Saturday, April 16, 2005

A Liberal Nightmare?

Okay, just so people understand: I don't know anyone who seriously believes that Jean Chrétien is going to see the inside of a jail cell as a result of Adscam. There's been no testimony from the Gomery inquiry that suggests that the former PM knew about, encouraged, or even thought about kickbacks to the Quebec wing of the Liberal Party from the sponsorship program. (Well ... not yet anyway, and I seriously doubt there will be.)

However, the fact that many of the Gomery witnesses talked about influence with the Prime Minister's Office, coupled with the fact that all of this affair happened on Chrétien's watch, can lead a lot of people to conclude that the little guy from Shawinigan has rolled doubles three times running.

The idea is certainly enough of a possibility that it's a plausible explanation for why Chrétien's lawyers are so eager to throw Justice Gomery out of the inquiry.

But, as I said, this is all remote. No one really wants to see the former PM in jail.

Not the Liberals, certainly, for obvious reasons.

Not the BQ or PQ. Even thought they're adversaries, there are certain rules of engagement that says your opponent should be granted a decent level of respect --- "there but for the grace of God," etc.

Not even the Tories. The hope they have for the Gomery report is that it'll show that Adscam happened as a result of current Liberal attitudes towards governing, as practiced by Chrétien and continued under Mr. Dithers. Already we've seen Paul Martin cracking under the strain of keeping a stiff upper lip. Going after Chrétien may damage his legacy, but it's today's Liberals under Martin who have to fight the next election -- not yesterday's man.

So, the "Liberal nightmare" will remain just that--a nightmare.

Still -- it's a nice image, don't you think? I created it with Alias Sketchbook Pro and posted it via Hello's Bloggerbot. If you want to reproduce it in your blog entry, you can right-click on it to copy the URL, and use the [img src="URL"] tag in your post. Just send me a trackback ping if you decide you're going to do it.