Saturday, January 12, 2008

Terms of reference, or terms of endearment?

I was of the belief that public inquiries had value because of their independence. And yet David Johnston has recommended the inquiry into Brian Mulroney’s illicit dealings is to be DEPENDENT upon the conclusion of the Ethic’s Committee’s hearings. How very convenient. How very endearing David Johnston has no doubt made himself of Stephen Harper’s best possible scenario.

No doubt there was some public “channeling” going on as between Stephen Harper’s public musings at year end about how he thought the public inquiry should proceed, if at all, and the recommendation of the apparently highly compliant, and as such, highly questionable David Johnston, who has proven himself to be the most useful political instrument in a time of need.

By turning an independent public inquiry into a dependent public inquiry, Stephen Harper has achieved a number of nefarious ends, all of which are consistent with his initial visceral response to the whole notion of a public inquiry when he infamously condoned a tolerance for corruption by stating:

“This is not a route that I want to go down, and I don’t think that if the Liberal Party thought twice about it, it is a power they would want to give me.”

So what has Harper achieved through these Terms of Endearment? First it needs to be acknowledged that the Ethics Committee is much broader in its mandate. For example it can chose to look into the The queer intersection of Mulroney's Directorships with major policies of the Harper government . However the Ethics Committee is more dysfunctional by its very partisan nature than a Public Inquiry.

Meanwhile the powers and functionality of a Public Inquiry only come into play upon the cessation of the Ethics Committee whereupon the focus of the inquiry become vastly more narrow, which is all designed to immunize Harper from the dealings he most assuredly had with Brian Mulroney and the large number of Harper polices that align with the commercial interests that Brian Mulroney now represents, the most telling of which is Harper’s hell bent mission to dismantle the Canadian Wheat Board, which apart from making no policy sense whatsoever would accrue to the tremendous commercial benefit Archer Daniels Midland, a board on which Brian Mulroney sits and has sat, ever since ADM was ADM was charged with one of the largest price fixing fines in history by the US Justice Department.

Speaking of justice, do you suppose this highly rigged and contrived Dependent Public Inquiry of David Johnston’s will ever see justice served and the truth revealed? Perish the thought.


A Better Person Than A Lawyer said...

"Terms of endearment" is right.

The Glop & Pail has reported "Mr. Johnston found no evidence of anything criminal in those transactions (of $300,000 or $225,000), but said questions linger about whether they were appropriate."

Excuse me. When was lying under oath not criminal? The 18th Prime Minister testified under oath that his only dealings with Schreiber were one or two meetings for coffee.

How, in 1995, did Mulroney find out about the letter to the Swiss Govt? Is it not a criminal act to communicate information about a criminal investigation in progress to the person being investigated? Who tipped Mulroney?

Between 2004 and 2007, who in Justice decided against an action to recover the $2.1 million from Mulroney? Is it not criminal to obstruct the normal operation of justice? Or is it normal to ignore that the Crown was duped into making a payment of $2.1 million.

Any why is there no cooperation with the German authorities? Why does Canada, the Government, not want to know what evidence the German Government has in this matter?

Dr Mike said...

How sad is this whole inquiry situation!!

So much for getting to the bottom of anything meaningful.

They call them full public inquiries for a reason--they are to be open to the public for questioning & input & they are meant to cover all aspects of an issue--limiting the scope of the investigation cheats us all.

Without knowing all the facts , no meaningful recommendations can result--afterall , these things are done so that we can learn from any mistakes that were made in the original event & try to prevent them from happening again.

The one big fear I have is that this government will not comply with the implementation of any of these recommendations.

Their history suggests that they will do exactly what they want anyway--take the to-do list from the Finance Committee hearings on income trusts--although it was a majority decision , they chose to do nothing saying that they were right & the committee was wrong.

Got to love democracy at work.

I am sure that if there was to be an inquiry into income trusts this gov`t would try to find a way to weasel out of it`s responsibilities.

With that in mind , it is still our responsibility to try to bring to light what we can.

It is incredible when we think about why these developing problems that require an inquiry have occurred--mainly because there has been very little requirement for accountability in any of these situations--Mr Mulroney considered himself above the law, Mr Flaherty thought himself above the Canadian people.

Either way , the results were less than stellar & these guys must be held accountable for their actions.


Robert Gibbs said...

Once again, we have a situation where the (government-sponsored) elitists have taken it upon themselves to protect their brethren, damning the interests of the lowly commoner.

"True" democracy is nothing more than an illusion.