Ethics Commissioner Bernard Shapiro has rejected a request to investigate Belinda Stronach's switch from the Conservatives to the Liberals last year.
Mr. Shapiro said in a two-page letter to NDP MP Pat Martin, who filed the complaint, that former prime minister Paul Martin did not violate the conflict-of-interest code for MPs when the Conservative MP joined the Liberal cabinet days before a key vote last spring that might have defeated the government.
The commissioner said the then-prime-minister was acting as a member of the government's executive branch, not as an MP, and so the MPs' code does not apply.
Mr. Shapiro repeated his view that the increased salary that comes with a cabinet job cannot alone be considered an "improper inducement" as outlined in the rules.
But the NDP's Mr. Martin said the ruling is at odds with Mr. Shapiro's recent report clearing Prime Minister Stephen Harper for offering a cabinet job to then-Liberal David Emerson. That report speculated that if a prime minister offered a cabinet job with the sole intent of acquiring that member's vote, such conduct would be "inappropriate and unacceptable."
What a buffoon. Yet again he shows he is totally unfit for the position.