Thursday, November 06, 2014

Misconduct charges cannot be anonymous 

In my previous job, I was involved in dealing with accusations of misconduct. One of the basic principles of procedural fairness is that accusations cannot be taken seriously if they are anonymous. An accuser has to be willing to come forward before the charge can be dealt with and accused can be required to answer to it.
Imagine if your career could be ruined by an anonymous charge of assault, and you were not permitted to know who made the accusation or where the accusation had come from?
That's a kangaroo court.
So Trudeau was informed about the misconduct charges against two Liberal MPs late last week, then he acted immediately to suspend them.
And now Mulcair and NDP whip Turmel are "shocked" that Trudeau "went public" against the wishes of the alleged victims?
Was Trudeau supposed to just keep quiet and do nothing?
Is that what the NDP would have done?
Is that what they did?

Recommend this Post at Progressive Bloggers | 6 comments


The way the NDP are trying to make hay out of this is disturbing indeed. However, I want to touch on something my wife and I noticed while we we watching the news today about Mulcair's reaction to all this in his public statement. While he was talking about the issue and how he and his reacted and treated the matter his face stayed serious in mein and demeanor. However, once he transitioned to talking about the "revictimization" of his people by Trudeau's action, his face started to show a slight but distinctly noticeable undercurrent of pleasure, even slight grinning as he spoke. I made a point of watching it again with my wife before I wrote this to make sure we both saw what we thought we saw, and we did. It was down right creepy.

I am no friend of the NDP these days, and have never pretended otherwise, and my reasons for such I have laid out for a decade now,, but that doesn't mean I am an unreasoning critic of them or their leader either. I'm not sure what Mulcair was going for (or even if he was consciously aware of it, which in some ways would make it worse because then it was a reflection of his inner thoughts/feelings), possibly trying to stop reinforcing the "angry Tom" image he had for some time with a softer more friendly smiling Tom look, but here it was inappropriate and as I noted just plain creepy.

As to the main point of your post, of course I agree. What was Trudeau to do? From what I can tell he acted just as he said in the past he would, he took the complaint seriously, had it checked using the appropriate people (the party whips in this case), found enough reason to refer this to further action beyond his party to Parliament proper, and then suspended the MPs in question from Lib caucus while they were to be investigated, and he did this in a week from start to finish. Seems to me he acted in a responsible manner balancing the interests of all involved here in a fair and rational/reasonable manner. No wonder the Dippers are pissed, this is leadership in action, and undercuts the theme that Trudeau lacks any such ability.

I am more than a little bothered that the NDP wanted to keep this on the confidential side. If MPs are unwilling to go public despite the protections their position affords them, this sends a very bad message down the line. It also leaves one to wonder if such MPs will not stand up even for themselves why should constituents think they will stand up for them, especially if there is any real challenges involved in doing so. When the MP went to Trudeau directly it should have expected it could trigger a public response at some point, and I do not believe that Trudeau owed them prior notice of the actions he was taking on a matter of internal party discipline, even if their complaint was the start of the action which required it, that seems a bit of a reach for me.

The NDP and Mulcair are not covering themselves in glory here IMHO.

By Blogger Scotian, at 3:23 pm  

Hi, Scotian
I didn't see this interview but it sounds like a poor one -- I don't know where Mulcair is at on this, but I don't think it is something to "spin" in any way.
And unfortunately, it has ended up taking the focus off Del Mastro's resignation.

By Blogger Cathie from Canada, at 5:16 pm  


It was the one at the daycare, not the one in the halls of Parliament, just to be clear. I also agree with you about this not being something to be spinning, which is what Mulcair and his people are doing, they cannot allow Trudeau to look like a leader in any way appears to be the motivating factor here, and that is trumping the reality that Trudeau literally was in a no choice situation. He was also under no obligation to tell Mulcair and his people what his decision and actions would be, a courtesy yes, obligation, no, yet Mulcair and his whip are acting like Trudeau was under such obligation and therefore did not care about the victims. This is very disgusting spinning to be doing IMHO, and while this is something I have come to expect from the CPC side of the equation I still had some little respect left for the NDP and Mulcair this way, and this is seriously eroding what was left there.

