Calls for O'Connor's resignation gaining traction, say journalists

Columnist Don Martin, writing in the National Post (and Ottawa Citizen) today, says that calls for Defence Minister O’Connor to resign may be picking up political steam.

“Most House of Commons resignation calls are cheap political posturing, a dramatic plea to be quoted by the media and best paid no heed. But the O’Connor’s-a-goner campaign is starting to gain traction — and may rate serious consideration.”

Martin goes on to say that Defence Department officials have been working overtime to try to save O’Connor.

“But for now, it’s Mr. O’Connor whose credibility is hemorrhaging so badly, departmental officials were contacting Conservative television talking heads to promote some positive spin for weekend politics shows, a sure sign they’re deeply worried about his survival.”

O’Connor’s spin doctors seem to have landed a front page story in the Globe and Mail. The headline for reporter Daniel LeBlanc’s article declared, “O’Connor being hung out to dry on detainee file, official says.” The article went on to say,

“Defence Minister Gordon O’Connor feels he has been left to twist in the wind by his cabinet colleagues, senior federal sources said yesterday as finger-pointing burst into the open over the government’s handling of the Afghan detainee crisis.”

“A senior defence official, seeking to present Mr. O’Connor’s views as he fights for his political life, said the Defence Minister feels he has been shouldering the blame for Canada’s policies toward Afghan detainees for more than a year.”

But having other government officials speak up may have only made things worse for the minister, as contradictory comments from Peter MacKay, Stockwell Day and others aren’t helping anyone. As Don Martin writes,

“The once proud Mr. O’Connor now finds himself gagged on the front bench while third-stringers try to explain the latest version of what’s happening in his department.”

I was asked to reflect on this week’s events and how this could impact the war and he government by A Channel’s Inquiry program. Here is a link to a YouTube video of the interview.



Tags: Afghanistan, Defence policy