Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin went on Canadian television to plea with Canadian citizens to allow him to stay in power for eight more months as new allegations of corruption swirl around him and the Liberal Party.
Prime Minister Paul Martin offered to call an election within 30 days of the final report from the Gomery commission, in an extraordinary prime-time address to Canadians Thursday night.
He made the speech in an effort to stem the damage the sponsorship scandal has caused the Liberal party and to appeal directly to Canadians.
"I commit to you tonight that I will call a general election within 30 days of the publication of the commission's final report and recommendations. Let [Mr. Justice John] Gomery do his work. Let the facts come out. And then the people of Canada will have their say," Mr. Martin said from the desk in his office, in a taped televised address in both French and English.
Mr. Martin said he takes responsibility for the actions of his party and is prepared to let Canadians judge his response to this test of his leadership.
Here is what Captain Ed has to say (hyperlinks added):
I predict that this plea will do more damage than good for the Liberals, especially in light of their parliamentary actions this week. Martin and his party appear to be grasping at every last straw to remain in power, regardless of how it looks or what effect it has on democratic processes. Asking for the justice system to work before having voters make their decisions on the day that they find out the Liberals gave away judgeships for political favors is somewhat akin to murdering your parents and asking for mercy as a poor orphan. It not only looks terribly cynical, but it insults the intelligence of the audience.
Air Force Voices agrees. This is simply an attempt to buy enough time for some other scandal or national emergency to take the place of the current scandal. Americans saw this tactic during the Clinton-Lewinsky saga. What remains to be seen is if the Canadian citizens will buy it.
Note: Air Force Voices is following this story as part of a research project on weblogs and their power to shape public opinion. While the paper was turned in earlier this week, there is a strong possibilitiy of writing an update prior to publication (assuming the paper is worthy of an "A").
There are many strategic implications here in terms of effects-based operations and information operations. If not for blogs, particularly Captain's Quarters, where would this story be today?