Sunday, October 28, 2007

Wow

Well, I guess it's safe to say that the Liberals will be abandoning any line of questioning in Q.P. that relates to the Election Act - You are not fit for public office. (H/T National Newswatch)

Heh.


* * * *
Updates

Steve Janke has more. And more.

Jarrett cautions us about the source. - Kerplonka!

"I should start off by cautioning skepticism at the reportings of a BC tabloid, but the internal evidence and the fact that they're running with it two days in a row really suggests they've got all their ducks in a row."

Brandon does a great analysis - From bad to worse.

40 comments:

Lord Omar said...

So the Liberals turn a blind eye to Conservative party election irregularities because they have an embarrassment of their own?
I suppose that would be the weasel way to deal with the situation.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

L.O. - The Liberals have only one policy right now - self preservation.

I don't see that changing anytime soon.

Swift said...

Have you looked at the financial records available at Elections Canada?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Swift, financial records for whom?

Jeff Davidson said...

it's safe to say that the Liberals will be abandoning any line of questioning in Q.P. that relates to the Election Act

wanna bet? there's a big difference here.

the allegations against wilson, coming from his embittered father-in-law, implicate one man.

the entire conservative party is implicated under the allegations they face.

Swift said...

Any candidate you want to look up.

GDW said...

And Blair Wilson is the Liberals' new national revenue critic. Perfect.

Swift said...

Get your winter coat out and dust off your snow shovel. We got our first snowfall last night, just a couple of centimeters, but there is lots more to come.

Peter said...

Hi Joanne, long time to comment ;)

I'm just wondering if you have any thoughts as to why any other news outlets, never mind the conservative party, have not given any indication that this has been noticed?

Swift said...

Are you going to the Justin(Fidel is my hero)Trudeau dinner?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Peter, no idea. Perhaps this story just broke, or is an exclusive or something? I'm sure we'll hear more about it.

Swift, that's what you get for moving up North. ;)

Swift said...

But Al said it was going to be warm. Are you telling me he LIED!

Anonymous said...

Last month, Liberals released the names and along with financial details concerning 129 former Conservative candidates and official agents who are named as participants in this apparent scheme to violate spending limits and pad candidate rebates

Swift said...

I think Liberals should take a look at how the Liberal local campaigns are funded before they complain about the Conservatives. Most of the funding comes from transfers from provincial associations or the federal party for the ridings that I have checked.

Kingston said...

Jeff, I too see a huge difference but in a different view than you my friend. The CPC are being accused of taking advantage of a loop hole in the Elections Act, which the courts will rule on, not of committing a criminal act. This man is being accused of a serious breach's of the election act by not declaring elections expenses and not by over sight but by planned fore thought. Now if Mr.Dion has any brains at all he suspends him from the LPC Caucus until the investigation is over and if the accusations are found to have substantiation he ejects him from the Caucus immediately. This would allow the LPC to continue to harass the CPC with their attacks concerning the in and out scheme as they call it well at the same time proclaiming their improved accountability and transparency.

Jeff Davidson said...

Now if Mr.Dion has any brains at all he suspends him from the LPC Caucus until the investigation is over and if the accusations are found to have substantiation he ejects him from the Caucus immediately. This would allow the LPC to continue to harass the CPC with their attacks concerning the in and out scheme as they call it well at the same time proclaiming their improved accountability and transparency.

agreed.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Kingston, good points. Dion would definitely look virtuous and decisive if he acted swiftly to deal with this situation.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I just noticed that at end of the article it mentioned that there will be a follow-up story tomorrow about what his business partners have to say.

Should be interesting...

liberal suppotrer said...

But Al said it was going to be warm. Are you telling me he LIED!

Really? In 2007?

liberal supporter said...

It's ironic that both parties are having problems due to laws they made. Harper would love to call an election at a time of his choosing instead of trying to engineer his defeat. But he can't because he passed a fixed election terms law.

Meanwhile the Liberals passed a law banning corporate and union donations. This is hurting them greatly.

