The Sponsorship Scandal Essay

2386 words - 10 pages

An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought.- Simon CameronIntroduction & BackgroundAfter the 1980 referendum, which saw a narrow victory for the federalist side, Québec sovereignty was considered to be an almost dead issue and placed on the back burner. However, events in the following years would lead to the resurgence of the sovereigntist cause. In 1982, the Canadian Constitution was patriated, though the Québec government did not sign onto this document. While the constitution still applied to Quebec, efforts were made in future years to amend the constitution to have it be accepted by the defiant Province. But, both the Meech Lake and Charlottetown Accords failed at getting the job done.A decade later in 1990, Lucien Bouchard, then a federal Progressive Conservative cabinet minister, led a coalition of Liberal and Progressive Conservative members of parliament to form a new federal party devoted to separatism, it would be called the Bloc Québécois. In 1993, Quebec elected 54 Bloc MPs to parliament, which made it the second largest party during that session and gave it the role of the official opposition. In Quebec, the 1994 provincial election brought the Parti Québécois, led by Jacques Parizeau, into power. The party had promised to hold a referendum on sovereignty, and soon after Mr. Parizeau's win, he delivered on his party's promise. The 1995 Quebec referendum took place on October 30th, and the motion to pursue Quebec's independence was defeated by an extremely small margin; 50.58% voting "No" to 49.42% voting "Yes". Though the people of Québec voted, by the narrowest of margins, to remain Canadians, the referendum provoked questions about Canadian identity and Quebec's place in Confederation.Shortly after that referendum, the federal government began a pro-federalism advertising campaign to boost its profile in the province of Québec. Founded by Jean Brault, Groupaction Marketing Inc. was one of the advertising agencies chosen for government contracts. Under normal circumstances there is a no problem in the hiring of a marketing firm for political advertising, but when stolen money falls into the picture, it becomes a conflict of interest and individuals have to be held liable. The goal of this research paper is to demonstrate how Groupaction Marketing Inc. and the entire sponsorship scandal in general, represent the failure of the Liberal government with reference to their ethical responsibilities to Parliament and through it, to the Canadians people.Within the Canadian context, the sponsorship scandal has reached 'gate' status; meaning that it has come to signify the same level corruption and affront to the public interest as in the Watergate scandal that caused American President Nixon to resign. "Sponsorgate" was centered around 1993 up to January 2006 and involved the Liberal Party of Canada, but mostly its Québec branch. The original...

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