Gregg Lawless, who lives in my hometown of Aurora, penned a quick song for the CBC Radio that Paul Martin might want to investigate.
To Paul Martin’s credit, he said we should get down to the bottom of this situation (the sponsorship scandal). I agree with Paul Martin on that take, but the rest of what he said also seems to be missing. Martin said that Canadians should get the full truth before going into an election on the issue of the sponsorship scandal. Martin said this early 2004 and yet he called an election for May 2004. This was even before Justice Gomery started his judicial hearings.
Sure Martin had a parliamentary committee look at the issue over a couple of weeks. But all that really happenned was the Liberal majority on the committee ended the hearings before any real in depth understanding could be gleaned from it like the Gomery investigation is currently doing.
If Steven Harper and Gilles Duceppe were smart, they would continue to make noise about the budget and propose amendments to the legislation to try and show they are willing to compromise. This is what a minority government should be doing. Listening to the other parties for possible ways to get them on track to approve the budget. Parliamentarians should be negotiating with each other to make sure the most members are onside with the legislation no matter what their political stripe.
However, this no longer happens. Instead we have Conservatives trying to lambaste Liberals over this and that and trying to cause an election to be held when there does not need to be. Has Harper said that his party has negotiated or attempted to negotiate with Martin? Nope, never. It is time for the Conservatives to reach out.
After the Gomery inquiry has had a chance to get to the bottom of the sponsorship scandal and produces a final report should Harper even consider forcing the election issue. The next election should be about how to properly safeguard future taxpayers money from being squandered like it happenned during the Sponshorship program’s tenure.
In other words for now “Let’s make a deal.” Then once the Gomery Investivation has completed the political parties should be forced into an election using platforms that tell voters exactly how the whole sponsorship fiasco can never happen again. In other words, Martin and Harper, following Gomery’s final report should put out solutions their party’s would use and then “hold [their] breaths” for the electorate to do their job and vote. Thats the only way Canadians can vote with a clear conscience and know the government has learned a lesson and is going to put in safeguards to stop the abuse of the taxpayers pockets.