Ned Franks, professor emeritus of political studies at Queen's University, said he expects the allegations will taint the Conservative brand.Yellow snow?
“Really, it's a loss of face issue because the Conservatives campaigned on being purer than the driven snow and then they get brought up in their tracks by Elections Canada who say you've misinterpreted the act,” Mr. Franks said.
“You can't both claim that you are purer than the driven snow, have a lawsuit against Elections Canada, get your offices raided where possibly some incriminating material is found, and appeal to the electorate on consistency and superior moral principles.”
I read most of affidavit, and the most striking part is the co-ordination, candidates specifically given instruction from Conservative Party headquarters, on how to move the money back and forth. Interestingly, some candidates smelled a skunk and sought reassurance:
"I had contacted the Conservative Party in Ottawa and was re-assured that this was OK. As a bookkepper I know that sometimes you have to use creative accounting between two small companies, but I found this move was being a little too creative"
Ms. Barbro Soderber York South-Weston candidate.
Another candidate seemed to understand entirely:
"I do seem to recall a wash in and out of our account. I do seem to remember an entry of 6 500 and then it was taken out again. This is what I mean by a wash."
Garreth McDonald Winnipeg-North candidate
The Liberals are floating the idea that this scheme puts the election results into question. Interestingly, NDP MP Pat Martin echoes that sentiment:
"That $1 million frankly could have bought the election," Pat Martin, the NDP ethics critic, said Sunday. "That's a really big advertising buy in a very close, razor-thin difference in a federal election."
So, we can add another footnote to history. Not only did Harper only manage a very fragile minority, despite optimal conditions, a "kick the bum's out" sentiment, a timely RCMP smear on Goodale, but he needed to cheat to do it. I'm impressed.