The Shotgun Blog
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Elections Canada bullies
All this talk about Elections Canada "raiding" Conservative Party headquarters is giving me a case of deja vu.
Back in the days when we worked for the same advocacy group, Stephen Harper and I were waging a battle against the Elections Canada bureaucrats who were responsible for enforcing election gag laws.
In fact, Harper (in a letter I wrote for him) went so far as to call them "jackasses."
Later on, those jackasses kicked back.
In fact, Elections Canada dispatched the RCMP to lay charges against us, claiming we had violated election laws.
The charge was a sham.
But it was a perfect example of the kind of bully tactics the folks at Elections Canada like to use to intimidate anyone who dares to oppose them.
And believe me, Elections Canada is not some non-partisan government agency. The guys who run it definitely have an ideological axe to grind.
Yesterday's stunt at Tory party headquarters indicates they still like to employ the same tactics.
Crossposted at Making Sense with Nicholls
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Funny how everyone who is accused of a crime claims "I'M INNOCENT!!! THEY'RE OUT TO GET US!!!" But I'd rather wait until the investigation is done before passing judgement one way or the other, thank-you very much. And I certainly won't take your word for it that all is copacetic. Buddies of the accused are always popping up in news reports defending their friends, no matter what the charges might be.
To you and all Conservative apologists I can only say the lady doth protest too much, methinks.
Posted by: Fact Check | 2008-04-16 9:24:03 AM
The bigger issue here, Fact Check, is that armed agents of the state "raided" the offices of a major political party because this party dared to spend its own money on political advertising.
Where's the crime here?
Campaign finance laws should be scraped.
Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2008-04-16 9:38:31 AM
So are you saying that the Conservatives DID brak the election laws, but the laws are bad ones so it makes it ok? It sounds like you are making a case for what the Conservatives did as being some sort of civil disobedience.
There are only two problems with that: (1) I'm not sure that a political party that aspire to BE the government should be in the business of defying the law. It might make the public nervous about what other laws theu might decide to ignore when in power. (2) By breakig this election law they would have made it the case that the election was not a fair fight - while the other parties observed the rules, the Conservatives got whatever advantage one would get from breaking them. This also is likely to leave a bad taste in voters' mouths. Election rigging is not cool.
So while there might well be a legitimate question as to what the rules SHOULD be, any Conservative apologist who tries to say that this is the real issue in this particular case is admitting some rather significant crimes. Best to keep the two issues seperate, I'd say. Unless a speech by Stephen Harper that starts with "We broke the law intentionally because it is a bad law" is something you think Canadians will warm to.
Posted by: Fact Check | 2008-04-16 9:53:13 AM
I don't know if the Conservatives broke the law, and I'm not overly concerned with what "Canadians will warm to" as far as Conservative spin is concerned.
What bothers me is that the RCMP raided the offices of a political party to enforce a law that should either be entirely ignored or enforced lightly and discretely.
Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2008-04-16 10:25:52 AM
"Armed agents of the state"? That's a fairly melodramatic way of saying police officers isn't it?
Why not go the extra distance and call them, "unidentified gunmen"... since technically you can't make out the name on the badge in the photos in these references in the press?
Posted by: Pattern Recognition | 2008-04-16 10:50:34 AM
In this democracy, one does not have to lie down and let the state screw you. One is lawfully required to resist.
Posted by: dewp | 2008-04-16 11:15:49 AM
It's very melodramatic, PR. But it should always be understood that laws, however trivial or silly, are ultimately enforced at the barrel of a gun. That's the nature of the state and law enforcement, which is in part why people obey the law. I don’t have a problem with the use of force to enforce laws. I just don’t want to see force used to enforce unjust laws.
Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2008-04-16 11:29:29 AM
Ever seen the movie, "A Very British Coup"? The premise is that the British establishment would never tolerate a successful socialist government and, therefore, it uses every means to undermine and destroy it.
Posted by: Adam Yoshida | 2008-04-16 11:51:12 AM
The more interesting question (and one that further bolsters Mr. Nicholl's contention), is "Who called the reporters and the Liberal staffers out to videotape this while it happened?"
