Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Harper to sue Liberals

Woah... Mr. Harper fired a shot across the bow today, telling them to either put up, or shut up, about the Cadman affair.

This weekend, prominent Liberals suggested that Mr. Harper explicitly knew of any wrongdoing that may have occured. Today, he said that a court of law will prove otherwise, and is willing to put his money where his mouth is. The Liberals? That's yet to be seen.

Many have said that Mr. Harper is a master tactician, and I agree... today, he made a made a move... "CHECK".

UPDATE: Plattytalk has a link to the legal letter here

UPDATE II: Sources close to Dion have provided an image of his reaction to reading the notice of Libel...

"WOAH! I guess we maybee went too far? I tink wee make him a little bit mad. Amm, since wee a have a no money, I guess wee need to back down again..."

UPDATE III: Wow... check out Warren's comment on this thing...
UPPERDATE: Rick Dearden at Gowlings is acting for the Prime Minister. I articled under Rick when the firm was doing a lot of work for virtually every major media organization in the country. In the past twenty years or so, I can't recall a single libel case he has lost. FYI.
Yikes, looks like the guy who is pinch hitting on behalf of the Prime Minister has a 1.000 batting average... I'd be worried if I was a Liberal.

UPDATE IV: Things are moving fast and furious on this one... Donna Cadman, Conservative candidate and wife of the late Chuck Cadman, has issued a statement indicating that she brought this issue up with Mr. Harper over two years ago... and that she was satisfied with his answer back then that he knew nothing of the alledged offer.

Well, there goes one of the Liberal's two key "witnesses"... boy, I'm really looking forward to the activities in the House today.

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  • At Mon Mar 03, 11:53:00 a.m. EST, Blogger Justin Socie said…

    You hit the nail on the head (perhaps by accident): this is a political action, not really a legal one. The source for the allegations was a conservative candidate, and she is not being included in the legal action.

  • At Mon Mar 03, 12:08:00 p.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I just went to the website and the articles in question are still up and running. This turn of events is amazing!

  • At Mon Mar 03, 12:27:00 p.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Should be a very interesting Question Period this afternoon. Be interesting to see if the Liberals have the nerve to raise this issue. I would think not as they are on very thin ice on a very mild day in Ottawa...

  • At Mon Mar 03, 12:31:00 p.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Certainly makes Harper look more guilty to me.

    If you are innocent, let the investigations go ahead.

    I think people all kept referring to allegations.

    So, Harper you look more guilty every day and it won't go away.

  • At Mon Mar 03, 12:56:00 p.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "Certainly makes Harper look more guilty to me."


    Um anony - if you KNOW you are guilty - the last thing you want to do is file a suit so that all the details can come out.

    You sir/madame, are an idiot if you believe what you just said.

  • At Mon Mar 03, 01:01:00 p.m. EST, Blogger Lord Kitchener's Own said…

    Here's the point I can't get past. The Tory defence here seems to be that whatever financial considerations were offered to Cadman, they were "only to replace financial considerations he might lose due to an election" (Harper's words on the famous tape). So, are we all OK with this? To me it's a pretty fine distinction being made.

    Is "we didn't offer him money, we just offered to cover any loses he would incur if an election was called" a legitimate defence? Isn't offering to cover someone's future losses essentially the same as giving them money? Ethically, I'm quite sure it's wrong, but I think it should probably be illegal too (if it's not already... we'll see I guess). To me, the only difference is that in the scenario described on the tape, they're only offering to give him as much money as would cover his losses. So, essentially, they won't give him a net profit, but they'll ensure he doesn't suffer a net loss. However, isn't "vote with us and we'll pay off any debts you incur as a result" essentially the same as "vote with us and we'll give you money"? And if legally it's not, should it be? I don't think a party should be allowed to offer to cover someone's expenses, or to reimburse them for "future financial losses" in order to secure their vote. I think that line ought to be drawn pretty brightly.

    Regardless of how this particular incident ends up coming out, I think we'd be wise to keep our eyes on the ball, and to ensure that in the future, no political party feels comfortable offering to replace for a sitting MP "financial considerations he might lose due to an election". Illegal or not, it seems pretty slimy to me.

  • At Mon Mar 03, 03:28:00 p.m. EST, Blogger Christian Conservative said…

    Sorry Anon, your comment was removed.

    For the record, in case you missed it, "UPDATE II" was meant as a joke... that photo was from his budget statement. I threw in a couple extra vowels for effect, to make it sound "Dionesque"...


  • At Mon Mar 03, 04:45:00 p.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    In response to LKO:

    The offer of reimbursement of campaign expenses does sound a tad sleazy but I'm sure this is something that the Bloq, Grits, and Dips have done in the past (sorry, I don't have sources, but being the level headed people that we are, I'm pretty sure this is not an isolated incident in the Canadian federal scene).

    That said, I find it incredibly hard to believe that a man as smart and knowledgeable as Tom Flanagan would risk 5 years in jail to bribe a dying man with a million dollar life insurance policy. It doesn't add up.

