Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Short History of Corruption

Jean Charest appointed a former Supreme court Justice to the inquiry today.  This Judge, Michel Bastarache, was never appointed previously by Quebec and is therefore a little more trustworthy.  The inquiry seeks to expose weather revelations made by Marc Bellemare are true.  The former Justice minister, turned whistle blower, has claimed in several interviews that party bagmen pressured the government to appoint Judges they requested.  He also claims to have witnessed illegal cash donations made by the construction industry.

Corruption has a long history in Quebec.

Recall Brian Mulroney's Airbus scandal.  The former Progressive Conservative Prime Minister proved too slippery for the multiple investigations into that matter.  For reasons unknown Mr.Mulroney received a cash stuffed envelope from Karlheinz Schreiber.  Most people have had enough of this little mystery.  They have concluded that Mr. Mulroney was probably a crook, and that the extinction of his party is enough punishment for one politician anyway.

Then came the Liberals under Jean Chretien.  The scandal was called Adscam or the Sponsorship Scandal.  Money was paid to ad agencies for no work and then donated into the Liberal Party.  Approximately 100 million dollars was lost by the taxpayer, some of it only to damage taxpayers further by ending up in Liberal Party hands.  The Liberals promised to pay the money back, but as with all Liberal promises, they have not been honoured.

Now we hear of more scandals at the provincial level.  Jean Charest was once leader of the same party Brian Mulroney led.  Will he be able to stay above suspicion?  Is he as unflappable and Paul Wells once claimed him to be?

He may yet escape, but his party will feel the judgment of the voter.  They are rightfully peeved already about large tax hikes.  Peeved enough to storm the Finance Minsters office and protest in the thousands.  The 77% disapproval of Jean Charest before this newest scandal will surely get worse.


Lynn said...

The history of political corruption in Quebec predates Mulroney and Chretien by several decades. Look into the founding of Duplessis' Party and Monsieur Le Mayor,from the 1930's,to 1950's government of Duplessis,to the St.Lawrence Seaway maintenance contracts in the 60's,70's,80's.

The Mafia was firmly established in Montreal way back during Prohibition and grew to a very powerful force in that Province,with influence in many aspects of business and government.

The latest manifestation, during Chretien's time,are alleged to have had undue influence on the PMO.

This case is going to get very interesting!


Spin Assassin said...

I'm not surprised. Those are the ones I lived through, but taking money for judge appointments tops it all.

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