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Canada's Scandal: The Government vs. The Blogosphere

| 93 Comments | 35 TrackBacks

Publication bans on explosive cases don't mean much if you're outside the country, but media outside a country often lack enough interested readers to care. The blogosphere is changing that - and now we're seeing that change in Canada over an explosive political issue. Captain's Quarters:

"A political scandal involving the Public Works Ministry, a government effort called the Sponsorship Program, and allegations of corruption in the ruling Liberal Party has Canada abuzz with rumors of payoffs, Mob ties, and snap elections. For the last two years, Canadian politics has been gripped by the so-called “sponsorship scandal” – tens of millions of dollars in government contracts which were funneled into advertizing firms closely connected with the Liberal government for little or no work, but with shadowy rumours that much of the money found its way back into Liberal coffers."

A snap election is indeed possible. The Liberals have some big choices ahead of them, and so do the other political parties - and somehow, blogs look set to be right in the middle of it all. Time for a little bit of background from a Canadian, so our American readers can understand exactly what's going on. There are a few key wrinkles here that won't be obvious otherwise.

Entangled: Quick Scandal Update

An important note the Captain missed - the $250 million Sponsorship Program was concentrated in Quebec, where it was used to undermine the separatist Bloc Quebecois. I'll note for the record that I don't really have an issue with that aspect of it, though the Bloc sure does; they're Canada's 3rd largest federal party. The rest of Canada probably wouldn't care either, expect that [a] over $100 million of those funds were given out to Liberal Party friends for what was literally no work; and [b] rumours persist that a lot of those tax dollars found their way back to the Liberal Party's coffers via kickbacks from funding recipients.

Hence AdScam. For our U.S. readers, a good rule of thumb is that anything to do with Canada (population, economy, etc.) is multiplied by 10 to get an equivalent American scale. As you can see, we're talking significant dollars here.

Prime Minister Paul Martin, himself a Liberal, appointed the Gomery Commission to investigate these charges and determine whether to bring charges against government officials for corruption and malfeasance.

The amount kicked back to the Liberal Party is not yet clear, but should be traceable in principle given election finance disclosure requirements. Unless, of course, it turns out that those were broken too.

Who Dunnit: The Ban, The Blogs & The Politics

The Gomery Commission's inquiry is ongoing, but some of their efforts are under a publication ban. Back to Captain's Quarters:

"Most of the testimony heard by the Commission has been public, but Judge Gomery has decided to create a publication ban on the testimony of three key witnesses: Jean Brault, president of the ad agency Groupaction, Charles Guité, an officer of the Public Works ministry who worked on the Sponsorship Program, and Paul Coffin, president of the ad agency Coffin Communications.

That's because these individuals are on trial. Their testimony is under publication ban in order to allow them to testify, without prejudicing their ongoing trial. At least, that's the idea. This has been done before in Canada, most notably in the trial of serial killers Paul Bernanrdo and Karla Homolka where photos, movies et. al. of the young girls they raped and murdered were put under ban to spare the victims' families. It's considered legal here, for a series of reasons that I won't get into. Let's just accept that it's possible to order a publication ban on certain kinds of quasi-judicial proceedings here in Canada.

This is where the blogs come in. This is also where some pretty heavy-duty political calculations come in. Captain's Quarters:

"The potential damage of their testimony has so unnerved the Liberal Party that they have reportedly started working towards a snap election so that they will not have to face the voters once the facts surface from the record."

The scandal was a factor in the 2004 Federal election, too, and probably contributed to the Liberal Party's loss of their majority government. They're currently in power by the thinnest of margins [135 seats, now down to 132] (Hat Tips: readers Carleton Alum & Canadian Conservative). Just to create a tie, the NDP [Canada's socialist party, 19 seats] and 2 independents must support the Liberals, since the Conservative Party [99 seats] and seperatist Bloc Quebecois [54 seats] can vote against to create a 153-153 tie. The Speaker of the House, a Liberal, would then vote if necessay to break the tie - but in this case, it may not be necessary since the No-Confidence motion would have already failed to pass. See below for more details re: how all this works.

This makes for a pretty unstable government, because if the major opposition parties plus right-wing and electorally secure independent MP Chuck Cadman ever see an advantage in bringing down the government - it's gone.

A damning report from the Gomery Commission that showed massive corruption at the Liberal Party's highest levels would be a pretty opportune time for everybody, don't you think?

So far, the publication ban has muted coverage of the scandal, and given the Liberal Party of Canada the ability to "create their own trial scene". They even had the power to call a snap election before any reports could be released with the juicy details - something they recently threatened to do over the gay marriage issue.

Now, all that is changing. Enter the blogosphere.

Enter Captain's Quarters, a Minnestoa-based blog with a friend in the right place. The Captain has just published the gist of a key witness' testimony re: the Liberal Party of Canada's massive political corruption operation, payoffs, rumoured Mob ties, and all. Captain's Quarters is under no obligation to respect a Canadian legal ruling about Brault's testimony, and once it's out, anyone can link to it. Enter NealeNews.com, self-consciously patterned after The Drudge Report (vid. Outside the Beltway).

Enter, too, a whole swarm of Canadian and American blogs. Under normal circumstances, few Americans would care. These aren't normal circumstances, however, and when your enemy stumbles, it's news. This cross-border interest is driven in part by policies and casual anti-Americanism that have made the Liberal Party of Canada an enemy target to half of America's political spectrum (not to mention a few monied interests associated with the other half).

If you're a Liberal, that fact is very bad news.

I expect persecution and even prosecution of some Canadian bloggers by the Canadian government. The people who brought us the election gag law that prevents groups other than political parties from advertising during elections can be expected to remain true to form. As long as U.S. blogs are publishing the details, people can't be faulted for pointing to them - and CTV News in Toronto is already driving traffic to Captain's Quarters.

Which means that as long as there are willing leakers, the publication ban is almost meaningless.

Once that blog-driven dynamic starts picking up momentum, the Liberal Party of Canada will have lost control over the staging of their trial and the timing of their political calculations. Those are pretty big losses, to say the least. They will force some big decisions from the Liberals very soon, about which more later.

So what made a politician like Paul Martin ask for this kind of grief in the first place? As is so often the case, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

The Dividing Line: Why Martin Investigated His Own Party

"Prime Minister Paul Martin, himself a Liberal, appointed the Gomery Commission to investigate these charges and determine whether to bring charges against government officials for corruption and malfeasance. (See the blog Small Dead Animals for some excellent background on the case.)"

Paul Martin was a senior official in the Liberal government - in fact, he was the Finance Minister for most of Prime Minister Chretien's tenure (think Clinton's tenure, plus most of W.'s first tenure).

So why would Martin be so interested in a financial inquiry now that he's Prime Minister?

The root of it is that Paul Martin had been nursing leadership ambitions for a long time, and Canada has no term limits for Prime Ministers. Jean Chretien needed Martin in order to keep the confidence of Canada's business sector, but he also distrusted him - and for various reasons, the Martin and Chretien factions of the Liberal Party have disliked each other for a long time. Then came Martin's stealth takeover of the party, which finally brought the issue to a head in 2003. PM Chretien was forced to choose between stepping down and calling a party leadership convention, or having one forced and being voted out. He stepped down, and the results were predictable.

With Paul Martin now sitting as the elected leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, and the Liberal Party sitting with a majority of seats in Parliament, Paul Martin was now Prime Minister.

That's right. He was automatically Prime Minister. Without an election. Parliamentary systems can work that way.

Back to Martin, who now had the job he had always wanted. He also had a LOT of enemies within his own party, however... and an ace card, of sorts. You see, most of his high profile party enemies and flacks were very close to PM Chretien. Which meant they were eyes-deep in the $100+ million Sponsorship Scandal.

Canadians knew that Martin and PM Chretien never got along, and that the monies were spent by ministries outside the Finance Minister's direct control. The only thing that could have linked him into the scandal would be participation in a cover-up. So he listened to an old political adage, and "hung a lantern on his problem." As Hardball author and TV host Chris Mathhews notes:

"It is always better to create your own trial scene than to let someone else rig one up."

Actually, holding the inquiry offered Martin the prospect of a doubble-whammy: [1] distancing Martin from the scandal through forthright action now that he was in charge; and [2] letting him fry a lot of bigwigs in the party who were his political enemies anyway.

In Canada's 2004 Federal Election, this approach seemed to work. The scandal's impact was felt, but it was contained. An ideologically sympathetic media also did their bit, of course. It was a dirty campaign by the Liberals in all respects - but hey, that's politics.

Which brings us to Prime Minister Martin's current high-stakes decisions.

Dance on a Volcano: The Liberals' High-Stakes Options

Had Paul Martin and the Liberals won a majority government in 2004, there is no mechanism for accountability in Canadian politics. The inquiry would have been ended early, with votes forced through in Parliament on a party line basis as necessary. The media would dutifully highlight the "inconclusive" findings, the brouhaha would fade with the minor punishment of some convenient scapegoats, and the issue would almost certainly be a non-starter by 2008-2009.

Unfortunately for the Liberals, they didn't win 155 or more seats in 2004. Which means the scandal is still with them - and like some 'B' movie blob monster, it may be growing beyond their ability to contain.

The publication of Brault's testimony by Captain's Quarters has to be seen and understood in this light. The blogosphere is about to face its first big Canadian test.

