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Friday, June 09, 2006

Ian Davey for leader of the Liberal Party!

Ian Davey?

"It's a different thing altogether. I mean a political donation is a political donation. A loan is a loan, it's not a donation, it's a loan. So, I don't see the logic frankly," said Ian Davey, campaign manager for the Ignatieff campaign who has loaned $125,000 to Mr. Ignatieff's campaign.

Now if you work for me, but I owe you money, doesn't that mess up the whole you-work-for-me dynamic? What happens when Michael Ignatieff disagrees with Davey's advice? What if Davey holds his ground?

What if Davey holds the load over Ignatieff's head to compel him to follow Davey's plan? Can Ignatieff even fire Davey if it means the loan will be called in? Or does Davey become the power behind the throne, as it were? The real leader, if Ignatieff should win.

This isn't hypothetical. Ian Davey has been in exactly this sort of situation before. In 2003, a serious disagreement over political tactics that eventually led to his resignation:

Ian Davey, chief communications strategist for [former Liberal Finance Minister John] Manley's leadership bid, said Thursday he quit after deep disagreements with other organizers over the campaign's approach.

What if Ian Davey was the primary contributor to Manley's campaign?  Would he have lost that debate, and his job?

I don't think there should be a rule against this sort of loan. God knows we have enough rules on political money that seem to cause more problems than they solve. Better yet to leave it out of the rules, because it is an opportunity for potential leaders to show common sense.

In this case, Michael Ignatieff seems to think it makes sense for a senior campaign strategist to be a major contributor.

That doesn't speak well for Ignatieff's ability to think of the implications of a decision, or to consider past history.

Too bad no one in the media has brought any serious focus on this question.

Posted by Steve Janke on June 9, 2006 | Permalink


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You are making an assumption about a crucial question: How is repayment of the loan structured? If they have signed a formal loan agreement such that Davey cannot demand all of his money back on a whim, then there is no problem of judgement at all here as there would be no way for Davey to use the repayment of the loan to wield any power. One would suppose that there must be something in writing, as that is the only way to make it clear that this is a loan, not a contribution (although I see you use that word anyway).

Posted by: Lamont | 2006-06-09 11:12:37 AM

btw- Who financed Harper's leadership bid ? Just curious.

Posted by: Nbob | 2006-06-09 12:19:46 PM

Umm...I don't suppose Ian Davey's middle name is Lamont?

Posted by: BoomNoZoom | 2006-06-09 12:20:16 PM


I don't know although I believe the relevant info is publicly available. I suspect, however, that none of the donations came from children of drug companies.

Posted by: BoomNoZoom | 2006-06-09 12:23:50 PM

errr of drug company executives.

Posted by: BoomNoZoom | 2006-06-09 12:24:49 PM

I'm going to send 10 cents to Ingatieff's leadership campaign as a matching grant to Ian Davey's brain.

I'd be glad to send the same amount to nbob.

Posted by: Set you free | 2006-06-09 12:28:49 PM

>Later that year in October 2002, then Canadian Alliance leader Stephen Harper refused to release information on who donated to his leadership campaign. He later backtracked, and quietly posted a partial list on his party's website. But, he only posted 54 donors who gave more than $1,075 each, leaving out the names of 10 other large donors who refused to go public, and more than 9,000 people who gave less than $1,000 each.

At least we know the names of the big Lib leadership donors/lenders - Who are the 10 people Harper is beholden to ?

Posted by: Nbob | 2006-06-09 12:36:00 PM

By my count that makes 9064 people he is beholden to. Also by any account, he is repaying them all by keeping his promises and doing what he publicly said he would do. Honesty, integrity and accountability is certainly payback with interest.

Posted by: BoomNoZoom | 2006-06-09 12:43:02 PM

Honesty, integrity and accountability are just buzz words without transparency. Why not tell us the names of the big contributors and how much ?

Posted by: Nbob | 2006-06-09 12:50:05 PM

On the contrary, they speak to actions readily apparent to all but the wilfully blind.

As to the crux of the matter, the original debate arose over speculation Liberal leadership candidates were finding creative and possibly unethical ways to circumvent the Liberal Party's fundraising rules, pace Volpy and the $5,000 donations from pre-teens. Rules, I might add, that were brought in by Chretien as a way of cocking a snook at the Martenites future prospects for raising funds.

That said, I am unaware of the Conservative Party's fundraising rules but I do know that Harper is not beholden to the Liberal Party or it's constitution.

Posted by: BoomNoZoom | 2006-06-09 1:14:37 PM


Why are your friends in the Liberal Party the only members of a Parliamentary committee trying to get through the Accountability Act, a promise of transparency the government made during the election campaign?

Far as I know, until the new law is passed, the old (Liberal) law is still in effect.

To review, promises are not enforcable until passed by the will of Parliament (both the House of Commons and the Senate).

Watch the news reports closely and see who's trying to block ... far beyond their role as the official opposition.

Posted by: Set you free | 2006-06-09 1:46:57 PM

These kind of campaign loans are a (not even subtle) way of cicumventing the campaign finance law. Once the vote is over, the loan will be quietly forgiven.

Posted by: MustControlFistOfDeath | 2006-06-09 2:14:37 PM

>Once the vote is over, the loan will be quietly forgiven.

It would seem, if the allegations against one of your more "honourable" CPC members prove true, that the way politicians do it now days is not to l quietly forgive it but rather pay it back through pay raises and furnishings from the office.

At least we know who gave money to Volpe - you can't rule out that there might have been a well to do pre-teen who really really likes Harper because you don't know all the names.

Few people's definition of integrity would include making political hay out of an opponents campaign contributions when you're not willing to make full disclosure of your own. Fairness sez you either keep quit or turn over your whole list.

Posted by: Nbob | 2006-06-09 2:49:24 PM

Ah but...Harper is not making political hay out of an opponents campaign contributions.
"Allegations"? Let's hear em. And..how convenient. And we certainly already know how it is and has been done in the Liberal Party..Shawinigate, Adscam, The Billion Dollar Boondoggle, etc etc. Nice try though.

Posted by: BoomNoZoom | 2006-06-09 3:50:04 PM

The ethics of the Liberal Party have been mired in the sewers for far too long now. The only possible excuse for being a Liberal apologist is, again, wilfull blindness.

Posted by: BoomNoZoom | 2006-06-09 3:52:56 PM

Is Ashley Macissac still running? That would be a hoot. Hey Ashley, what's your position on Afghanistan? "Huh, well, you know, I just don't like this war stuff with guns you know, man, that s--t ain't cool. It's like, you know, we're going in there with guns blazing like Rambo, man, like Rambo! We should be talking to the Talibani, dude, and doing some yoga with them..not killing their children..that's what Canada's about, man...hold on..I need a cigarette."

Posted by: Howard Roark | 2006-06-10 5:50:10 PM

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