Wednesday, March 05, 2008

As the (apparently futile) attempt to impose libel chill on the Official Opposition continues...

Some of Canada's media would like Mr. Harper to answer a few questions.

Both the Globe and Mail and CTV have a list of six questions that Harper and the Tories stubbornly refuse to answer about this whole incident (maybe they're too busy consulting with lawyers to find out if they can sue the G&M and CTV for daring to ask such questions!). The papers have two different sets of 6 questions, for a total of 9 unanswered questions.

The questions are:

1. Did anyone from the Conservative Party, or connected to the Tories, at any time offer Mr. Cadman financial remuneration if he would vote against the Liberal budget in 2005?

2. What did Stephen Harper mean when he said in a 2005 interview that "an offer" that included "financial considerations" was made to Cadman?

3. Why did the Prime Minister's Office and the Conservatives first deny an offer had been made to Cadman, only to later say a repayable loan was offered?

4. If Tom Flanagan and Doug Finley offered Mr. Cadman a repayable loan to help with his election expenses, what was the amount and what were the terms of repayment?

5. Why would the Conservatives have been offering Mr. Cadman the chance to run as a Conservative in Surrey North when a candidate had already been nominated in that riding and Mr. Cadman was dying of cancer?

6. Why, when asked about the offer of a $1-million insurance policy for Dona Cadman during a 2005 interview with a B.C. journalist, did Stephen Harper reply that he did not know the details but that "it was only to replace financial considerations he might lose due to an election?"

7. What did Mr. Harper mean when he said in that same interview: "I told them they were wasting their time. I said Chuck had made up his mind he was going to vote with the Liberals." Does that not mean that the offer was in exchange for a vote?

8. Why didn't Harper reveal last week that he told Dona Cadman more than two years ago that he didn't know about the alleged life-insurance offer?

9. What motivation would Dona Cadman, now a Tory candidate in her husband's former riding, have to fabricate a story about a life insurance offer?

I imagine if the Tories choose to continue to ignore these questions they'll come up eventually in a place where they can't avoid answering them. Such as, for example, that court room Mr. Harper seems so intent on meeting Mr. Dion et al in. Mr. Harper does know that if this goes to court he's not the only one who gets to ask questions, doesn't he?

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