Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Conservatives in glass houses

I know ethical and ideological consistency is a foreign concept to most Conservatives, but you’d think before attacking Liberal leadership candidates over issues around leadership debt repayment under a restrictive system designed to make it more difficult they might want to ensure there are no pots in the closet that might rudely call their kettles black.

For example, this was the eight-year-olds in the Con war room in a release last week(And again today) :

Since his last filing deadline Mr. Dion has refused to let Canadians know exactly how much of this debt he has yet to pay off. Now, Elections Canada’s June 2nd deadline to pay off that leadership debt is drawing near.

(Emphasis mine.) That’s misleading; all the candidates have met their proscribed disclosure requirements and have regularly revealed all the details of their debts, and the names of all donors. And speaking of refusing to let Canadians know things, Stephen Harper has refused:

to fully reveal who bank-rolled his 2002 campaign to become leader of the Canadian Alliance.
*to reveal exactly how much was paid to Ezra Levant in 2002 to get him to step aside from the Calgary Southwest nomination so he could run in a by-election.

* to make Peter Mackay reveal the identity of the single donor who paid off his $500,000 leadership debt.

Perhaps the Conservatives should answer some of those questions for Canadians before they get all high and mighty about Liberal leadership debt.

They won’t though. In addition to deliberately misleading Canadians about election law and the meaning of the June 2nd deadline, which is really unsurprising as they seem to run afoul of elections law so regularly themselves they clearly don't understand it, they appear to be set to raise the stakes a notch higher:

But Poilievre signalled that the Tories will use any extensions to accuse Elections Canada of giving Liberals "preferential treatment'' and helping them break the law.

(Emphasis mine again.) Don’t wait Pierre, please don’t wait. Accuse Elections Canada of helping us “break the law” now. Accuse the Liberal Party of breaking the law. Do it today. Then we can sue your asses off, and use the proceeds to pay off all the leadership debts. Problem solved!

Anyway, Conservative histrionics aside, on the leadership debts issue I pretty much agree with Steve in terms of where Dion's priorities should be though. Now would be a food time for the party to come together and knock this thing off though. And with some of the heavy hitters that supported other candidates now onboard to help fundraise, I’m sure the Dion debt will be retired in due course, as required and allowed by law. And even sooner if Pierre Poilievre runs his mouth off.

UPDATE: This CP story mercilessly exposes the absolute hypocrisy of the Conservatives and Pipsqueak Pierre Poilievere on this issue and is a must read. It seems the Conservatives are just as "guilty" of the alleged offense they seem to have convicted the Liberals of. And then some.

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Gayle said...

When is Poilievre going to figure out they are using him as an attack dog, and setting him up to take the fall in cases like this.

I do not want to say he is stupid, so I will opt for young and naive. He is going to be really embarassed when he grows up!

Mike said...

"*to reveal exactly how much was paid to Ezra Levant in 2002 to get him to step aside from the Calgary Southwest nomination so he could run in a by-election.

You know who knows this information? Pierre Poilievre - he was Levant's communication director during this incident.

Ah the smell of lying hypocrisy!