This is the Liberals' real problem. I would say it is their only problem really, everything else is a side show or a consequence of this main problem. Your people have tried the "not a leader" routine, hoping to cause another expensive leadership convention. Now it's "fish or cut bait", hoping to cause an expensive election campaign.

Just more of the bin Laden strategy, bleed them. Yes, I am being a dink to compare the CPC to a terrorist. Read Lorrie Goldstein today, even he is tiring of "liberal" and "conservative" both being used as pejoratives.


I think there needs to be a discussion on campaign financing. Why can't Wilson pay for expenses out of pocket? That has to do with preventing unfair advantage to one party because it spends more, so there are ceilings. But was he near the ceiling? Is it because there are also limits on contribution? Is there a limit on contribution to your own campaign?

Don't think I am defending this guy, but I would like to hear views on how can campaigns be financed? Both CPC and LPC are having problems with this.

Can we have a relatively non-partisan discussion of this?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Can we have a relatively non-partisan discussion of this?

You mean with no name-calling or anything?

Boy. That's asking an awful lot.

Möbius said...

What you say:

So the Liberals turn a blind eye to Conservative party election irregularities because they have an embarrassment of their own?

What you should say:

Any party caught demonstrably doing this sort of thing should be slapped upside the head.

Möbius said...

First this partisan commentary:

Your people have tried the "not a leader" routine, hoping to cause another expensive leadership convention. Now it's "fish or cut bait", hoping to cause an expensive election campaign.

Then this:


Can we have a relatively non-partisan discussion of this?

If you want to have non-partisan discussion, you might want to skip the first part, especially the "your people" part. We are all Canadians, albeit with differing political viewpoints.

If the quoted story is true, and not just a pissed off father-in-law, then you may just want to disavow what he says. I would expect Dion to check this out and let us know, no harm no foul, IMO.

Swift said...

The CPC isn't having any problem with finances. If you look at the candidates financial returns you will see that the Liberal national party gives money to the campaign in certain ridings. Should we say this is illegal? In BC it is the provincial Liberal of the national party that provides most of the funding for local campaigns that I have checked. Should this be illegal?
When a campaign places an ad with a radio or TV station in a major urban area are they not charged rates based on the station's total audience, not just the listeners in one particular riding? If Elections Canada is complaining about several ridings going together to jointly buy advertising, doesn't this essentially prevent urban ridings from using TV or radio during a campaign? If this is ruled to be contrary to the election act, should it not be changed?

Money gets transfered to the local campaign by the riding EDAs, the provincial wing, or the national party by all the major parties. The Conservatives did not overspend on their national campaign, nor did they overspend in any individual riding that I am aware of.

If transferring money from the national party to the local campaign is against the rules, there are ridings in which both the Liberals and the NDP are guilty of violating the election act.

As for paying cash and having no paper trail one would think the Liberals would have learned better by now. But I guess not. Candidates can pay some of their own personal expenses out of their own pockets, but they are supposed to have receipts and this money is not eligible for the 60% reimbursement.

liberal supporter said...

Candidates can pay some of their own personal expenses out of their own pockets, but they are supposed to have receipts and this money is not eligible for the 60% reimbursement.

What is the 60% reimbursement? Is there a ceiling that the out of pocket expenses have to fit under?

I could not find financial records on Elections Canada's web site. It seems hard to find things there. I was looking for the definition of "EDA" but remain mystified. I've never been involved in campaigns so I am trying to learn.

Swift said...

Click election financing left of the Elections Canada logo. Then next page contributions and expenses (database). Go down the next page ti "Search for a specific financial report." For the last two elections click "Jan 1, 2004 and beyond beside "Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return." On the next page you will have a choice of all elections and by-elections since 2004. You can then choose a search option, say "By candidates details."

This will take you to a page where you can enter the candidates last name. Or you can search by province and riding. Click search and names will come up in the first window. Highlight the ones you want and click add. Click search on the second window and you will be taken to a new page where you can pull up a dozen or more forms with the information on contributions and expenses. There are two check boxes at the top of the page so you can toggle back and forth between the candidate's claim and Elections Canada's review(at least when they finally get it done.)