As I noted above, I fully expect legal harassment and prosecution of some Canadian bloggers for breaking the publication ban if the leaks continue. That's a given, and it may already be in progress. Since the American blogosphere will keep covering it amidst today's polarized Canadian-U.S. relationship, however, it really won't matter. This cat is truly out of the bag. Which brings us to the Liberal Party's choices:

  1. Snap election. The Liberal Party can call a snap election very soon, hoping to attack the Conservative Party with an even stronger dirty-tricks campaign. The goal is to win a majority before any more incriminating details leak out, or the scandal blows completely out of control a la Dan Rather, Trent Lott, Eason Jordan, et. al. The anti-American card would certainly be played in this scenario, as part of the Liberals' ongoing efforts to cast the Conservative Party as "un-Canadian". The risk is that if the Liberals don't win a majority, they're right back where they started - with an unstable minority government, an even more hostile United States to the south, a scandal report still pending, and an even more enraged opposition.

  2. Stick to the Plan. Paul Martin can decide to ride this out, gambling that if the report comes out and he indicts enough of his enemies, he can put enough distance between himself and his Party to convince enough people that he has taken action to clean up the mess. "You may not trust my party," he'd be saying, "but look - you can trust me."

    This is not completely far-fetched. It could work, especially given a Canadian media corps who generally dislike the Conservative Party and treat them accordingly. The risk, on the other hand, is a 'perfect storm' scenario: the revelations become very noxious, the Liberals lose any control of their dissemination and timing thanks to blogs et. al. circumventing the bans, Martin can't indict anyone yet becuase the formal report isn't out, and it becomes impossible for Canadian voters to stomach a continued mandate for the party. Once that become clear, a No-Confidence motion in Parliament forces an election and it's curtains. The socialist NDP would probably prefer not to do that, because the Conservatives would likely form a government if the Liberals fall - but neither do they wish to immolate themselves by backing the Liberals on a confidence vote about a scandal this big, and they're very likely to lose that vote even if they do stick with the Liberals. Too risky; they'd vote no-confidence. Fortunately for the Liberals, there's still one option left...

  3. Take a leaf from Chretien's Playbook. When it became clear that Martin had control of the Liberal Party, Chretien was doomed. Rather than leave immediately, however, he publicly set a date for his resignation near the end of the year. This gave him control over the timing and agenda of his exit, and made it pointless for Martin to use his power to force what was already inevitable by date certain. It also gave his supporters time to find an anyone-but-Martin candidate if they could (the best they could do was Canada's equivalent of Barbara Boxer, who lost the leadership convention in a landslide; Martin loyalists then stacked and won her riding's candidate nomination just before the 2004 election, leaving her out of politics).

    Under this 3rd scenario, Prime Minister Martin publicly steps up and promises firm action within 30 days of the Gomery Commission's report being released. This could give the NDP a political fig-leaf to resist no-confidence votes ("give inspectors time to work"), sway an Independent, and even take some traction away from the Conservatives as revelations continue to come out. Of course, Canada's other 3 parties could also decide that the relevations do give them enough traction, and the NDP could decide that the fig leaf and downside were outweighed by an electoral upside. Like it or not, this who dunnit could all blow up on the Liberals anyway; the key domino is falling, and they're just in too deep.

Right now, it's all in limbo. Opposition parties have been counting out the time, while the Liberals keep thinking there must be some other way. My guess is that Paul Martin will begin with Option #2, then shift to Option #3. Will it be enough, or is his misunderstanding the genesis of some big changes? Stay tuned - because the blogosphere, reporting from behind the lines drawn by countries and judges, will probably play a big role in determining the answer.

Like it or not.

--- UPDATE ---

I've kept on digging, and done a lot of thinking. If I thought this ban was complete b.s., I'd raise my middle finger, note that our server is in the USA and our readership is international, and dare them to try bothering us. But if these individuals whose testimony is under publication ban are already facing criminal charges, they deserve the best we can give them for a fair one.

FYI, Colby Cosh explains some of the legalities of the ban, and what the considerations are. Yes, I still believe the ban is futile and will remain so as long as leaks are happening, for the reasons noted above. Which means the ban will likely crumble. Even if it doesn't, this cat really is out of the bag, and all of the consequences I've noted still apply.

In the end, here's what it boils down to for me: common citizenship means we accept implicit responsibilities and obligations to each other. I may think Brault is scum, but I still owe him my protection as a fellow citizen.

So... I've named the blog in question for our international readers, and as a matter of simple courtesy to attribute the quotes. There's always Google, and I believe the American blog Outside the Beltway mentioned above may have a more direct route. I have removed the links to material in this article that might violate the publication ban directly - and that is truly the best we can give Brault et. al. in the Internet age.

I will leave it up to the consciences of my non-Canadian team-mates re: whether they wish to follow my lead, or to cover this for their audience. Unlike me, they don't owe Brault et. al. anything.

What do you think of that approach, and why? Use the Comments section and tell us.

