Sunday, April 20, 2008

Lorne Gunter on elections Canada bias

Gunter gives a fairly balanced analysis. He also thinks the election finance laws have to be overhauled.

And while I am persuaded by accusations from the Conservatives and their defenders that Elections Canada's investigation of this case is motivated, at least in part, by elections bureaucrats' contempt for Prime Minister Harper, I am not going to say the investigation utterly lacks merit.
Since long before he was PM, Harper has had a series of run-ins with the federal election regulators. As president of the National Citizens Coalition(NCC), he fought Elections Canada over its advocacy of laws effectively forbidding third-party advertising during elections by groups such as the NCC. He also fought them on their highly selective prosecutions under the law forbidding early posting of election returns on the Internet. And most recently, as prime minister, Harper has upbraided the election regulators for subverting the will of Parliament by permitting veiled women to cast ballots in federal by-elections.
I have little doubt that Elections Canada arranged this week's high-profile, RCMP-aided "raid" on Conservative party headquarters, in part, just to embarrass the Harper and his government. You wouldn't have to work too hard, either, to convince me the Liberals showed up with a professional video crew, just minutes after police arrived at Tory HQ, because someone at the regulator tipped the opposition.
Still, even if Elections Canada is prosecuting a useless and silly law, and prosecuting it selectively with intent to embarrass the government, in-and-out schemes are illegal in Canada. And until the Tories summon the courage to reform our election laws and make them more democratic, they should be expected to abide by them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Laws applied selectively for political gain are not worth the paper they are written on. They are invalid. (real conservative)

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