Saturday, October 29, 2005

Grew(Ding)wal(l) and the dynamics of scandal

Several bloggers have made a linkage between the Grewal affair and the recent Dingwall fufurah, some left, some right, some middle: Waking up on planet x, Bound by Gravity (in comments), Rational Reasons.

There is a vague similarity. In both cases, Conservative allegations of corruption were shown to be either wholly unfounded or greatly exaggerated. Especially criticized in this regard is Brian Pallister, MP for Portage-Lisgar and Conservative critic for National Revenue, Canada Post and the Royal Canadian Mint. In light of two independent audits of Dingwall's expenses (see, for example, here), Palliser's statements were clearly excessive.

Some have gone so far as to compare Palliser with Grewal (see, This is, I submit, not very helpful.

Yes, Palliser has egg on his face, and in retrospect he should have been less vigorous. But I think that we should have some sympathy for his position. He did not know the true facts and had based his attacks on what had been reported in the media combined with the innuendo and hyperbole that are typical of parliament.

This is quite in contrast to the Grewal tapes, which the Conservatives had had in their possession for two weeks, from May 18th to May 31st, during which they had ample to time to learn what was really in the tapes. During this period they misled the public about the contents of the tapes and doctored them to fit their story.

In the Dingwall matter, Palliser and the Conseratives are guilty of overenthusiastic partisanship and poor judgement; with the Grewal tapes, it was fraud, pure and simple.


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