Volume 93, Issue 52

Wednesday, December 1, 1999


Fund-raising success announced

$10 million question a no-brainer for council

Tissue investigation reveals no wrong-doing

Scientists identify six new planets

Speakers focus energy on human rights violations

Reform party deals with Ramsay

Caught on campus


Reform party deals with Ramsay

By Nina Chiarelli
Gazette Staff

The Reform Party has been accused of hypocrisy for the way they dealt with a Member of Parliament found guilty of attempted rape.

Last week, Saskatchewan Reform MP Jack Ramsay was found guilty of attempting to rape a 14 year-old native girl on her Pelican Narrows reserve in 1969. Ramsay, who was a Corporal with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at the time, has since been kicked out of caucus by Reform leader Preston Manning and is awaiting sentencing on Dec. 20.

Reform critics have debated the actions to date, as Manning has yet to demand Ramsay's resignation. However, Ramsay, after being removed from caucus last week, is now an independent MP and no longer falls under Manning's political purse strings.

Ian Brodie, a politics professor at Western who specializes in both Reform Party politics and political legal issues, said he believes Manning should do the right thing and ask Ramsay to resign. "He left caucus and they can't throw him out of the legislation, but the party has to be consistent," he said.

Brodie said the accusations of the Reform Party's lack of consistency came from an earlier demand from the party, which called for resignations from two Progressive Conservative senators who had been found guilty of criminal offenses.

"My guess is they're waiting for him to resign. It's a horrible time for him and his family," Brodie said. "I think they're giving him a week [to resign]."

Brodie added, given the incriminating content of the statement Ramsay made to the RCMP, it might be unlikely any attempt at an appeal would be successful.

Fourth-year computer science student and Reform party supporter Pablo Frank said he thought the right course of action for Ramsay would be to resign. "Ramsay has been there since the beginning. Technically, there's not much [Manning] can do. Ultimately it's up to [Ramsay]," Frank said.

As a Reform Party supporter, Frank added he was disgusted with the thought of Ramsay remaining an MP and also thought to remain consistent the Reform should call for his resignation.

Martin Westmacott, a professor of political science at Western, said he too felt the Reform party was instituing a double standard by not calling for Ramsay's resignation.

Westmacott said even though Ramsay is no longer a member of the party's caucus, he is still closely linked to the party. "In the minds of many he is a Reform member."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999