babble home
rabble.ca - news for the rest of us
today's active topics


Post New Topic  Post A Reply
FAQ | Forum Home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» babble   » current events   » national news   » Ethics Czar Clears Harper

Email this thread to someone!    
Author Topic: Ethics Czar Clears Harper
robbie_dee
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 195

posted 20 March 2006 03:40 PM      Profile for robbie_dee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
No rules broken when David Emerson decided to switch parties

quote:
OTTAWA — The ethics commissioner says Prime Minister Stephen Harper broke no rules when he persuaded David Emerson to switch parties and join the cabinet.

Bernard Shapiro said today that the timing of Emerson’s move, just days after he won his Vancouver seat as a Liberal in the Jan. 23 federal election, raised ethical questions that lie outside the strict rules in the code of conduct for MPs.

“In the final analysis, the most appropriate place to settle issues of this kind is not in the office of the ethics commissioner but in Parliament itself,” Shapiro wrote in his report, released today.



From: Iron City | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
unionist
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11323

posted 20 March 2006 03:43 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by robbie_dee:
No rules broken when David Emerson decided to switch parties


This Harper guy has Neanderthal politics, but he seems to be many times smarter than anyone facing him in opposition right now.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 8312

posted 20 March 2006 03:46 PM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Harumph! What does a Liberal appointee whose decision-making ability has been questioned and who has been found in contempt of the House know?
From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
unionist
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11323

posted 20 March 2006 04:10 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Frustrated Mess:
Harumph! What does a Liberal appointee whose decision-making ability has been questioned and who has been found in contempt of the House know?

Well, we all know you're right on that, but Harper outsmarted everyone. He said he was "loath" to cooperate with Shapiro, showing that he shared everyone's mistrust of a compromised commissioner. At the same time, he did cooperate (according to the news report) -- so no blame on that account -- and was "exonerated" -- so it couldn't have worked out better for him.

Now all he has to do is ignore the issue until people get tired of Emerson and turn to something else.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 8312

posted 20 March 2006 05:07 PM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
From the report:

quote:
... although technically there has been no violation to the rules of conduct of the Members’ Code, the incident in question does raise the whole issue of whether the Principles upon which it relies have been respected.

From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
S1m0n
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11427

posted 20 March 2006 05:14 PM      Profile for S1m0n        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Now Shapiro needs to investigate whether Harper's refusal to cooperate with the commissioner (as is required by law) constitutes contempt of parliament.
From: Vancouver | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
unionist
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11323

posted 20 March 2006 05:22 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by S1m0n:
Now Shapiro needs to investigate whether Harper's refusal to cooperate with the commissioner (as is required by law) constitutes contempt of parliament.

Yeah but S1m0n, didn't you read the article:

quote:
The report also indicates that Harper, despite public assertions from his office that he was “loath to co-operate” with the investigation, in fact provided Shapiro with both an interview and a written response.

That's why I said Harper was smart. He thumbed his nose at Shapiro, but still cooperated with the investigation. Now he's Teflon.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
johnpauljones
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7554

posted 20 March 2006 05:26 PM      Profile for johnpauljones     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Not only is he cleared. Press reports showed that he did cooperate.

He comes across as more than just teflon. Since Martin would not even allow Shapero to investigate Stronach and since many have called for an investigation of both incidents.

Harper comes across as and this really hurts to say this. but he comes across as having ethics and being ethical when his cabinet appointments are compared to Martin and the Stronach affair.

Those who wanted Stronach investigated will cry louder that Harper right Martin wrong. Those who call for those to cross the floor to sit on the sidelines for a specified amount of time can now be told "but the ethics commissioner, an appointee of another party, said it was ok."

I love our system


From: City of Toronto | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
TheStudent
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11410

posted 20 March 2006 05:29 PM      Profile for TheStudent        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It is beyond me how there could not have been an ethics violation. Either Harper said to Emerson 'come over and get into cabinet' or Emerson said to Harper 'I will cross if I get a cabinet post'. Either way, it is still against the rules. Shapiro is obviously affraid of losing his job and decided to whitewash everything. And unfortunately, Harper is now teflon because of this. It reeks to high heaven.
From: Re-instate Audra Now! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Polunatic2
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 12238

posted 20 March 2006 05:32 PM      Profile for Polunatic2   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Interesting direction that Shapiro took in his analysis - i.e. Harper was acting in his executive, not parliamentary capacity.

