Quid pro quo - Macleans.ca

Quid pro quo


With another round of floor-crosser rumour-mongering behind us, our Katie Engelhart considers what the Larry O’Brien trial means for the future of political favours.

“There is a warning out there,” says Errol Mendes, a professor of law at the University of Ottawa of the impact Cunningham’s decision might have on political life in Canada. He suggests lawyers will likely be advising MPs to be more cautious about the kinds of promises they make while striking deals. “Just the fact that [O’Brien] had to go through the allegations, the trial, etc.,” says Mendes, “those things alone should send a warning to people—don’t go anywhere near those sort of possible allegations.” Mendes hopes Cunningham’s “rap on the knuckle” will persuade politicians to be on their best behaviour in Ottawa. “The Canadian electorate is getting very tired and losing trust in politicians,” he says. “The most destructive impact of this is that it loosens trust in all democratic institutions.”


Quid pro quo

  1. The only "rap on the knuckle" was actually delivered to the accusing key witness, Terry Kilrea.

    If Mendes were to read the Justice's verdict, he would know that.

    The judge said he felt that O'Brien was walking a fine line – and that fine line may need to be a cautionary tale for politicians across Canada – but O'Brien was on the right side of that line.

    The lesson from the Ottawa trial is to expect that your words can be twisted, and that any private meeting can be misconstrued or maliciously misrepresented.

    Always carry a tape-recorder and never trust anyone.

    Ahh, politics.

  2. Business as usual.

    Political appointments can be used as influence, so long as that influence isn't financial (unless you are the one getting the appointment, of course).

    It's a corrupt power system we all support and many defend.

  3. The judge said he felt that O'Brien was walking a fine line…

    Did not the judge also say that O'Brien wasn't believable, but that Kilrea–who held the burden of proof–was no more believable than O'Brien? Sounds like a rap on the knuckles to me–though a mild one.