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Martin’s speech: I’m sorry

Phew.  Matters of National Importance are being covered on the CBC, and I am on a train between Ottawa and Toronto.  Luckily, with my handy Blackberry, doubling as a GPRS modem, I have connectivity.  Slow, but as Om Malik said recently “Any connectivity is better than no connectivity”.  So I’ve whistled over to the Globe and Mail website and downloaded Paul Martin’s speech… slowly.

Mr. Martin says:

  1. He’s sorry.
  2. The problems occurred on the Liberal Party’s watch, and they will take the blame.
  3. He’ll call an election, once the Gomery inquiry is done.

In the meantime, can’t we all please get along so he can get back to the important business of running the country.

It’s an interesting gambit.  Appeal to Canadian’s collective sense of fair-play, and the electorate’s lack of interest in an early election in order to head off the threat of a non-confidence vote.  But will it work?

I haven’t seen any of the responses of the other parties, but here is what I predict they will do:

  1. Moan bitterly about how Martin cut short the previous parliamentary inquiry to call an election when it was to his advantage.  Peter McKay is going to call a spade a spade, and label Martin a hypocrite.  Martin deserves it.
  2. Redouble their efforts to find anything — anything — that might tie Martin directly to the scandal.  If they can do that, then Martin is cooked, plain and simple.  In the meantime, there will be a lot of innuendo.  They will make the most of Martin’s admission in his speech that he should have been “more vigilant”.
  3. Pull the plug on whatever is left of the Liberal government anyway.  Yes, they will do it.  The risk associated with letting the inquiry continue while portions of the testimony are perhaps weakened, and the Liberals continue to implement their agenda, is simply too great.  The time to strike is now.

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