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ITQDayOffWatch: Last post before I flee, I promise …


 

Calling all law-talking guys (and girls) – actual, amateur and armchair alike:

If you want to chat about the latest plot twist in the Cadman Affair — short version: To bolster their attempt to prevent the Liberal Party from “disseminating” the infamous interview, the PM’s lawyers are planning to compel Zytaruk to testify as to the authenticity of the tape — check out the newly revived Dona Cadman Affidavit thread, where Commenter Dennis and I are — actually, not disagreeing at all, from what I can tell, as far as Team Harper’s legal strategy. Anyway, consider this an open invitation to join the discussion.

For extra credit, maybe someone can explain why it is that the law firm representing Stephen Harper has been “instructed” to refer media calls to PMO. That’s — more than a little odd, considering that the PM is suing as an individual, and not as Prime Minister, and the details of his case have absolutely nothing to do with the business of government.

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ITQDayOffWatch: Last post before I flee, I promise …

  1. [For extra credit, maybe someone can explain why it is that the law firm representing Stephen Harper has been “instructed” to refer media calls to PMO.]

    Can’t trust them on media mgmt, plus law firm charges by the hour. I’m guessing (hoping) that Harper and/or the party are picking up the tab and not the taxpayers.

  2. After reading that link, I want to officially dub “crapblizzard” as the best word printed on a Canadian news site today. Try using it, embrace it and make it your own.

  3. Try and work it and “crowdsourcing” into a single sentence.

  4. I cannot believe that this is happening on my day off – thanks so much for posting the links, BCL. I’ll do a more comprehensive post later today (or tomorrow, most likely) but in the meantime, does anyone else get the distinct impression that the article written by Zytaruk himself is incomplete? It reads like there should be at least one more page – which might be why one can’t find a direct link to the analysis; perhaps it was included at the end.

  5. I agree Kady. I scrolled down thinking there was an error.

    Weird.

  6. If there’s a page missing in the Zytaruk article, it is also missing information on what he thinks about the supposed discrepancies as to who was standing where on the fateful day of the interview. He might be saving his ammunition (the truth) for another day. I still think these supposed legal niceties concerning the exact sequence of events will not be an overriding factor.

  7. Maybe we should hire some “objective” experts to analyze his article to see if and how it was doctored ;)

  8. “The crowdsourcing wasn’t as successful as they had hoped it would be, creating a crapblizzard of confusion and angst”

  9. just for you bigcitylib

    “The crowdsourcing wasn’t as successful as they had hoped it would be, creating a crapblizzard of confusion and angst”

  10. This is somewhat irrelevant but, Stephen Harper’s record of court decisions in his favour ain’t so good (maybe i’m wrong). I wonder if the judges think to themselves ‘oh boy, here comes that Harper guy again’.

  11. The discrepancies in the two experts’ ‘readings’ of the transcript of the tape are now up on the website of the Surrey paper. I wonder if they compared notes at some point or another.

  12. a) Kady, I think we do disagree about what Harper is up to. You and others, including Paul Wells, tend to view this as a somewhat sinister attempt to intimidate dissent in the Cadman affair. I see it more as an attempt to clear the air, since I don’t believe any evidence exists of any wrongdoing, nor will any ever show up. That’s why the Conservatives are doing this.

    b) Bigcity, it’s nice to see that you’re back to having some faith again in CanWest newspapers. Or at least I think it’s CanWest, since it’s posted on Canada.com.

    c) I, too, found the Zatyruk article somewhat wanting. In other words, he better have a better defence than that. Because, so far, he sees himself as a champion of democracy and a voice for truth, and he shows it by nitpicking analysis of audio that he won’t have analyzed himself. But I’ll reserve further judgement until I see more of the article, if it exists.

  13. Dennis: you wrote “I see it more as an attempt to clear the air, since I don’t believe any evidence exists of any wrongdoing, nor will any ever show up.”

    Excuse me, but I’m a tad bit more skeptical, especially in light of past behaviours (e.g. Chalk River, Elections Canda dispute, Bill C-10, Accountability Act, public appointments commission, his fight with Dr Shapiro [the Ethics Commissioner],… I think you get my drift).

    The time to clear the air was when these allegations first came to light – not months later. Why?

    Because otherwise it looks like you’ve spent time with “consultants” getting your official version of the story straight (remember Gary Lunn and the Chalk River mess?).

    But to think that this systematic character assassination attempt by the Tories is just them “trying to clear the air” is beyond naivete. You’re fooling no one here.

  14. Compos Mentis, you’re only confirming my point. Some people want to see evil behind every action the government takes. I, on the other hand, try not to make that same assumption — about any government.

    My recollection is that the conservatives have been adamant about their innocence from the beginning. How many times do you want them to repeat their version? I guess a lot, since you don’t like what you hear.

  15. Dennis: Curious. My recollection was Mr. Harper initially dismissing the allegations as “Liberal partisan noise” (I’m paraphrasing from memory here).