Posted by: Another Sean | 2008-04-16 12:35:47 PM
Sean: "The more interesting question..."
Well, you might find it more interesting and others might find it more interesting to debate what (if any) election spending laws there should be but most Canadians are likely to find the most interesting question to be whether or not the sitting government violated the law to give themselves an unfair advantage in previous elections. If they did that then questions like who arranged photo-ops of the raid are hardly all that big a concern. All the spin in the world can't change that.
Posted by: Fact Check | 2008-04-16 12:57:59 PM
This reminds me of Conrad the Thief Black proclaiming his innocence and being loyally supported by Ezra Levant and the other supporters of that convicted crook sitting in jail in Florida! LOL!
Harper joins a long list of CON artist politicos--Mulroney, Grant Devine, Bill vander Zalm, Moores, Regan..... la plus ca change la plus c'est la meme.
No wonder Harper is trying to protect Mulroney and cover up the corruption and influence peddling!
From bribery attempts to money laundering to ripping off taxpayers, the CONs have done it all in 2 years in office!!! Didn't take them long to become bigger crooks than the Liberal thieves! LOL! Hypocrite Harper micromanages everything--all the leads go back to his office. Anything wrong, its on Harper's head.
Posted by: ROGER | 2008-04-16 1:15:33 PM
Vander Zalm = social credit
Regan = liberal
Posted by: dp | 2008-04-16 1:25:48 PM
LOL! If that is the case, then I guess Mulroney must be a socialist huh? LOL! By the time the police are through with Harper's CONs, you will be calling them commies! LOL!!!
Posted by: ROGER | 2008-04-16 1:28:54 PM
Exactly what are the facts here?
EC had a warrant for documents.
They requested RCMP assistance.
Media and people from the liberal party were tipped off.
All this "evidence" looks like a publicity stunt
The RCMP are not the agents of this investigation, that would be EC.
To speculate anything criminal from the known facts is just lazy thinking or intellectual dishonesty.
Posted by: orvict | 2008-04-16 1:44:23 PM
Curious how the Liberal Party was tipped off.
Police tipping off the media is pretty common practise, but tipping off a rival political party?
Makes about as much sense as a ROGER post.
Posted by: set you free | 2008-04-16 1:57:42 PM
1. Head of Elections Canada and Chief Electoral Officer are both Harper CONservative appointees.
2. Elections Canada announced an investigation of the CONservatives for violating the law. Instead of cooperating with the investigation, Harper and the CONs tried to stonewall. To try and block the investigation and intimidate their own appointee, they launch multiple law suits against him, using the kind of tactic Conrad Black was infamous for.
3. Getting nowhere with obtaining the documents from the CONs, Elections Canada enlisted the RCMP to stage a raid to get the documents that under law the CONs ought to have turned over, but instead were hanging onto to obstruct justice (shades of Conrad Black, again)
4. Once the raid was underway, Harper tried to twist events to portray the Chief Elections commissioner as abusing his office!
Bottom line, CONs tried to rip off tax money to fund their election campaign and also circumvented the campaign finance caps legislation. Harper and the CONs are behaving with the same arrogant disregard for the law as Conrad Black once did! And we all know where Black ended up!!! LOL!
Posted by: ROGER | 2008-04-16 1:59:28 PM
Yes the person that appointed the partisan hack that is investigating the criminal lawbreaking by the CONservatives must be fired!
Oh wait, he's a Harper appointee.
Posted by: joe bleau | 2008-04-16 1:59:31 PM
what evidence is there that the Liberals were tipped off and how does that impact the guilt or innocence of the CONs? LOL! Canard. Quack quack.
Posted by: ROGER | 2008-04-16 2:06:35 PM
BTW, if the CONservative party has nothing to fear or hide, why do they run and hide their faces from the cameras during the raid?
Also, the 'Mark Emery' defence Van Loan and Moore are using in the House today - good luck with that.
How'd it work out for Emery?
