Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Canadian Manchurian Candidates

Richard Fadden, spy chief, says some Canadian politicians have been bought by foreign governments.

The first reaction to this is "Tell us!!!" That's a reasonable response and the one I immediately had when watching The National last night.

However, after thinking about it, I became much more uneasy about this information being released. Fadden's appearance on CBC, their whole CSIS story, was beyond bizarre. He obviously appeared on The National with very specific aims, and I'm pretty sure it wasn't a PR job to give the spooks a sparkly new image in time for the G20.

The obvious result of these revelations is that, at some point in the future, members of a particular party are going to be fingered by the press as being bought and paid for by foreign interests. At this point it looks like it will be in BC. When this happens the Liberal brand in that province, and elsewhere federally, will be destroyed. CSIS just put a time bomb at the feet of the Liberal Party of Canada. That reeks.

I'm not being partisan. I'd put money down on members of the Alberta government and the upstart Wildrose being under the sway of foreign governments. We know the kind of influence the Americans already have on federal politicians. This has nothing to do with party. A Liberal is no more susceptible to bribery than anyone else. Foreign governments will target those with the best chance of getting into power, they won't be partisan with their offers.

CSIS should have quietly informed the government in question of the issue and the people in question should have quietly disappeared from public life. It's the obvious solution. Instead, Fadden shows up on CBC and drops none too subtle hints about the people involved.

What's Fadden's game and did CSIS do this without some friendly prompting from Wellington Street?

UPDATE: Remember when Fadden said CSIS was concerned? Yeah, well not that concerned.


  1. The entire story is an obvious fabrication to help justify the billion dollar boondoggle of the G20 summit. And as for saying that the Wildrose Party members are secretly under the influence of the Americans, that is like saying that the executives at the Fortune 500 companies are secretly under the influence of capitalism. Duh!

  2. I find it presumptuous to accuse the Wildrose Alliance - they've barely been in existence. You also assume that the "influence" is coming from the U.S. Fadden did say there was "influence" from China in B.C. And he did not say which other Province. It could be Ontario not Alberta. But then that means I'm making assumptions. ;).

    And who knows, for now, if any of this is even true.

  3. One more thing - Fadden made a point of saying a lot of these "spies", or whatever, are in municipal politics, not Provincial so that rules out political party affiliation.

  4. Penlan, you're right I assume it, but even if there is no shadowy James Bond stuff going on in Edmonton... a right to bear arms!? Jaysus, who needs spies.

    But that's the point, why would CSIS just put this out there and walk away. Let folks guess who is bought and who isn't bought. My assumptions are based on the actions of governments, it's pretty clear when foreign government are having an influence on domestic policy.

    And, as for your last point, you're absolutely right, we don't know the substance of the allegations. More importantly, it isn't even clear that the politicians are doing anything traitorous. On the surface there's nothing particularly devious about a foreign government courting politicians. Yet CSIS throws a dead fish into the mix and taints everything. It's no longer a matter of looking at proposed policies, deciding whether they're in Canada's interest, and voting on them, CSIS wants us to think there's something shady going on.

  5. Also, just to keep in mind if it does hit the Lib. fan later on, note that Mansbridge asked Fadden point blank whether any federal politicians or public servants were implicated, & Fadden said no... altho' he made a point of saying they've only looked 5 years back from this (clearing just the Cons & current Opp.)

  6. altho' he made a point of saying they've only looked 5 years back from this (clearing just the Cons & current Opp.)

    Shame that, Iggy would make a good spy. ;)

  7. This is announcement is just another move made by government really. Consider what this announcement accomplishes with this timing: It implicitly bolsters the legitimacy of the security measures done for the G20, and on a greater extension, this is going to unearth the usual criticism of Canadian multiculturalism. The latter of course may seem irrelevant to the former, but national security leads into questions of immigration and civil loyalties.

    Some of the commenters on the follow up story to your link have already grasped on that tangential line of reasoning.