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View Full Version : While we're at it - shame in Canadian politics



TomF
12-14-2007, 09:58 AM
Brian Mulroney, a former Conservative Prime Minister from the 1980s and early 90s, was hauled up in front of a committee of the House of Commons this week to defend himself from allegations of bribery.

Seems Mulroney had become acquainted with Karlheintz Schreiber, during negotiations about the purchase of some new military equipment for Canada's forces. While the deal didn't go through, Mulroney thought it should have done ... and said so to Schreiber.

Fast forward 'till the moment Mulroney's no longer PM, just a plain old member of Parliament. Schreiber and Mulroney allegedly agree that Brian's contacts in the international stratosphere would be useful for an international arms dealer ... and allegedly Mulroney agrees to make some introductions. He keeps no records though.

He does, however, accept a plain envelope stuffed with cash. Then ponders what to do with it ... and doesn't deposit it into a bank account. Instead, some goes into a safe at Mulroney's house, the rest into a safety deposit box.

Mulroney movingly opined to the House of Commons committee that this was a mistake. But he went on to make the same mistake 2 more times - to a total of (depending who you believe) $225K, or $300k.

Years later, Mulroney declares this squirrelled away money on his income tax return. While he alleges that the cash was used for expenses as a legitimate consultant for Schreiber, Mulroney didn't declare any business expenses on his tax form relating to that cash ... preferring to pay tax on the full amount instead.

What a patriot.

If possible, Mulroney's dropped even further in my esteem ... likewise the Conservative political hacks who joined him in office, and defended him after. Slimey!

Bruce Taylor
12-14-2007, 10:15 AM
I have a little pipeline to Bay Street. Word is that the man was entirely guilty in the Airbus affair.

S/V Laura Ellen
12-14-2007, 10:21 AM
Tom, he's a politician, we have come to expect no less, and the politicians have come to expect extreme wealth as the fruits of the office.

Politicians and their parties should adopt this motto.


"Declare the past, diagnose the present, foretell the future; practice these acts. As to diseases, make a habit of two things — to help, or at least to do no harm."

TomF
12-14-2007, 10:25 AM
Bruce, imagine my lack of surprise.

Allan? I hear you about politicians ... one doesn't rise to the very top by always and determinedly being a nice guy. It may occasionally happen.

Popeye
12-14-2007, 12:36 PM
i have not the foggiest notion about why we need to burn public money on ethics committee's hired to discuss these issues

Flying Orca
12-14-2007, 12:41 PM
It's been an unpleasant reminder of all I disliked about that snake (sorry, unfair to snakes) Mulroney the first time around. Gives the Irish a bad name, he does.

Not that my MP (Pat Martin) came off all that well - he sounded frustrated and indignant, not to mention slightly rabid, but didn't really seem to have any facts on which to hang his hat. I have no doubt that there was some rather dodgy stuff going on, but it appears that you can get away with it if you simply dodge questions. :(

bob winter
12-14-2007, 01:41 PM
At least back in the ancient past when the taxpayer was not required to pay these bloodsucking politicians a salary there was some excuse for a bit of graft or whatever you want to call it. I can't see how that is the case now. Not only do we pay these jerks when they are in office but we even pay them a pension when they retire. Given the perks, you would think that the country could come up with a better qualitiy of politician. Right now the field is pretty dismal. Harper seems to be Bush lite and how any party could be stupid enough to saddle themselves with a total looser like Dion is way beyond me. That NDP character, whose name I have managed to temporarily put of my mind is a phoney as a three-dollar bill and the Greens don't even warrant a mention. Sort of makes absolute monarchy look good.

Flying Orca
12-14-2007, 01:55 PM
Just out of curiousity, why don't the Greens warrant a mention? May seems to be fairly credible...

Tanbark Spanker
12-14-2007, 02:19 PM
Be nice to the wonderful people of Canada. When the North American Union happens, they will help us in the United States pay the trillions of dollars in debt back to the European bankers, eh. Oh, then you got that interest, don'cha know.

Harry Miller
12-14-2007, 02:23 PM
Maybe this will stick to the present Conservative government.
And I agree with Flying Orca and even voted Green in the last provincial election.

bob winter
12-14-2007, 02:24 PM
They likely do warrant a mention, but I wanted to keep it short and cranky. I don't profess to know all that much about the Greens but some of their policies seem to make some sense. I expect that they will land a few seats one of these days especially if the other three parties keep on the way they are at present.

I must admit that I voted for the CPC last time around. Seemed to me to make more sense that voting for the Liberals and I will dead and burried before I would vote for the NDP. Voting for the Greens would have been wasting a vote just the same as voting for the lame ass Progressive Canadian Party would have been. I am not a wild fan of Harper but I liked him better than Martin. As far as I am concerned, Pearson was the last PM we had who was really working for Canadians. Trudeau ran on ego, Clarke was too stupid to avoid a needless election, Turner lost something during those years he was out of politics and, so I am told, was a total booze hound, Mulroney was, so it seems now as it did then, possibly lacking in ethical values, Chretien did virtually nothing during all those years in office, and Martin came across as a mixture of a deer caught in the headlights and a used car salesman. Oh, I left out Kim Campbell but whats to say about her.