Posted by: joe bleau | 2008-04-16 2:08:45 PM
"Your honour, we the CONs are not guilty because when they raided us, they had violated our rights by tipping off the Liberals. So that is our defense your honour. We are technically innocent because the RCMP showed animus toward us by tipping off the Liberals..... sorry your honour? You want to know what evidence we have the Liberals--we like to call them Lieberals your honour.... sorry your honour, we thought we could joke around in a court of law.... no, please don't cite us for contempt, otherwise we will make you lose your job..... just kidding your honour...... no we don't have any evidence, but it sounded good when Steve said so at the caucus meeting that tipping the Lieberals off was a good defense.... sorry.... can I go now?" LOL! Puerile? Yes. One has to speak and write to the level of the audience.
Posted by: ROGER | 2008-04-16 2:19:09 PM
provide some links for your accusations.
Sounds more like leftard smoke and mirrors,so prove me wrong.
Posted by: orvict | 2008-04-16 2:24:11 PM
LOLLLL!!!! Nope, that is not how it works. I asked you to produce your evidence on the leak to the Liberals. You have produced nothing. Zilch. Until you produce your compelling evidence, which I asked for some posts ago, you are not entitled to even ask me for anything! LOL!!!! Nice huh.
Posted by: ROGER | 2008-04-16 2:27:47 PM
Is that how the leftard rules work?
Posted by: orvict | 2008-04-16 2:31:45 PM
LOL! I am the only conservative here. The rules are the ancient, timeless rules recognized by all civilized peoples throughout time immemorial. Only CON artists would try to break those rules. Harper has no defense except to bleat nonsense about Liberals being tipped off. Where is his defense of the thievery they have been caught at? Conrad Black denials all over again! Obstruction and all!
Posted by: ROGER | 2008-04-16 2:43:50 PM
I find it hard to believe that Adam ‘Chunky Monkey’ Yoshida and the other Conservative know-nothings here really believe there is some kind of Liberal conspiracy in place. All their desk pounding represents is a desperate attempt to convince themselves of the righteousness of their cause, to maintain that sense of victimhood which is so crucial to modern conservatism. It’s pathetic how evasive they are – seeking to twist away from the argument.
A Very British Coup indeed. That post reminds me of the quote: Not all Conservatives are stupid, but all stupid people are Conservative. Definitely in effect here eh, Chunky Monkey.
When you’re in a hole, stop digging. It is quite possible the Conservative Party committed fraud. They very clearly tried to circumvent the system.
The real question is why do today’s conservatives have such contempt for modern governance? Conservatives are supposed to be the upholders of tradition and order. But the Harperites appear to have nothing but contempt for Canadian traditions of consensus and the rule of law – both essential to good and proper Canadian governance. In what sense is today’s conservative party conservative.
Posted by: Feces Eating Buddha | 2008-04-16 2:44:40 PM
Exactly what thievery would that be?
Has there been a trial and conviction that I am not aware of?
Or is it just because you say so?
Most conservatives I have debated with provide information to back up their arguments.
You throw crap around like a leftard.
Posted by: orvict | 2008-04-16 2:56:18 PM
Is it a full moon since this has brought out the nutters en masse. The tipping off of the Liberal Party smells worse than rotten fish.
Posted by: Alain | 2008-04-16 2:58:33 PM
Fecal >All their desk pounding represents is a desperate attempt to convince themselves of the righteousness of their cause, to maintain that sense of victimhood which is so crucial to modern conservatism. It’s pathetic how evasive they are – seeking to twist away from the argument.<
LOL! Excellent! That victimhood song and dance is central to Harper's routine. Poor pathetic scoundrels have got caught this time! Their own appointees are doing their jobs, for a change! We'll CONs in handcuffs soon--no, not some fetish pics from their escapes in the bedroom, but real life thievery! LOL!
Posted by: ROGER | 2008-04-16 3:04:30 PM
Apparently already convicted in the court of rodgers opinion.
Sorry but I will wait until this goes to a real court...if it ever does.
Posted by: orvict | 2008-04-16 3:14:51 PM
Orvict exonerates the Liberal Party because the party was never convicted over Adscam! Nice going Orvict! Ethics is not a matter for the courts.
