“ This story shall the good man teach his son;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
This day shall gentle the condition;
And they shall think themselves accursed
who were not here,
To fight with us upon Saint Crispin's day.”
~ "Shakespeare, Henry V"
"In a time of universal deceit merely speaking the truth is a revolutionary act."
~ George Orwell
L. Ian MacDonald is editor of Policy Options, the magazine of the Institute for Research on Public Policy.
L. Ian MacDonald
November 2, 2005
MONTREAL - There was no more ironic twist of political fate than the scene that unfolded yesterday in Ottawa, where Jean Lapierre read a list of 10 names of persons who have been banned for life from membership in the Liberal Party of Canada. This would be the same Jean Lapierre who left the Liberal party in disgust over Jean Chretien's role in the death of the Meech Lake Accord in 1990, and instead became a founding member of the Bloc Quebecois with Lucien Bouchard.
Fifteen years later, as the Quebec lieutenant of a Liberal prime minister, Lapierre sat as the lord high executioner of pols who had devoted years of their lives to fighting the Bloc in particular and the separatist movement in general. When did Jean Lapierre become the sanctimonious judge of worthiness of membership in a party he once quit to help create another one devoted to the break-up of the country?
Beryl Wajsman, though a flamboyant character, never raised a nickel of unreported or illegal money, and never benefited from sponsorship largesse. So how did he get shunned, along with the others? He was simply unwanted in this party under its present management.
In politics, one makes certain allowances for hypocrisy. But there are limits.
© National Post 2005
mercredi 2 novembre 2005
Québec - PLC-PLQ
Robert Dutrisac, Antoine Robitaille
Au dire de ce coloré personnage, Paul Martin l'a banni du PLC sans raison puisqu'il n'a été aucunement blâmé dans le rapport Gomery. Au reste, M. Wajsman se demande si cette exclusion du PLC est conforme à la Charte des droits et libertés, notamment le droit d'association. Il prétend avoir consulté l'avocat Julius Grey à ce propos. En définitive, il prétend avoir «pris tout ça comme un compliment. Chaque politicien qui va trop loin, comme Nixon avec sa liste d'ennemis, tombe assez vite. Martin va tomber».
© 2005 Le Devoir. Tous droits réservés.
Paul Wells on BPW
Talk, Beryl! Talk!
November 1, 2005
This corner offers no value judgement about the contributions Beryl Wajsman made to anything . But I love! love! love! getting communiqués from Beryl Wajsman and his Institute for Public Affairs of Montreal. It's glorious, right down to the apostrophes on the possessive 'its.' He makes good points. I'm telling you, if Beryl Wajsman went on tour, he could make more money than Riverdance.
BPW and Jim Duff on Gomery
To view this article in full please go to the following link:
Liberals, Gomery, AdScam
A TOP TEN LIST OF GOMERY HYPOCRISY
by Beryl Wajsman, Institute for Public Affairs of Montreal
Wednesday, November 2, 2005
"The practice of hypocrisy is not merely indispensable to government, but is capable of being sustained without much difficulty for as long as may be required."
~ Niccolo Machiavelli
"A government is an organized hypocrisy."
~ Benjamin Disraeli
In the last of the closing legal arguments at the Gomery Inquiry, Sylvain Lussier, private Counsel to the Attorney-General of Canada, made a startling statement to the Commissioner. After vouching for the piety of conscience and purity of knowledge of both Prime Ministers Martin and Chrétien, he said that though it is true that former Public Works Minister Alfonso Gagliano put himself in difficult positions by attending meetings he could have refrained from, and though he did not impose the appropriate departmental rigour for which he should bear Ministerial responsibility, Mr. Gagliano had done "nothing illegal". Furthermore, Me. Lussier went on, the political direction Mr. Gagliano provided in certain files was fully appropriate with his elected position. To quote Me. Lussier, "We elect politicians to make decisions and to show direction."
He went on to say that the political side of the Minister's operation was not at fault, and pointed the blame squarely at the bureaucrats including Chuck Guité. Even then he soft-pedaled his accusations by admitting that there were really no clear regulations for anyone to follow and much of the fault lay with the system itself. He encouraged the Commissioner to concentrate on making recommendations for improved regulatory oversight a touchstone of his report.
You may not read much of this in many of your daily newspapers whose reporters treasure their pre-conceived notions and ethnic caricatures like so many precious jewels. Add to that their lemming-like readiness to be co-opted by the current leaders of the Natural Governing Party, and you have a tailor-made recipe for the bodyguard of lies that has been characteristic of media coverage of the Gomery Inquiry. But I urge all of you to go to the Gomery website and read this eye-opening transcript and the full report that now follows.
Since Lussier's arguments were almost identical to those put forward by Chrétien, Gagliano, law enforcement agencies and others at the very beginning, they beg the question of whether we have learned anything at all. Was the whole investigation taken out of the hands of the RCMP and the judicial system so that it could be politically controlled as a deflection from Prime Minister Martin's own conflicts of interest? Is that the reason that Judge Gomery said we must “exonerate” Mr. Martin because he “said” he was out of the loop and therefore since he was “ignorant” of the information how could he be blamed? Has Gomery now created a double-standard of justice in this country? In law, “ignorance is no defense”. Would Gomery have us now change the standard because Martin is Prime Minister?
To read the rest of this article please go to the following link:
A Take on BPW’s Leadership
My take on government in Canada and various media.
