Warren Kinsella and David Herle, the men most identified with the Chretien and Martin wings of the Liberal party respectively, have taken to slagging each other in front of the House Public Accounts Committee.
Per Politics Watch:
Warren Kinsella, a long-time supporter of former prime minister Jean Chretien, told a Commons committee on Monday that Prime Minister Paul Martin called him at his home once to complain about a contract involving the firm Earnscliffe.
Kinsella said the call took place in the mid 1990s when he was an aide to the then public works minister David Dingwall, whose ministry oversaw procurement of government contracts.
Kinsella dropped accusation after accusation on O'Leary and Herle on Monday, suggesting it was his opinion that finance officials were creating a favourable environment for contracts to end up in the lap of Earnscliffe.
He told the committee that it wasn't just him who complained about the involvement of finance, but other Liberal friendly polling and communication firms and public servants.
He also alleged that he thought many of the contracts to Earnscliffe were in fact "cross-subsidized political activity using the public treasury," an allegation Herle later denied.
Herle put up a strong defence of his position before the committee, at times attracting the attention of committee chair John Williams who he interrupted at one point.
He denied any of the work given to Earnscliffe was done to aid Martin in his long leadership campaign or for work for the Liberal party.
Herle also told the committee to remember that Kinsella is "as strong a political adversary of Mr. Martin, Ms. O'Leary or myself as anyone in this country."
Future historians nad political scientists, when they look back on the last 15 years, will shake their head in amazement at the fact that Canada fell into irrelevance and impotence because these two men were more concerned with thwarting each other's ambitions than actually governing.
We have all paid dearly, from our falling standard of living to the decrepitude of out national defence, for having had the country used merely as an arena for two men's rivalry.