Saturday, July 30, 2005

Who approached whom (revisited)?

Grewal claimed from early on that the Liberals had approached him and tried to lure him into changing parties. Contact started, apparently, with Sadesh Kalia, a prominent member of the Surrey Indian community and a Liberal. Grewal says that the Liberals contacted him through Kalia; Dosanjh and the Liberals claim the opposite. Who is telling the truth?

Sadesh Kalia, the go-between, says that the Liberals are telling the truth, and that Grewal approached him (see here for the archived CBC story).

Kalia's version of the story has been corroborated by Amrik Sangha, whom Kalia had to contact in order to get Dosanjh's cell phone number, something that both Kalia and Sangha have publicly affirmed (see here and Maritime Liberal's transcript of the story on CBC National).

If it were Grewal's word against Dosanjh's, we could flip a coin. As it is, it is Grewal's word against Dosanjh's, Kalia's, and Sangha's. It was probably Grewal, then, who initiated the negotiations.

To this may be added another point. Consider what Tim Murphy had said to Grewal on May 17th (p. 5):
TM - The second thing is and I want you to know this and again that remains in this room that this discussion we only have. I don't even know if Ujjal knows this, there are others in your caucus who have asked “I will do this if you will do this or that or the other thing,” and we have said no, period. Right? In truth, I don't think that actually serves us or that individual well, right. Because, it has been a kind of, you know, they have asked for a reward outside of politics and I just don't think that's--the Prime Minister does not think--that's the right thing to do. I want you to know, you might say there is an element of trust in what's been happening here, but there's a reason for that, because frankly it's better for us to be honest with you, frankly it's better for someone like you to work on that basis. I don't know if you agree with that, Ujjal. I don't even know if you knew that, and I ask that you not talk to your other caucus members about that. That there, some of them are getting close to retirement or less interested in battle and are looking for a way out and we have said no to them.
Here is the point. When Murphy says other Conservatives had approached the Liberals with offers to cross the floor that the Liberals denied, isn't he assuming that Grewal had done the same thing?

By the same token, consider what Dosanjh says to Grewal over the phone on evening of the 17th (here):
as I said earlier, no Prime Minister would ever want to compromise himself with that kind of, um, appropriate approach, um, because he want to be able to say, you know, ‘I didn’t make a deal with anybody, there was no deal’. You came and we accepted you, if that happens. (my emphasis)
Again, isn't Dosanjh talking as if both he and Grewal know that it was Grewal who was approaching the Liberals?