Monday, February 19, 2007

Fury Grows Over Tory Smear Job

The Tory attacks on Ralph Goodale over the Income Trust non-scandal seem to have backfired. From Susan Riley in today's Ottawa Citizen:

...sometimes the prime minister's refusal to concede an inch just looks petulant. Example: his response to the vindication of Ralph Goodale last week. After 14 months, the RCMP finally concluded its investigation into an alleged leak from Goodale's office right after the former Liberal finance minister decided not to abolish income trusts. The RCMP laid one charge against a senior Finance Department bureaucrat with no ties to the Liberal party.

Instead of pulling French-language Tory attack ads that continue to link Goodale to what is no longer a political scandal, Harper reacted belligerently. He even had the audacity to claim that "Goodale owes Canadians an apology" for insisting no one in his office, or department, had done anything wrong -- as if Goodale could have known about one errant public servant. If, that is, anyone did err.

That is another troubling thing about Harper's response: The assumption that because the RCMP has charged someone, a crime has been committed. The Arar affair should have taught us to be circumspect about RCMP investigations -- especially this one, which sank an already badly listing Liberal ship when it was announced mid-election campaign.

And, even more startling, an editorial from today's Vancouver Sun:

But the Conservatives certainly should issue an apology and cease running the ad. After all, the scandal regarding the allegations likely had a significant impact on the last election since the RCMP investigation was announced during the middle of the campaign, and came on the heels of the sponsorship scandal. To keep this issue alive in case of another election, even after the RCMP has determined no criminal wrongdoing on the part of Liberal politicians, amounts to dirty politics.

Further, one certainly can't assume that the RCMP is somehow protecting the Liberals by failing to lay any other charges. After all, the Conservatives have cultivated a strong relationship with the RCMP -- so strong that the timing of the announcement of the criminal investigation led to a complaint being lodged with the RCMP commission for public complaints.

At this point, if the Conservatives fail to take the RCMP's word for it that it's not appropriate to charge any Liberal politicians, then the Conservatives are essentially saying they distrust the RCMP. This is certainly not a message the Conservatives want to send.

Make no mistake, the Sun and the Citizen are Conservative, not to say Ultra Conservative, newspapers. If they are advising Harper to dial back the venom, this is not from the goodness of their hearts. Rather, they see those cursed epithets coming back: scary...harsh... mean-spirited.

All of which makes me pretty blase about the Conservative Party financial advantage. To paraphrase Churchill: never has so much money spent by so many dummies to so little effect.


Anonymous said...

Er..BCL, hate to break this to you but this is an op-ed by Susan Riley the Citizen's resident lefty columnist.

bigcitylib said...

Left for the Citizen is where with respect to Atilla The Hun?

Point still holds. Ignore the signs if you wish.

Anonymous said...

The Van Sun is "conservative" ??

You need some sunshine blown up yer arse there me boy if ya thank that paper is anything but a pinko pandering rag.

Anonymous said...

Extremely "Conservative" media -
The Sun Chain
National Post
CanWest - who happens to control all media in B.C., Global Media, etc.
Ottawa Citizen
Western Standard neo-conservative (Ezra LeRant)
Most radio stations
and NOW Mike Duffy of CTV's Mike Duffy Live
...actually over 90% of the media are conservative.

Liberal bias???? Are you kidding?

Anonymous said...

"Make no mistake, the Sun and the Citizen are Conservative, not to say Ultra Conservative, newspapers. If they are advising Harper o dial back the venom, this is not from the goodness of their hearts."

To represent Riley's piece as "they" advising Harper suggests you don't know the difference between an editorial and an op-ed piece. Her pieces are usually at odds with the Citizen's editorial stance. Do you think Chantal Hebert was speaking for the TorStar when she blasted Dion for his Kyoto bill?

Anonymous said...

"...actually over 90% of the media are conservative."

You left out the extremely Liberal/NDP CBC, TorStar (largest paper in the country) and the usually Liberal Globe&Mail

SDC said...

Perhaps you'd care to explain exactly how Scooter Brison was able to tip off his friends that they'd be "extremely happy" with Goodale's announcement, if there were no leaks from that quarter? Nadeau alone COULDN'T have moved all of that money, even if he'd had it in the first place.

bigcitylib said...


So you're saying that you don't trust the RCMP's investigation. D'you think Harper thinks the same (as the Sun editorial suggests) and, if so, d'you think he wants to run on the issue?

Anonymous said...

'Scooter' Brison seems to got off Scot free.

Ti-Guy said...

