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I know there will be those who will want to continue to battle the politics of Brian Mulroney and his relationship with Karlheinz Schreiber, and its hard to make the case that doing so is wrong. No doubt, we must let whatever legal processes are warranted follow their course. And we are certainly owed more answers than we've had so far.

But when it comes to the pure politics of the issue, maybe we've arrived at a point when the amount to be gained by continuing to focus on this matter is less than the cost of doing so.

Some of the questions we need to consider are these:

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  • If Justice Oliphant's report is tabled and doesn't call for a next-stage process, will letting the matter drop send a signal that there are no consequences for those who make malodorous choices such as Mr. Mulroney did in his relationship with Mr. Schreiber? That seems doubtful. I can't imagine there are many who, having watched the impact of this case on Mr. Mulroney, came away seeing no deterrent.
  • Does the continuation of politicking about Mulroney-Schreiber beyond the Oliphant report risk distract our politics from more pressing matters? It sure seems as though the subject is like catnip for our political system. If it's around, we will be tempted to focus on it to the exclusion of other things.
  • Would we ever find out the ultimate disposition of the Airbus commissions paid to Mr. Schreiber? It seems unlikely, especially since our national police force spent millions of dollars and years of effort in pursuit of that information. If we do somehow find out, and the information warrants further action here, then so be it.

I think most people have formed their opinions about what transpired, and have passed personal judgment on the main players involved. While Justice Oliphant's report is an important chapter in this story, we may be altogether better off hoping it is the final chapter. The story is such a sad one, and there is no longer hope of any happy ending.

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About the Author
Bruce Anderson

Bruce Anderson is the chairman of polling firm Abacus Data, a regular member of the At Issue panel on CBC’s The National and a founding partner of i2 Ideas and Issues Advertising. He has done polls for Liberal and Conservative politicians but no longer does any partisan work. More

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