    The amount of sleaze here is only enough to fill a bottle cap, and not the entire bottle as the Liberals would like to have us perceive.

  • At Mon Mar 03, 06:56:00 p.m. EST, Blogger Lord Kitchener's Own said…


    Well, if it was an offer to reimburse Cadman for CAMPAIGN EXPENSES (which I'm not sure is what the spin from Mr. Harper on the tape is meant to convey) then to me that goes well beyond sleazy. Why? Because it seems pretty clear that Mr. Cadman was not going to run in the next election, so he wouldn't have any campaign expenses to reimburse. We tend to forget that this was a very sick man going through terribly difficult chemotherapy. The meeting was in May, and Mr. Cadman died July 9th. To me, the notion that the offer of funds was for the reimbursement of "campaign expenses" is a flimsy rationalization since there were never going to be any campaign expenses to reimburse.

    Now, that said, I don't think Mr. Harper meant "reimbursement of campaign expenses" when he said the offer was to "replace financial considerations he might lose due to an election". My thinking is that this is where the notion of insurance comes in (i.e. if an election is called, you'll lose your insurance when Parliament prorogues, but if you vote with us we'll reimburse you for that and make sure you continue to be covered). It's not about reimbursing Mr. Cadman for election expenses (since he wasn't going to run in the next election) it was about replacing the benefits (like insurance) he'd lose when Parliament was prorogued for an election. Isn't it? That seems a more legitimate rationalization of the offer to me than the notion that the offer was to refund "campaign expenses" that were never going to be incurred.

    I also think it's possible that the Grits, Dippers and/or Bloc have done this sort of thing too (and it's no less sleazy in their cases if it's true). Which is why I think conservatives in particular need to avoid the temptation to say "this really sleazy deal attempt is fine because everyone does it". If even Conservatives call for changes (even if the call is prefaced by "What Harper and the Tories did was perfectly legitimate, but...") then maybe we can force our Parliamentarians to enact laws and regulations to ensure this never happens again. "cause no matter how one rationalizes it, to me, offering a sitting MP "financial considerations" (even to "replace financial considerations he might lose due to an election") as a means of helping to secure that MP's vote is sleazy. Period. And it shouldn't be allowed, even if it is (though, I'm not convinced yet that it currently is allowed).

    "The Liberals do it too" is great and all as a partisan defence, but it will lead us inevitably to keeping the lowest common denominator of standards, and it also belies the Tory claim that they're different.

  • At Mon Mar 03, 07:48:00 p.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I thought if Chuck rejoined the Conservative party he would automatically be covered by their $1,000,000 insurance policy. Is this what the fuss is about? Is it any different than Belinda crossing the floor and deriving benefits from being a member of the Liberal party? This seems to me to be a case of the obvious being misreported and blown out of proportion.

    Have I missed something that isn't covered by this scenario?

  • At Mon Mar 03, 11:17:00 p.m. EST, Blogger Lord Kitchener's Own said…

    Is that how it works jgriffin316? Perhaps it is, but if so I would then ask, is that how it SHOULD work? That different members of Parliament receive different financial benefits for their work based upon the party they represent? That (hypothetically) whichever party can offer the best "financial considerations" for it's members should be able to get the best candidates? Does it extend beyond life insurance? Can parties set up private retirement funds for their members? Purchase homes and cars for them? Where is the line? (Is there a line?).

    Aren't MPs supposed to work for the people? Shouldn't they receive benefits from their work for the people based upon the work they do, rather than based upon which political party they belong to? What if I'm a billionaire industrialist, and I want to form a political party that offers it's members a $100 million life insurance policy if they win a seat in Parliament? Would that be kosher? Where is the line drawn? What other benefits can a party offer its elected members? At what point does "everyone does it" become a condemnation of the system, rather than an excuse for keeping it the same?

    I can be convinced to let the Tories off the hook on this thing if this is really how the game's always been played. Now can we move on to changing the rules of the game please. 'Cause I may have just thrown up a little in my mouth.

  • At Wed Mar 05, 01:29:00 a.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    LKO -

    I definitely don't want to take the defensive line here that 'they do it too'. That's not good enough for me. I'm trying to rationalize what likely happened without defending the sensational allegations that likely go well beyond what really happened. It just doesn't make sense to me that Tom Flanagan would be dumb enough to offer a bribe - even a wink wink nudge nudge. Unfortunately Flanagan's silence on this isn't really helping us understand what exactly happened and every hour he waits to explain will damped his credibility.

    Did Cadman come out and say he wasn't goign to be running? It's pretty obvious in hindsight that it was out of the question for him but if the Tories were unaware of how far along his illness was it's conceivable that they would offer to reimburse campaign expenses if he were to run again. Again, still sleazy, but much less so than a million dollar bribe.

    I have to say that jgriffen presents a scenario that seems to be the most likely out of everything suggested to date. I also have to say I agree with you that if that is the case, it shouldn't be the way things work.

    PS - please drop me a line when you start that political party, I'd like to run for you :)

  • At Wed Mar 05, 01:31:00 a.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    pardon the typos, it's tough to type correctly with a cat walking all over your arms


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