February 11, 2005

The Jean-and-Paul Show

So the sponsorship scandal strangeness continues. Paul Martin apparently led a "rousing ovation" for Chrétien at a Liberal caucus meeting yesterday after the former Prime Minister's performance at the Gomery inquiry. Martin is reported to have said that Chrétien did a "tremendous job for Canada and for the Liberal Party he led.'' What? I'm not sure I can put it much better than this:

A senior Liberal said: "They are applauding the guy who just handed the nuts of the commissioner of the inquiry they appointed to him on a plate. Obviously, [this is] some bizarre attempt at party unity."

[Source: globeandmail.com]

Chrétien was not as kind to Martin, leaving him on the hook after implicating him explicitly in the continued operation of the unity fund. So far, Martin appears to have escaped unscathed from that particular trap.

Speaking of JC not being kind to "PMPM", I think the closing lines of Chrétien's opening statement to the inquiry may hold one of his harshest barbs for Martin:

"We all may have been criticized at some time or another for our approach to national unity. But in the case of the unity of Canada every prime minister from Sir John A. Macdonald to myself has always put country ahead of anything else."

[Source: globeandmail.com]

Is it accidental that Chrétien's "from ... to" construction leaves out Martin? Knowing him (and those close to him who helped craft his appearance before Justice Gomery), I think it was just another subtle jab at the current Prime Minister. I can't help but think that these days Chrétien is thinking something along the lines of the current The Walrus cover lead headline "Québec is gone: Martin shatters Trudeau's dream."

Posted by anatole at February 11, 2005 01:27 AM