Update Monday, July 25th, 2011: Look at this Hill Times column. It is about the federal Liberals’ end of summer annual meeting. We are being told that the Liberals are going to discuss the feedback Bob Rae has received by Liberal Canadians in his cross Canada summer tour. Please note, however, that nothing was mentioned about dealing with the lingering anger over the Sponsorship Scandal. Meaning, that without a doubt, the Liberals just don’t seem to get it — it being Adscam. Bringing “it” up is not going to make it front and centre. It already is front and centre, given the court case that is pending.
Original article starts here: The Sponsorship Scandal is back in the news (see here and here), which I expect will happen periodically over the next decade or two. Meaning, that unless the party leader, currently Bob Rae, its elected MPs, party officials and rank and file, accepts full responsibility AND finds a way to make restitution — as in pay most of the money back — Canadians will not forget, particularly Quebecers, and the party will never recover.
And, what does that reality look like? While the Conservative government has been able to recover $6.7 million of the estimated $49 million that is alleged to have been misappropriated, they have also had to spend $4.9 million in legal fees plus the cost of the Gomery Commission, which was $14 million. So, in reality, when you deduct the $6.7 million from the $49 million and then add another $11.9 million, you get a whopping $61.2 million dollars.
I repeat. That’s $61.2 million dollars!
Yet, current Liberal Leader Bob Rae is going coast to coast to coast this summer, playing the official party psychotherapist (and based on this Star Phoenix article, clearly in denial), trying to encourage Liberals to support the party –without ever mentioning the Sponsorship Scandal. In fact, I really think Liberals hope that Canadians have forgotten, don’t care anymore or both.
Well, it’s neither. We have not forgotten and we won’t forget.
Public relations 101 — Deal with an issue head on, accept responsibility and develop a strategy to bring about restitution, otherwise the organization is destroyed. Here, for example, is a Google search page on the topic of managing a crisis, and clearly the Liberals have ignored what they should have done.
Is it too late? Possibly, depending on what the Liberals do now because, in my opinion, former PM Paul Martin started off right. In February 2004, when Auditor General Sheila Fraser released her report, he expressed outrage and called the Gomery Inquiry. However, that was the extent of what we have heard publicly from the Liberal Party, other than former PM Jean Chretien making jokes about golf balls at the inquiry.
Clearly, Bob Rae and the federal Liberals need to accept that this matter is not going to go away anytime soon, if ever, and deal with it. I for one would not like to see the Liberal party destroyed, because our country is stronger when we have two parties that can be the government — with one always a government in waiting. And no, given what is happening in socialist Europe, I definitely do not see the NDP as that kind of option.