But on another note, closer to your narrow standards, is Mulroney a crook or what? LOL! Canadians don't need a conviction to know the answer to that question! As for Harper, he promised to clean up Ottawa, not see how much he could get away with before he got led away in handcuffs! LOL! Orvict and the CONvicts have very low standards! If you can get away with it, its okay! LOL!
Posted by: ROGER | 2008-04-16 3:19:35 PM
Guilty until proven innocent?
Posted by: orvict | 2008-04-16 3:26:07 PM
Not being an insider I don't have any hard or fast facts, but the optics of this "raid," which wasn't actually a raid until the MSM called it a raid, really stink. There's a camera crew at the ready to film the whole thing--and, according to Don Martin, TWO HOURS BEFORE THE EVENT?
So, let's get this straight: Conservative Party Headquarters is taken by surprise by Elections Canada, their search warrant, and the RCMP, but the CBC knew all about it all along--enough to have a camera crew with lights at the scene when the search warrant was served? Doesn't there seem something awfully fishy about this?
This is "the Librano/MSM Scandal of the Week," folks. Expect a new one every week. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has a Policy of the Week and, lacking any policies at all EXCEPT to win at all costs, the Librano$ will just keep manufacturing these weekly "scandals," aided and abetted, of course, by the Flying Monkey Brigade in the MSM.
This is democracy? The LPC has a lot to answer for. They and their MSM Flying Monkeys have turned Canada into a Banana Republic, and the only thing standing between us and full-fledged lunacy is Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Party, who seem to have a clue about proper governance.
Well, you know the old adage: No good deed goes unpunished. 'Case in point.
Posted by: batb | 2008-04-16 3:30:01 PM
Orvict says the Liberals are innocent! LOL!
Posted by: ROGER | 2008-04-16 3:32:00 PM
Could you tell us which Human Rights Commision you work for?
Posted by: set you free | 2008-04-16 3:35:38 PM
Speaking of feces eating people and LOL-obsessed
beings, would anyone want to speculate on their other noms-de-blog?
Lets start with Lucy and then go on to Jadwarr, for starters.
Posted by: ralph | 2008-04-16 3:36:16 PM
Harper has a policy a week?
One week it it how to rip off Canadians taxmoney to fund elections.
Next weeks policy is how to give Mulroney a free ride to take off with over $3 million of taxpayers money.
Following week, it is how to bribe and buy the vote of a MP.
How many of Harper's weekly "policies" can he get away with before he is arrested?
Posted by: ROGER | 2008-04-16 3:38:02 PM
"Canadian traditions of consensus and the rule of law"
Now there's an oxymoron for you. LOL
"In what sense is today’s conservative party conservative."
What is there to conserve? Polygamy? Pedophilia? LOL
Posted by: DJ | 2008-04-16 4:01:49 PM
These CONs have left nothing to conserve. They have trashed the environment, trashed the rule of law, compromised the RCMP, bungled international affairs, destroyed Canada's reputation around the world, dragged us into a losing war, wasted the surplus left by the Liberals, wrecked the economy, destroyed the beginnings of a rapprochement with Aboriginal people and created a faits accomplis in Quebec with Harper's pandering to the nationalists--shades of Mulroney and Lucien Bouchard and the separatistes Mulroney courted!
Posted by: ROGER | 2008-04-16 4:08:06 PM
...because rodger says so.
Posted by: orvict | 2008-04-16 4:14:58 PM
YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST: HARPER IS DONE!
Harper is in court with a libel suit against the official opposition, will be facing a lawsuit from former nuclear regulator chair Keene, Harper is in court over the war crimes torture investigation of Afghan prisoners led by the military complaints commission, scandals seeping out of bribery and buying votes by Harper, money laundering and unlawful scamming of tax money to fund CON elections. And that is just the tip of the iceberg, not even mentioning the bungling of the economy by that failure Flaherty and the lies over the income trusts!
Harper has dug a hole for himself. As we sit back and watch the spectacle, watch Harper implode and his sheep begin to run in all directions and start to find their bleating voices!
