Sleazy Deal Saves Corrupt Canadian Government
(With Gigantic Thursday Evening Update- Can I Borrow A Flashing Siren From Drudge?)
Canadians committed to honesty and freedom awoke to their worst nightmare today, as the impact of Tory MP Belinda Stronach's defection to the corrupt, ruling Liberal Party, began to sink in.
Stronach, the young, wealthy head of an auto parts empire and Bill Clinton friend, was runner-up in the last Conservative Party leadership race, when Stephan Harper was elected.
|CREDIT: Canadian Press via National Post/Photo By Tom Hanson|
|Prime Minister Paul Martin looks on as former Tory MP Belinda Stronach responds to questions at a news conference announcing her defection to the Liberals and appointment as human resources minister Tuesday in Ottawa.|
Tomorrow, a confidence vote in the House of Commons is scheduled, where Prime Minister Paul Martin's Liberal Party government was not expected to survive. Martin's party has been embroiled in a complicated scandal known as "Adscam", where millions of dollars of questionable funds found their way into party coffers, laundered through ad agencies who did little or no work.
Because the current regime is comprised of a rare, minority (coalition) government, every member counts. Thursday's vote has been carefully crafted by Martin, designed to save his rear, by tying the confidence motion to a huge budget proposal.
This has the effect of making a few independents and fence sitters nervous, because they could be voting down hometown pork, along with the removing the government. Josef's Public Journal and Captain's Quarters have more on this.
With Stronach's sleazy, last-minute switcheroo, Martin has a clear shot at continuing the Liberal Party's control of Ottawa. What was she promised in exchanged for selling her soul?
Brent Colbert suggests strongly that the Liberals agreed to pay off some of Stronach's large campaign debts. Officially, she was given the Minister of Human Resources post.
Her stated reasons for defecting were especially weak, giving the excuse that the Conservative Party was pushing for elections too soon.
Especially disturbing, but underreported: are there Clinton fingerprints all over this? Stronach is a longtime Friend Of Bill (FOB) and was further linked with him in American tabloids. Will this link be investigated by the media?
Was there Clinton influence, singular or plural, in this defection? No doubt Hillary and Bill alike would do well to keep their Canadian Liberal Party friends in power. Democrats have had luck bringing wishy-washy Republicans to their camp in the past.
Have you ever known the Clintons to be shy about meddling in politics, in America and beyond?
(Photo Obtained From Free Republic, Original Source Unknown)
You really have to feel sorry for 39-year-old Stronach's current boyfriend, Conservative Party Deputy Leader Peter MacKay, who reportedly went into hiding after hearing the news. Did she dump more than just her partisan designation?
Small Dead Animals, a major Canadian blog, is calling her "the Paris Hilton of Canadian Politics."
The funniest outcome tomorrow, no matter how remote now, would be a vote to oust the Liberals that sends Belinda "Hilton" Stronach down the tubes. Justice rarely arrives that quickly, unfortunately.
Update: Free Republic discussion here. Includes Edmonton Journal editorial calling Stronach "treasonous".
Update: Small Dead Animals suggests Stronach was bribed in a way that is illegal in Canada.
Major Evening Update: Does this remind you of the American media's response to the Newsweek scandal? Just like the bullying by the White House press corps, blaming the Bush administration, Canada's ultraliberal state broadcaster CBC blames the Conservative Party for the Stronach uproar.
Get a load of this brilliant CBC reporting:
EDMONTON - Liberal MPs denounced some of the Conservative reaction to the defection of Belinda Stronach, calling it offensive and sexist.
"The comments that have been made about our colleague – that are nothing more than simply sexist and misogynist. It is unbelievable and unacceptable, " said Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan.
"She was called a whore, she was called a prostitute, she was called a dipstick. I mean these are inappropriate No man would be called that. This is not a gender issue," said Manitoba MP Anita Neville.
After Prime Minister Paul Martin announced Tuesday that Stronach was switching parties and joining his cabinet, veteran Ontario Conservative Bob Runciman called her "a dipstick – an attractive one, but still a dipstick."
Saskatchewan Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott said "people prostitute themselves for different costs or different prices."
FROM MAY 17, 2005: Conservative Stronach joins Liberals
Linda Trimble, a political scientist who has studied the media's treatment of Stronach said the comments are the latest in a series of political lows, starting when Stronach made her bid for the leadership of the Conservative party in early 2004.
"The overall suggestion was that she was this bikini-clad blonde fronting for these backroom boys seeking power," the political scientist said of how the national media covered the wealthy businesswoman-turned-politician.
While it's true that some MP's did cross the line in their comments, isn't this taking away from the real issue, that this last-second party switch reeks of corruption?
And wasn't the media making just as much an issue about her looks and age? Haven't they done so for years?
This is a case of the CBC trying to change the subject.
Thursday Update: The results of the parliamentary motion are in and by one vote, Paul Martin's corrupt Liberal government was saved. If not for Stronach's defection, Martin would be cleaning out his office as we speak. Truly Clintonian!
Final vote: 153 to save Martin's Liberal Party Government, 152 for "no confidence".
Here's the latest from CTV News, including additional bribery allegations.