35 TrackBacks

Tracked: April 4, 2005 8:33 AM
Katzman from small dead animals
Excerpt: Joe Katzman at Winds Of Change provides invaluable background for those readers not familiar with Canadian Liberal Party history, the Sponsorship scandal and Gomery Inquiry. He also believes this is the first big test of the Canadian blogosphere - this...
Tracked: April 4, 2005 9:30 AM
More On AdScam from The Politicker
Excerpt: I got a link to Winds Of Change given to me, and I must say, I'm impressed. A complete profile of the case is laid out with possible options for the Liberal party. Here's a peak. As I noted above,...
Tracked: April 4, 2005 2:01 PM
Adscam Information Grows from Captain's Quarters
Excerpt: I expect to have more information today on the Adscam testimony, as well as more background information on why this matters to both Canadians and Americans. That may come later in the day, probably in the early evening. In the...
Tracked: April 4, 2005 2:40 PM
Routing Around It from Transterrestrial Musings
Excerpt: In the context of the perhaps-imminent fall of the Canadian government, and the laughable chicanery of the San Francisco city...
Tracked: April 4, 2005 2:51 PM
History in the making from Ghost of a flea
Excerpt: Informative and entertaining comment on this weekend's blogosphere-shaking events may be found at: The Belmont Club: "Beat to Quarters" Silent Running, "It's against da Canadian values to click on dis link, eh?" Winds of Change, "Canada's Scandal: The ...
Tracked: April 4, 2005 2:51 PM
History in the making from Ghost of a flea
Excerpt: Informative and entertaining comment on this weekend's blogosphere-shaking events may be found at: The Belmont Club: "Beat to Quarters" Silent Running, "It's against da Canadian values to click on dis link, eh?" Winds of Change, "Canada's Scandal: The ...
Tracked: April 4, 2005 2:53 PM
Canadian Cover-up? from Air Force Voices
Excerpt: Need further evidence of blogs exposing corruption and their power to shape public opinion? Go see Winds of Change and Captain's Quarters and learn of the explosive story (also known ad ADSCAM) regarding corruption at the highest levels of Canadian
Tracked: April 4, 2005 3:09 PM
Excerpt: For more detail and excellent analysis regarding the Gomery Inquiry/ Sponsorhsip Scandal / Adscam, head over the Winds Of Change. You won't regret it. BTW. Legal action appears to be threatening to break out regarding blogs that carry info under...
Tracked: April 4, 2005 3:59 PM
Sponsorship scandal from Ghost of a flea
Excerpt: Update: Daimnation! reports contempt of court charges are now being considered against a major Canadian newsfilter. I am going to follow Damian Penny's caution and remove any mention of the name of the blog reported to have posted materials possibly...
Tracked: April 4, 2005 3:59 PM
Speaking Of South Park... from Secure Liberty
Excerpt: It seems that Captain Ed has his own broohaha with our neighbors to the north. "Blame Canada!" has evidently been replaced with Blame Captain's Quarters!. Check out this report. A U.S. website has breached the publication ban protecting a Montreal a...
Tracked: April 4, 2005 4:44 PM
Canada's Corruption from The Key Monk
Excerpt: Canada is really an outpost of the European continent in North America. Ruled by liberal elites who push through politically correct policies; marked by disdain for the United States among its ruling class; and, as I noted here, politically and commerc...
Tracked: April 4, 2005 4:50 PM
Excerpt: The Canadian government is in the midst of a Watergate-style meltdown, and the internet is hastening it's collapse. Our friend Ed Morrissey has published accounts of testimony before a court that Canadian publications have been banned from reporting on...
Tracked: April 4, 2005 5:06 PM
Excerpt: Note that this has become, by accident, my growing post on the Canadian Sponsorship scandal. The Right (justly) is criticized by the Left for interfering with First Amendment rights by trying to legislate morality in broadcast television.
Tracked: April 4, 2005 5:06 PM
You know what....? from Trickle Down Truth (TDT)
Excerpt: I think I'm going to have re-evaluate some of what I was saying in my previous post, 'political poker-face.'
Tracked: April 4, 2005 5:32 PM
Excerpt: A great list of media bias (via Ed Driscoll): 1. The Lie. 2. The memory hole. 3. Ventriloquist journalism. 4. Polls. 5. Buzzwords. 6. Coordination with the Democratic candidates. 7. The smear/personal attack/outrage. 8. Euphemisms. 9. False appearance ...
Tracked: April 4, 2005 5:36 PM
SOMETHING ROTTEN IN CANADA from Michelle Malkin
Excerpt: Captain Ed , always ahead of the curve, is all over an explosive corruption scandal in Canada, where citizens are hungering for news because of a government publication ban related to the story. Go visit and keep scrolling down. Here's...
Tracked: April 4, 2005 7:34 PM
Excerpt: This isn’t a story that’s had much play on this side of the Atlantic but as it’s about (probably) to cause a Candian election and if so, highly likely to bring down the Liberal minority govt. of Paul Martin, perhaps
Tracked: April 4, 2005 7:53 PM
Catching my eye: morning A through Z from The Glittering Eye
Excerpt: Here's what's caught my eye this morning: Michelle Malkin and Amba of AmbivaBlog have beat me to the punch in mentioning the death of columnist Eleanor Clift's husband, journalist Tom Brazaitis. Ms. Clift appeared on the McLaughlin Group over the...
Tracked: April 4, 2005 8:06 PM
Excerpt: The Liberal Party of Canada has a problem. Apparently the party apparatus has been looting Canada's treasury to support its electioneering for almost a decade, funneling money through dummy government contractors. Under the claim that they must protect...
Tracked: April 4, 2005 9:04 PM
Excerpt: Captain's Quarters, through its network of correspondants (some on the Gomery commission in Canada call them spies...), has pierced a publication ban on the testimony of three witnesses whose right to their own fair trials would be compromised by publi...
Tracked: April 5, 2005 1:10 AM
I Am Criminal from Isaac Schrödinger
Excerpt: So, linking to Captain's Quarters is illegal here in Canada. Linking to this post from April 2nd could invite even
Tracked: April 5, 2005 1:36 AM
My Government is Corrupt from The AugiPundit
Excerpt: The government is surely going to fall, and there will be an election by summertime. Testimony under a publication ban at the Gomery Inquiry, leaked onto Captain's Quarters, an American political blog, has proven to be incredibly inflammatory, and coul...
Tracked: April 5, 2005 3:46 AM
Excerpt: Imagine being susceptable to ending up in court for contempt just for linking or even passing out the address to Captain's Quarters! There's more wrong in Canada than just a corruption scandal.
Tracked: April 5, 2005 4:34 AM
SCANDAL IN CANADA from Interested-Participant
Excerpt: From what I've seen written in the blogosphere thus far, there seems to be a sense of something akin to a delightful dread, or maybe, a gloomy anxiousness about the scandal. It's like catching something big and dangerous on your fishing line. You eag...
Tracked: April 5, 2005 5:15 AM
A CROSS-BORDER SCOOP from Peaktalk
Excerpt: Unless you've been living on another planet I guess most of you are now up to speed with the publication ban in Canada on a number of testimonies before a public inquiry into the misappropriation of public funds (the "Gomery...
Tracked: April 5, 2005 1:04 PM
A chill wind... and you need a lawyer to blog anymore? from Argghhh! The Home Of Two Of Jonah's Military Guys..
Excerpt: I used to plan and participate in things like this. In my last job on active duty - not one of this scope, but close! Fun, in the challenge sense- lose sleep, in the responsibility sense. But that was my...
Tracked: April 5, 2005 2:17 PM
The news that's not! from Classical Values
Excerpt: As any blogger knows, there's huge news in Canada involving a major government scandal. In the words of Nick Packwood. It is beginning to look to me that the Liberal Party of Canada has more to worry about than remaining...
Tracked: April 5, 2005 3:54 PM
Gomery inquest from BrinkReview
Excerpt: Due to a publication ban, the majority of Canadians are not allowed to hear Jean Brault's testimony regarding Adscam, a political scandal that may doom the Liberal party's chances in the next election. In 1994, the Liberal government created a...
Tracked: April 5, 2005 5:14 PM
Brault testimony, Part II from Being American in T.O.
Excerpt: Apr. 5 - I finally and completely understand why Canada has not produced a Dr. King or a Henry David Thoreau. Every blogger up here has only one decision to make: will you fight for liberty? This is an act...
Tracked: April 5, 2005 7:42 PM
Excerpt: In a nutshell: Canada's Liberal Party, which is the current ruling party, seems to be rife with graft, bribery, payoffs, racketeering, and snap elections.  OK, now for the long of it all... heck... I'm not typing all this info, so I'll point you to the be
Tracked: April 5, 2005 7:47 PM
Screw this... from Marturia.net
Excerpt: Since my site is hosted in Bedford, Texas, I'm going to feel free to link, link, link, link to this whole mess. Here is the "secret" testimony in the AdScam inquiry. Canadians should all read, and more to the point,...
Tracked: April 5, 2005 10:07 PM
Excerpt: Well it looks like >Captain Ed has take the neverending question of, "Are Bloggers Journalists and answered it. The answer is a resounding YES!" Atleast in his case. Of all the bloggers to sink their teeth into this story, Captain Ed is the last one t
Tracked: April 5, 2005 11:32 PM
Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled citiz from Another Rovian Conspiracy - St Wendeler
Excerpt: Winds of Change has a good summation of info related to the Adscam scandal. Just couldn't resist the title... if the Canadian bloggers don't want the traffic, just keep sending it down south.
Tracked: April 6, 2005 5:14 AM
Northern Alliance vs Canada from EckerNet.Com
Excerpt: It's the Northern Alliance vs The Corrupt Canadian government folks. Captain Ed at Captain's Quarters is graciously reporting what even...
Tracked: April 7, 2005 4:46 AM
Excerpt: While I know it's usually hard enough to keep up w/political scandals here in the U.S., there's a pretty big one brewing up in Canada, which some think has the potential to bring down the liberal government of PM Paul Martin.

93 Comments

I believe the corruption revealed by the evidence
so far needs to be published far and wide. For too many years have the politicians of both parties been dipping into the pork barrel. Too much political cronyism. It seems the area that
profits the most is the highway between Ottawa and Montreal and the area around the last prime
minister's riding.
We out here in BC can only marvel at the extent of this crookedness.

Which is a pretty amazing statement, given how wacky and oftimes shady BC politics can be. But I'm with Ben 100% on this.

Joe,

FYI

The combined NDP and Liberal votes are not enough to override the combined Bloc-Conservative vote in the House. The NDP is not needed to defeat the government.

Always good to see another Carleton alum.

Ah, I had forgotten Martin's principled and admirable tossing of that madwoman Carolyn Parrish [Ind - Mississauga-Erindale, ON], whose mission seemed to be the single-handed ruin of Canada-US relations via her bigoted anti-American comments in public and support for terrorists. She was kicked out of the Liberal Party Caucus, and now sits as an independent. Given his slim margin in Parliament, that was a gutsy move because it places her beyond Canada's strict party discipline.

For non-Canadians, here's how defeating a Canadian government works:

The House of Commons may attempt to bring down the Government by rejecting a Motion of Confidence or by passing a Motion of No Confidence. Either would require a majority, which is 155 votes in a full house (155/308).

I did a quick double-check. Sources seem to indicate that a motion of No-Confidence must affirmatively pass. If anyone knows different, however, tell me here because it changes the rest.

Regardless, my fellow Carleton alum is correct - even if the Liberals (134 seats) and NDP (19 seats) are all present and voting together, they can still go down to defeat (153-154). This requires the cooperation of the Conservatives (99 seats) and Bloc Quebecois (54 seats) and any one of 2 Independent MPs plus the support, abstention or absence of another.

There's Chuck Cadman [Ind - Surrey North, BC], who was forced out of the nomination by a power play in his riding association but won his riding handily as an independent (see comments #28 and #30 for more, and thanks Deaner & Cam!). He'd probably vote to end the Liberal government, secure in his ability to keep his seat. He doesn't like them anyway.

Left-wing nutbar Ms. Parrish can be absent or abstain at that point and nothing changes - or she can support the Liberals, and deadlock the motion, and cause any attempt to dissolve Parliament to fail (154-154). Note that her odds of retaining her seat in another election as an Independent candidate are very low - so we can probably place her with the Liberals on any No Confidence vote. But she is a complete loose cannon with an inflated sense of herself, and her MP pension is vested already anyway, so you never know.

If both Independents abstain, the motion also deadlocks (153-153, 2 abstentions) and Parliament is not dissolved as far as I know.

Needless to say, a Conservative + Bloc + NDP vote sinks the Liberals under any circumstances.

Nothing worse than being in a situation where there are two regional parties: the Bloc Quebecois in Quebec and the Conservatives representing the reactionary and pro-American West and one unelectable party - the NDP and and to have an election forced upon you by malefeasance on the part of the government. Welcome to the third world!

Rob

If the Conservatives represent the West, that means the Liberals don't. Which would make the Liberals... wait for it... a regional party. Wouldn't it now?

The truth is, there are currently no parties in Canadian politics with any serious strength across the nation. They are ALL regional parties - the only question is one of degree.

As for living in the 3rd World, I'd think that being able to get away with funneling hundreds of millions of public dollars to your friends for no work, then receiving it in kickbacks, while stifling public discussion of the issue, is a far more reliable indicator of 3rd world status than the potential loss of power by the Liberal Party of Canada.

Obviously, Rob's milage varies somewhat. But in his screed, you can see the likely Liberal talking points if they take my Option #1.

The head counting is a little more complicated than it has been made out to be.

First of all the Libs don't have 134 votes, they can only count on 132.

Lawrence O'Brien the former Liberal MP from Labrador died a few months ago and has not been replaced.

And secondly the speaker of the House (another Liberal) only votes to break a tie.

Ah, the blogosphere is wonderful. Thanks, CC... corrections going up.

This is only a start Joe.