Second, that the cabinet job was not an inducement to secure Emerson's vote on a specific issue since the house wasn't in session.

Harper also did "the smart" thing in co-operating with the investigation since it's pretty indefensible not to do so.

[ 20 March 2006: Message edited by: Polunatic2 ]


From: Toronto | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
unionist
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11323

posted 20 March 2006 05:33 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
[Edited: duplicate post.]

[ 20 March 2006: Message edited by: unionist ]


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
unionist
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11323

posted 20 March 2006 05:37 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Here is a link to the full report of the Ethics Commissioner. It offers an explanation of why some people felt "discontent" over the Harper-Emerson dirty deal, and concludes that - it was partisan politics that partly drove the complaint. He may actually have a point there:

quote:
Given that there has been - as some individuals asserted from the very beginning - no contravention by either Mr. Harper or Mr. Emerson of the specific Principles and Sections of the Members’ Code, what are the possible explanations for what appears to be a relatively widespread public discontent surrounding the offer of a Cabinet position by Mr. Harper and the acceptance of the offer by Mr. Emerson?

This discomfort can be partly explained simply by partisan politics. It is always a matter of some delicacy to determine whether a request for a specific inquiry arises from a genuine concern for compliance with the Members’ Code as opposed to, for example, an attempt to gain partisan advantage.

In this case, however, I believe that partisan politics – in the very best sense of that phrase – is an insufficient explanation. “Crossing the floor” in the House of Commons is not at all unusual in Canadian parliamentary history. However, the closeness in time of Mr. Harper’s offer and Mr. Emerson’s acceptance of it to the general election heightened the issues – ethical and political – that always lay beneath a decision by a Member of Parliament to cross the floor and become affiliated with a political party other than the one under whose umbrella he or she campaigned and was elected. Fairly or unfairly, this particular instance seems to have given many citizens a “sense” that their vote – the cornerstone of our democratic system – was somehow devalued, if not betrayed.


[ 20 March 2006: Message edited by: unionist ]


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
unionist
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11323

posted 20 March 2006 05:40 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TheStudent:
It is beyond me how there could not have been an ethics violation. Either Harper said to Emerson 'come over and get into cabinet' or Emerson said to Harper 'I will cross if I get a cabinet post'. Either way, it is still against the rules.

Really? Which rules are those? Read Shapiro's report and point out where he went wrong.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
TheStudent
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11410

posted 20 March 2006 05:44 PM      Profile for TheStudent        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
It ... concludes that - it was partisan politics that drove the complaint

quote:
In this case, however, I believe that partisan politics – in the very best sense of that phrase – is an insufficient explanation
Shapiro says right here that he does not believe that partisan politics drove the complaint. I will delve into Shapiro's full report when I have time, but I can't right now. All I can say for the time being is what I said above.

[ 20 March 2006: Message edited by: TheStudent ]


From: Re-instate Audra Now! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Jooge
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10480

posted 20 March 2006 06:18 PM      Profile for Jooge     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TheStudent:
Shapiro says right here that he does not believe that partisan politics drove the complaint. I will delve into Shapiro's full report when I have time, but I can't right now. All I can say for the time being is what I said above.

[ 20 March 2006: Message edited by: TheStudent ]


Shapiro's opinion on this matters as much as yours or mine. It is beyond his remit to question what drove the request for the enquiry as his responsibility is only to determine if there was a conflict of interest issue here. His opinion on whether tougher conrols be set is also worth no more than yours or mine.


From: The Land of Opportunity | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 518

posted 20 March 2006 06:41 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't really much care whether it is "legal" to run as a Liberal, and turn right around and join the Conservatives while your election signs are still up.

It's undemocratic, plain and simple.

If Harper can't figure out why people are disgusted, then he's part of the democratic deficit himself.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 8273

posted 20 March 2006 07:10 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
As I have pointed out before, the so-called Ethics Commissioner is not an ethics commissioner at all - that's just a sloppy terminology that has crept into usage.

