Speaking of NDP defectors....
Whenever someone crosses the floor to another party, we usually scramble a bit to see if they've said things about their new, political family that they now regret. Every now and then, for instance, you'll hear the Conservatives dredging up Scott Brison's old quotes about the Liberal party, uttered when he used to be a Progressive Conservative. Same goes for the current interim leader, Bob Rae, who is obviously the most high-profile of New Democrats turned Liberals in Canada today, and is often reminded of the things he used to say about the party he now leads.
So today, when Lise St.-Denis moved from the NDP to the Liberal caucus, I was idly wondering whether she had made any comments she would now regret -- maybe she said the party was dead or something like that in the last election? I'm sure we'll find out. Past political lives can be hard to shake.
That's certainly the case, it seems, with Paul Summerville, a former NDP candidate in the Toronto riding of St. Paul's, who is experiencing some flashback political regret this month -- so much, that he felt he had to air it on his website in the past week. Summerville is now a Liberal and would like to be elected as policy chair at this weekend's convention.
During his time as a New Democrat, Summerville had what he calls "a footnote" part in a rather large catastrophe for his new party. Summerville's signature was on the 2005 letter asking for an investigation into alleged income-trust leaks by then-Liberal finance minister Ralph Goodale. The announcement of that investigation, in the last days of 2005, is widely seen as the fatal seal of Liberal fate before the Conservative election victory of January, 2006.
Summerville calls this "unfortunate." Goodale was cleared of all alleged wrongdoing in 2007.
Here's what Summerville posted on his site:
A Letter to the SEC
PAUL SUMMERVILLE • JANUARY 5, 2012
I wanted to address an issue that came up yesterday about a footnote in Canadian political history that I occupy.
Yesterday news came that an NDP press release from December 2005 regarding the letter dated December 18, 2005 that Judy Wasylycia-Leis and I wrote asking the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate an unusual pattern of stock and income trust trading was making the rounds with delegates.
The facts are that there was a leak and there was criminal conviction.
However, the announcement by the RCMP to conduct a criminal investigation ''regarding a possible breach of security or illegal transfer of information in advance of the federal government's announcement of changes to the taxation of Canadian corporate dividends and income trusts Nov. 23, 2005” that was announced on December 29, 2005 had nothing to do me, and was not the intent of the letter.
The fact that this cast a shadow over Ralph Goodale’s good name who was Finance Minister at the time was very unfortunate.
I think most observers including me would argue it was unfair, and of course his office was cleared of any wrong doing.
Over the course of the next few days much will be googled and much will be said.
When it involves me please let me know.
I will delighted to answer all your questions.