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Friday, November 02, 2007

Mr. Harper - Call An Inquiry Into the Mulroney-Schreiber Affair.

The response of the Conservative House Leader Peter Van Loan underscores what is essentially wrong with the Harper Conservative’s fitness for governing. Harper gets good marks for message management but not for managing the right message.

Claiming that a pursuit of facts not previously disclosed surrounding a lawsuit settlement as a vendetta against Mulroney is bad governance. For the Harper Cons this stance and characterization of the initiative as a vendetta is proof of bad judgement in government – and it is very bad politics too.

Mulroney got a $2.1 million dollars of taxpayer’s money but it now appears not all the known facts were disclosed when the settlement was negotiated. The bungling of the RCMP and the political overtones instigated by Prime Minister Chr├ętien on the events were clouding and confusing the issues. Now we are seeing some further allegations that never came to light in 1997 that should have before the matter was "settled."

Transparent accountable and open government demands full and frank disclosure – especially under the circumstances and emerging story as to the nature of the Mulroney-Schreiber dealings, the timing of them and some previously undisclosed information and allegations.

Mr. Harper touts his Accountability Act and a new standard of ethics and governance, even though a big swack of the provisions are not in force. Is that because he fails, refuses or neglects to proclaim them because he is not really serious about accountability issues or the provisions of the law he passed?

This issue is going to be a major character test for Mr. Harper and his minority government. Is he going to follow the old-school approach of obfuscation, bluff and blustering your way through the issue like Jean Chr├ętien would have? Or will he take the high road like Paul Martin did in Adscam and call an inquiry because it is the right thing to do regardless of the political consequences.

Canadians want good government that is trustworthy and competent and focused on serving the best interests of citizens. Leadership on this issue is much more important than the usual Harper tactics of media manipulation and message management. Leadership is especially critical given the serious circumstances and allegations that are just now coming to light.

Mr. Harper, this issue is a real confidence vote in you and your government because you will have to face judgment of the citizens of Canada and the consequences of that judgment. We will be asking ourselves if we ought to continue to have any confidence in you and your party to be open, honest, transparent and sustaining any semblance of integrity. Passing a law about accountability is one thing, acting accountably is another.

In reality, it is all mostly about you Prime Minister Harper. You going to be judged by voters by the way you handle this. Will it be ethical an governance issue for you - or purely a political one? We will be watching how you handle this and then asking ourselves if you are still fit for service in the highest office in the land and if you continue to be worthy of our consent to be governed.
Don’t let us down sir. Call the inquiry.