Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Bob Paulson to Charlie Angus: "Go Cut Yourself a Switch, Boy"

Let it never be said that the far-left gives up easily.

In the wake of the RCMP's decision to end the investigation of former PMO Chief of Staff Nigel Wright without pressing charges, various individuals refused -- simply refused -- to accept that. From iPolitics columnist Michael Harris to Green Party leader Elizabeth May, people began demanding to know why Wright wasn't charged.

Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus -- who is also the NDP's ethics critic, despite his own run-in with Elections Act violations -- decided to take that a step farther. He decided to write the RCMP. He might not be so happy he did. RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson decided to write back.

Here's an especially-tasty excerpt from Paulson's letter:

"While I'm at it, permit me to point out that in your letter you alternately refer to '...the decision to drop the charges against Mr Wright', and 'the decision to end the investigation into the actions of Mr Wright...' While I'm sure your selection of words was largely innocent you must understand that Mr Wright was never charged with any offense and so the RCMP did not decide to drop charges. The RCMP decided not to bring charges after we thoroughly and completely investigated the matter. Illustrative perhaps of the complexity of these situations and the need for precision around these sensitive matters."

Ouch. I imagine that Mr Angus is learning that perhaps sometimes it's better to let the facts stand in the way.

But here's the thing: there is no reason whatsoever to treat Mr Angus' letter for anything other than precisely what it is: an attempt to put political pressure on the RCMP. If it were an NDP MP, staffer, or operative under investigation, and a Conservative MP doing the same thing, the NDP would be freaking the fuck out. They would be insisting that this MP was applying political pressure in order to obtain a result from which he could gain political advantage.

And they wouldn't be wrong. Except that isn't what's going on. It's an NDP MP -- an ethics critic, no less -- applying such political pressure. It's no less acceptable.

And it's no more ethical. To attempt to place political pressure on the national police force in a highly politicized matter is an act of extremely questionable ethics, to say the least. Of course no one should expect Mr Angus to do the right thing and resign his portfolio -- he didn't do so the last time his adherence to the rules -- and election law -- were found to be sorely wanting.

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