Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Blogs may topple the Canadian Government

An interesting example of the power and importance of blogs is playing itself out right here in still-quite-cold Canada. Briefly - a Government Commisiion of Enquiry (the 'Gomery Commission') is investigating allegations that the previous Liberal Government under John Chretien handed out tens of millions of dollars (albeit Canadian $$ !) in government advertising contracts and "Sponsorship" programmes for sporting and cultural events. It seems that the money was channelled to many semi-fictitious "advertising' and 'marketing' companies, where it was promptly redirected back to the Liberal party for political / campaign purposes, most of it to counter separatist politics in Quebec. Totally illegal.
The proceedings of the enquiry are subject to a legal publication ban, apparently so as not to prejudice possible criminal trials arising from the findings of the commission. But an American blogger (to whom the ban cannot apply) has been publishing details of the testimonies given, including what are regarded as "explosive" evidence of the last 2-3 days. The Canadian press is saying that a) the south of the border publication, with one site registering "over 300,000 daily hits from Canada" will force the lifting, or partial lifting of the publication ban in Canada b) if the evidence given in the last few days becomes public in Canada, which may implicate current members of the Govt and the Liberals, contrary to PM Paul Martin's assurances that he has 'cleaned house', then resignations and possibly an election are inevitable.

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