“During that press conference, I attacked Mr. Ignatieff for some things he had allegedly said about Canada and the G8,” Mr. Harper said this afternoon at a wrap-up news conference of the Group of Eight major industrial nations.
“This was not a quotation of Mr. Ignatieff. I regret the error and I apologize to Mr. Ignatieff for the error.”
Actually, there are two apologies...
Mr. Harper's spokesman, Dimitri Soudas, said it was he who told Mr. Harper about the quote, which he said had been forwarded to him in the early morning hours Thursday.
Mr. Soudas didn't know who the quote was attributed to, only that was an academic.
“I also advised the Prime Minister, that, had he said that, it would be unacceptable,” he said.
“Firstly I have to apologize to the Prime Minister for misinforming him and ill-advising him to attribute a quote to Mr. Ignatieff that is not Mr. Ignatieff's,” he said.
“Secondly, and more importantly, I have to apologize to Mr. Ignatieff.”
Mr. Soudas said he will accept whatever consequences come to him. He did not say whether he has offered his resignation.
What do we have here?
1) erroneous action is identified
2) error made is pointed out
3) person targeted by the error is identified
4) admission to and responsibility for error is taken
5) unequivocal apology to the target is made.
What don't we have?
1) no blaming of the error on the person who gave the information
2) no sideways blaming of the victim
3) no "I'm sorry people were offended by my comments" psuedo-apology
We also have an example of sleaze.
Liberal foreign affairs critic Bob Rae said that the matter showed Harper's true character.
“I think all Canadians have to recognize that we have the smallest man on the world stage that it's possible to imagine, and that's Stephen Harper,” Mr. Rae told CTV News Channel.
“He never misses an opportunity to stoop. Not to conquer, just to throw mud.”
Let's see... PM Harper and Mr. Soudas made a mistake. They acknowledged their mistake, took responsibility for it and unequivocally apologized for the mistake.
Bob Rae uses this as another opportunity to make an over-the-top sling at the PM.
Yes, Mr. Rae. It does show true character.
So does your response to it.