He is a "Conflict of Interest" Commissioner, and he is responsible for monitoring compliance with the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons.

Conflict of Interest is only a small fraction of the whole field of ethics; politicians can do all sorts of unethical things without running afoul of the Conflict of Interest Code.

The Emerson case was one such example. Neither he nor Stephen Harper breached the Conflict of Interest Code. That doesn't mean that what Harper or Emerson did was ethical. But if it was unethical, that's for the voters to decide, not Mr. Shapiro.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Jooge
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10480

posted 20 March 2006 07:24 PM      Profile for Jooge     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
[QUOTE]Originally posted by M. Spector:
As I have pointed out before, the so-called Ethics Commissioner is not an ethics commissioner at all - that's just a sloppy terminology that has crept into usage.

He is a "Conflict of Interest" Commissioner, and he is responsible for monitoring compliance with the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons.

Conflict of Interest is only a small fraction of the whole field of ethics; politicians can do all sorts of unethical things without running afoul of the Conflict of Interest Code.

The Emerson case was one such example. Neither he nor Stephen Harper breached the Conflict of Interest Code. That doesn't mean that what Harper or Emerson did was ethical. But if it was unethical, that's for the voters to decide, not Mr. Shapiro.[/QUOTE}

Exactly my point. It doesn't mean that there aren't other mechanisms to pursue this, just that Shapiro's opinions don't really carry any weight. And frankly, if the guy had been any good at his job he woudl have known that speculation on matters that ar ebeyond his remit is not appropriate.


From: The Land of Opportunity | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
TheStudent
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11410

posted 21 March 2006 02:18 AM      Profile for TheStudent        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Neither he nor Stephen Harper breached the Conflict of Interest Code. That doesn't mean that what Harper or Emerson did was ethical. But if it was unethical, that's for the voters to decide, not Mr. Shapiro.
That seems fair to me. I just wish there was someone who had a national profile, and is at least perceived as being non-partisan, would say that what Emerson and Harper did was wrong.

From: Re-instate Audra Now! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
primary
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 8598

posted 21 March 2006 06:37 AM      Profile for primary        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TheStudent:
That seems fair to me. I just wish there was someone who had a national profile, and is at least perceived as being non-partisan, would say that what Emerson and Harper did was wrong.

But the person who is in charge of saying if something is wrong or not, has said nothing was wrong.


From: Windsor | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
unionist
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11323

posted 21 March 2006 11:15 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by jeff house:
I don't really much care whether it is "legal" to run as a Liberal, and turn right around and join the Conservatives while your election signs are still up.

It's undemocratic, plain and simple.

If Harper can't figure out why people are disgusted, then he's part of the democratic deficit himself.


You know, the more this Emerson stuff carries on, the less convinced I am.

Politicians of all stripes make promises, get elected, and immediately break those promises. How exactly is that different from the cynicism of Harper and Emerson?

Also, in our quaint antiquated system, you vote for a person, not a party. Placing a party label next to the candidate's name is like an election promise. And it's breakable.

PR will fix the Emerson thing (probably). But it won't fix the promises thing. No law will. For that, we need a mass movement of people who no longer accept being played for suckers.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Red T-shirt
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5872

posted 21 March 2006 11:31 AM      Profile for Red T-shirt     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Duffy asked his conservative comentator yesterday if Harper was not guilty of offering Emerson an inducement in the form of a cabinet post. The response was that Emerson was already a minister and that he retained that position officially until such time as the new parliment actually sat. Thus, he went from being a Liberal minister to being a Conservative minister and it was a "lateral move" and there was therefore no "inducement".
Of course that's crap and Emerson was going to be sitting on the outside looking in with the loss of his ministers pay, but you have to sort of admire the convoluted spin they have placed on this. They're trying to cover all angles on this one. Lets hope the public has a long memory and a keen sense of what is inately right or wrong.

From: Port Hope, Ontario | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 8312

posted 21 March 2006 11:36 AM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
It's undemocratic, plain and simple.

