Saturday, December 03, 2005

Surrey Leader: Grewal trailed in poll, but most feared Liberal attacks

Yes, I know. He's gone and I should move on to other things. But for the sake of completeness, I'm sure regular readers will be interested to see that The Surrey Leader (archived here) interviewed Grewal about his decision to quit.

Grewal trailed in poll, but it wasn't a factor

By Dan Ferguson Staff Reporter
Dec 02 2005

I could have won, insists Newton-North Delta MP

A Conservative Party of Canada poll carried out before Newton-North Delta MP Gurmant Grewal resigned showed the controversy-plagued MP faced an uphill battle for re-election. "I was running behind," Grewal told The Leader on Wednesday, the day after he announced he would not be running in the current election.

Grewal would not reveal the exact numbers in the recent poll, except to say he wasn't behind by much. "It was neck and neck."

Grewal said the poll results did not prompt his decision, adding he's won come-from-behind victories three federal elections in a row. "Every single time I was underestimated."

He said he made his decision to withdraw on Monday after learning the Liberals were planning to revive the controversy that erupted when he secretly taped discussions with senior Liberals about him joining the party.

It would be a "smear campaign," Grewal said, one that would twist the facts and paint him as a person of questionable ethics.

Grewal has said the Liberals sought him out and dangled plum jobs to get him to cross the Commons floor, while the Liberals claimed Grewal was the one who made the approach and angled for the postings.

He maintains there are no new revelations that could be used against him. "If I look in my closet, there is not enough inventory in it," he said.

Another factor in his decision was the delayed release of a report on the taping by Parliament's ethics commissioner. Grewal understood the report would be released before the election, and had heard rumours that it would be critical of the Liberals' conduct during the discussions. But without those findings, Grewal said he knew it would be easier for the Liberals to distract voters and divert attention from the governing party's sponsorship scandal. "The dogs (would) keep barking," he said.

Grewal admitted to some frustration, even anger at the way the taping controversy played out. He is proud of having a tough hide, but he tensed and his eyes narrowed for a moment when he was asked about Conservative leader Stephen Harper's decision to crack a joke during a parliamentary press gallery dinner in Ottawa about Grewal re-editing a video tape of a hockey game.

Then, he shrugged it off and said Harper was simply poking fun at news coverage, and he remains confident of his leader's support.

Beyond working "as a family member" to help his MP wife Nina get re-elected, he said he hasn't decided what comes next. He confirmed he has been sounded out about being a talk-show host on a local Punjabi-language radio station, but described it as a tentative offer and only one of several possibilities open to him.

"I'm an optimistic man," he said. "I have an MBA (master of business administration degree). I have options."

He said he may write a book about his experiences as one of the first South Asians to be elected to parliament in Canada.

Grewal is proud of his record, listing off accomplishments that include forcing the federal government to remove radioactive material from Surrey storage sites, campaigning to win legal protection for whistle-blowers and the elimination of taxes on taxes.

In nine years as MP, he said he never took a vacation.

The 47-year-old will not be eligible to collect a parliamentary pension until he turns 55.

"I used to think politics is a noble profession," he said. Now, he said the battering he took over the tapes and other issues has left him "somewhat cynical" about the way the political game is played.

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Blogger Mark Francis said...

I could've been a contender...

I love this:

"I used to think politics is a noble profession," he said. Now, he said the battering he took over the tapes and other issues has left him "somewhat cynical" about the way the political game is played.

Oh, please...

9:34 AM  
Blogger Zorpheous said...

There is still the very important question of how those different audio and transcripts files made their way onto the net, what did Mr. Haprer know, who did that work, who authorized their release.

This issue isn't over cause harper still had a hand in it, and last time I checked he was running for PM and a platform of credibility and honesty. So it seems that Mr. Harper still has a few questions to answer.

11:21 AM  
Blogger Scotian said...

Isn't it amazing that Grewal still thinks he was a victim, which since he knowingly laid a false specific criminal allegation against the Liberals is really amusing. After all, he was in the meetings where it was recorded that the Liberals flatly rejected any use of the Senate for any quid pro quo. So he lied from the outset, caught the CPC and Harper in that lie, and kept silent about that lie for several weeks while the CPC and Harper were making clearly false statements regarding the Senate seat selling, the "irrefutable" evidence supporting this allegation, and then there is the question about who edited the recordings in the first place and why if it was not him did Grewal not immediately come out publicly to state that these recordings were missing material he had been present for.

Then, as Zorpheous notes, Harper is in the middle of this since he supported this claim/allegation, and never once explained how the LOO got suckered into making such false allegations, who edited the recordings, when did Harper find out they were edited to make a false claim appear truthful, and why once he knew all this did not come forward and explain this to the Canadian people, especially if honesty and accountability really do matter to him. Not to mention trying to pretend it never happened outside of the joke at the Press Gallery dinner. Harper has been hoping that the Canadian public have forgotten all about this scandalous behaviour of Grewal, Harper, and the CPC. What is truly amusing about this is listening to Harper and the CPC go on and on about integrity, accountability and honesty from our elected representatives all the while trying to bury an unprecedented scandal in Canadian federal political history. If he will not be accountable in opposition, how can anyone believe he would be accountable if in government? This is of course why so many CPC supporters refuse to look at this scandal honestly because it would completely undercut their most often repeated basis for electing Harper and the CPC, supposedly the only choice for a clean cut honest and ethical government.

In other words, complete and utter hypocrisy as opposed to the "principled" concerns these supporters claim motivates their support for the CPC and their hatred of the Liberals.

4:53 PM  

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