BTC: Stepping on the rake

This was so inevitable it’s only a wonder the Liberals waited until Friday to ask. From Ralph Goodale during today’s QP.

“Mr. Speaker, rarely does a government try to take the spotlight off of one of its scandals by highlighting another. That is exactly what it tried to do this week. It produced a sworn affidavit from Dona Cadman, the Conservative candidate in Surrey North who said: ‘On May 17, 2005, my husband told me that earlier that day two Conservative Party representatives had offered him a $1 million insurance policy.’ This is a sworn affidavit just two weeks ago. Is it the government’s position that Mrs. Cadman has committed perjury?”

One suspects even James Moore would admit that’s a pretty good question.

Speaking of the parliamentary secretary, it is perhaps fair to say that this week has not been a particularly good one for the would-be cabinet minister. During members’ statements today, Liberal Yasmin Ratansi declared him to be “ridiculous.” The Globe’s editorial board has effectively told him to put up or shut up on this file. And even a lawyer sympathetic to the government’s claim of besmirchment has publicly rebuked this week’s show of litigiousness as a threat to free speech.

All of which may prove worth it if the next cabinet shuffle sees our boy James handed some plum gig in the ministry (not that carrying Michael Fortier’s briefcase isn’t terribly glamorous in and of itself). And by various accounts, Mr. Moore remains a generally decent fellow. Indeed, no less than our Mr. Wells described him recently as “smart” and “hard-working” with “interesting ways” and “excellent French.”

But surely at some point the ways in which this Prime Minister dispatches his foot soldiers (one also feels for Deepak Obhrai’s having to stand up every couple of days and laud the accomodations at Guantanamo Bay) has to constitute some form of cruelty. Put it this way: if you had the choice would you rather be a parliamentary secretary in this government or an otherwise forgotten backbencher?


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