Gee, all your trolls missed the point. But of course they would; they're rightwingers. They don't understand police investigations or laws or rules of evidence. They feel their guts (or in their arses, I really can't tell).

Imagine...Canada with a government that seems to have serious, intractible problems understanding The Law. What a circus. If only these court jesters had senses of humour, the whole thing would at least be entertaining and possibly poignant. As it is, it's just irritating and dull.

alfred said...

What, you don't see the humour the Scott Brison getting off Scot free?

Anonymous said...

Boo hoo hoo. You're mean, scary, and harsh. You don't play nice. Let me play with the ball for a while. You've had it for a year, I want it for another 13 years, THAT'S fair. And I'll call you the worst Prime Minister EVER, and that you're wrecking Canada, and I won't let you be my friend!

I have never heard such cry-baby whining coming from adults in my life, since Liberals lost power.

And who said 90% of the media are conservative? What colour is the sky in your world? If you think the MSM is conservative, then you are obviously so far left you're off the chart, buddy. You probably think communists are centrists.

The info was leaked; it came from Goodale's dept. He should have resigned according to tradition. But no, Lieberals can do no wrong, you don't have to do anything you don't want to, because YOU'RE special.

Gayle said...

1. Media bias is in the eye of the beholder. I think they are all right wing bias, but if you are as right wing as our current government, naturally you are going to think they are all liberal biased.

2. Harper is smart, but he knows that most of the people who vote for him are not, so he needs to feed that ignorance.

3. Facts are facts people - no more charges are going to be laid. There is no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of either Goodale or Brison. The conservatives attempt to continue milking this at their peril. If the party attempts to link Goodale or Brison to any wrongdoing they are opening themselves up to a lawsuit. Won't THAT make an interesting turn of events during an election.

SDC said...

"So you're saying that you don't trust the RCMP's investigation."

No, I'm saying that if the RCMP can't find conclusive PROOF of wrongdoing within the LIEberal cabal, they're not going to bother laying charges. That's not NEARLY the same as saying "Oh, this was just a witch-hunt conducted against us poor Liberals, boo-hoo." If there WERE "no leaks", I still haven't heard any sort of cogent argument as to how all that movement in the market occurred, OR how Scooter was able to tip off his pals and get away with it.

SDC said...

"No evidence of wrongdoing"? "No evidence of wrongdoing"? Brison's Blackberry email was sent BEFORE Goodale's announcement, so how is that "no evidence of wrongdoing"? The only reason Brison isn't in the can right now (ala Martha Stewart), is because he's in a favoured class.

Gayle said...

SDC - we meet again, and your arguments are just as unfounded as last time.

One would think that with evidence as strong as you are suggesting, Brison would have been charged.

One would think that if Brison was a member of a privaledged class (which class is that again?), the RCMP would not have publicly announced the investigation in the middle of a campaign. Sure looks like they were trying to protect the liberals now doesn't it.

Keep on spinning...

alfred said...

"One would think that with evidence as strong as you are suggesting, Brison would have been charged."

I totally agree and why the Dudleys haven't done so needs explanation because the evidence clearly shows Brison giving a 'heads up' to his CIBC banker buddy the day before the announcement.

From Wikipedia:
In March 2006, it was revealed that Brison had sent emails to a CIBC banker the day before the government's announcement on the taxation of income trusts. Brison said to the banker that "I think you will be happier very soon... this week probably". Although Brison claimed not to have any insider knowledge of the announcement, the emails created the perception that he had leaked the news in advance of the announcement, and the ensuing controversy damaged Brison's image.[2]

wilson said...

''The conservatives attempt to continue milking this at their peril.''

Gayle, it is the Liberals, with their
"say you're sorry; or I will sue for defamation; pull those ads" that have kept this story alive.
'Scott got off ScotFree' will be chanted everytime Libs bring up poor Ralph. Who wins that one?

The investigation into the RCMP investigation during an election will result in what?
Zac was fired, and PMSH fired him. So who is going to come out on top of that one?

Anonymous said...

Do the Conservatives really take pleasure in being treated like they're stupid?

The fact is the tactic Harper is using is based on treating you like you are stupid. Frank Luntz, U.S. pollster/strategist and strategist for Harper and Bush use this method - and the repeated a lie until it is perceived as truth. Joe Klein, a very well respected political pundit and journalist has written about this.

In other words - Harper says you are stupid.

Evidence it's working - the conservative us the repeated spin of the Harper gang and believe it to be true when it really isn't.