One thing I can't understand is how the Natural Governing Party have managed to get themselves in their present mess. A pretty close friend of mine is a fairly well connected to the Liberals and a Chretien supporter. According to what he tells me the infighting in the party is pretty bad and I guess that is why they ended up with Dion. I am afraid that Dion has no public appeal whatsoever.

bob winter
12-14-2007, 02:26 PM
Tanbark,

I will die fighting in the streets before I will stand by and see Canada absorbed by the US of A. What a godawful thought!

Peter Malcolm Jardine
12-14-2007, 02:36 PM
I voted Green in the last election too. Canadians would blanch if they knew how much of a guru Mulroney has been to the Harper government.

More shame: Harper decides he is a Nuclear techie, and overrides the safety regulator at Chalk river.... and makes himself popular as defender of the environment in Bali.

The Harper government has not signed into law ONE piece of legislation regarding climate change.

bob winter
12-14-2007, 02:40 PM
As I recall, the Liberal record on climate change isn't all that great either.

Tanbark Spanker
12-14-2007, 02:42 PM
Bob, I can neither confirm or deny envolement is any action for or against any nation. At any time. Whatever. Whenever. Whomever. HEY, LOOK OVER THERE!!! * dissapears into thin air*

TomF
12-14-2007, 02:50 PM
You know? Back in what feels like a former life, Stephane Dion was the adversary: the federal Intergovernmental Affairs minister who sat across the table from the Provincial guy I worked for at the time.

Dion's scary smart, and takes no prisoners.

It's a real shame for the Liberal party that those qualities of Dion's vanish when he speaks English in front of a camera. Because I can tell you from the inside, the slightly incompetent and befuddled guy we see projected on the nightly newscast is nothing like the canny b@stard we tried to outflank ... finding to our chagrin that we couldn't.

For all that he snookered us time and again, I'd much prefer to see Dion holding the reigns to Harper.

t

bob winter
12-14-2007, 02:51 PM
All in good fun.

bob winter
12-14-2007, 02:55 PM
I have no doubt that Dion is smart. The question is if he can be sold to the guy on the street. Unless the CPC really screws something up big time I can't see it happening.

Flying Orca
12-14-2007, 03:42 PM
I expect that (the Greens) will land a few seats one of these days especially if the other three parties keep on the way they are at present.

...

One thing I can't understand is how the Natural Governing Party have managed to get themselves in their present mess. A pretty close friend of mine is a fairly well connected to the Liberals and a Chretien supporter. According to what he tells me the infighting in the party is pretty bad and I guess that is why they ended up with Dion. I am afraid that Dion has no public appeal whatsoever.


You know? Back in what feels like a former life, Stephane Dion was the adversary: the federal Intergovernmental Affairs minister who sat across the table from the Provincial guy I worked for at the time.

Dion's scary smart, and takes no prisoners.

It's a real shame for the Liberal party that those qualities of Dion's vanish when he speaks English in front of a camera. Because I can tell you from the inside, the slightly incompetent and befuddled guy we see projected on the nightly newscast is nothing like the canny b@stard we tried to outflank ... finding to our chagrin that we couldn't.

For all that he snookered us time and again, I'd much prefer to see Dion holding the reigns to Harper.

Bob, I keep hoping the Greens can pull off what the NDP can't: a progressive party that isn't in hock to unions. I don't mind the NDP provincially (they're the best of the two realistic options), but I can't say Jack Layton fills me with trust or inspiration.

Tom, I think you're bang on about Dion, and I think his fractured party is holding him back more than his media presence. On an intellectual level I prefer him to Iggy, but I wonder whether Iggy would have been able to bring the Liberals back from the wilderness. I'd prefer Iggy to Harper, barely.

But I wouldn't count Dion out just yet. He may have the ruthlessness needed to line up the entire party solidly behind him, whatever it takes, and seems bright enough to learn to overcome his image problems (maybe he should dye his eyebrows? Dunno, just something I notice!). The next election should provide the final verdict.

bob winter
12-14-2007, 03:59 PM
Orca,

Maybe the Greens can do it over time. The trouble with the NDP is that they are doctrinare socialists and, as you say, they are pretty close to the unions. We had one NDP government in Ontario and it was an experience best forgotten. As I am given to understand it, the Greens are fairly pragmatic, which can't be an entirely bad thing.

As for Dion, he will never win a national election.

JimD
12-14-2007, 04:17 PM
I agree with the sentiment that Dion's public image willl be a hard sell. English Canadians are happy to vote for a French Canadian who speaks English poorly but that's not really Dion's problem. He just appears to lack the self confidence to carry the day. A good supporting actor but not lead material.

Edited to add: As for Mulrooney, I always thought he was a crook. Doesn't matter much to me if he's proved to be one or not. Thing about Mulrooney is a majority of us voted for him twice. Electing a crook once is forgivable. Re-elect him and you get what you deserve. As his son, a popular tv personality - sort of the Ryan Seacrest of Canada - might say 'That's show biz.'