One Big Happy Family

Paul Martin to Jean Chretien et al: "Let the healing begin!" Update- these links have (hopefully) been fixed. Sorry 'bout that.

(And as for Martin kicking Gagliano out of the Liberal Party ... does anyone still have that link to Paul's video valentine for ol' Alfonso? If so, *please* post the link in the comments section!)

And hold on to your keyboards, because Lucky Jean himself will be holding a press conference of his own this afternoon.

One theory I have heard is that Gomery will not have much of an effect on Paul Martin, since the blame has been placed squarely on the old gang.

Leave aside the various possible rebuttals of that argument (eg. the fact that Paul Martin was, shall we say, a fairly important minister during those years, even if he didn't know what was going on vis a vis sponsorship); one way in which this can hurt the Liberals a great deal is if there is a very public and very bitter catfight between the Martin & Chretien forces. Sure, Martin presumably still has a hammerlock on the LPC, but if there's one thing conservatives have had to learn, to their cost, about Chretien, it's that nobody, but nobody, can fight dirtier than him when it comes to politics.

Frankly, part of me would be surprised to see Chretien do anything that would really hurt the LPC in the next election. Chretien, after all, is completely devoted to the party (which is one reason why we ended up with the sponsorship mess to begin with). That said, he doesn't strike me as someone who'll take this lying down.

Paul Martin, to my mind, wants to do 2 things: highlight the fact that he, personally, appears to have been cleared of any wrongdoing, and put all of the blame squarely on the former regime. If Jean Chretien decides to truly raise hell over this - and that's still an "if" at this stage (he may decide to just go after Gomery, and not even mention Martin's name) - then Paul Martin may be in deeper trouble than anyone thinks.

As with many things in politics, it's not always the story that kills - it's the reaction.

More later.


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