Friday, November 17, 2006

Now That's Bold

Accountability, so long as it doesn't apply to us, and if it does, change the rules:
The Conservative government is proposing to open a loophole in its vaunted accountability act by declaring that party convention fees not be counted as political contributions under the law.

The issue is a sensitive one for the Conservative party, which is under investigation by Elections Canada for failing to declare almost $2 million in fees paid by delegates to the party's 2005 convention.

They now want to change the accountability act to add that "payment . . . of a fee to participate in a registered party's convention is not a contribution" as long as the fees don't exceed the cost of running the convention.

That's the same argument the party made in June when it vehemently claimed it was following existing campaign financing laws when it failed to declare as much as $1.7 million in fees from its March 2005 convention.

Stating the obvious:
"The Tories seem to be now admitting that they have broken the law," said Steven MacKinnon, national director of the Liberal party.

"They're trying to use the blunt instrument of Parliament as a form of pardon for their violation of the law and trying to fix these mistakes retroactively."

Even NDP MP Democrat Pat Martin, one of the accountability act's most vocal supporters, said the Conservatives are pulling a fast one.

"They're trying to prove the point after the fact," Martin said. "I guess that's the advantage of being the ruling party - you can correct your mistakes by statute after the fact.

"We won't support it."

I have to admit, quite shrewd to dump this little tidbit on a Friday. Harper made acccountability the cornerstone of his election campaign, so it is quite significant that the Conservatives now amend their legislation to take the stench off their own dubious activities. Hypocrisy is all the richer when you claim the moral high ground, a frequent error that conservatives make. Newsflash, the Conservatives are just like the other parties, heck maybe worse. The horror.


knb said...

Hmmm, the NDP had better get their story straight. I only caught a bit of Mike Duffy Live where Peggy Nash spent her time saying that the Lib's are holding this up in the Senate and it should go forward.

Even after Taber noted that it was out of the Senate, she (Nash), said the same thing.

Where do these people live? How do we in the public know more (facts) than they do?

Shrewd they, (the Con's) are. Can't wait to see Baird the Red, blow up in QP.

Steve V said...

"Baird the Red"

I like it!

Olaf said...

the Conservatives are just like the other parties

Very, very true. I take offense when people attempt to group collective motivations by political party. "Liberals are corrupt" "Conservatives are war mongers" "Dippers are naive". Whatever. Every party in Canada has good and bad apples and smart and stupid people, in approximately the same proportion.

Walks With Coffee said...

... sounds like a confession to me.

Elections Canada should refuse to refund their $/vote until they turn over their books - all of them.

Opposition party should hold the CPoC accountable.

Steve V said...

Voters know that politicans break promises and don't always live up to expectations. Parties can exploit the "kick the bums out" mentality that emerges, but ultimately they set themselves to look foolish when they fall from their self-prescribed pedestal.

Anonymous said...

Whew! Good thing Canada has three (maybe two) opposition parties to slow this baby down, before it gets to the unelected senate, where it will wither on the vine at least until after the Lib leadership selection.
Do you think other Canadians are getting tired of late Friday bombshells and manna from heaven while the House is out? Or is it just me?

Steve V said...

"Do you think other Canadians are getting tired of late Friday bombshells and manna from heaven while the House is out?"

Does appear a trend is developing, ala the Bush administration. The timing gives even more aroma to the mixture.

wilson61 said...

Weren't the Libs attacking PMSH on the contribution limit being set too low because convention fees are $995 ??
So if convention fees (that cover costs) are not a party contribution, doesn't that appease the Libs?

Canadian taxpayers will certainly like the change.

burlivespipe said...

Hey, Wilson666 why don't you get your buddies to turn over the books like Election Canada asked, so we can really see where the fecal matter sits?
You Cons sure like to put up a funny definition of 'accountability'...