Thursday, March 16, 2023

Today's News: David Johnston to the rescue

I do keep wondering what, exactly, this China scandal is all about:
Now former governor general David Johnston is going to investigate and that's good -- maybe he can tell the rest of us exactly what is going on here, and whether a public inquiry is really the only way to sort it out.
But I think Poilievre already realizes Johnston's appointment will move the story off the front pages and there aren't going to be any "gotcha" revelations about Trudeau. So now he's trying his very best to discredit Johnston - and the CPC Flying Monkeys are desperately pushing to kibosh the appointment quick. Or likely they think it would be just as useful to see if they can discredit in advance any Johnston recommendations against a public inquiry.
Most of Canadian media are already on-side with Johnston, so it will be an uphill battle now for the Flying Monkeys to try to dislodge him. 
In the Globe and Mail, Ibbitson called this "an inspired choice" but Andrew Coyne isn't as happy - I think because the likelihood of a public inquiry will recede if the media believes the China questions are being dealt with so the "scandal" story fades into the incoherence which it may richly deserve. Scrimshaw says as of right now, the Liberals are not paying a political price for this scandal
... there’s a lot of shit that’s been thrown against the wall that might be bad if true, and a lot of frankly shitty journalism from Global in reporting intelligence without independent verification and potentially mischaracterizing how senior the report that forms the basis of naming the PCPO MPP was intended for. 
It’s a story with a load of issues regarding its accuracy and its scope, and acting like this is exacting a political price on Trudeau in the face of evidence that so far it’s not is dogshit. 
Both Abacus and Mainstreet have clear majorities of Liberals wanting an inquiry into this, which makes sense – as of now, there’s no real reason to think an inquiry would hurt the Liberals. Only in the hearts and minds of the most rabid partisan Conservatives does anyone actually believe that Justin Trudeau is working for China or in cahoots with Beijing. 
An inquiry, or a report from the I Can’t Believe It’s Not A Public Inquiry, likely ends with a list of sensible re-writes to security legislation that was mostly written before the invention of the Blackberry. What it likely doesn’t include is a smoking gun that hurts the Liberals or Trudeau. 
 At the end of the day, this is probably the biggest policy challenge of this government outside of setting up CERB and the wage subsidy. Getting this right is incredibly important as a policy matter and anything that can try and make sure our elections are secure should be done. 
But that’s not the same thing as thinking this is a political crisis for the government and the Liberals. It’s not yet. May it become one? Sure. But it’s not one now, and to the parts of the punditry and the commissioning editors out there trying to narrative build a crisis for the Liberals, stop trying to re-run the past. It’s not nostalgia, it’s just wishcasting. 

 There is some truth to this observation, I think: Because what Canadians really care about is health care:


Anonymous said...

I think that we have had very serious problems with our elections for quite some time. Do any of these ring a bell? The In/Out scandal, the robocalls issue, Trudeau's pledge for electoral reform and then no action, Trudeau's complete lack of action after the lawsuit about the robocalls scandal, the lack of concern with Chinese interference shown by Trudeau (even though there are apparently Chinese policing stations in Canada). There needs to be a public inquiry, but not just about China in particular.

Cathie from Canada said...

There are issues with every campaign but the role of Elections Canada is to make sure the overall election results are not tainted. The In/Out scandal and the robocalls issue were both Harper scandals and were dealt with by Elections Canada, which is where election trickery should be dealt with.
Conservatives were charged in both cases, a Con staffer went to jail:
Regarding promises made during any election campaign, Trudeau was not obliged to follow through on his 2016 election reform promise and he didn't. That's fine with me - I never did think there was anything wrong with our First Past The Post system anyway. I was glad Trudeau changed his mind when he realized how smaller parties would gain undue influence if FPTP were changed.
Regarding the Chinese interference "scandal" I hope Johnston will figure out whether there actually is any problem here, and if so, whether Elections Canada and the RCMP can deal with it.

Anonymous said...
Canada is naive to put its faith in Elections Canada

Anonymous said...

We'll find this is nothing more than a giant witch hunt. An inquiry should happen, so long as we open it up to funding and support from ALL foreign agents, including oil companies, lobbyists, etc. I don't think the Cons will enjoy the results, as the Cons to date are the only affected by this (eg. Ontario MPP recently left office) - LW