I posted it with some trepidation because I’m no expert on Canadian politics.
Today, my judgment was confirmed when I saw on the news, the head of the liberal opposition party, Jack Layton, telling Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper to fire the source of the leak that interfered in the Democratic primary.
To check it out further, I contacted Canada’s NDP (New Democratic Party) and spoke with their press seccretary, Ian Capstick, who agreed, I’d nailed it yesterday, telling me, “There is no reason to trust Mr. Harper.”
Now, the beauty of Canada’s parlaiment is there’s a “Questions Period” when, for 45 minutes, in which government must respond to Opposition questions. Yesterday that meant that Prime Minister Harper had to face questions from NDP leader, Jack Layton:
"The prime minister’s office has been interfering in the democratic primaries, trying to silence Barack Obama, who simply wants to amend the NAFTA. IT is completely unacceptable for that kind of interference to take place. Will the Prime Minister fire the source of the interference, fire his chief of staff.”
Harper gives a tepid reply, avoiding the question of firing his chief of staff., replying he,
“regretted the fact that information has come out that would imply that Senator Obama has been saying different things in public than in private. The government of Canada does not condone this and certainly regrets any implication.”
View the short exchange here:
My contact at the NDP tells me that Layton was referring to Harper’s chief of Staff , Ian Brodie, who BBC identified as the source of the leak.
Harper told Parliament he was amused by the suggestion "we are so all powerful that we could interfere in the American election and pick their president for them. This government doesn't claim that kind of power. I certainly deny any allegation that this government has attempted to interfere in the American election."
Sandra Buckler, a Harper spokeswoman, denied Monday that Brodie or anyone in Harper's office leaked word of the memo or meeting.
Harper and the Canadian Embassy, meanwhile, expressed regret about how the discussions from the memo have been interpreted. Embassy officials said in a statement "there was no intention to convey, in any way, that Senator Obama and his campaign team were taking a different position in public from views expressed in private, including about NAFTA."
Bob Shrum, who has advised former Democratic presidential candidates, accused Canada's Conservatives of "actively interfering" in the U.S. election campaign on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday.
"You've got a right-wing government in Canada that is trying to help the Republicans and is out there actively interfering in this campaign," Shrum said.
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