Monday, June 08, 2009

On breaking news

So far on the Saskatchewan NDP front there's been one entirely expected development, as Harry Van Mulligen will step aside to allow Dwain Lingenfelter to run in Regina-Douglas Park. And there's been one deferred, as Ryan Meili has announced that he'll make his plans known tomorrow morning.

But there's also one piece of news which comes out of the blue somewhat, as the RCMP has announced that it's carrying out a "preliminary investigation" into the Lingenfelter membership controversy based on a verbal complaint without supporting documentation.

Mind you, the process makes some sense based on the previous impasse between the NDP offering to cooperate if asked and the RCMP declaring it didn't see itself as able to do so. But it's somewhat odd to see the RCMP now allowing for a different path toward a full investigation which seems to contradict its earlier position that it would "need supporting evidence in a complaint".

And in case the RCMP's position wasn't confusing enough, there's also this from CanWest's coverage:
“We interpreted this matter to be independent from the recent NDP leadership convention. It’s our opinion it had no bearing or association with the election or the election results,” said (RCMP Inspector Stewart) Kingdon.
Of course, it's presumably true that the results of any investigation would be unlikely to have any impact on the leadership race when the memberships in question were pulled by the party. But particularly given the RCMP's reluctance to say much of anything about the merits of the complaint at an early stage of the investigation, it's worth wondering why the RCMP would see either a need or a sufficient evidentiary basis to comment on the leadership election results.

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