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Quick Hits, Volume XLII -- Gomery Report

I've been much too busy today to absorb all the Gomery news, but here are some rushed observations and links...

Much much more on Can Conv. Calgary Grit is live-blogging it.

A summary of major findings has been prepared by the Globe and Mail. On the question of the former Prime Minister: "The absence of any evidence of direct involvement in Mr. Corriveau's wrongdoing entitles both Mr. Pelletier and Mr. Chrétien to be exonerated from blame for Mr. Corriveau's misconduct. But they are to be blamed for omissions."

And the result of those omissions is serious enough, and the Prime Minister is charged with "political responsibility". Paul Wells' summary is a good review of some of the findings of mismanagement.

Chretien is challenging the findings, however. Says Gomery "drew conclusions that are completely unbased on the evidence put before him."

It would seem to me that in a scandal of this size, ultimate responsibility just has to lie with the Prime Minister, even if he was entirely unaware. The counterargument could be that it was Chretien who called in the Auditor General and then the RCMP. But the buck stops where?

Paul Martin has reiterated his promise to call an election 30 days after the issuing of the second Gomery report. That second report, however, is limited to advice about what reforms could prevent this sort of problem in the future. When Paul Martin was pleading for time, the rationale for a delay was that it would give Gomery a chance to do his job and let voters react. The part of Gomery that needs reaction is part 1. Part 2 has little relevance on an election, as everyone will simply agree to execute those recommendations.

There is some truth to what Stephen Harper said: "I can't think of any other parliamentary democracy where a scandal of this magnitude and of this nature ... could pass without the fall of the government."

Of course, delaying the election until the late winter allows the Prime Minister to work out new ways to appeal to voters. This seems likely to include tax cuts in a new budget. However, Harper himself should welcome the delay, since he needs the time to prove he is ready to govern.

Overall, I'm with Greg: "This government (meaning the Paul Martin government) needs to be replaced, not because they are corrupt, but because they are a lousy, tired, do-nothing government."

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