Okay, so we all believe Dona Cadman and her family when they say a one million dollar offer was made. Nobody seems to be trying to dispute that anymore. Ezra informs us that neither Harper nor Flanagan are morally bankrupt enough to make such an offer. The only two people who could have made the offer are Flanagan and Finley. If it wasn't Flanagan, it had to be Finley. Thanks for narrowing it down, Ezra.
Here's some of Ezra's article:
Stepping aside would be a painful concession for anyone to make, but it was even more so in my situation. I had started campaigning full-time for the nomination nine months earlier, recruited over 1,000 new supporters and had spent more than $250,000 on my campaign. Giving up a sure-fire entry to Parliament was tough enough; writing off nearly a year's work and a fortune was even tougher.
So as it became clear that a conflict over Calgary Southwest was coming, we put out feelers to Flanagan to see what consideration might be offered should I step aside. Would my nomination expenses be covered? Would I receive a paid position with the party? Would my personal debts be paid? Such crass inquiries were all but ignored by Flanagan, even as an embarrassing clash between us loomed in the media. In purely pragmatic terms, Flanagan had every incentive to give me an offer --even an offer he didn't intend to keep -- just to make Harper's entry smoother. But he didn't.
As the by-election drew nearer, and the media's delight at our dilemma grew, I received a personal phone call from Harper himself. He was blunt: For the good of the party, I needed to step aside for him.
I immediately asked: "What would be the reward if I step aside? What would be the punishment if I don't?" I expected that he might offer some basic indemnity for the money I had sunk into the campaign to date, or some token position with the party in recognition for the sacrifice he was asking me to make.
"If you step aside, my esteem for you will rise," he told me. "If you don't, my esteem for you will fall." That's it: no money, no job offers, just his respect and friendship.
Okay, that raises a coupla questions. First, how can a campaign for a safe seat cost $250,000 dollars? Second, did it sound to anyone else like Ezra was lookin' fer something other than reimbursement of his massive expenses? Does wanting to be bribed count for anything in the candidate's qualifications?
Anyways, I'm with Ezra. I'm predictin' the shit will land on Doug Finley. He's been largely invisible which makes him more expendable. Flanagan and Harper go way back and both are readily associated with the CPOC brand. Finley, not so much. I wonder if Harper will use that line about his esteem when he asks Finley to fall on his sword like he asked Ezra to do.