I have a bit up on the Canadian connection to Volcker and the Oil for Palaces scandal

Actually Joe, Canada's Barbara Boxer was a reference to Sheila Copps, not Carolyn Parrish (Parrish is what, Canada's Cynthia McKinney? Barney Frank? La Cicciolina? Help me out here...)

Here's more on Copps (wow, for someone who prided herself on being a political street fighter, was she ever outmaneuvered):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheila_Copps

The Conservatives should blow the whistle and force the election.
This may be the one time in 10 years that the Canadian press will actually cut them a break and bite the hand that feeds them.
They need to pick up 15-20 more seats to get to 120 because the Liberals will definitely lose 25 to 35 seats and be the second party when this sh--finally rolls down on them

My only comment is: excellent writing you people, keep it up! I'm from southeast BC and while I believe in the right to a fair trial, I also see the Liberals using the various rules to keep the public from knowing the truth. I think we should give up on jury trials for public cases like this.

thanks again,

Bill

>>The House of Commons may attempt to bring down the Government by rejecting a Motion of Confidence or by passing a Motion of No Confidence. Either would require a majority, which is 155 votes in a full house (155/308).

I did a quick double-check. Sources seem to indicate that a motion of No-Confidence must affirmatively pass. If anyone knows different, however, tell me here because it changes the rest.<<

Actually, in the parliamentary system a government can be brought down by the majority of those voting against an important government bill. The theory is that if the government loses a vote on a bill vital to its agenda, such as a budget, it has lost the confidence of the parliament. This is tantamount to a vote of No Confidence andunder constitutional convention the government must resign.

Formal Motions of Confidence and No Confidence work slightly differently. From my understanding a Motion of Confidence can be introduced as a stand alone motion by a government or it can be introduced in response to a Motion of No Confidence. In the latter case the Motion of Confidence supersedes the Motion of No Confidence and a vote would be taken on the Motion of Confidence.

In both cases, should the governing party lose the vote on the Motion of Confidence the government must resign. As well, as you correctly state, should the opposition introduce a Motion of No Confidence and that motion be carried the government must resign.

Sadly, the one person who should go to the slammer and won't is Chretien. I'd love to see him eat his autographed golf balls.

As an American I've always wondered why English Canada doesn't do the right thing; quit treating Quebec like a harp seal and join the US. That way Ontario would counterbalance the yaboos in Texas, BC could cancel out Mississippi, etc., and the world would be spared another cowboy like Bush that you guys complain about so much.

What do you think of that approach, and why?

I think you're thinking like a gun controller: "If a freedom can be abused, ban it."

Why not assume that your fellow citizens will give Messrs Brault et al fair trials out of the fairness and moderation Canadians pride themselves on? Is Canadian civic virtue so fragile that it has to be protected from occasions of sin?

Screw the ban: "Tell the truth although the heavens fall."

Cowtown (#13), thanks for confirming that - OK, confidence motion must either pass or fail as applicable, on a majority of those present and voting.

Tim (#10), you're right. Canada's Barbara Boxer was Sheila Copps - don't you Californians wish you could say "was" too! - and Cynthia McKinney is indeed our best matchup for Carolyn Parrish.

Al (#14): I'm told the golf ball poutine is highly recommended. Gotta really boil those Titleists, though... they're pretty chewy. Mind you, if those are the only balls you end up eating in the slammer, you've gotta count yourself money ahead.

The part that I don't get is why people in Quebec should be miffed by any of this; if anything I would expect them to feel flattered by all the (additional) pandering and influx of cash into their economy (or whatever part of it remained there). After all, they've been wheedled and serenaded in similar ways for decades. Or does the 'fault' in this case lie in the discovery? TIA for any clarifications.

Zeke,

If you're a sovereigntist Quebecker, the fact that it's money coming in is outweighed by the fact that the "traitors" are spending it to try to destroy you.

Which is fine by me, really - but many Quebeckers are at least sympathetic toward sovereignty, and take the idea rather poorly. On a more cynical note, outrage also offers the seperatists political advantage, electoral rollback potential at the federal & provincial levels, and potentially the destruction of a couple of their political enemies' pet ad agencies.

Not hard to see the point, once it's put that way. Some even have a problem with the corruption involved.

Fabulous summary of a complex, convuluted and exceedingly odiferous scandal!

Having finally superceded the publication ban by reading the material online (thank you Bloggers everywhere!), the new information certainly does suggest that the Liberals may find themselves in serious difficulty however Martin may still be able to paint much of the events as a byproduct of Chretien's governance.

The other aspect of this is that this sounds to me (and believe me, I hate to say it) like the fairly typical party graft (writ a little larger then normal) that seems to be part and parcel of Canadian politics. The Liberals have been comfortably in power for 15 years, mainly due to the collapse and fragmentation of the Conservative opposition, so they have taken full advantage of that fact to pad their party coffers and the pockets of their friends and supporter with contracts and patronage.

Chretien and his pals are past masters of political patronage and hidden kick-backs. Did you ever wonder how someone who spent 40 years in public office (and Canadian public office don't pay that much...) amassed a personal fortune of millions?

Surprise, surprise, this is nothing new - it dates back to John A MacDonald and the railway. It is also not a Liberal party exclusive activity as there is still court actions winding away on the remains of the Conservative Mulroney government's legacy with Aerobus contracts etc.

What the situation cries out for is the need for hugely stronger oversight capabilities on party spending, the rewarding of government contracts and the gray areas of campaign finance....and as an added bonus a far more limited usage of publication bans. I understand that the current ban is in place for specific reasons related to criminal trials in Quebec but I strongly suspect that the sanctity of the trial is the least of the reasons for the ban being in place.

Maybe this will be a wake-up call.

It's pretty much public knowledge i.e. the link to an AP/Yahoo story
covering all the testimony. You don't need more than that to tell you what the story's about.

The Liberals can't bottle this up and the very fact they are thinking about it tells you everything you need to know about their arrogance in even trying.

If the Gomery Commission wanted the three to have a fair trial, they would have called for the testimony to be given in secret. Ironically, they could have used to exact same reason - to ensure a fair trial. That they didn't suggests that they did not anticipate the accused would implicate the Liberal party so thoroughly and convincingly.

The publication ban is an attempt to contain the damage by shifting the argument to free speech and whether the three would have a fair trial when the issue ought to be whether the three should be given immunity in exchange for their testimony against the Liberal party. Canadians pride themselves on fairness. How fair is it to overlook the possible criminal actions of a political party by even suggesting that these three ought to go on trial at all if they are willing to provide evidence of wrongdoing by the Liberal party machine?

"As for living in the 3rd World, I'd think that being able to get away with funneling hundreds of millions of public dollars to your friends for no work, then receiving it in kickbacks, while stifling public discussion of the issue, is a far more reliable indicator of 3rd world status than the potential loss of power by the Liberal Party of Canada."

Might also be a reliable indicator that you are in Chicago.

Good posting, keep up the good work.

Given the intrusion of the US government and the Canadian government into the "freedom of the blogosphere: - simple free speech issue, maybe another solution is called for.

Remember the gambling boats anchored just beyond territorial limits? Offshore radio?

How about a Blogosphere hosting boat in international waters registered in some third world dump nation?

Or is some sort of peer-to-peer technology appropriate?

Nil illegitimus carborundum.

The sponsorship scandal has not really been uncovered due to Paul Martin succeeding Jean Chr굩en. It has been uncovered by a scathing report by the Auditor General Sheila Fraiser who found that there were contracts and transactions made without trace or without respecting any rules.

This report made such an impact that it led to the current Gomery Commission, which is unveiling facts after facts. All the puzzle's pieces are falling into place.

By the way, the Liberal Party was crumbling under debts in the 90's and early 2000's. They spent too much for their campaings and were close to bankrupcy (that was not known at large though, at that time). So this ad scandal is the way they found to get themselves out of this hole they created just to get to power and to keep it.

The government will now win on this issue. The internet moves way too fast for them to control, and that is the beauty of it. Unless someone is being hurt (and in all honesty, how is the information from this testimony really going to hurt anyone? Do they honestly think they are not going to be able to find suitable jurors for the criminal case now?), I see no reason for this type of government interference on the basic human rights of freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

I can only hope this will lead to even greater scrutiny of the Liberal government. Who knows, we might even vote the Liberals out of office next election.....

As a canadian, I wish I could move to the US. Nothing but wimps up here.

One small correction - Chuck Cadman wasn't "too conservative for the conservatives" - in most cases, he would be pretty-middle of the Tory road. His riding association was overrun by a new political entrant who campaigned to get the Tory nomination - that is, he signed up and then bused in a load of friends, relatives, and assorted others and won the nomination meeting. Cadman was ticked, in part because he believed that sitting MPs should not have to face such nomination fights, and he decided to run as an independent. He is personally popular in the riding, and this little dust-up probably made him more so. You may have been thinking of Randy White, who made some comments that played directly into the Liberal's election campaign strategy of painting the Tories as scary mouth-breathing rednecks with a "hidden agenda."

Cheers,

Dean

This is probably the best round-up out there right now. Good work.

#4 Joe Katzman:

There's Chuck Cadman [Ind - Surrey North, BC], who was a bit too conservative for the Conservative Party

If memory serves, the attempt to jettison had nothing to do with Cadman's extreme conservatism - he was more in the "Red Tory" frame. In fact, he was almost a Canadian version of a "RINO" - except on matters of Law and Order, where he was a fierce critic of lenient sentencing. IIRC, his son was killed and that was what galvanized him to run for the House.

