Monday, April 21, 2008

The Affidavit Gong Show

If you're the legal type, the infamous affidavits can be viewed here and here. I must confess, I tried reading through them, but got bogged down pretty quickly. I guess I don't have the stomach for all that legalese. But we all get the gist of the documents: the Conservatives are accused of playing fast and loose with election campaign financing rules to the tune of just over 1 million dollars.

What I find infinitely more interesting than the nuts and bolts of the "In & Out" scam is the haphazard and completely inept way the Conservatives dealt with whole thing. It was emblematic of the way they have handled pretty much every bump in the road since they've been in office.

Running a press conference should be a pretty straightforward exercise. Here's how most people would do it:

1. Announce a press conference
2. Show up, deliver your message, field some questions from the media
3. Leave, preferably via the front door.

Here's how the Conservatives decided to play it:

1. Spend a few days dodging questions in the House of Commons
Opposition: Can we see the warrant?
James Moore/Peter VanLoan: We don't have the affidavits.
Opposition: Um ok. How 'bout the warrant?
James Moore/Peter VanLoan: I told you, we don't have the affidavits.
Opposition: W-A-R-R-A-N-T?
James Moore/Peter VanLoan: [long pause]....Adscam!

2. Finally decide to release the affidavits...but only to selected CPoC-friendly journalists
3. Act surprised that word of the private invitations spread
4. Hastily change the venue of the private spin-doctoring session at the last minute
5. Act surprised when the media finds out about the new location
6. Call the whole thing off halfway through
7. Escape down a fire exit

These are the same assclowns who are responsible for governing our nation. Collectively, we should all be very matter what's in the affidavits.


MD said...

The Conservatives are mediocre on policy but are usually much stronger than the opposition on image management (the GST cut being a good example). If they are loosing their touch on message control, and have to run on policy, they could be in trouble. It'll be interesting to see how ths plays out...I still don't think it will amount to much. You should check out Paul Wells' post on the matter (he was among those not considered CPC friendly enough to be invited).

Red Canuck said...

MD - It's true the Liberals have had their fair share of image problems. But I don't think the CPC have been stellar across the board by any stretch. Their strength has been in creating media "events" for carefully pre-planned announcements of public policy. But if you look back, they've actually been shockingly bad at responding to unexpected bad news (think Rona Ambrose as environment minister, Helena Guergis leaking details of Dion's Afghanistan trip, the Afghan prisoner transfer issue, the Cadman affair, the Mulroney affair, the in&out scam etc etc).

Their typical modus operandi has been denial, righteous indignation, finger-pointing, vicious counter-attacks, and cries of victimization by some vast Liberal conspiracy involving everyone but Santa Claus. This whole bizarre media stunt yesterday was a new low, even for them.

I'll go check out Wells' post now...

RuralSandi said...

Check out David Akin as well - he was one of the one NOT invited - NAFTAgate is the reason perhaps?

Red Canuck said...

Sandi - Sorry for the tardy reply...was out of town for a few days. Yes, I'm sure NAFTA-gate was a big part of it. The excluded reporters were apparently all people who had somehow "offended" the CPoC (no doubt by reporting on stories that cast them in a poor light).

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