Is it unusual for a judge presiding over a public commission of inquiry to talk to the media? Does the use of terms like "small-town cheap" in interviews or musing on the political ramifications of a commission constitute a "a reasonable apprehension of bias" so crippling that a new commissioner must take over? Does Chretien, despite having other reasons for wanting to put the commission in a "deep freeze", have a point?
What's normal in these things? What's not? I really don't know.
The Toronto Star tries to answer these questions today in an article headlined In 'real world,' judges talk. It's perhaps not the most useful article that could have been written on the subject, but it does contain this doozie of a quote from our Prime Minister Paul Martin, who may turn out to be just as quotable as his predecessor:
"It's totally inappropriate for me to comment on legal proceedings that are in front of the commission," Martin told reporters in Fredericton, where the Liberal caucus is meeting this week. "But one thing is very clear. We created the commission."This is stripping things down to the Cartesian basics: The commission exists. We created it. I am the Prime Minister. I was elected. I was elected to be the Prime Minister. We created the commission to get to the bottom of this.
Great. Thanks, Paul Martin, once again, for your valuable insight into a pressing political matter.