03 March 2008

NAFTA springs a leak

This story, which has been percolating in the Canadian media for a couple of days, is likely a tempest in a teapot... but I'd love to have been a fly on the wall at the Canadian embassy when it (whatever it was) went down. Next time I see Michael Wilson, I'll quiz him maybe.

LOOSE-LIPS-SINK-SHIPS UPDATE: So it wasn't the embassy in Washington after all - but it was the PMO that decided to alert the news media to Austin Goolsbee's informal remarks. I suggest giving the Newsday piece a full read - the most interesting stuff is buried at the end.

This little fracas is really quite fascinating, if only for the fact that it teaches our American cousins what we poor Canadians have learned (or are learning) through bitter experience: Stephen Harper has a reputation for giving no quarter, letting no nuance go unpunished, and taking any and every opportunity to screw with you if he doesn't like your politics.

DENIAL-AIN'T-JUST-A-RIVER UPDATE: And the story continues to swell to distinctly unteapot-like proportions. Leaks? What leaks? 

I'M-SHOCKED, SHOCKED-THAT-LEAKS-ARE-TAKING-PLACE-IN-THIS-ESTABLISHMENT UPDATE: Now that Barack Obama's lost in Ohio and seems weakened in the long term, our enlightened government is going to investigate just who leaked that darn NAFTA memo. But not by using the RCMP. And not taking into account the original causal leak. Jeffrey Monaghan must be shaking his head in disbelief. 

OMG-BROKEN-TELEPHONE-DECIDES-THE-FATE-OF-NATIONS UPDATE: So it was Ian Brodie who made an offhand remark about an offhand remark he hadn't even heard, about a different candidate than the one the press reported the remark as being about, which then revealed another offhand remark that had been miscommunicated to somebody else. No wonder Barack Obama had no idea what was going on. Nothing was going on, except that someone turned the echo chamber up to 11.  

This incident and its many reverberations could well be the basis for a PhD thesis. Maybe my PhD thesis...no wait, scratch that. Anyway, much to my chagrin given earlier posts, this fracas may be a good example of one of my favorite maxims. I hope Stephen Harper doesn't sue me. 

THE-OTHER-SHOE-DROPS UPDATE: My mea culpa above notwistanding, I do have one question: how did CTV News, which originally reported that both the Clinton and Obama campaigns had contact the government (when, at least according to the initial leak, it was only the Clinton campaign that the government knew about, and in fact, now denies Brodie mentioned at all) get its information about the Obama campaign? Did they have the Goolsbee memo before they ran the original story? What, in short, was CTV's role in all this? Incompetence? Or something else?

HITTING-CLOSE-TO-HOME UPDATE: So maybe I won't be talking to Michael Wilson about this after all. I doubt it's high on his cocktail chatter list.

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