#41 Deaner.

LOL. Quicker on the draw than I, I guess...

The intent of the media ban, to preserve an unbiased jury, strikes me as very odd. This especially applies to posts on the internet.

As I understand things, this was a public hearing, so the only thing this "ban" tries to do is limit the number of people who get access to it. In this way the chances of the accused receiving a fair trial are increased.

I assume (knowing nothing about Canada jury selection practices) that the lawyers for the defense would have some ability to not accept someone who had a good chance of being biased. Thus it would be the lawyer’s, and possibly the trial judge’s, duty to ensure that the jury pool was unbiased to the best of their ability.

So while a question like "do you often attend public hearings?" would cause far fewer people to answer yes than a question like "do you often read online blogs?" fundamentally they are the same thing. Some people, no matter how large a group, will know about this, while some will not. Even if this was broadcast 24/7 on all types of media, there would still exist some people who either did not hear about it, or willfully choose to ignore it. (as Penn and Teller would say, Elvis didn't do no drugs)

I have tried to see the point of your moral stand Joe, but I just can't bring myself to agree with you. If the jury selection is unbiased, then it will result in an unbiased jury pool. Your choice not to directly publish any of this information will have no affect on that.

If you add in the very strong possibility of these snap elections, then I would make the claim that you are morally wrong (or at least not behaving as a "press") by not doing all you can to publish this information.

Unless of course you are honestly worried about getting sued, in which case I can totally understand the reluctance to publish so as to avoid legal troubles. You claim that you are not concerned about that aspect of it though, so I am left unpersuaded.

In any case, thank you for the additional background on how things stand.

#45 chadeo:

Of course, it is important to have an unbiased jury pool - but this is a hearing, not a trial. The decision to impose a publication ban on this process smacks of political protection.

Joe,

I am simply in awe of your ability to summarize a very complex situation in such a thoroughly readable fashion - Bravo.

I also think, as a Canadian, that sometimes it is best to err on the side of discretion when it comes to publishing all details in a pre-trial period. While I'm a believer in a free press I'm equally fond of fair trials. Like you I have no doubt that the full story will come out and the voters will have the final word.

This is not to suggest that the blogs should be somehow curtailed - far from it.

Let our neighbours curious natures reign supreme while we, perhaps naively, put our faith in the courts and the ultimate good sense of the Canadian electorate.

#47 Osprey:

put our faith in the courts and the ultimate good sense of the Canadian electorate.

The "good sense of the Canadian electorate" has given us the dominance of the Fiberals Liberal party. I haven't much faith as a result.

Deaner, Cam, you're right - I had them confused. I'll go note those corrections. Looking at his web site, he had come off as something other than he was.

He has my deepest condolences for his son, too. It's an awful, awful feeling. Especially on anniversaries. And it never, ever goes away.

Dean: "It is also not a Liberal party exclusive activity as there is still court actions winding away on the remains of the Conservative Mulroney government's legacy with Aerobus contracts etc."

etc is not a replacement for facts? And by court actions did you mean the public apoligy issued or the million dollar cash settlement? Trust me, if the Libs had something more than a left wing nutter selling a book for a lead on Muldoon they would have been all over it. They've had over 10 years for @$#% sakes.

The problem with this kind "they are all the same" logic Dean is that it gives Ontario and the Atlantic all the excuse they need to re-elect their beloved Libs even in light of this huge theft.

Dean: "It is also not a Liberal party exclusive activity as there is still court actions winding away on the remains of the Conservative Mulroney government's legacy with Aerobus contracts etc."

etc is not a replacement for facts? And by court actions did you mean the public apoligy issued or the million dollar cash settlement? Trust me, if the Libs had something more than a left wing nutter selling a book for a lead on Muldoon they would have been all over it. They've had over 10 years for phuhk sakes.

The problem with this kind "they are all the same" logic Dean is that it gives Ontario and the Atlantic all the excuse they need to re-elect their beloved Libs even in light of this huge theft.

ham-you-rabbis-law:

I wonder if Dean was thinking more of the CF-18 maintenance contract going to Quebec rather than Manitoba. That was egregious, and I still voted for them.

A cursory read through your links above does not include the work done on this subject heretofore by the folks at "Friends of Saddam". You will find enlightening tidbits here:
http://acepilots.com/unscam/archives/cat_canada.html

two points - first the difference between the so called mulrony scandel and this one was that it did not involve hundreds of thousands of dollars and that no one in the conservative party - mulrony included - ever receive any types of tick backs. Second if the liberals force an election - which the canadian people do not want- they will pay for it. the likely hood is that they will lose the little number of seats that they have in québec and will likely lose seats in ontario. those two combined will produce a Conservative governement and the one thing liberals hate the most is to see this country runned by the tories.

One thing to note about our beloved left-leaning media in Canada is that they are either owned by the government (ie - the CBC) or are indebted to them for a good portion of their cashflow (the federal government being the biggest spender on advertising in our country). Think about that the next time you see full page ads for the "One Tonne Challenge" (the current adscam)and think about how objective that paper is about the Liberal government.

Robert

"If the Conservatives represent the West, that means the Liberals don't. Which would make the Liberals... wait for it... a regional party. Wouldn't it now?"

I've often thought that our (Canadian) system with multiple parties was better than the 2 party system in the US, but the danger of "regional" parties (or the perception thereof) is huge. And I don't know about the rest of you westerners, but I've always kinda thought the Liberal party was regional (and traditionally, aside from the rain-damaged west coasters, their support tended to end pretty much at the eastern Ontario border). The Conservatives are trying to shake the Reform dust from their feet (although the big stink over same-sex marriage makes me wonder if not just 1984 is upon us but perhaps the Handmaid's Tale as well?) to lose the "regional" tag. And how the Bloc Quebecois can be a "federal" party when it's main purpose (at least originally) was promoting Quebec sovereignty is aother example of a rather feudal system. But I still think it beats the US set up, because the guy (ok, Kim had it for what, 9 weeks or something?) heading the country is the guy leading the party that the majority (ok, highest percentage in some situations) voted for.

Maybe we just need to put some term limits in place - it seems that both the Liberals now & the Conservatives in the 80s prove the adage "absolute power corrupts absolutely." If memory serves me, Mulrooney's scandal centred around the last five years of his government, and the adscam started...well, halfway I guess? through Chretien's?

Personally, I wish Belinda could run the country -she's rich enough to not need any extra cash and has managed to successfully run a company (and if you think that's because of Daddy, you might want to do some research on how FEW second generation owner/managers are successful). How come the press never mention Harper's or Martin's choice of tie, but her outfits are considered news??? Oops, off on a tangent there...

Re: Chuck Cadman

I was living in Surrey when his son was killed - it was truly devastating for the whole community. Everyone in the Lower Mainland has their favorite "Surrey joke" but the reality is that there are only small pockets that are, well, less-than-spectacular to be polite. Surrey is a huge city (population >500k) that encompasses a large portion of what's considered White Rock and any number of high priced "good" neighborhoods. To have a teenager killed, for no reason other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time - and knifed, no less, which is actually hard to do "randomly" - shook everyone. It was probably the first time people "got" that gangs aren't just a US problem.

I admire Chuck & his wife for their ability to take that tragedy and turn it into a mission so that other families won't have to suffer such a senseless loss.

#44 Candace:

I didn't realize that Cadman's boy's death was gang-related - at lesat in the organized sense. I thought it was just a pack of kids looking for trouble. Were they an organized gang?

Excellent summary of the events so far.

Being a western Canadian, I seem to have an ingrown distrust and dislike for the national Liberal Party.

My fear is, no matter what depths of depravity and ignorance and disrespect the Liberals show, Ontarians are still going to vote them into power. I can’t understand it, do they fear our Conservative party that much? Really, on most issues, they’re hardly more right wing then the Democratic party in the US.

Speaking of the US, they demand so much from their leaders. Imagine Bush, as president, walking up to a protester, and throttling him. He’d be ruined.

Imagine Clinton rumored to be even remotely connected to something like adscam, he’d get the boot, his party would reject him.

Imagine any president initiating an extensive and ‘essential’ program that ballons to hundreds or thousands of times the promised cost(gun registery). Their political career would be over.

What does it take to remove the Liberals from power? I have no idea. Nothing I can dream up short of alien invasion or the evolution of super-intelligent killer robots who dislike red. And the liberals know their practically invincible. Is anyone following how they tried to sneak in a bunch more government control BS in the Kyoto thing? They are doing this, in the midst of a massive scandal involving their party!?! Talk about arrogance. They know they can’t loose so they keep up their same old dirty tricks.

Finally, its easy to hate the liberals, but never forget who ultimetly keeps them in power.

This rant brought to you by 13 years of Liberal government control.

Rant off.

To all bloggers fighting the good fight, please, never stop.

One more thought I forget to touch on,

IMO every blogger out there, Canadian and otherwise, should forget this 'ban' exists at all.

The info is already out there, plenty of Canadian blogs point you to the info, just not as directly as usual. They think they are protected by avoiding any direct links, but this may be incorrect.

So just flood the internet with the info and be done with it.

Finding 'untainted' jurors later on won't be difficult, I believe people tend to overestimate the amount your average person follows current events in any detail.

I mean, look at the bloggers in places like Iran and China. They are litterally risking their lives to promote their basic freedoms, while Canadian bloggers cower before the big scary liberals.

I haven't lived in Canada for almost 15 years, but did live there for more than 20 years before that, 13 of 'em in Quebec.

