Friday, November 23, 2007

Leave the Partisan Politics at the Door

NDP MP Pat Martin is crazy mad. He's foot-stomping, spittle-spewing, eye-bugging mad. He's hollering accusations at anyone and everyone who isn't in the NDP. The method in his madness emerges when you realize that he's blaming the Liberals for the Mulroney-Schreiber scandal: The Liberals are trying to delay the Ethics committee! Schreiber gave money to the Liberals! Don't investigate the possible cover-up by Stephen Harper: investigate those dastardly nogoodniks, the Grits!

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.



Eastern Ranter said...

I agree with your last sentiment "...we need our elected officials to react responsibly."

Although you are not an elected representative (are you?), you should still act responsibly and not call for non-partisan reactions when you are making partisan attacks. I would swear you are a Liberal using lines about how the NDP should toe the Liberal line, but you have a Green blogger stamp on you.
Pat Martin is a maverick who I usually do not like, but I was glad that he attacked Szabo for sitting on his arse and allowing the ethics committee to be a farce. I only say this to point out that your comments vilifying Martin should be balanced by why his is "foot-stomping, spittle-spewing, eye-bugging mad" (which he is every day anyways).

T-roy said...

I can't believe the filth that came out of Pat martins mouth. So much for the NDP being respectable. He got so violent he throw sharp objects then refered to an MP as a son of a bitch. As bad as Peter McKay. This from a prty who supposedly belives in equality but has no issues with using the word bitch. Classy.

Shame. Just as bad as the tories they are working with behind the scenes.

I guess Pats angry because Mr Mulclair is threatening his take over of the NDP.

Yappa said...

Hi Eastern Ranter -

Thanks for your thoughtful comment. To answer your questions, I'm definitely not a supporter of the Green party. I'm a Liberal with NDP leanings... I certainly didn't mean that the NDP should toe the Liberal line and I didn't think I was being partisan. I hope I would be as critical of a Liberal who was as out of line as Martin was.

I don't think it's asking MPs to be Liberal partisans when I ask them to have an objective, responsible inquiry that isn't spun for their own parties' partisan purposes. For one thing, after the Conservatives, the Liberals have the most to lose in the inquiry, as they were also in power during some of the time in question. Chretien's judgement will be questioned, and Liberals may be implicated in payouts. Who knows what will come.

But I'll think more on your comments. Thanks!


wilson said...

Hi Ruth,
Don't think Canadians view this as a Conservative scandal.
Libs and msm have done a very good job with the ' not the Progressive Conservatives, these are Reform/alliance [ne-cons, knuckledraggers...]'.
Unlike Adscam, where Cdn taxpayers shelled out and cash was slipped back to the Liberal Party, involving many Liberals, this scandal is all Mulroney(a former Progressive Cons PM) and Schreiber (wanted by Germany to face charges), with private cash slipped from one man to another.
PMSH and the Cons will not wear this.
PMSH was busy writting policy for the Reform while Mulroney was buying mansions and taking cash, and Schreiber was donating to Liberal campaigns.

Yappa said...

Hi Wilson -

I agree that this is a very different scandal than Adscam, but we will have to wait to see how far-reaching it might turn out to be. In one sense this scandal is more serious because it involves a former Prime Minister. And don't for a minute think that the $300K is the only money we're going to hear about.

Harper might have escaped being caught up in the scandal if not for two things: (1) In the last few years he has embraced Mulroney and allowed him to become very influential; (2) The possibility of a cover-up after Schreiber sent him that letter 7 months ago.

By the way, Pat Martin claimed that "a Shcrieber-backed enterprise" (not Schreiber) donated money to the Liberal party. That doesn't constitute a scandalous event, IMO. But heaven only knows what dirt will emerge once this can of worm is opened.

Thanks for writing,