Monday, November 07, 2005

Mulroney Era Scandals

Blue Bloggingg Soapbox has a list of over 200 Liberal Scandals since being elected in 1993 - 80 under Chretien and 120 under Paul Martin.

The first thing you know is someone will say that Mulroney had scandals - yadda yadda yadda - so the Liberal's scandals don't count.

Here are Mulroney era scandals to compare to the 200 and counting.

1) The big one was Tunagate which brought down Mulroney's minister of fisheries and oceans. Fisheries minister John Fraser had overturned an order from his own inspectors and ordered a million cans of StarKist tuna released for sale to the public. The inspectors had said the tuna, packed at the StarKist plant in St. Andrews, N.B., was so badly spoiled that it wasn't even fit to be turned into catfood. The plant's owners had lobbied Fraser to release the cans for sale, saying they might shut the plant if the tuna couldn't be sold.

When the story broke, Fraser said he had sent samples of the tuna to two independent labs for testing, but those labs later said they hadn't finished their tests by the time Fraser decided to release the shipment. Six days after the scandal erupted, Mulroney asked Fraser to resign. In a twist the opposition parties were quick to exploit, Fraser and Mulroney both initially said that Mulroney had known about the original decision to release the tuna. The two men later said the prime minister had not known until the affair became public.

Fraser eventually went on to a new job, becoming Speaker in the House of Commons, but the 400 StarKist workers in St. Andrews weren't so lucky. The plant was shuttered after the company's market share slumped, and they were thrown out of work. Noone got sick though.

2) Robert Coates stepped down as defence minister in 1985 after it was revealed that he had visited a strip club in West Germany while in that country on official business.

3) Communications Minister Marcel Masse left over an alleged violation of the Canada Elections Act (he was later exonerated), followed closely by John Fraser (Tunagate).

4) In 1986, Minister of Regional Industrial Expansion Sinclair Stevens stepped down because of conflict of interest allegations related to a $2.6-million loan to a Stevens family company. In December 2004, a Federal Court judge declared null and void the findings of the Parker Inquiry. The court ruled that Parker's definition of conflict of interest exceeded that in the guidelines governing ministers in the Mulroney Cabinet, and that Stevens' behaviour did not violate the guidelines that governed him.

5) André Bissonnette, the minister of state for transport, resigned in 1987 while the RCMP investigated his alleged involvement in land speculation.

6) Roch La Salle, who served Mulroney in the public works, and supply and services portfolios, left cabinet the same year after being charged with demanding a bribe and accepting money from businesses looking for government favours. The charges were later dropped.

7) Conflict of interest allegations involving a personal loan felled Supply and Services Minister Michel Coté in 1988.

8) Bernard Valcourt stepped down in 1989 after pleading guilty to an impaired driving offence.

9) In 1990, current Quebec Premier Jean Charest had to leave his two posts as minister for fitness and amateur sport, and minister for youth after trying to talk to a judge about an ongoing case.

10) And, finally, in 1991, Housing Minister Alan Redway offered his resignation after being charged over joking about having a gun while boarding a flight at the Ottawa airport.

11) Quebec MP Michel Gravel, who in 1986 was charged with 50 counts of fraud and influence peddling. He later pleaded guilty to 15 charges, paid a $50,000 fine and served four months in jail.

Notice it's about one a year and that a couple were not politically related and some were exonerated!

Also note, that they either resigned or were fired or served jail time - unlike most of the Liberals.

As a Conservative, I'll stand behind that record against the Liberal record anyday.

5 Comments:

At 7/11/05, Blogger Lord Kitchener's Own said...

I always kinda saw "Gee, we can't win a vote in the Senate, so let's add more Senators" as a sandal too, just for the record.

Conservatives can complain about an undemocratic Senate all they like, but it was Mulroney who actually added to the number of Senators in order to stack the upper house with enough like-minded colleagues to get legislation passed. That always seemed worse to me than any thing else you've mentioned here.

I would also point out that under the Mulroney government, federal advertising contracts were doled out on an ENTIRELY political basis. The only difference between what the Liberals did in Adscam, and what the conservatives did while in government is that the Mulroney conservatives never tried to hide what they were doing (nor did the Libs before them, to be fair... it had been goin on forevere, under both parties). The biggest difference between Conservative and Liberal sponsorship and advertising spending is that the Liberals appear (after the fact) to be ashamed of what happened, and want to fix it.

There are dozens of other things you haven't mentioned, but why steal other people's thunder? I'll let some other commenters take a shot!

 
At 7/11/05, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yes, the hated GST - too bad the Liberals did not remove - I mean replace - I mean keep and reap the surplus generated by it.

About ad contracts - sure they went to PC friendly firms - the point is none went to the PC party

Joe Lemarde

 
At 7/11/05, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Prior to Mulroney, the Liberals had 40 of the last 50 years to appoint Liberal senators for life. Mulroney had no choice under the current system. There was no provision for forcing partisan liberal senators to resign or face an electorate.

Also, in any serious scandal allegations, the Conservative member accused resigned, on their own in most cases. With 200 some events over the past 12 years, less than a hand full of Liberals have been asked to step down or done so on their own. Only the most serious cases have led to dismissal. You can see it on the Liberal back benchers' faces that even they are embarrassed.

As Joe says, the PC party was guilty of patronage, but they did not receive brown bags of cash under the table in order to support the party itself. That is clearly an innovation that the Liberals excelled in.

Wayne

 
At 8/11/05, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who cares about what Mulrooney did.

That PC party of Mulrooney were probable more similar to todays Liberals than todays Conservative party.

Apples to Oranges.....

 
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