My take on the bigger picture of Adscam is that Quebec politics have been corrupt (often phenomenally so) for what amounts functionally to forever. So what do you expect when with the exception of a few token place-holders every prime minister for forty years has been from the most corrupt province in the country?

It would be as if every American president since Kennedy had been from Pennsylvania, and all the important ones from Philadelphia and environs.

Indicitive of the sad state of affairs of our media in Canada, that this (the tip of the iceberg in my opinion) can take place. There exists no polarity of opinion in media outlets in Canda, just various shades of Lefty grey. As such there has been no journalistic curiosity to investigate/report that there may be a fire under the thick black clouds of smoke that have been emanating from the Liberal Government and the Liberal Party of Canada over the last decade.

The one voice we had for a short while, The National Post under the tutelage of Conrad Black, is now a flaccid reflection of its former self with the Aspers at the helm. I would have just loved to have seen the NP crew at that time get their teeth into this.

It will be the Blogosphere that undoes the Liberal Party of Canada, not the Canadian media, so I thank those south of the border for keeping us abreast of the issues.

As for Canadian Blogs posting links and or information to/from the American Blogs that are publishing information on the Inquiry, how does one know that what he or she may be providing a link to is true? Since there is a publication ban we dont really know what the story is. As such, can providing a link to a story that cannot be proven to be true at the time be illegal? Perhaps none of it is at all reflective of what is truly happening at the Gomery Inquiry. As far as I can acsertain this is all second hand information.

Were the bloggers in question actually at the Inquiry and posting, I could see where they would run afoul of the ban. In this case though it would seem that since the information has come second hand and is, as a result of the ban, unverifiable that there is a buffer of sorts against the illegality of the "breaking" of the ban. Can it be against the law to spread rumors?

I think Canadians on the whole have been in the dark for way to long. There is no denying that everyone wants to hear to dirty details (myself included), that we spend quite a deal of time searching for them. I'm glad that some Americans have decided not to follow the ban, it gives me the chance hear what may be going on. It also disuades the gorvernment's attempt the hide the truth which they seem very adept at doing until recently. While Justice Gomery placed the publication ban to protect the right to fair trial, I'm left wondering who was protecting my rights as a Canadian when this was going on? The time to hide things is past. My mother often told me "If you're going to do the crime, be prepared to do the time". These folks broke the law and must be held accountable - period. You may not feel that you are ready "to cross that line" and place links at your site, but I am and I have. If the consequence of my actions is jail, then so be it. I consider it "just" and the "honorable" thing to do, which is more than anyone can say is our government today.

If you think the ADSCAM is a big unfolding scandal for the Canadian Liberal Party, one that could possibly cost them the goverment, wait until the Gun Registration Bill issue comes back to the forefront, if it ever does.
Until details of ADSCAM started to emerge, the Gun Registration Fiasco, with it's projected cost of about $2,000,000 Cdn running up to $2 Billion, was all the rage. (In American terms, using the 10-1 "rule of thumb", this would come out to approximately $2 Thrillion dollars to register all the firearms in the U.S.A.)
$2 Billion dollars to register less than 2 million firearms in Canada, and another $100 Million a year to maintain the program; this is simply outrageaous! To what friendly Liberal Party sponsors did all this money go?
It seems that all of this has been conveniently swept under the rug since ADSCAM. Perhaps this scandal also needs a Gomery-style Commission to bring out and air it's dirty laundry.

I agree with Trevor. Isn't it interesting that our Liberal government is not banning the media nor oposition parties from the Gomery inquiry but, does so to the Canadian citizen who has every right to know what its government is up to. Remember, we pay the salaries of these crooked politicians and we have given them the power to spend our hard-earned dollars. The more they try to muzzle us, the more we need to hold them accountable by publishing their criminal activities. So, bloggers, why are you cow-towing to this "bully" government and suddenly running to delete your links to CQ. If your aim is to expose government scandal then surely you can "walk the talk" when push comes to shove. If all bloggers unite and defy Gomery's ban, I am sure you will have a very sympathetic public backing you. And if not, then Canadians are truly a bunch of whining pussies and we deserve what we get for continually electing this Liberal dictatorship. (I qualify this by adding that I am Conservative through and through.) All I can say is thank God we live next door to the USA, because again they came to the rescue and may have saved our Canadian Bacon!!!!!!!!

Excellent roundup. In principle the ban should be lifted. I really believe Canadian people need to know what's going on. And I really believe we can respond to the truth intelligently. The information is already out in the public.
But, having said all that, I'm not sure how many people are familiar with information available in the blogosphere. I'm the only person I know who regularly follows political blogs.
I'm also despairing of the possibility Canada will ever have anything other than a one-party system.
The ruling Liberals can also be depended upon to pull out the anti-American cards. They will find a way of selling people on being angry at those American bloggers who disregard our rules. And sadly, so far at least, Canadians as a group can be depended upon to be reflexivly anti-American. (And I realize that thought may contradict my earlier comment about our being intelligent enough to handle information.)
Cynicism off.

This is very normal in our antiquated parliamentary system. Many of the issues that I see that are a key element in the Canadian corruption is the centralization that our "democratic dictatorship" of a country has. The lack of an elected senate as being one of the issues, makes Ontario and Quebec voters win the government and to the political parties, no one else does. It makes no difference what my vote is being out west were the money is, as the majority is won by the time they count the votes in Ontario and Quebec while we continue to funnel taxes to central Canada for immediate squandering. The US has representation by population as well as geographic representation which is fulfilled by the Senate. Not the case in Canada. There should be more blogs condemning the Canadian parliamentary system as undemocratic to those outside of Quebec and Ontario. We live in a Democratic Dictatorship and there is nothing that any of us can do but sit and watch as the government funnels money to the french and their own party.

In american we try them before they get to court in the media.

it does several things, provides americans entertainment and it also saves the taxpayers money.

it seems to work for us.

This whole thing is great. It may just be THE rallying point that is needed to bring together what is left of conservativism in Canada, and oust the Liberals.

I know the info would probably have gotten out eventually, but to have this start on a blog? An american blog to boot? Fecking brilliant. I love it.

To all bloggers coving this, keep up the good work.

BTW, has anyone found mention of this on any of the bigger left wing blogs?

Regarding the snap election scenario - a quick question. Is it not possible that the Govenor General (Adrienne Clarkson) could refuse to disolve parliament given that a Liberal election call would obviously be to dodge the effects of the Gomery inquiry. I think Ms. Clarkson popularity would really soar if this happened.

Re: #10 Tim:

Your reference to Carolyn Parrish as being Barney Frank - how about just Barney. They're both ugly, immature dinosaurs.

Re: #15 Wayne:

"As an American I've always wondered why English Canada doesn't do the right thing; quit treating Quebec like a harp seal..."

Maybe they should treat Quebec like a Harp seal :-)

http://archives.cbc.ca/IDC-1-73-986-5603/politics_economy/seal_hunt/clip4

Re: #55 Cube:

"In american we try them before they get to court in the media."

Actually you do both given the O.J. Simpson, Peterson and Michael Jackson trials. No business like show business.

Humm ... i don't think that a few American blogs will make it impossible to find some Canadians that can provide a fair judgement in the upcoming cases, but that said, a publication ban will mean that there is at least a decent chance that not everyone in Canada will be subject to possible prejudicial evidence.

Now, given the political bent of the American blog in question, and the fact that the Liberals now have standing in the inquiry and will probably be allowed to cross-examine the witnesses, can we count on the blogger to give a fair recounting of the cross-examination so those Canadians who truely want to know the facts don't have to have them filtered them through an American conservative viewpoint?

The Liberals should consider leaking the transcripts to an American left wing blog to provide some balance to the story.

Oh, I also question the blogers committment to the peoples' right to kown, as anyone interested can have a peek at his Aug 8, 2004 entry where he loudly defends the Bush administration against "ludicrous conspiracy theories" for the redaction of documents that all those in the know said showed the level of involvement of Bush's good friends, the Saudi royals, in international terrorism.

Seems to some right wingers, Canadians have more of a right to know than Americans.

I do honestly believe that we owe Jean Brault the right to a fair trial, so there is a certain legitimacy to the concept of a publication ban. That legitimacy was thrown out the window the moment that it became clear that the government, which would be the people being investigated, had access to the information. It is not unreasonable to expect that if the press couldn't report on what was said, then the Liberal Party should not have had access to the info, either. Now that the lid is off, and the possibility of an untainted (for now) jury pool is out the window, I think that the Gomery Inquiry should be moving towards lifting the ban. The entire point may be moot, as my gut tells me that Brault has seen the writing on the wall. His former accomplices in this racketeering scheme have given all appearances that they are perfectly willing to let him hang alone on this deal. That would be strong motivation for anyone to tell where the bodies are buried and try and swing a deal. I'll lay a $100 that Brault's lawyers are working on a plea bargain as I type.

The judge had an opportunity to take testimony in camera and did not. Even so, the premise is that testimony will irreparably taint the trial. Ignorance does not guarantee a fair trial and knowledge does not necessarily prevent one.

Remove the ban and deal with it.

I didnt get to read the article about the Breault's testimony, must have been very incrimanating for the Liberals, we all Canadians should know what is going on with our money. I know the heads that will fall wont be the guilty ones, the most guilty I should say. For me this situation is awfull and not fair for us Canadian. One thing I had learned lately is do not talk against countries where freedom is absent, we are getting there very fast. we are lucky, we still get "band-aids".

