On Tuesday, The Canadian Press reported "Michael Ignatieff's front-running Liberal leadership campaign was dinged $1,000 yesterday for making unsubstantiated accusations of fraud against chief rival Bob Rae." But the party's permanent appeal committee also chastised the campaign for the "inflammatory tone of the notice of appeal filed in this matter. The notice of appeal contains numerous allegations of fraud, many of which even if proven would have been entirely irrelevant. However, no attempt was made in the course of the hearing to prove even one of those allegations. Regrettably, and contrary to the Rules of the Permanent Appeals Committee, the notice of appeal found its way into the public domain well before our hearing, and the unproven allegations have been the subject of considerable media comment, to the detriment of a number of individuals, campaigns, and the Party." Which makes one wonder, will Mr. Ignatieff's organizers be issuing an apology to the Rae campaign - specifically former British Columbia chair Mason Loh?
In an interview with Public Eye, press secretary Alicia Johnson answered that question this way: "The party has asked us, as per the appeal process, not to speak to the media about it." But, so far, no apology has been forthcoming. And none is expected. Although our understanding is that there may be some regrets about the language that was used in the appeal.