As to your point about DDM, agree also, but lets be honest, it would have faded fairly fast even without this happening, not that it should have of course, but this is the world we live in, not the world we wished we live in.

Not a pretty week in Parliament, all told. The only bright spot for me has been the classy way Trudeau has handled this file. I think part of the problem with some of the chattering classes is that they have gone so long from seeing what real leadership and accountability looks like that when it shows up like this they do not know how to react. I suspect the the average person watching this unfold is generally thinking Trudeau did this right, and are impressed by his actions, and I have to wonder whether the same will be thought of Mulcair when this all shakes out in the end.

By Blogger Scotian, at 5:50 pm  

Thanks for your Post Catherine. I agree entirely. I also, as usual, found Scotian's comments well considered. I don't know the exact problems that Scotian has with the NDP but I certainly understand why someone would. I have to be honest, I will never vote for the NDP while Mulcair is the leader for many reasons but the two primary ones are his stance on Israel and the fact that his political strategy seems to be right out of the Harper playbook. This event has just reiterated why I won't vote for the NDP. Obviously Trudeau, regardless what I think of him, had no real choice here. He had to suspend the MPs and he, therefore, had to explain why he suspended them. It is deeply disingenuous for Mulcair to act otherwise.

By the way, I noticed the very same thing that Scotian noticed. It was disturbing.

By Blogger Kirby Evans, at 9:23 pm  

Kirby Evans:

Thanks for vouching for that, I mean I was really creeped out by it, enough that the first time I saw it I literally started shuddering in my chair in reaction, and that is *not* something easy to trigger in me. That was partly why I wanted to double check, I honestly thought I had to be imagining it, that this was simply too serious a situation for any party leader to act so, let alone the LOO about members of his own party (well except for Harper, as I have noted in the past of him I can believe anything), but no, there it was. My wife was also very repulsed by it, she used to be hardcore Dipper until the actions of Layton drove her out and Mulcair just made her feel there was no home for her there anymore.

As to my own problems with the NDP, it is all rooted in their enabling of the rise of Harper to power, their tacit alliance with Harper to destroy the Libs so the NDP could replace them even if it meant Harper government, even majority government, despite all the obvious risks that entailed, risks I documented for years prior to Harper actually getting there, as I am sure you have seen from me in the past.

I also felt personally betrayed by them you see. As I have noted in the past I am a true swing voter, which means I've voted NDP in the past too, and I expected and trusted the NDP to be at its core a party of principle and values that would place stopping such a destroyer from becoming a PM as an all costs opposition. I also believe that prior to the rise of Layton to leader this would have been true. I feel Layton sold out his party, its history, and the nation as a whole for the narrow partisan interests of increasing the vote share for the NDP and killing so as to replace the Libs despite the risks/costs.

Now, I feel he was one of these politicians whose ends justified the means approach was truly meant for noble ends unlike some, but that did not change the reality that the means in this case likely precluded the ends ever being attainable, and even if they were in letting an NDP government follow the Harper CPC the devastation and destruction and the salted scorched earth left in the wake of the Harper government was clearly a price not worth the cost, not even close.

That is where my issues with the NDP are rooted Kirby, and I find Mulcair not only no better but worse. With Layton I do believe he would have used the power for classic NDP goals, Mulcair, not so much. He has always come off to me as an (self)expediency before all politician, from the moment he first ran federally for the NDP in Quebec onwards. I have not forgotten the way he initially tried to rally support to supplant Layton within the NDP at his start in that caucus until he found it it wouldn't work, that spoke volumes about his nature to me.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:46 pm  

What? No post from Cathie on the total and utter humiliation the Democrats and their "progressive" ideology suffered at the hands of the American public on Tuesday?


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:00 am  

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