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Canada's ruling party badly hurt by scandal
Xinhuanet ^ | 4/9/05 | Hu Guangyao

Posted on 04/09/2005 3:31:24 PM PDT by Valin

OTTAWA, April 9 (Xinhuanet) -- Public support for Canada's ruling Liberal party fell sharply in a new opinion poll conducted as rumors and early reports of explosive new sponsorship-scandal testimony first came into public view.

According to a the opinion poll conducted by The Ipsos-Reid company, 34 percent of the respondents across Canada would vote for Prime Minister Paul Martin's Liberals, compared to 30 percent for the Conservative party, the major opposition party in the parliament. That's a dramatic shrink in the Liberal lead, from an 11-percentage point gap in February to only four points this week.

The Liberals fell further behind the second largest opposition party of Bloc Qubcois in the province of Quebec, and the majoropposition party of Conservative in the province of Ontario, the key swing region where shifts in support can cause changes in government.

The spending scandal stemmed from a sponsorship program of 250 million Canadian dollars (about 200 million US dollars) which was carried out in mid 1990s when former Prime Minister Jean Chretien was in power to promote Canada and fight separatism in Quebec.

In early 2004 the annual report from Canada's auditor general found there had been a gross misuse of millions of dollars of government money under the sponsorship program. The report said that often little or no work was performed by the agencies and that normal accounting practices had not been followed.

On Feb. 19, 2004, a commission of inquiry into the sponsorship program and Advertising Activities was set up with Justice John H.Gomery named Commissioner.

Advertising executive Jean Brault, the owner of the Groupactionadvertising agency which is at the center of the corruption scandal, told the commission of inquiry last week, that senior Liberals in Quebec had asked for and received big kickbacks in return for government contracts.

Brault alleges that kickback contributions totaling about 1 million US dollars were made to the Liberal Party by the Quebec advertising companies. He also alleges Liberal Party workers were put on Groupaction's payroll and that the advertising firm became a virtual wing of the Liberal Party in Quebec.

Brault's allegations, which have not been proven in court, prompted a slew of newspaper headlines such as "Canada's Watergate", "The human face of corruption" and "Political Mafia".

The major opposition parties have warned that if the public wants a chance to punish the Liberals, they will get it.

"The Liberals can try to spin this any way they want, but this issue is out of their hands and, frankly, it's out of the Opposition's hands. It's in the hands of the Canadian people and they will decide when they want to deal with this government," said Geoff Norquay, communication director of opposition leader Steaven Harper.

However, the opposition parties, aware that more leading figures in the scandal are soon due to testify, said they are in no hurry to try to bring down the government of Prime Minister Paul Martin. But most observers believe an election will happen this year, most likely after the head of the commission of inquiryreleases his first report in November.

The ruling Liberals, who lost their parliamentary majority in last June's election, have been in power since November 1993. Public anger over the scandal is believed to have been partially responsible for reducing the Liberal Party's majority to a minority in the last election.

TOPICS: Canada; Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: adscam; corruptdems; scandals

1 posted on 04/09/2005 3:31:25 PM PDT by Valin
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To: Valin

Excellent! BTTT.

2 posted on 04/09/2005 4:00:46 PM PDT by Milhous
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To: Valin; All
Our version:

ADSCAM -- Canada's Corruption Scandal Breaks Wide Open

There is additional, damning information near the end of this:

3 posted on 04/09/2005 4:38:54 PM PDT by backhoe (-30-)
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To: Valin

In the end, all this scandal will make little difference. The parasites who vote for the socialists in order to get "free stuff" will continue to vote for the parasites, and the socialists will continue to confiscate from society's producers and provide the parasites with "free stuff" in exchange for their votes. Nothing new under the sun - - it's the same as with the Democrats and their constituencies here in the USA. Corruption and sleaziness are of no concern to any of them.

4 posted on 04/09/2005 4:47:02 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Lancey Howard


I think you are wrong on this. Canada has a hung Parliament and the Liberals are a minority government:

308 seats

Liberals: 135
Conservatives : 99
Bloc Quebecios: 54
New Democrats: 19
Independent: 1

Each seat is first past the post, most votes wins, even if it is not a majority. Given the close results in many ridings, if say 30% percent of Liberal votes switched (10% to the Tories and 20% to the NDP) the Conservatives could pick up the 155 seats they need to form a government.

5 posted on 04/09/2005 8:50:07 PM PDT by GreenLanternCorps (Who Dey! Who Dey! Who Dey Think Gonna Beat Dem Bengals!)
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To: GreenLanternCorps

Thanks for that information.
Sounds like there's hope....

6 posted on 04/09/2005 9:19:19 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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