Saturday, October 11, 2008

In and Out video released: RCMP Raid Conservative HQ

As we prepare to go to the polls in this election, its important to remember what happened in the last election.

In the last election, the Conservative Party hit their legal limit in national advertising spending.

The Conservative Party then transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars to various local campaigns where their candidates were not competitive and weren't going to spend their legal maximums.

The campaigns were told the money had to be used to buy advertising that was identical to their national ads, save tiny tiny fine print.

The central party would buy the ads. The local campaign would have no say.

The money was transferred right out of the riding to pay for the ads immediately after it was transferred in.

The "In and Out" scheme allowed the Conservatives to get around the spending cap for national advertising.

The "In and Out" scheme allowed the local campaigns to increase their expenses, and therefore their taxpayer-funded refund from Elections Canada.

These facts are not disputed by the Conservatives, the opposition, or by Elections Canada.

Here's where they defer: the Conservatives say this was all perfectly legal. Elections Canada says not so much.

Elections Canada launched an investigation into the advertising scheme that is still ongoing, and told the Conservative campaigns it was ruling that those ads were not legitimate local expenses, and therefore didn't qualify for a taxpayer refund.

The Conservative Party, unhappy with the ruling, launched a lawsuit to overturn the ruling by Elections Canada against it.

There are two separate processes: the investigation by Elections Canada, and the lawsuit by the Conservative Party.

As part of the Elections Canada investigation, earlier this year the RCMP, on behalf of Elections Canada, raided Conservative Party Headquarters. It was an unprecedented action in our parliamentary democracy for a police raid to be necessary to obtain documents from a political party.

The following compelling video of some of the latter stages of that raid has recently been posted online:

As we go into this election, a few more things are worth remembering:

*The Conservatives still insist they did something wrong. Election law says differently.
*The Conservatives haven't sworn off doing the exact same thing this election.
*The Conservatives have constantly undermined the impartiality and credibility of Elections Canada, a non-partisan institution whose head was appointed under the Conservative government and who is called upon by nations around the world to advise on conducting elections.
*The Conservatives refused to cooperate with attempts by parliamentary committees to probe their In and Out scandal. They stone-walled committees. They filibustered. And they encouraged witnesses not to cooperate.

That's not leadership.


*Globe In and Out editorial is the farce
*In and Out day two, a few textual thoughts
*In and Out hearing video highlights
*More than election law, In and Out is about $720,000 of our money
*This is a party with nothing to hide?

Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers

No comments: