Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Congratulations to Chantal Hébert!

At last, some sense and sensibility emanating from the bowels of Torostar. (Maybe because she stays away from Toronto-Ed.)

In today's column, Much is at Stake for Elections Canada, Mme. Hébert points out that "If it turns out that the Conservatives did break the election rules in 2006, there will undoubtedly be a political price for the party to pay but in the end, a lost battle over its past campaign spending will not destroy it."

Well that's a relief.

But here's the rub. IF, she says, "it should turn out that Elections Canada overplayed its hand, the cost to its institutional reputation could be prohibitive. A failure to make a persuasive case against the Conservatives would bolster allegations that vindictiveness played a part in its approach. It might never totally recover from the loss of confidence that would ensue."...

"... in this affair, its moral authority is on the line.

"By calling in the RCMP to assist them in executing a warrant against the governing party, election officials had to know that they were hanging the Conservatives out to dry, creating a perception of guilt that will not be easily dissipated and a sense of wrongdoing that may yet not live up to the facts."

"Having forced his way into the filing cabinets of the governing party, elections commissioner William Corbett has now staked his credibility on building an airtight case."


"One way or another, having taken a very public shot at the Conservative net last week, Canada's election referee is in the awkward position of having a stake in the outcome of the next federal campaign."

More hockey metaphors. I like that. Particularly with the Calgary Flames tragically out of the running, Canada's last best hope is the Club de Hockey canadien.

PS Dear Diary, you know Elections Commissioner William Corbett as former Clerk of the House of Commons.
Pix: Corbett in his Clerk's robes, right, with Speaker Milliken, January 2001; House of Commons Photo