And it is unethical. Lying to win a vote doesn't violate rules of conduct but it is still unethical. For Harper to invite Emerson into cabinet after the Belinda affair is both unethical and hypocritical and, essentially, a broken promise. For Emerson to accept a cabinet position in Harpers government is purely despicable. That man obviously has no values or principles. He will probably be very comfortable in the Harper regime.

[ 21 March 2006: Message edited by: Frustrated Mess ]


From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 8273

posted 21 March 2006 11:42 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by primary:
But the person who is in charge of saying if something is wrong or not, has said nothing was wrong.
You obviously didn't read my previous post: Mr. Shapiro is not "the person who is in charge of saying if something is wrong or not."

Such a person does not exist.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
RANGER
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7667

posted 22 March 2006 03:24 AM      Profile for RANGER     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
[QUOTE]Originally posted by unionist:
[QB]

PR will fix the Emerson thing (probably).


No it won't, "party hopping" can look like an olympic event in PR countries, I favour certain kinds of PR myself but it won't change the Emerson situation on it's own, some PR systems could in fact "ensure" the Emerson's of the world stay in power as long as they want to. Martin before and Harper now could fix this with the stoke of a pen, if they where serious at all about the "democratic deficit".


From: sunshine coast | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Jooge
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10480

posted 22 March 2006 02:28 PM      Profile for Jooge     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by RANGER:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by unionist:
[QB]

PR will fix the Emerson thing (probably).

No it won't, "party hopping" can look like an olympic event in PR countries, I favour certain kinds of PR myself but it won't change the Emerson situation on it's own, some PR systems could in fact "ensure" the Emerson's of the world stay in power as long as they want to. Martin before and Harper now could fix this with the stoke of a pen, if they where serious at all about the "democratic deficit".


Maybe the PR stands for public relations.....

I gotta say though that although the Emerson defection may be big news amongst political activists, my impression, and opinion, is that your average Joe has already moved on. It will be even more of a non issue in a months time. Case in point, the media is already running stories about Harper's apparently expanding girth.


From: The Land of Opportunity | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
unionist
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11323

posted 22 March 2006 02:31 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Jooge:

I gotta say though that although the Emerson defection may be big news amongst political activists, my impression, and opinion, is that your average Joe has already moved on. It will be even more of a non issue in a months time. Case in point, the media is already running stories about Harper's apparently expanding girth.

I agree. And the activists should move on as well.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
primary
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 8598

posted 22 March 2006 05:05 PM      Profile for primary        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by M. Spector:
You obviously didn't read my previous post: Mr. Shapiro is not "the person who is in charge of saying if something is wrong or not."

Such a person does not exist.


According to the NDP when it serves their purposes he is the person who decides if its right or wrong.


From: Windsor | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Jooge
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10480

posted 22 March 2006 05:38 PM      Profile for Jooge     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by primary:

According to the NDP when it serves their purposes he is the person who decides if its right or wrong.


As has been pointed out before he rules on conflict of interest and nothing else.


From: The Land of Opportunity | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
Polunatic2
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 12238

posted 22 March 2006 05:52 PM      Profile for Polunatic2   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Duffy asked his conservative comentator yesterday if Harper was not guilty of offering Emerson an inducement in the form of a cabinet post.
Multi-millionaires like Emerson don't become MPs and cabinet ministers to build their personal wealth. That's why they go into private practice, lobbying, etc. after their stints in government.

However, Emerson may be in a position to make decisions that will favour his forestry cronies and that could be a conflict of interest.

But neither the NDP nor anyone else has made a complaint against Gordon O'Connor who exemplifies the conflict of interest, that issue doesn't seem to be a very high priority. Is that because O'Connor's not a former Liberal or because the opposition doesn't want to appear too radical going after the war machine?


From: Toronto | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
primary
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 8598

posted 22 March 2006 07:42 PM      Profile for primary        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Jooge:

As has been pointed out before he rules on conflict of interest and nothing else.


Yes conflict if something was wrong or right.


From: Windsor | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Jooge
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10480

posted 23 March 2006 05:01 PM      Profile for Jooge     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by primary:

Yes conflict if something was wrong or right.


No.


From: The Land of Opportunity | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged

All times are Pacific Time  

Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | rabble.ca | Policy Statement

Copyright 2001-2008 rabble.ca