    I’m pretty sure Mr. Harper did not immediately come out and say “yes, those were my words, but you’re all jumping to wrong conclusions”. He evaded the topic entirely.

    As for your line “Some people want to see evil behind every action the government takes”, I agree.

    But for me, actions speak louder than words.

  16. Dennis:

    He’s had every opportunity to explain in the House in QP what he meant with those words or how he was taken out of context. He has refused to do so.

  17. I just want to bring something up that may not jive with the current narrative. What if the tape was doctored? What if Harper or someone had mentioned something about Cadman approaching the Tories with some sort of proposal? Is that a possibility?

  18. Scott, I believe that, since the beginning, Harper has stated exactly what the Tories offered: a campaign loan to Cadman if he chose to run as a Tory. And they’ve repeated that claim over and over again. I mean, I know I’m sick of hearing it. Aren’t you? I guess not.

    Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t know why that doesn’t constitute an answer to the question of financial considerations.

    It’s like people completely ignore what Harper says in his own defence in order to keep accusing him of the same things over and over again.

    Again, maybe I’m missing something.

  19. Dennis,

    ..one claim is that the audio experts mistook something Zytaruk said for something Harper said (or vice versa). If you are basing your conclusion that the tapes are “doctored” on a couple of popping noises, screwing up something like that seems fairly major.

    As to the other descrepancies Z notes, most of these to me do seem like small change. If, for example, this was a legal transcript where the content is what matters, then you might say that they are not important. But I don’t know what standards are supposed to apply when this kind of analysis is the issue. Might be more strict.

    And his point remains: other than Kadey, where are MSM reporters on this? One of their own is being dicked around by the gov. Are they too busy praying to the altar of Steyn and Levant?

  20. It wasn’t Harper who mentioned the loan. I think it was James Moore and then he never said another word about it when he was asked how much the loan was for, who was doing the lending, what were the terms of the loan, how could a terminally ill man repay such a loan, etc. Not another peep did Moore or anyone else say about the ‘loan.’ Neither did Dona Cadman talk about a loan. She spoke about an insurance policy, and when interviewed on the phone by CTV she said she considered the offer “a bribe”.

    The time has come and gone for Harper to explain the tape. Now he will have to do it in discovery and then in court.

  21. ‘But according to Owen, the first sentence is “I mean, there was an insurance policy for a million dollars for Donna.”‘
    That statement is hard to explain away.

  22. The Surrey Now is owned by Canwest. ( Good guess. what were the odds?) Remember that it’s a local biweekly published in Tab form. In other words the strangly brief article is not very unusual for that paper.

    It’s rare for any head of Government to take on individual reporters either in court or in the media. I suspect that it’s just the next logical step after suing the main Opposition party. ( Why haven’t we sued the Bloc Quebecois for trademark infringments leading to customer confusion?) When I was a Surrey voter Cadman was my MP and it was a great honour for Surrey to have a part in national history through him.

    Oh it’s 4:20 I gotta go.

  23. Bigcity,

    Are you really trying to suggest that confusion over who said “um” discredits any of the expert audio analysis? Have you ever written a transcript from audio tape? Yes, it requires some determination of what was exactly said, and two people can come to two different conclusions regarding words and how to write them on paper.

    However, this is the best that Zytaruk can do? He champions himself as the guardian of truth and justice in this affair. Why not act like it? Why wouldn’t he categorically deny any altering of the tape and offer up his own for analysis? I know I’d be more convinced as a result.

    Liz,

    The loan has been mentioned over and over again, by Harper and everyone else in the government. For the nth time, nobody knew Cadman was dying. Except God, of course. You have some kind of inside track that we don’t?

    Dona Cadman thinks that Conservative operatives offered Cadman an insurance policy, but she doesn’t think that Harper had anything to do with it. There’s no proof of the first, and everyone seems to conveniently forget the second.

    And I’m so glad to see that you’re so open-minded as to what Harper can and can’t do in his own defence. Are you organizing the lynch mob as we speak?

  24. It’s rare for any head of Government to take on individual reporters either in court or in the media.

    Are you kidding me? Countless reporters are thrown in prisons around the world by heads of government.

    Harper decided to sue the opposition for outright accusing him of being a criminal, and maybe subpoena a reporter in that lawsuit. The horror!

  25. Sorry I meant the head of a democratic government. The reporter has made a catagorical denial of any doctoring. And, Um, as the only one in this conversation who lived in Cadmans riding at the time, I can catagorically state that the public and parliment were well aware that Cadmans cancer was terminal at that point. He had publicly refused last ditch treatments and squelched rumours that he might resign the seat in order to rest and expand his lifespan.

  26. And you’re all so sweet for letting my spelling errors pass without comment.

  27. Mike Horn, don’t know if you wish to respond, but can you say what the riding sentiment is towards Mr. Cadman’s spouse?

  28. I’m over on the island now, but I doubt that sypathy for Donna Cadman will translate into Conservative votes locally or nationally. The current MP is the NDP’s Penny Priddy (right?) she was a friend of the Cadmans before any of them ran for office so she’s well insulated and expected to win reelection. Also she’s a former Nurse and provincial cabinet minuister known for her caution. Wish you luck Donna watch out for microphones.

