Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Wow, the government fired Linda Keen

You may not believe it but I was genuinely shocked when I read that story this morning. I was equally surprised at how it happened.

The reason why I was shocked is because this firing and the way it happened indicates the Conservatives are panicking a little bit over this affair. I will give Mr. Harper his due. Most of the time he is able to keep a level head about him but the actions of his government in the last 24 hours indicates he lost it this time.

You may all remember that just before Christmas the Conservatives dropped significantly in the polls after this story broke. Fortunately for them the Chistmas holidays intervened and people forgot about it for awhile. However, this story was poised to burst back on the scene with the testimonial of Ms. Keen today, which was coming on the heels of Mr. Lunn's leaked letter and Ms. Keen's rebuttal. That is bad news because it is these kinds of events that cost governments support more the big issues, such as Afghanistan and the Environment. Many Canadians would ask: "If the government is unable to keep medical isotopes flowing and maintain nuclear safety at the same time can it be trusted on the bigger issues?"

It is the nature of politics that people do not believe politicians when they are given the choice of believing a politician's word over that of a bureaucrat, particularly one with Ms. Keens record of service. Witness the Auditor General over pretty well every Liberal politician during Adscam.

So, Ms Keen's testimony would have probably been extremely damaging to the government and it would have provided its critics with all sorts of ammunition going forward with which to beat the government with. It had to be stopped.

The interesting thing about this is the government has only bought themselves a temporary reprieve and they created another controversy by how they fired Ms. Keen. Having a staffer do it in the middle of the night is not a classy way of doing things and people are going to notice that.

The firing itself gained the government a couple of weeks. At that point Ms. Keen will probably appear before the Commons Committee regarding this affair. The only saving grace for the government on that will be she will not be as free to answer questions as she would have been today because of the lawsuit she will have probably launched by then.

As with all political strategies born of panic and desparation their shelf-life and efficacy are extremely short-lived so the Conservatives are still going to wear this affair in the coming weeks. Depending on how they handle that, today could be marking the beginning of the end of this government.

2 Comments:

Blogger Tomm said...

ottlib,

You are no doubt correct that the crooning and fawning of the opposition members of the committee and the sincere sympathy from the media will soften her personna with the public.

This has been a CPC mistake, perhaps from the very beginning.

But don't mistake this, for the truth. From what I've been able to glean, this story is much deeper than we have heard. Its layered, like an onion.

Tomm

January 16, 2008 10:40 PM  
Blogger Joseph said...

Of course, that's exactly what I expect we'll be hearing. Don't believe the obvious truth . . . this is actually "much more complicated."

No it's not.

AECL lied. Lunn's incompetent, and Harper decided to launch grenades rather than demonstrate actual leadership. Linda Keen and the commission did their job as defined by law.

Not real complicated at all. Stop spinning and pull your head out of your ass, Tomm. In whichever order you prefer.

January 17, 2008 7:48 AM  

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