The order of the day was confusion and bafflegab inside the office of the leader of the opposition, Michael Ignatieff, yesterday. For a good part of the day we heard that Ignatieff would be having a new chief of staff to replace Ian Davey, the man who is credited with recruiting Ignatieff out of Harvard University to run as a Liberal candidate.
Then we got the usual denials from the Grits. I say usual as that seems to be the default option for the moral-compass-less Liberal party—when in doubt, lie. Then, after CBC News reported the story, Ignatieff released a statement confirming the staff changes. Flip-flop!
The surprising part of this story is not that Ignatieff would fire his chief of staff, he’s at 25 per cent in the polls and he isn’t going to fire himself, is he? Nor is it surprising that his office would lie about it—that’s what Grits do: scorpions sting, Grits lie.
What’s really surprising though is that even in such a sensitive, important issue as changing his most important political advisor, Ignatieff could not control his staff/caucus and keep a lid on the story. Keeping secrets, even important, necessary ones does not seem to be a Grit forte.
This story also illustrates how deep into the heart of the Liberal party CBC contacts go. Some CBC news staff seem to know more about the goings on at the very senior levels of that party than rank and file Grit caucus members do. CTV News, on the other hand, was left to passively report the rumours, then the denials as fed to them by Liberal agents.
One wonders how healthy it is for Canadian Democracy that our state-owned news service should have so cozy a relationship with one of our major political parties.
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© 2009 Russell G. Campbell
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