5 November 2005
Jim Bowie in Ottawa
Beryl Wajsman is a compulsive truth-teller, and he has vivid detail in his memory. I see in Wajsman someone who's brilliant at outreach, fantastic at fundraising, and unabashedly partisan. He's a grassroots multiculturalist. He's got street cred. The people like him; he can fill a room; and he can make money. These are signs of an ass kicking Liberal.
Two-Tiered Justice and Scared Liberals
Beryl Wajsman had some verrry interesting comments to make on CBC Radio 1550 Windsor, on Saturday morning. I don’t have the exact words (you can do the research, while I’m canvassing). As closely as I can remember:
On justice Gomery’s exoneration of Paul Martin: Gomery has created a two-tiered justice system. Paul Martin said he knew nothing, so judge Gomery takes his word for it even though there was substantial evidence that his office went to the Liberal ad fund for financing of pet projects. (Names and dates.) For the rest of us, ignorance of the law or what is being done for you is not an excuse.
On the expulsion: A government that does nothing and has no vision needs lots of enemies to survive. Enemies that it can frighten the public with. (Here he compares the Liberal administration strategy to the tactics of the embattled Nixon administration.)
This is my kind of Liberal.
Inquiry flawed, lawyers argue
Fuelled more by internal Liberal politics, some contend, than by a thirst for truth
After nine months of hearings, the Gomery commission has made and destroyed reputations, exposed incompetence and alleged wrongdoing, and spent millions of tax dollars trying to unravel the twisted story of the $250-million sponsorship scandal. Left behind to dissect the entrails and help find the truth are the lawyers who followed the hearings from beginning to end.
They face the uphill battle of pleading their clients' cases in the absence of any charges. In many cases, all they have are unsupported and often conflicting witness statements. Judge John Gomery's report is due in five months. But with the public phase of the inquiry over, what do the lawyers think of a system that is in many ways alien to our fundamental precepts of justice? Did it accomplish anything? Was it necessary? Who were the winners and losers? And what was it really all about?
Perhaps the best person to start with is Pierre Fournier, lawyer for the politician ultimately responsible for the sponsorship program - former public works minister Alfonso Gagliano. Was the commission necessary? "Absolutely not," he said. "I don't think the commission found anything relative to its mandate that we didn't already know from internal government auditing reports and the auditor- general's report. ”What it did find were things that were not relevant to its mandate ... such as the Liberal Party financing. And personally, I have my doubts about the truthfulness of these so-called admissions."
What the commission was really about, he said, was the new guard of the Liberal Party trying to gain public support by cleaning out the old guard. "We live in a funny country. The Liberal Party has no opposition and yet it is unpopular. ... So we might as well have an enemy." Therefore, he said, the party turned in on itself, targeting the faction led by former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. "Mr. Martin and his gang thought that Mr. Chrétien and his gang were the old people who needed to be cleaned out," Fournier said, referring to current Prime Minister Paul Martin.
Sylvain Lussier, lawyer for the attorney-general of Canada, said flaws in the commission, while serious, are the nature of a beast that pays little attention to the normal rules of justice. Still, he said, the commission achieved a balance between efficiency and fairness.
"It's an exercise in democracy. But there is a price to pay. Some reputations were damaged ... and some people have lost their jobs because of the mere fact that their names were mentioned. ... These people didn't benefit from a right to a fair hearing." Lussier said that when the lawyers make their final representations to Gomery, he will argue that the federal government was the ultimate victim in the sponsorship affair. Fournier said the public hearings had merit from the point of view of democratic process.
"To me," he said, "it's a wonderful opportunity to learn about a lot of things some of which I hadn't even dreamed about in how to run a government, and the interaction between politicians and civil servants, and the safeguards that are or should be put in place, etc." But he worried that while the Gomery hearings strengthened democracy, they might have jeopardized the country. "I think it helped sever the ties between the majority of Quebecers and Canada," Fournier said.
This is because the federal government has stopped spending money advertising its services. "If you don't tell them what you do for them, you might as well not do it." Fournier agreed that his client is one of the big losers, but said it's not because Gagliano did anything wrong. Rather, Fournier argued that the commission is a systematic destroyer of reputations. "You are going to have a lot of hearsay and rumour-mongering, and reputations will get hurt in the process," he said.
Like Fournier, Pierre Latraverse, lawyer for Jean Carle, once Chretien's director of operations, questions whether the public will find out the real reasons behind the commission. "This process does not clearly define whose interests are at work here. ... In the context that triggered it, they may have had an agenda that has nothing to do with the noble agenda put forth by the commission," he said.
Doug Mitchell, lawyer for the Liberal Party of Canada, said the commission too often lapsed from its purpose. "A public inquiry is supposed to be an investigation into what went wrong to make things better," he said. "It's not supposed to be a witch-hunt. And this one has turned into a bit of a witch-hunt. It has had aspects of a witch-hunt in that people have run with the evidence and have tried to use it for political or whatever purposes - and that's not what the purpose of the inquiry is."
BPW with CHQR's Rob Breakenridge
On Paul Martin: The Politics of Canada’s Nixon
To read more on this please see
“A Political Mugging :
The Politics of Canada’s Nixon” :
TQS "Le Grand Journal" avec Gary Arpin sur Martin et Lapierre
With GLOBAL's Amanda Jelowicki on Liberal Fratricide
With CBC Newsworld's Kathleen Petty on
BPW Leadership Bid
On "The House" with Anthony Germain
Avec Mario Langlois de CKAC
With CJAD's Andrew Carter
BPW with GLOBAL TV's Mike Armstrong
On the Liberal Party War