Stéphane Dion was forced to backtrack yesterday from a controversial comment that he would allow back into the party a senior organizer who was banned for life over sponsorship-scandal misdeeds.
Mr. Dion told the Quebec City newspaper Le Soleil that he would not object to the lifting of the ban on senior organizer Marc-Yvan Côté, who admitted he distributed $120,000 in cash to Liberal candidates during the 1997 election campaign -- money diverted from the sponsorship program.
Mr. Dion's gaffe brought back a whiff of the scandal that the Liberals had hoped was behind them. Opponents seized on the remark as evidence that the new Liberal Leader has a lax attitude toward the improprieties members of his party committed.
Yesterday, Mr. Dion backtracked, insisting that he would have no involvement in reinstating Mr. Côté and suggesting it probably will not occur.
"I am not seeking to reopen that issue and there's not an application [from Mr. Côté] as far as I know. There is a procedure we follow," Mr. Dion said, asserting that party officials would handle any such case. "I'm not recommending anything."
Surely Dion knows better than to go digging up the Adscam past in Quebec, even if only to answer a hypothetical question.
Or maybe he doesn't. Maybe he still hasn't shed some of his old academic habits of floating every trial balloon in the knowledge that they will be punctured without affecting anything in reality.
If so, we can expect more off-the-cuff pontifications on the campaign trail, which will make derailing the Liberal campaign even easier than it was the last time.
Except on Kyoto.
He will not budge one inch in defence of the faith.
Source: Globe and Mail
PS: And neither will TVO, for that matter. The modern-day Lysenkoists aren't even pretending to be scientific any more.