Tick tock tick tock Harper's time is coming to an end. Another failed Con leader.
Posted by: ROGER | 2008-04-16 4:22:02 PM
...because rodger says so.
Posted by: orvict | 2008-04-16 4:23:59 PM
Orvict--you're hired! I like that chorus, it has a nice wring to it! Just learn to spell my name right! LOL! And when you sing the chorus, please put in a "LOL" or for little windbreaks like you, "lol". LOL! Thanks again. Keep up the good work!
Posted by: ROGER | 2008-04-16 4:26:48 PM
Roger, Black was the victim of prosecutorial oversight and a vengeful DA, the same one who nailed Martha for simply looking our for her own investments. Steyn et al were right to stand by him. His crime was mail fraud - an American invention to get Al Capone and not even a real crime.
Posted by: Faramir | 2008-04-16 4:39:42 PM
All that and the Libs are still afraid to face the Tories at he polls. LOL
Posted by: DJ | 2008-04-16 4:42:46 PM
Good God - I think Roger must be Warren Kinsella. This thread has really gone to the sewer since he has been posting...
Posted by: Faramir | 2008-04-16 4:43:08 PM
Faramir, your blind loyalty to the common thief Conrad Black, reigning queen of his cellblock, is touching.
A room full of very rich investors and money managers in 2003 in New York at the Hollinger International annual general meeting called Black a thief to his face. No prosecutors, no DA present, just shareholders tired of being lied to and ripped off!
Vice chancellor Strine of the Delaware Chancery courts ruled Black was a liar and took the highly unusual step of suspending his controlling rights of Hollinger International because Black had completely violated his fiduciary duty to shareholders in Judge Strine's official judicial opinion. No prosecutor was present--it was a civil matter. Years before, in the 1980s, another US judge ruled Black was a liar.
So, you are saying Black is in the same league as Capone? Strange way to defend the innocence of someone! LOL!
Black was found guilty in a fair trial following the due process of law. To fail to respect such a decision is to challenge the rule of law. Next you will be defending all the other criminals! Next you will claim that every prisoner is innocent and victims! I believe in being tough on criminals. Black got off lightly. Were it up to me, he would have been sentenced to death. But you are entitled to your opinion and desire to coddle criminals. I am tough on crime. That is why I believe Mulroney needs to be fully prosecuted, along with other political criminals. And you know who the police are investigating right now for corruption? Yes, quite. Tough on crime or apologist for criminals? We know where you stand!
Posted by: ROGER | 2008-04-16 4:51:43 PM
"I am tough on crime. "
Except pedophilia. LOL
Posted by: Dj | 2008-04-16 5:01:41 PM
Remember when Harper refused to apologize for accusing Paul Martin of being a supporter of paedophilia? Harper lowered politics into the sewer.
Faramir and others here claim Black is innocent. Black was convicted by a scrupulous process of law, one which is far less meticulous in the prosecution and conviction of those accused of murder and paedophiles. By Faramir's logic and those who defend Black, no doubt they must also believe Bernardo and company are also innocent! I am consistently tough on crime and criminals while CONservatives makes excuses for their cronies and buddies, regardless of how bad the crimes committed by these scoundrels! Hypocrite Harper is now being investigated by the RCMP--remember how Harper accused Mahar Arrar of being a terrorist while Arrar was being tortured in Syria? Or how Harper accused Ralph Goodale of being corrupt? Harper was quick to condemn and find guilt. Now he is the subject of a criminal investigation to the same extent or more as Goodale was! Let's hear his excuses and explanations.
Posted by: ROGER | 2008-04-16 5:15:47 PM
The only way to deal with trolls is to give them no quarter.
Why do people even try to respond to absolute drek? This is not a pleasant place to be and will continue to deteriorate if posters insist on responding to total crap.
DON'T DO IT!!
Posted by: batb | 2008-04-16 5:15:59 PM
Just play along batb. There's more to this commentor than meets the eye. I suspect a funny surprise in the works.
Posted by: dp | 2008-04-16 5:28:11 PM
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