I support the theory that Canadians should have the intelligence to be impartial. To me, it is another indictment of the legal system here: too many rights, not enough responsibilities. The Fiberal Party's lawyer can cross-examine Brault. They will have ample time and unlimited (public) resources to do damage control and put their own spin onto the evidence. Example: we now have the attempt by PM Martin to deflect public attention by calling in the Mounties to investigate whether the liberal party was the "victim" of fraud. Is that not suspicious timing? As an Ontarian I am outraged by the antics of both provincial and federal fiberals. Expose all of the lies and deception, I say, and let the public finally get an unbiased account of what the government is doing, Lord knows we won't get it from the media especially from the likes of the socialist-oriented CBC.

Re #58: Dave L: What's to stop any left leaning blogger from posting the facts uncovered thus far? I haven't come accross any - perhaps you can supply some sites?

Another example of the fiberal government's cronyism is the $billion HR Boondoggle - add that to the list.

Gomery, like Starr or Ito wants to strut on the stage of celebrity for his Warholian fifteen minutes.
The publication ban has merely acted as the accelerant to this burning issue: can the Liberal Government of Canada still sell the public the Emperor in his new clothes? Or will the huddled masses of the internet see the obvious truth - the emperor is naked but still very much in power.

CJ

Re 62: "What's to stop any left leaning blogger from posting the facts uncovered thus far?"

Nothing except there'd have to be a "left leaning" leaker willing to subvert Canadian law for politial gain ... although I think it's a stretch to necessarily call todays Liberals "left leaning".

"Another example of the fiberal government's cronyism is the $billion HR Boondoggle"

Actually after the followup audit in the wake of the original audit, the actual "boondoggle" turned out to be something like 13 thousand dollars that could not be accounted for.

Not that I want to defend the Liberals, but the right wings habit of crying "mass murderer" for things that turn out to be minor cases of negligence does nothing to help dethrone the Linerals in the long run, and actually tends to make the right wingers look foolish and deminishes their credibility everytime they act like hysterical school children.

I heard today on Newsworld politics that the Conservatives are actually backing off a little after the initial "excitement" wore off and they realized that the testimoney given was going to be cross-examined and possibly shown to be less than the slam dunk it was first made out to be.

although I think it's a stretch to necessarily call todays Liberals "left leaning".

They are basically communists and "third way" socialists

Martin smooching with the killer butcher socialist maximum ruler of Libya, of his fawning over Hugo Chavez, the new Castro of the Americas waithing for his order of 100,000 machine guns and arms from the Socialists of spain that look like they played a part in 3/11 themselves.

Here in the USA, the hard core stalinists, the CPUSA and North Korean Mass Murder celebrating ANSWER voted for John Kerry.

In America Liberals support planks out of the communist manifesto. and see nothing wrong with killing babies before birth anymore than their ertswhile allies create mass graves of "enemies of the people", one lays the groundwork for the other and are twins of the same evil loss of value of the individual.

Its all one and the same.

but the right wings habit of crying "mass murderer" for things that turn out to be minor cases of negligence

No its a product of the same corrupted evil

mass graves of "enemies of the people" or a littany of implimenting the same but in slow motion, both implemented by force of govt thugs with guns.

All of that, communism socialism marxo-liberalism prgressive "third way" facism.

Distintions, without a difference, all springing from the same "root-cause" the same twisted evil that has freedom and liberty as its opposite.

The historical record is replete with the left snuggling up with the leftist hellholes of the earth.

In the USA, half the democrat party are communists-socialists of one form or another, and share the venue with so called "liberals" infect the policies of so called "liberals" to the point that few that claim to be "liberals" deserve the name.

"Liberals" today are simply slow motion communists, and communists are no more than "Liberals" in a hurry. both impose their offenses to humanity using govt thugs with guns.

Now contrast this with the Liberals of Austriala, real liberals, not marxists, the socialists of Austriala are in the Labor party.

In the USA, those Aussie Liberals would be republican conservatives.

There, Liberalism still has its original definition.

Cherac in france recent railed against "Neo-Liberalism"

In France, Liberals still have the original definition, and in the USA, would be called Conservative Republicans.

In the USA and Canada however, "Liberals are the opposite of the classical Liberals of Austriala and France. they are not Liberals, they are motly mix of marxists, stalinist, maoists, and are the idiological kindred of the labor parites of Britain and Austriala and the social democrats to full blown bolshiviks of Europe.

How so Orwellian.

If a good honest decent Christian was to aspire to the top office in Canada, no doubt the communist loving freedom and liberty hating media there would demonize him to no end.

It would be the Harvard flap on steroids, where the feminists went "histerical" (ha) because he came dangerously close to infering there might be differences between the sexes.

Never mind the mountain of scientific evidence that backs up what any honest observer can determine, such is a heresy for the left deserving of burning at the stake, the leftist fraud must be maintained at all costs.

To the leftist media, if you value freedom liberty and the defense of the innocent you are the enemy of evil, and the leftist evil will attack you.

Only a secret lover of the soviet gulag would ever pass muster there .. spouting the commie code words of "social justice" et al. with plenty of good things to say about Castro, Chavez, Kadafy, and Kim Jong Il.

When the new maximum ruler for life of Venesuela begins to arm the lords of the comming killing fields of the Americas with his new shipment of 100,000 machine guns, no doubt Canadas cultueal marxist prime minister will be quick to denounce the USA if we dare to oppose the creation of those killing fields.

Gosh I wish you USians would stay the hell out of our business ... don't you have enough of your own issues (Delay up to his eyes in corruption, making new laws to prevent anyone from even bringing up the issue let alone allowing an inquiry ... even one with a publication ban would be an huge improvement; Delay and Cornyn suggesting the murder of judges for upholding the constitution; a security infrastructure that might as well have been claiming Col Mustard did it with the candlestick in the library as providing any useful information on actual security threats.)

And, if Canada wants to elect socialists, communists, or three headed martian parties to run the country then what the $^%# business is it of you USians? Your classification of the Canadian Liberals as "communists"; coming from a Christofascist in country that considers Kerry to be left leaning; will be given all the consideration it is due.

Dave - the word you're looking for is "Americans". I've never met a USian. Are they the opposite of the THEMians? And weren't the latter on Galaxy Quest? But I digress...

I'd say the Americans who have shown an interest in this issue have done Canadians a huge service here. This feeling seems to cross ideological lines here, with the exception of Liberal Party flacks who have the gall to moan about... wait for it... "fraud" in connection with the breach of the publication ban.

Canadians can elect anyone they want - but when names are being named that include sitting MPs, and some of the allegations involve more than casual or isolated criminality, and an election could be forced any day - yeah, that's awfully relevant.

RE: Raymond. I have no idea if Raymond has religious beliefs, or if so what they are. I know he's infamous here for calling everyone to the left of the Republican right communists. Cosider the source, and take it for what it's worth.

Speaking of which...

I'm sorry you hate the Americans, Dave, and I'm sorry that seems to be colouring your judgment and causing you to sound like a bit of a loon yourself. But there's important stuff going on here, and bloggers of all stripes are free to cover it, and in doing so they help us all. Try to put the hate on hold for just a moment, it might help you contribute something useful to these discussions.

Raymond, that goes for you too.

Thank's Dave for your comments - they are appropriate indeed. Uncle Sam supporters know EVERYTHING don't they? We clearly saw that in the justification of the Irak War and claim of success on board the aircraft carrier hi hi hi !

I pardon them. They think they are not gagged wow! their media keeps them ignorant of what's really happening.

Dear Joe,

Check your globe, the Americas include many more countries than just the USA. All people of the Americas are Americans.

I don't hate USians, I just have very little respect for those post 9/11 "patriot act" USians that belittle Canadian free speech.

If they want to comment on it in a respectful manner, and discuss the political and legal issues from within the framework of Canadian laws and politics, then fine, but don't come here calling us communists because we follow our laws rather than ignoring them in favour of jumping to some Christofascist conclusions based on our unholiness before God eyes, or some other such anti-democratic BS.

Dave,
I'll let Al Qaeda know that you and your compatriots are Americans. Your solidarity is much appreciated.

Thanks Lurker, you've really got me scared now ... I mean now all those terrorist attacks that have taken place in the USA over the last 4 1/2 years will start to take place in Canada as well ... oh shoot, that's right, for some strange reason there hasn't been another terrorist attack since 9/11.

Must be that those deranged terrorists that have no hesitation in strapping a bomb to their body and blowing themselves up or flying plaes into buildings in the name of whatever cause they believe in, have been twarted by their irrational fear of being stopped at the US border and getting deported.

No problem, let this be a warning to all terrorists of the world ... come to Canada with a plan to commit suicide murder and you will be deported ... there; if it works for the USA, it should work for Canada as well.

Hey, maybe I have it wrong ... maybe there is some other reason that terrorists no longer attack a country that has taken no measures that could possibly stop a determined terrorist group from inflicting further damage to the US economy and political system ... oh well, no need to concern yourself with actual free thinking, much easier to allow yourself to be suckered into throwing away all your rights and freedoms and let big brother protect you from those nasty deportation fearing insane murders ... sheeple don't deserve liberty anyway I suppose.

Anyway ... sorry for allowing the issue to get derailed ... someone can take it back on track now if they wish.

