Thursday, February 28, 2008

What lies beneath

The burgeoning Cadman bribery scandal figures to appear at the top of national headlines for quite some time to come. But what's most interesting for now is the Cons' insistence on denying absolutely everything rather than seizing on a seemingly reasonable explanation.

For that, take a look at the comments at one of the few Blogging Tories sites to mention the issue, where a relatively plausible theory has been presented as to what was actually offered. If the Cons' visit was limited to asking Cadman to return to their party's caucus and listing off the benefits attached to that - including a life insurance policy among other standard party benefits - then many of the questions now swirling around would seem to be answered.

After all, as unbelievable as it seems that the Cons would take out a separate life insurance policy for Cadman, it's relatively plausible that they might have been willing to absorb some greater risk within an existing group policy. And it's possible that inducing an MP to join one's party - even for the transparent purpose of being able to whip their vote on an upcoming issue - would be seen as entirely different from actually offering inducements in exchange for a particular voting result.

But the Cons haven't even tried to suggest that's what happened. Instead, Deceivin' Stephen and his PR crew have tried to at least implicitly deny that the visit to Cadman was authorized at all by the party. And all this despite both the word of their own Surrey North candidate, and Harper's own statement to the contrary in Tom Zytaruk's book.

It remains to be seen whether the Cons are simply reflexively lashing out, or whether they're covering up something more - either in the form of additional inducements offered to Cadman, or a list of standard party perks which might not withstand public scrutiny. But the fact that they went immediately into panic mode when a seemingly obvious explanation was available suggests to me that we've only scratched the surface of the story.

No comments:

Post a Comment