  29. Thank you, Mike. I enjoy the perky Penny Priddy.

  30. Thinking about the Surrey North prospects over supper. Dona Cadman endorsed Priddy last time so don’t expect her to be hard hitting. Also the Conservatives have some awkward memories to get around in B.C. David Emerson might run somewhere and Nina Grehwal is running in a Surrey riding. Remember the Grehwal affair? maybe not, but East Indian pols don’t easily escape thier scandals out here.( I’m looking at you Dosanhj.) I really don’t envy the poor widow running a campaign while this matter of a backdoor “bribe” to use her words, remains unsetteled.

  31. Dennis’ “recollections” are certainly not scripted, right? It seems he’s stretching what a minion MP sez into denials by the PM, who most assuredly refused comment and dodged questions on the Cadman affair most deliberately, hoping it and the 10-second HOC sound bytes would evaporate. Yes, they did eventually wind up trying to stand behind the “loan” theory but again, as noted by Liz, refused to elaborate. However, it effectively took the public aka the media’s eyes off the question of When was the meeting, Who was at the meeting(s), and Why aren’t those men being asked to answer questions? Natch, Kady has never taken her eye off the ball.

  32. Mike, I was following the Cadman story at the time. I was also in contact with someone who knew Cadman. He apparently had every intention of running again. Hope is a very powerful tool in the fight against cancer. Just ask Lance Armstrong.

    Again, Harper bashers appear to create many myths about this story in order to fit their perception of him and his party.

    The loan story was there from the beginning, and has been ever since.

    Do you have any evidence that the “financial considerations” were something else? Didn’t think so.

    As for Zytaruk’s categorical denial, he didn’t make it in the article. Instead, he chose to quibble about what i’s were dotted and t’s crossed. This is not the strongest strategy to employ if you have all the facts on your side, if you ask me.

    How about submitting the original tape to independent audio analysis? In fact, why hasn’t the media done it own analysis like it did with Grewal, or followed up on the audio expert who did many months ago? If that test proved the tapes weren’t doctored, wouldn’t someone have already come forth and contradicted the two Tory experts?

    Then again, I suppose it doesn’t cater to the myth makers.

  33. Mr. Cadman was an Independent. Than why did Harper (or representatives) offer him ‘financial considerations?’

  34. Catherine: Mr. Cadman was first elected as Reformer in 1997. He was re-elected as an Alliance member in 2000. Prior to the 2004 election, the CPC nominated Jasbir Singh Cheema (a buddy of Gurmant Grewal) as their candidate, so Mr. Cadman ran as an independent and won. He was the only candidate not affiliated with a party to win a seat in the 2004 election, and remained an independent, refusing offers to rejoin the Conservatives (which is where this suit stems from).

    HTH

  35. Catherine, they offered him a loan if he decided to run as a Conservative. It’s been repeated often enough, and there’s been absolutely no evidence to indicate otherwise.

  36. Unless you believe Dona Cadman.

    Chuck was important even as an independent because he was propping up the Martin gov. Merely voting nonconfidence would have (presumably) suited Harper or some of his fanatics. It’s not at all clear that Harper was involved. I don’t think he was dumb enough to imagine any amount of money would buy Cadmans vote. However some people in the party, maybe in the grip of pre-election fever, might have taken a shot at just that. Does the tape clearly indicate that Harper knew of the scheme before hand? Probably not.
    Does the possibility of criminal intent obligate Harper to throw any perpatrators under the bus? Morally yes it does.

    P.S. An intention to run again doesn’t show that Cadman hoped to live longer than one or two parliments. He was just gonna let his name stand anyway on principal that he was the local leader and had unfinished work in Ottawa. How about we create a Cadman memorial law reform conference? Or an award for independent thinking representatives.

  37. Mike Horn: “Does the tape clearly indicate that Harper knew of the scheme before hand? Probably not.”

    Aye, there’s the rub! That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it?

    You assume not (presumption of innocence and all that, I presume?).

    Hopefully the truth will come out (unless the CPC’s strategy of forcing the LPC to settle out of court is successful).

  38. reading both tape transcripts there’s certainly no evidence pn there that Harper was “involved”. He doesn’t seem certain of who did it so he may have only heard rumours it was done. The question of him was not ‘did you authorize’ but ‘did you know?’

    I’m more interested now in the Cheema connection to Cadman losing his CPC renomination wich is when he became an independent. Is this the Notorious, some might say crazy, Dr. Cheema? I remember him making the jump to federal politics but I’d forgoten that he helped create Chuck Cadman Independent MP. If that’s the same Dr. Cheema then thats frackin hillarious!

    For all you cynics, this is why party leaders should be able to apoint some candidates. This is why scummy party hacks need to do thier homework and make backroom decisions before the public meets for an important vote not afterwards. N’est pas?

  39. Dennis,

    Not a lynch mob. A judge and jury will suffice.

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