The world liberal movement has insidiously taken over the media and schools over the past 3 decades which has given them the power to pull the wool over the eyes of the majority of people who do not engage in political scrutiny. The blog writers are the only whistleblowers left who are in a position to fight this disturbing trend. Blogs narrowly saved our country from the lies and deceptions of the liberal left in our last election.

Canadia has been our closest friend in the past and likely would still be so if Kerry had won our last election. This highlights the fact that your liberal media still has too much influence over the minds of your majority. As our majority slowly wakes from the liberal deceptions we truly feel that the world needs to wake up and see the danger. We have found that liberal ideals cannot withstand the fierce light of truth which is undoubtedly why they continually suppress and divert the truth with the tools they have taken over.

Beware! Allow your government to take your last hope out of the hands of the bloggers and they will be able to teach your children and all future generations that the sky is purple and the moon is made of cheese and there will be nothing you can do to stop it.

oh well, no need to concern yourself with actual free thinking, much easier to allow yourself to be suckered into throwing away all your rights and freedoms
Am I the only one to see the irony in this statement? Especially, considering the topic of this post.

We are all Americans!

re #73: Get over it AM, it's not only Canada that is "no longer your friend". Almost the whole darn world has decided that you're no longer worth the trouble ... hell, I just heard this morning that even your own people have just polled over 50% in believing that the Bush admin lied them into the war.

re #74: We're all Americans, but we're not all USians. Although I will admit we have people on this side of the border (a much smaller number thankfully) that are willing to give away their rights and freedoms based on the lie that we are under attack by an enemy that has never attacked nor was ever caught attempting to attack ... and now, we are suppose to believe that the enemy that has never attacked, and has never been caught trying to attack us have to be defended against with a BMD system in case they never attack us with ICBMs.

Almost the whole darn world has decided that you're no longer worth the trouble
Yeah, everyone is entitled to their opinions, but when everyone else is hating on Americans, they at least know who they are hating.

You are like my kid when he was nine years old. He liked to ascribe his own defintions to popularly understood terms as well. It's an intersting endeavor, but not that fruitful it would seem. Not if the desire is to be understood.

When you post about "Americans" do you find it neccessary to footnote the reference? Just curious.

BTW, I'm not curious, however, about the usual antiwar diatribe that you are spouting. People much better than you have made this case before, many, many, many times, on this very site in fact. So, unless you have a novel argument, or some new facts, it is just so much tedium.

Good luck mindlessly repeating it though. Maybe Joe can set up a cage match between you and Raymond. That, I might be interested in.

re #76: "BTW, I'm not curious, however, about the usual antiwar diatribe that you are spouting. People much better than you have made this case before, many, many, many times, on this very site in fact. So, unless you have a novel argument, or some new facts, it is just so much tedium."

Really? then with all that great research performed by those much better than myself, it should be fairly easy for you to explain the lack of terrorist attacks or foiled terrorists attack on the USA since 9-11.

Dave, "American" refers to a citizen of the United States. We have used the noun since we were an independent country. You can play the Alice in Wonderland game about "USians" all you like, but there's 30 million of you lot and 300 million of us. Deal with it.

"We clearly saw that in the justification of the Irak War and claim of success on board the aircraft carrier hi hi hi !"

This simpering idiot proves my Rule of Iraq #1: If the person spells it "Irak" they have nothing constructive to say on the matter.

Tuesday's Montreal Gazette gave very clear instructions as to how to find the blog to which we're all obliquely referring. It won "Best Conservative Blog" in the 2004 Weblog Awards.

Love live a free Alberta.

Your classification of the Canadian Liberals as "communists"; coming from a Christofascist in country that considers Kerry to be left leaning

Kerry isnt a leftist ? the man who called the perp of the 5% communist death quota in se asia, "George Washington", who votes more leftist then kennedy ?

"Christofascist" ?

Sounds like a full blown commie talking to me...

What this does point at is how difficult it must be to have a debate of ideas in Canada, where the religion of 174 Million murders owns the media.

Christofascist, just uttering that says a lot about your worldview.

Those Christians holding vigil over a woman being denied water at the point of a govt gun recently, for example, are of the same kind that stood out against the roundup of jews in germany.. and shared their fate because of it.

Thats why the left hates them, anyone who stands against evil is the enemy.

Canada seems in worse shape than I thought, she has far larger problems than kleptocrats if .... "Christofascist",,, denouncing perhaps the last people that stand in the way of mass Euthenasia of everyone over 65 to save your beloved socialist medicine et al. and all that follows after that.

Attempting to express ideas of freedom and liberty, limited goverment authority, what it means to live as freemen, might be far beyond their scope of understanding.

This discussion is way off the rails. I'm going to summarily delete posts that aren't on track with the topic, and may well take a scythe to a number of the off topic posts above.

Normally I'd just close the thread, but there are still a number of people coming in to read it who may have constructive things to add.

[Deleted for inability to understand comment #81]

[Deleted for inability to understand comment #81]

Dave L.

You need to chill, man. Antiamericanism is irrelevent to the allegations of serious corruption and coverup reaching into the highest levels of CDN govt. Muzzling dissent, or even access to information about the people paid to represent you seems pretty heavy handed to me. I'm not surprised, however. The attitude you have so generously displayed here, is one of several major reasons I now live south of the 49th, instead of the country I was born in.

As far as the other droppings left behind in your comments, few are germaine to the topic at hand.

[JK: SI, note comment #81. I think you had a valid point with the rest, but it wasn't germane to the topic of the post and we're trying to get this thread back on topic, and so I've cut it. Sorry. Meanwhile, both Raymond and Dave L. have been barred from this thread. Which should help return a little sanity.]

Sorry, Joe. I posted before I saw #81.

I really believe that, until the Right can affect a cohesive, viable alternative to the Liberal Party, Canadians will be condemned to having to choose between the lesser of however many evils are being offered.

There was a lot of this back in the Maritimes. And, unless you were connected, life got really hard. Do you jump in, in order to play, or do you stay out of the septic tank and barely survive? Tough call.

I would also posit that having less than 30 million people makes it easier for those trying to mind them. Particularly when the press is overwhelmingly aligned with the governing party.(Think NYT coverage of the Oil-for Food scandal, you know, the story that Claudia Rosette of the WSJ has been nominated for a Pulitzer for). Thank you to all the Canadian bloggers for bypassing the filters!

Joe, Keep on doing this! It's only by exposing the corruption that's gone on for years will fellow Canadians finally wake up to the fact they've been well and truly misled by leftist so-called intellectuals. Apparently Dave L is one, perhaps he's Carolyn Parrish in disguise. Too bad all he can do is sprout hatred - he's been listening to too much govt controlled anti-American media. Ironically I now see in the news that Arab leaders are suggesting that Arab nations should move towards democracy - because Iraq is headed in that direction. Seems the house of cards is starting to fall down. Too bad for liberals who would dearly love to suppress anything positive and play the old marxist game of shout louder and longer and hope the fools are duped into thinking that lies are truths. Remember Soviet diplomats in the UN? Fortunately now we have bloggers, you can't get away with it for ever.

Unfortunately Ontarians are an apathetic bunch too afraid of being criticized for being politically incorrect. An ideal state of affairs for exploitation by liberal (or fascist at the other extreme) governments. Note the reaction of Dave L who had to sprout the hatered he did. In any event critical thinking is needed to keep any government in check. And so I hope blogs keep doing what they do.

Come on, this left-right discussion is irrelevant. The federal Liberals' overwhelming ideology is "whatever it will take to stay in power," which can to some degree also be legitimately described as "political stability..." and it also breeds corruption.

I voted for them last time because I didn't think the Conservatives were quite government-ready and I couldn't quite bring myself to support the right-leaning platform on social/environmental issues. But... you steal my money... you're gone.

Unruly, you are absolutely right about the Liberal Party's true ideology: Acquisition and maintenence of power. It's always been that way in my memory. As far as theft of your (and my)money goes, the only difference here is the scale of the theft, and the inconvienience of getting caught. Corruption and arrogance have been hallmarks of the Liberal party for a long time now.

WOW WOW WOW !!!!!!! THE BAN HAS BEEN LIFTED !!!!!!
People who voted Liberal are either STUPID or BASTARDS. You choose.

Wow, we have many comments from Canadians on this site. Most of them are speculation but it's good reading. I can tell you one thing, the Liberal government is good at allocating money. We don't have a deficit and we don't have an uncontrollable debt. Many people think that Chretien was a terrible Prime Minister but his end results were the thinking of a true economist/lawyer. As for the scandal, every government in history seems to have critics and at least a small percentage of their people were ignorant towards them. Mulroney was the last conservative leader of Canada and he did something that not many people like but he did it for the best interest of his people. Chreiten did the same, as did the BUSH's in the U.S.A...and Clinton. The opposition wants in at any costs, this scandal is just an easy way to win some votes but the Liberals will prevail if the two ladies running the Conservative party think they are good for the job.

Finally we have the answer about the scenario chosen by Martin :

Quote :

"Under this 3rd scenario, Prime Minister Martin publicly steps up and promises firm action within 30 days of the Gomery Commission's report being released. This could give the NDP a political fig-leaf to resist no-confidence votes ("give inspectors time to work")"

Exactly what happenned tonight !

Canada = CORRUPTION

Please witness the violation of my Human Rights commited by the the Canadian and Quebec criminal governments that made me disable for life at :
http://csst-queca.com

Polices and judges are criminal complice of this TORTURE. Canada = CORRUPTION

[Spam, possibly extremist (unclear). Please stop. --NM]

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