Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Will the Tories and Harper go 0 for 2 on libel suits...

The last time the Tories were involved in a libel suit they were forced to settle out of court. It involved Allan Riddel to whom the Tories had promised $50,000 to step aside as the nominated candidate in his riding in favour of their preferred candidate Allan Cutler.

Of course, this $50,000 payment to Riddel wasn't a "bribe", it was simply financial considerations to make up for loses he incurred in securing the nomination in the first place. The $50,000 payment therefore being completely legitimate... (sorry for the delay... I think I just threw up in my mouth a little...) the problem really came when Stephen Harper, not once, but twice proclaimed that "in fact, there is no agreement and he hasn't been paid anything". This was news to Mr. Riddel, who knew he DID have an agreement for a $50,000 payment to step aside. Later, the courts found that he absolutely DID have such an agreement, and ordered the CPC to pay him his $50,000 (Mr. Ridell also sued Mr. Harper and others for libel for claiming that they never agreed to any payment, when they clearly had, and that suit was eventually settled out of court).

I don't know if this is an asset or a liability for Mr. Harper, but it does seem as though some Tory operatives are out there offering various people "financial considerations" for this, that or the other thing, and no one seems to be telling Mr. Harper that it's going on (that is if we ignore taped conversations in which Mr. Harper comes right out and SAYS he knows that is). If you're the leader of a political party, and members of your party are offering "financial considerations" to people without your knowledge (again, we'll humour the Tories and IGNORE THE TAPE) is this an advantage or a disadvantage? What's worse? That money's being tossed around without you knowing, or that money's being tossed around without you knowing? And what happens if an audio tape surfaces that shows that, even if you didn't know the details, you certainly knew that financial offers were being discussed by people "legitimately representing the party"?

I could perhaps be convinced that on two separate occasions members of the Tory party made financial offers to prominent people and that Mr. Harper had no idea it was going on (I'll play along with Mr. Harper's Oz-like pay no attention to the tape hypnosis). Does it make me feel better, convincing myself that Mr. Harper had no idea this all was going on? Not really.

Recommend this Post


The Mound of Sound said...

Not zero for two but one for three maybe. Remember Muldoon, after swearing under oath that he'd never had more than a passing coffee with Schreiber, shook us down for $2-million.

Saskboy said...

Harper and the Cons are totally screwed, if justice and the law prevail. Unfortunately, I have my doubts they will over a corrupt politician at the top of the food chain. Look at Mulroney!