Tomorrow morning email your MP and tell him to get Elections Canada to hire somebody who knows how to design a website!

Swift said...

Just looked at the Liberal Party annual financial statement for 2006. It seems the Conservatives are not the only ones unhappy with Elections Canada. The leadership candidates paid $50,000 each just to get in the race. After the convention the party decided to return the deposits, but Elections Canada said no. So one of the candidates is suing for the return of the deposit.

liberal supporter said...

Ok, I'm looking at joanne's MP, just for sake of argument. I've checked a couple of others as well.

I see one instance of paying for some printing, but the printer has also made a contribution. In this case it says non-monetary, but another I think was monetary. Is this something like what adscam was about? Was the greatly reduced contribution limit for corporations a way to mitigate, but not stop the same kind of thing?


It looks like the corporations give $500 or $1000. I'm not sure what the limit is. It used to be common for a corporation to contribute to both main parties, so they are helping the democratic process, but not appearing to favour one.

There are loans from the local party association. How do these get repaid ($30K worth)? I've also seen "transfers" from riding associations. Are these basically gifts?

And thanks for taking some time to talk about this, swift. I never even noticed that elections financing link, it blends in so well with the background there.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Yeah, that is interesting. I just checked it out myself. Boy, without Swift's help there is no way I would have figured out how to use that.

Not very user friendly.

So what is the limit for corporate donations?

Swift said...

No problem. I don't know which candidate you are talking about so I can't really comment.

liberal supporter said...

Karen Redman

Anonymous said...
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Swift said...

I can't be sure of the discount for printing, it may be a regular discount for volume that everybody gets.

If you go through different returns there are different approaches to the relationship between the campaign, the local EDA, the national party, and at least with the BC Libs, the provincial association. The loan is because the campaign gets the refund from Elections Canada sometime after the election. Others just transfer the money from the EDA to the campaign, then the campaign just transfers the refund back to the EDA.

Corporations and unions can no longer contribute to political parties, however this was not the case in the last election. I can't remember for sure what the limit was in 2006, but it might have been $1000.

Not much to comment on in Karen's return, however notice the change in on of her visa bills. Elections Canada disallowed over $100 because it was for cell phone calls after the election. That was an obvious error that should have been caught by her financial agent.

Swift said...

Some corporations might have given to both, but others didn't. That was alright. It's when the corporations (in either class) expected or were given favours that the problems came up.

Swift said...

To get to a more interesting return, let's look at the man in the news, Blair Wilson. $60,000 of his campaign money came from the provincial association. $20,800 came from the federal party. Was this $20,800 transfered to maximize the refund? Nobody that I know of has made this claim.

Some of the things about his return that might be considered "unusual" compared to the others I have looked at: the large number of cheques made out to the candidate for things other than personal expenses, the $10,000 paid to his financial agent to make out the return, and more than double the amount of the maximum allowed by Elections Canada that was paid to the auditors. Things like this would make me wonder what was going on if I were reviewing his return.

Swift said...

One more interesting little detail about Blair Wilson's return. Before he could get the phones installed, he had to pay Telus almost $1,300 for the phone bill from the last election. Who was the Liberal candidate in 2004? Blair Wilson!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Great sleuthing, Swift. Thanks.

Swift said...

Compare Wilson's 2004 campaign expenses with his 2006 return.

2004: a few cheques for Wilson, no payment for making out the return.

2006: many cheques for Wilson, $10,000 payment for making out the return.

Swift said...

Lots of interesting stuff can be learned looking at the candidates expenses and contributions. Did you know that some candidates drew a salary for running? One of the biggest expenses for one NB candidate was for scrutineers on election day? If I remember correctly I have read somewhere that this is common down east, but a check of more records would verify that. One of Wilson's non election expenses was a $6000 cheque to erase the shortfall in his nomination campaign. Another was $256 for prewrit use of shoes he bought.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Another was $256 for prewrit use of shoes he bought.

Unreal!