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April 26, 2007

A Man for All Seasons: Dean Del Mastro

After reading Dean Del Mastro's heated comments about Garth Turner in Tuesday's Peterborough Examiner, I decided to try to figure out why Dean Del Mastro is still so touchy about the income trust issue, other than the obvious reason, of course: Peterborough Riding has the second highest per capita population of seniors in the country, and many of those seniors were less-than-impressed when the Harper government did a u-turn on this issue. And the fact that Del Mastro serves on the Finance Committee only adds insult to injury.

Anyway, while I was researching this issue, I discovered that Del Mastro has re-spun his take on the income issue at different times. He is clearly a man for all seasons -- or at least he has a fresh spin for every season.

Income Trusts: A Winter's Story

SnowmanBack in January, Garth Turner described Dean Del Mastro as "a Conservative member of the finance committee who voted [at the committee] against holding hearings into the income trust controversy."

On January 30th, Garth Turner issued the following clarification on his blog, at the request of Dean Del Mastro:

"Dean says [the information provided on the blog] is untrue. He wants me to tell you that he did not vote against holding these hearings, presumably because he was absent."

[Editorial comment: If you stopped reading at this point or if Garth Turner had not questioned Dean Del Mastro further, you might have assumed that Del Mastro wanted to issue clarifying information because there had been a significant factual error (e.g., he had, in fact, wanted there to be hearings). Generally this is why a clarification is issued. Read on.]

"During the meeting today I passed him a note, and asked, 'For clarification, would you have voted to support having these hearings?'”

"He answered me, writing, 'No, but I am happy that the Minister has the opportunity to clarify his decision.'"

[Editorial comment: This is a classic political spin technique. It's known as bridging. Clearly the Conservative troops received some question-diversion training at some point. And Del Mastro has mastered the spin cycle techniques particularly well. Now back to Garth.]

"So, there you go. Dean del Mastro did not vote for the hearings, but he would have not voted to support having the hearings, had he voted. If you live in Peterborough riding, you read it here first!"

Source:
Garth.ca via Confeederation.ca

Income Trusts: A Spring Tale

CottagesceneA few months pass by (long enough for some voters to forget about what some politicians have said about some issues), and Dean Del Mastro is no longer doing personal damage control on the income trust issue. In fact, he's had a total change of heart on income trusts. They're suddenly A Good Thing.

On Monday, April 23 in the House of Commons, Dean Del Mastro declares, "I am very proud of the actions the government has taken [on income trusts]." (See Section 1620).

So what's next? Summer of course -- and a story as yet to be written.

Related:

Other noteworthy instances when Dean Del Mastro has reversed his position on the issue of the day

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Comments

Ann, thanks for such an imformative post.
Peterborough is a hot bed of Federal Politics. I can think of three good movie titles :

The Conservative Man Of All Seasons !

The Liberal playground !

[edited at blogger's request]

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