Thursday, January 12, 2006

Undeclared Difficulties

Derek Zeisman's troubles with Canada Customs will not cost the Conservatives the election, though it will finish him off in Southern Interior and hand the riding to the NDP.

But it will hurt the national campaign for a while because it leaves the party exposed to charges of hypocrisy after spending the whole campaign highlighting more significant Liberal misdeeds.

He should have stepped aside when it became clear that his injuries in December would have left him unable to campaign and to serve effectively as MP for some months after the election. Another candidate could have stepped in and the charges--failing to declare a new Mercedes and the 112 bottles of liquor (five flats of beer?)--would have been irrelevant to the campaign after that.

Zeisman lied to the party by not disclosing these customs charges. Granted, the maximum penalty includes a stiff fine and six months jail, though he wouldn't be left with a criminal record, and the likelihood of being fined more than the cost of a speeding ticket is fairly remote in these cases.

But we can't afford the perception of being no different than the Liberals when it comes to corruption. I expect, as do many of us in the party, that Zeisman will be cut loose, even though it is too late to replace him on the ballot.

Better to write off one riding than risk a dozen.


Anonymous said...

Yes - whatever the outcome - this guy was NOT honest and forthright - he very selfishly took on the campaign - risking the reputation of the whole party - it is very disappointing indeed. With the strong lead in the polls everyone is desparately seeking these types of glitches from a conservative candidate and this unfortunately delivers. Argh!

TrustOnlyMulder said...

What makes this issue completely different from the allegations in the finance minister's office or the Judy Sgrow immigration issue is that this is not a Minister.

All the Conservatives asked was that Goodale step aside from his Ministerial duties, as Judy Sgrow did. She was still an MP, and still performed her duties through her investigation, she just gave up the post of Minister.

Zeisman is not a Minister, nor is he an MP. He may be cut loose after the election, but there is no need for him to step aside.

Ironic, that he is going to get slammed for this, but Svend Robinson stole a ring, did no time, and the value of his crime was far greater. But he is still running.

Tying the term hypocrisy to the stance the CPC is taking on Zeisman is a wrong assertion. The two situations are very different.

pale said...

At least he was not convicted of stealing a $25,000 ring - what can of party would let a convicted thief run for them :-)

One thing to hilight is that he is also a big imported of cross border mechandise - it may be an adminsistrative errror.

I agree he should have mentioned it or dropped out when he had the car accident

BBS said...

Not only should have mentioned it, it's required on Candidate disclosure documents. To have hidden this information is unacceptable. It's not the offence, it's his failure to declare it. A serious lack of judgement on his part.

Anonymous said...

Don't force him to resign. Say that the party will look into his candor during the interview process and consider whether he should remain in caucus if elected. Say he is innocent until proven guilty. Say that if found guilty, and if elected, he will be bounced from caucus. Say that it is up to the voters in his riding to decide whether, given the cloud of quasi-criminal charges, he should be elected. Say it is a legitmate issue to be debated in his riding. In short: don't back down but maintain a principled stand.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Harper dealt with this issue issue decisively and effectively. Perfect. This re-enforces the idea that a conservative government will deal with corruption differently. Now he can go back to talking about the platform. Now THAT is how a Prime Minister should act. Nice work, Mr. Harper!

Anonymous said...

To "anonymous" who stated "Don't force him to resign [...] maintain a pricipled stand." :


Do everyone a favour and go boil your head.


PGP said...

Me Too! Me Too!….I have Ethics Too!

Martin dumps Liberal candidate in B.C. riding after accusation of bribery

See my post at OMMAG One More Middle Aged Guy

LOL I am Luvin this!!!!

The defeated LIberals will all undertake a large Same sex/ group marriage and adopt a gazillion immigrant children to claim the $1200 a year in daycare support in an effort to keep their hands on as much taxpayers money as possible. Probably will funnel the rest back to the LPC...that is if there is any left over after Beer & Popcorn