officials to react responsibly.
Update: In the weeks following this post, during the meetings of the Ethics committee and other events, I thought Pat Martin did an excellent job and was sober, responsible, and effective.