Monday, May 09, 2005

An Honest Liberal?

I know, it sounds like an oxymoron.

More and more it looks like all Liberals are liars. It has gotten to the point where they even call each other liars.

But, I do not believe all Liberals are dishonest. These days, however, any Liberal who is fundamentally honest must feel awfully uncomfortable with Adscam and subsequent efforts of the Liberal Party to sidestep any responsibility for the scandal.

Consequently, it was with some relief that I read a letter from Beryl Wajsman, posted on Captain's Quarters last night. After having his name pop up in previous testimony at the Gomery inquiry, it seems Wajsman is chomping at the bit to tell his side of the story. As he puts it, “my story is one of a party reformer opposed, not a party consultant enriched.”

After a long talk with Wajsman this afternoon, I am more than willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. I would encourage my readers to have a gander at some of his articles at the web site of the Institute for Public Affairs of Montreal, of which he is president.

What I find most impressive is that Wajsman believes so strongly in his cause he resigned in June 2001 from the very party that has been the vehicle for much of what he has accomplished in his political life. Unlike those who have preferred to remain quiet, however, we finally have a Liberal who seems to genuinely put integrity ahead of self interest.

There is little doubt that Wajsman is an unrepentant “liberal” who is passionate about his beliefs. He finds inspiration in Trudeau’s just society and envisages "a national political culture where victory is won on the battlefields of ideals and principles are never vanquished in the backrooms of deals."

One thing for sure, he is not one to acquiesce to authority. As he inveighs against the corporatism that permeates the Canadian state, he assures me, “we are going to expose who is running this country.” And by this, he does not mean the politicians. It should make for very interesting testimony at the Gomery inquiry, if he ever gets the chance.