The Tale of the Tape: Now what?

It will come as no surprise to ITQ readers that  we concur entirely with Colleague Wells that Tom Zytaruk deserves a full public apology, and the sooner the better. We also find ourselves nodding in enthusiastic agreement with the words of Former Colleague Radwanski over at the Globe and Mail, who points out that the lawsuit that the Prime Minister filed against the Liberals, and the resulting libel chill, led the rest of us to “let it slide” — with the end result that, more than a year after the allegations first surfaced, we’re no closer to knowing what actually went down during that chaotic week in May 2005.

If [the tape] had been altered, that would have negated the need for the aforementioned explanation of what Harper was talking about. But Harper’s own expert concluded that the key part of the recording wasn’t changed, his lawyer stepped down, and now the lawsuit has been dropped altogether.

And so we’re back to where we began. The Conservatives have been accused of offering inducements to a dying MP to vote a certain way. They have not provided a coherent account of what transpired between them and that MP that disproves the allegation. The only difference is that, until their case fell apart, they managed to shoot the messenger by claiming that he was the unethical one.

If nobody bothers trying to get to the bottom of this, just because a year has passed and the controversy has been reignited at the end of a work week, we really deserve the ethical standards our short attention spans will deliver us.

He’s right, of course — so the question becomes this: Where do we go from here?

Given the current economic instability, and especially in the aftermath last fall’s outbreak of political chaos, we — the media, the opposition; really, the same usual suspects who, as Adam points out, dropped the ball when the PM got his litigation game on last year — have been warned repeatedly that there is simply no public appetite for petty partisan games, and that no one wants to catch their political leaders talking about anything other than how to keep the Canadian economy afloat. Add to that the fact that we have no idea how broadly the settlement agreement will restrict the ability of the Liberals, at least, to speak out publicly on the issue.  At the same time, it seems to ITQ that the questions still swirling around the Cadman Affair actually are important  — not just those related to the original allegation, but the subsequent response from the Prime Minister and his party as well.

So while ITQ agrees with Adam entirely that we need to “get to the bottom of this”, she is – only momentarily, she hopes – stumped by what the first step should be.

Ideas, commenters?