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June 6, 2005
Liberal MP Leaves, Martin Back At Square One

After gaining a seat in a critical by-election in Labrador, Paul Martin has returned to square one with a critical defection today by Pat O'Brien. O'Brien won't join the Tories but will instead stand a an independent, but specifically mentioned the Adscam scandal as a reason for his decision:

Liberal MP Pat O'Brien, who opposes his party's position on gay marriage, says he's quitting the Grits to sit as an Independent. ...

In April, he decided to stick with the Liberals after Prime Minister Paul Martin promised expanded debate of the marriage bill. But O'Brien said the "full and fair'' debate he expected has not happened.

His discomfort with the party had also been growing with each revelation of malfeasance from the Gomery inquiry into the sponsorship scandal.

It sounds as if O'Brien will be reluctant to support the Liberals if another no-confidence motion gets tabled in Parliament. This brings the Commons back to a 152-all tie, assuming that the Parliamentary factions line up as before. It places even more pressure on Chuck Cadman and David Kilgour now that budget issues have mostly been addressed.

The news today was not all good for the Tories, however. Another expert claims that the Grewal tapes have been edited:

The recordings initially released by Conservative MP Gurmant Grewal were altered, and it is unlikely that the changes in the tapes he made were caused by digital copying, as the Conservatives have stated, concludes a forensic audio expert employed by The Globe and Mail to examine the controversial recordings. ...

Yesterday, Jack Mitchell, a U.S. forensic audio expert who conducted a preliminary review of portions of the originally released recordings, said they had been altered. He said he did not believe the changes occurred in the digital-copying process.

"These tapes have been edited. This is not a maybe. This is not something that's unexplained. This is not, 'Oh, this is odd.' This is a definitive statement. The tapes have been edited," Mr. Mitchell said.

However, Mitchell worked from the audio files given to the Globe & Mail and not the originals, which the RCMP still has. That seems like a curious method for a forensic expert to use when making unequivocal pronouncements. If that seems odd to readers as well, check out Angry's research on Mitchell for even more oddities.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 6, 2005 12:01 PM

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» Paul O’Brien Leaves the Liberal Party: New Election Call? from FullosseousFlap's Dental Blog
MP Pat O’Brien announces at a news conference in Ottawa on Monday that he is quitting the Liberal Party to sit as an independent. Liberal MP Pat O’Brien announced Monday he would be leaving the Liberal caucus to sit as an independent, say... [Read More]

Tracked on June 6, 2005 6:40 PM

» O'Brien quits Grits from Stephen Taylor - Conservative Party of Canada Pundit
In a minority parliament such as this, the independents have all of the power. In a move likely seen as the Liberal attempt to fast-track bill C-38 through the Commons before the summer, Liberal MP Pat O'Brien quit his party today in opposition to thei... [Read More]

Tracked on June 7, 2005 1:59 AM

» A challenge from Edward T. Bear from Angry in the Great White North
My post on the Globe and Mail analysis of the Grewal tapes has ignited quite the little firestorm. Blank Out Times is issuing a challenge:It has come to my attention that many of you are complaining about the use of... [Read More]

Tracked on June 7, 2005 8:27 AM

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