Friday, January 13, 2006

A little too close to home

The big story today is the news that Liberal candidate David Oliver has been disowned by the party for allegedly offering to bribe NDP candidate Jeffery Hansen-Carlson to support the Liberals. It's too early to prejudge the outcome of the investigation (though the race between Oliver and the national party to drop him from the campaign may offer one signal), and at the very least Martin has clearly disassociated the national campaign from Oliver rather than deciding that a bare declaration of innocence should be enough to put the matter in the past.

But what's most interesting to me is context of the bribe: Oliver allegedly told Hansen-Carlson he would be a hero if he helped them stop scary Harper, and that the Libs would make it worth his while if he did. Last I checked, that same message (though with a little more emphasis on "scary Harper" and somewhat less guarantee of personal gain) wasn't all that far off of the Libs' general message for the campaign as a whole. Which begs the question: if sending such a message to an individual candidate forms a reasonable basis to boot Oliver out of the campaign, why would anybody trust a party which is going out of its way to tell the same thing to Canada as a whole?

(Edit: typo.)

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