As readers of this blog know, I don't like to brag.
But I would be remiss if I didn't point out an interesting fact: I am doing a better job of defending Prime Minister Harper over this Elections Canada mess than is the Junior Kindergarten class now operating the Prime Minister's Office.
Let's face it, the PMO's pathetic attempts at damage control on this issue have only made things worse.
By contrast, I have been in the media on an almost daily basis: in the National Post, in the Globe and Mail, on Newsworld, on Newsnet, on Global TV and on the radio, hammering home the point that Elections Canada might be carrying out a vendetta to hurt Stephen Harper.
And now, thanks to my almost single-handed efforts, the press is beginning to pick up on this theme.
Oh and if you guys at the PMO are reading this, put down your crayons because I have some free advice for you.
Use this battle with Elections Canada to mobilize your base. Shoot out a letter/email to your supporters explaining how unelected, biased bureaucrats are unfairly using their power to undermine the Prime Minister just so they can settle an old score.
If you need help writing it, just let me know.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
I wonder if they will thank me?
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I understand your point that you consider the advertising restriction undemocratic and that’s fine. That issue can be discussed separately because currently the law is the law and all parties how were involved in the last election are accountable to it. If they want to change it moving forward fine. If the Conservatives want to build a time machine and go into the past and change it, I'm OK with that as well. Until that happens let's focus on what actually did happen and the laws that they are accused of breaking.
Given the Election law that exists today, which all parties are bound to, it would seem that the Conservative party has violated the election law. You do not seem to argue that they did not. You argue that it's unjust and undemocratic but I have not seen you say they are being falsely accused (I may have honestly missed it if you did).
It's not as nebulous as it you make it out to be. There maybe many laws I may not agree with but that does not mean I am not bound by them. Ignorance/Arrogance with respect to law is not suitable defense.
My issue is that the Conservatives as a supposed law and order party push a hard-line for the laws in which they believe. They make wide exceptions for laws they do not believe in. This has brought about a "it's OK if your conservative do selectively decide which laws you will abide by" mentality.
The conservatives party keeps saying that all parties use this "in & out" scheme but since last August I have yet to see the Conservative party produce any evidence of an other party using this scheme. I'm sure if they found something they would not have hesitated to make it public. Can they point to any questionable election adds?
Their aim currently seems to be obfuscation for the purposes of damage control: Our books are clean regardless of the evidence, we follow the existing "interpretations" of the Election law (I was unclear tot he fact that their was jurisprudence in this area), their is a liberal in every closet, everyone hates us, we are not the unethical ones, accountability only applies to nefarious Liberals and not to our ignoble party.
They have been caught with their hands in the jar when they preaching heavily on the sins of corruptions and nefarious dealings. The irony is bitter sweet. I have never elevated politicians to a pedestal but I new many people who voted for Harper who had. I wish I had politicians I could trust. Is all this jiggery pokery endemic?
[To extend the analogy factiously: in fact it looks like their hands maybe stuck in the cookie jar and they are trying to convince us that maybe it wasn't a cookie jar or that you shouldn't keep cookies in jars, only cruel Liberals or spiteful bureaucrats would stoop so low as to keep cookies in a jar; Actually there were no cookies in the jar after all, it's just a good place to keep your hands because idle hands are the devils tools "ya'know", they said with wink and a nudge to the good ol' boys who are good folk and just know what's right without having to think real hard about it or being confused with too many studies and too much information and all those pesky and complicated legal details]
They have not been caught with anything in the "cookie jar."
They legally transferred funds
They legally paid for ads.
They legally modified the ads to comply.
They used legal donations.
The other parties did the same thing.
Their offense? One ad man was sceptical. He was not an accountant or lawyer or litigation scholar or Elections Canada historian.
The press is in a war of words and Elections Canada is using them as their bitch. James Travers is their chief bitch.
CBC got the tip of the flak jacket raid and they are crying that they have to dip into the Mexican travel fund to pay for a copy of the Election Canada warrant.
Where is the evidence of actual wrongdoing?
ummm.... There is potential for the conservative party being culpable of wrong doing.
The possibility of forged documents;
Local candidates attempting to claim expenses they did not incur; The cost was incurred at the national level not the local level. The money shuffling was explicitly an exercise in creative book keeping. To make things worse they tried to get the money back from Canadian tax payers.
Though subject to interpretation I do not think that the “modification” of the ads would meet the spirit and intent of what is defined as “local advertising”. In good faith, you can not look at the ads and say they included any credible local content. I find this line or reasoning specious.
Exceeding election spending limits;
There is no proof (legally binding or otherwise) that any other parties have engaged in this behavior. Today Marlene Jennings released her records:
I can see the offending Conservative ads on YouTube (I don’t have the link handy)… Are their examples from the other parties? Maybe they did use the same system to date their have only been baseless allegations with no corroboration.
To date I know of at least three Conservative candidates who ran in the last election who indicated that the Conservative Party is making claims on their behalf without their knowledge and/or consent.
The CBC being on site indicates someone was plugged into the rumor mill not that they were involved in the event.
There is nothing unusual about the Flack jackets the RCMP were wearing. Some officers choose to wear them all the time.
I agree with your following points:
- The funds were legally transferred in;
- They used legal donations.
Must be nice to live wearing Tory blue sunglasses. (Side effects include seeing Liberal & CBC conspiracies everywhere…. My coffee is cold and my egg is runny… .the waitress and the cook are Liberals and out to get me! The CBC must have told them I was coming)
The Conservatives promised us Accountability what they delivered was Invisibility and Paranoia (apologies to Rick Mercer)
I don't think bashing Elections Canada is going to win a lot of support from the general public. And Gerry you seem to think there is some large conservative base out there that subscribes to your views. In fact the Conservative base you talk about is only around 15% of the population, but 70% of the population cannot stand them and will not vote for any party that panders to them, otherwise pandering to this group guarantees you lose. In the United States you can pander to them since they make up about 30% of the population and only 40% are people who will never vote for a party that panders to them.
And if you don't like election laws, argue parliament should change them. Bureaucrats enforce the rules, not make them. The reality is the Tories broke the law plain and simple. There are election spending limits and they deliberately used local candidates to circumvent them. I also believe in election fairness, so if the Tories can spend $19 million instead of $18 million it seems only fair that other parties should be permitted to spend that amount too (Bloc Quebecois being the one exception perhaps since they only run a Quebec campaign which costs far less than a national one).
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