So, therefore, I have to conclude that conservative supporters are stupid - if they weren't this neo-cons/republican tactic wouldn't be working on them.

How sad that they feel so low about themselves that they believe what their great leader tells them - you are "stupid" and I'm winning because of it.


SDC said...

As pleasant as the thought of Brison being waterboarded until he gives up the truth is, I don't think that's something that the RCMP are willing to do (not least because, sooner or later, the LIEberals will be back in charge again). Do you REALLY think that it was just a coincidence that Scooter emailed his pals with "you're going to be very happy soon", followed immediately thereafter by a huge market shift? If you do, I have some seaside property in Wascana you might be interested in.

Anonymous said...

Have a read of Liberal Catnip today - about "thinking".

As usual, her pieces are well done.

Ti-Guy said...

Do the Conservatives really take pleasure in being treated like they're stupid?

That would require a self-awareness they're too stupid to have.

Do any of these people understand rules of evidence and the law? They can moan on about impressions and gut feeling for an eternity, and will never matter.

I've seen a group of people so interested in wasting their time with thinking that leads nowhere.

I totally agree and why the Dudleys haven't done so needs explanation because the evidence clearly shows Brison giving a 'heads up' to his CIBC banker buddy the day before the announcement.

QED. He magically knows a crime has been committed (a burning bush told him, or something); now he wants the RCMP to explain why it hasn't charged Brison.

Here's a thought, lil' Connie...why don't you ask the RCMP exactly that?

JimBobby said...

(Whooee!) Let me get this straight... The RCMP conducted an exhaustive investigation and laid charges against one civil servant and could find no incriminating evidence that would lead to charges against Goodale or any politician.

Now, the Blogging Tory posse is out saying there was a cover up and Goodale or Brison or somebody cheated the law and the RCMP must be either incompetent or dishonest or both. That's a lot of guilt - Goodale, Brison, the RCMP - to keep covered up. I'm not buying it and I doubt that many swing voters are, either.

In light of the Nadeau's arrest, I would suggest that Goodale should apologize as the minister in charge at the time. That's all he should do.

In light of the RCMP failing to implicate Goodale, the innuendo in the Conservative TV ads can no longer be justified. Harper should pull the ads or edit them. He should also apologize for making accusations in the ads which were later proven to be untrue.

This is only common decency. Continuing to make suggestions of criminal activity after the RCMP has said that this criminal activity did not happen is, to my mind, libellous. At best, it is sorely lacking in human decency and good judgment.

I'm a Greenie. I don't have a horse in this race. I'm just calling it like I see it and it looks like typical old-line, big party mud-slinging to me. It diminishes my opinion of Mr. Harper.

James Robert

canuckistanian said...

the cpn/ndp smear job on goodale is disgusting and will hopefully backfire. however, why is scotty brison not being held accountable??? it is commoon knowledge that he tipped off a stock broker...why is he not being held accountable??? if i were the leader of the libs, i would have punted brison and volpe so far out of the party....

never understood how fellow liberals could come to the defence of (the indefensible) scott brison. that being said, anyone who smears ralph goodale over this has as much credibility as those who are defending brison.

canuckistanian said...


supposed to read: "con/ndp" not "cpn/ndp"

Anonymous said...

Goodale lied, the markets told the truth. There WAS a leak. That is indisputable.

Ti-Guy said...

"Indisputable" does not mean what you think it means, lil' 'nonny connie.

I'm not defending Scott Brison. But what is the evidence here?

Anonymous said...

You mean like 'global warming' indisputable, or 'Liberal integrity' indisputable?

The evidence is that just before the announcement there was a burst of market activity in income trusts out of the blue. Info was leaked.

Ti-Guy said...

Prove it, lil' connie.

burlivespipe said...

The cops investigated that avenue and came up empty, charge-wise. Lest you forget, there are many unanswered questions to your own 'fibbin' PM Harpor on : grewal tapes; illegal fundraising (oh, he first managed to squeeze out the guy who was to rule on it - the elections canada dude? Hey, isn't one of the tenants of republican rule something about 'take charge of the election machinery'?), his leadership fundraising; luring over an elected member of parliament w/ bribes (emersin); lying to the public about the change in policy for coverage of returned remains of Canada's brave soldiers, and the list grows on...

Anonymous said...

You CAN'T do a smear job on a Lieberal's good reputation - they don't HAVE one!

Funny, you leftards find conspiracy theories and hidden agendas everywhere you look, but when evidence of criminal wrongdoing is placed right in front of your face, all you can say is 'prove it'. Hilarious.