History as viewed through a different sort of lens

On the so-called “Cadscam”, some reporters are re-writing history.

Consider the following from an article by Lawrence Martin, a senior reporter for the Globe and Mail in the Parliamentary Press Gallery:

Mr. Cadman, who had left the Conservatives to sit as an independent, was therefore preparing to vote with the Liberals to keep the government afloat. But Conservative Party officials, Mr. Moore said, were in discussions with Mr. Cadman, trying to work something out. [emphasis mine]

Now, here’s an excerpt from Steve Rennie’s CP story:

Harper said while he wasn’t optimistic about their chances of persuading Cadman – a former Tory MP who had left the party to sit as an Independent MP – to vote with the Conservatives to bring down Martin’s government, he urged two people “legitimately representing the party” to tread cautiously. [emphasis mine]

When Brian Mulroney was testifying before the Ethics committee, opposition MPs did their best to refer to former “Conservative” Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, rather than “former Progressive Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney”. In fact, we can see it here in an excerpt from this 2008 article in the Toronto Star:

Lawyers for all three men have also argued Gomery showed signs of bias through various statements to the press — he memorably described Chrétien’s fondness for monogrammed golf balls as “small-town cheap” — and in his decision to hire Bernard Roy, the law partner and longtime friend of former Conservative prime minister Brian Mulroney, as the inquiry’s chief counsel.

So, what does this mean? Remember the Liberal alarms that went off post-merger that decried that the new Conservative Party was not the new version of the Progressive Conservative party? Now, we see opposition MPs try to associate Mulroney with the current Conservative party. Now, we see an entirely new invention by associating Chuck Cadman’s history with the Conservatives/Tories when he never sat as an MP for an party called Conservative! Chuck Cadman sat as a Reform MP and then as an Alliance MP. It suits Lawrence Martin’s narrative to throw around the “Conservative” label as his story discusses the dark cloud that has surrounded Conservatives lately (he even seems to extend the adjective “conservative” to the now jailed Conrad Black to imply the political noun “Conservative”). To streamline the scandal narrative, press flacks are revising history to label Cadman (and his alleged inducement back into the fold) as a Conservative-Independent-Conservative progression of events. Newspaper readers don’t need to be helped along; giving news consumers the full and truthful context is superior than bending affiliations to fit a desired storyline.

UPDATE: I was wrong. Cadman sat briefly as a Conservative MP post merger until he lost his nomination and then sat as an independent a few months later. I think that it is still more accurate to describe Cadman as an Alliance/Reform legacy MP rather than Conservative as the context of “Cadscam” relates to his independence from the new Conservative legacy. Still, I argued against what was factual. My apologies to Lawrence Martin.

Update: Ok, we’re corporate whores too (albeit less so), but check out the NDP!

Looks like I jumped the gun a little on displaying Mike Brock’s infographic as the truth, but in his defence, it was a result more of poor methodology than deceit. Mike took the numbers from 2003 and 2004 and put them together. The Conservative Party didn’t largely exist until 2004 and thus Mike should have added up the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative numbers. I’ve done that below. Further, bill C-24 limited individual and corporate contributions for 2004. So, I’ve done the numbers for 2003 and I’ve presented them below.

After my own research, these are the numbers that I came up with:

Liberal Party of Canada top donors.

  1. $2,974,341.20 55555 Inc. (Paul Martin Leadership Fund)
  2. $172,781.14 Canadian National Rail Company (Corporation)
  3. $148,257.17 Bombardier (Corporation)
  4. $135,889.00 Grant Forest Products (Corporation)
  5. $111,750.50 Bell Canada (Corporation) (Including BCE and Bell Globemedia)
  6. $106,055.65 Kruger Inc. (Corporation)
  7. $105,892.00 EnCana Corporation (Corporation)
  8. $104,726.70 SNC-Lavalin (Corporation)
  9. $100,000.00 Donald Meehan (Individual)
  10. $95,000.00 Power Corporation (Corporation)

Conservative Party of Canada top donors:

  1. $91,703.9 Scotiabank (Corporation)
  2. $70,976.64 Magna International (Corporation)
  3. $45,000 Power Corporation (Corporation)
  4. $41,015.34 Bank of Montreal (Corporation)
  5. $59,655.79 Bell Canada (including BCE and Bell Globemedia) (Corporation)
  6. $35,404.10 Telus Corporation (Corporation)
  7. $28,359.02 McCarthy T├ętrault (Corporation)
  8. $25,000 CanWest Global Communications Corporation (Corporation)
  9. $22,820.00 Canadian Alliance Lethbridge Constituency Association (Non-profit organization)
  10. $20,000.00 George Weston (Individual)

and… holy crap, check out the NDP…

New Democratic Party top donors:

  1. $909,775.00 CEP (Trade Union)
  2. $775,919.60 UFCW Canada (Trade Union)
  3. $823,289.60 CAW (Trade Union)
  4. $374,789.68 CUPE (Trade Union)
  5. $791,064.34 USWA (Trade Union)
  6. $252,619.60 OPSEU (Trade Union)
  7. $219,440.00 Canadian Labour Congress (Trade Union)
  8. $205,900.00 IAM & AW (Trade Union)
  9. $159,850.00 SEIU (Trade Union)
  10. $105,246.40 Ontario Eng Catholic Teacher’s Association (Trade Union)

So, whenever somebody tells you that the Conservatives are influenced too much by “Big Business”, show them that the Liberals receive significantly more in cold cash contributions from corporations. Also, look at the NDP numbers. “Big Unions” have a significantly greater political influence on the NDP than “Big Business” ever had on the Liberals or Conservatives. A substantial problem is that as a union member, one doesn’t have much control over which political party to which their union dues are donated. As a corporate shareholder, however, one can always sell their shares.

Happy Family

It’s good to see that the first Conservative Party of Canada caucus meeting went very well today. Today’s meeting represented the final step for the merging/reunification of both Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative caucuses and the first step of working together as one united front against Paul Martin’s liberals.

It seems as though much of the same had been discussed separately but now we are seeing conservative coordination concerning policy and House strategy.

Glad to see it.