Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Would You Buy A Used Car From Quebec's Premier Charest?

I wouldn't and by judging by the latest polls, only 12% of the Quebecers believe the Premier's version of the events as compared to the 60% who believe the version put forward by the former Minister of Justice, Marc Bellemare, neither would the majority of Quebecers.

In short, today Mr. Bellemare detailed his accusations that as Minister Justice he was subject to undue pressure from some of the principle fundraisers of the Quebec Liberal Party to accede to their desires to have three candidates named to the judiciary. Moreover, he alleged that when he expressed his concerns to Premier Jean Charest, the Premier replied that if the fundraisers in question wanted these three candidates named, Bellemare was to heed their request.

In response, Jean Charest, in an unusual move, called a press conference to deny the allegations instead of waiting his turn to testify.

Methinks he doth protest too much.

After all, the fashion that the commission has been convened is wholly to the advantage of the Premier. His government chose the judge that would preside over the commission, who subsequently denied intervener status to the opposition Parti Quebecois and to Mr. Bellemare. Consequently, all the counter interrogation aimed at Bellemare and the following thirty something witnesses will come from the lawyers representing the Quebec government, the Premier, and the Quebec Liberal Party. As well, Mr. Charest said repeatedly when previously questioned about the allegations that it was important to let the commission do it's work. Yet, during the first day of testimony, Charest jumps the gun in an attempt to publicly undermine the credibility of the principal witness, which in my opinion is a lack of respect for due process and for the commission that he put in place.

The other thing to keep in mind is that Quebecers are much more concerned with the link between Quebec's construction industry and the financing of its political parties than this particular instance of influence peddling. Two Ministers were ousted from Charest's Cabinet for irregularities in the process of distributing contracts and licenses, and three other Ministers went on the public record to erroneously declare that companies could make donations to political parties. Finally, an engineering consortium was found to have participated in fraudulent practices with regard to making false declarations concerning donations made to Quebec's political parties.

Here in Quebec, we, the people, are like lobsters caught in a trap of a dysfunctional political system that forces us to decide whether we want to be governed by a party that regularly engages in practices that are an abuse of power or by the other that wants to have Quebec become an independent state. These are our political choices, forced to decide which is the least desirable of the two.

Faced with the choice of having to buy a car from either one, I opt for my bike.

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