Thursday, April 17, 2008

Jackass

Aaron Wherry digs up this gem of an old letter some guy named Stephen Harper wrote back in 2001. In it, Harper:

A) says "the jackasses at Elections Canada are out of control"

B) Criticizes Elections Canada for ordering an RCMP raid

C) Rails against election spending limits

D) Blames the Prime Minister at the time for the actions of Elections Canada

It makes for an interesting read, in light of the latest Tory conspiracy theories about Elections Canada.


UPDATE: It appears Harper has a long history of being upset at Elections Canada for prosecuting people who break the law. From alert reader KO comes this 2002 story (referring to a section of the Elections Act Harper has done nothing to change during his time as Prime Minister, I might add):


Peace River Block Daily News. Dawson Creek, B.C.: Apr 18, 2002. pg. 5

OTTAWA (CP) -- Canadian Alliance Leader Stephen Harper lashed out at Elections Canada on Wednesday, saying the agency's charges against two Alliance campaign workers are unconstitutional and suggesting they smack of political bias.

Charges laid April 5 against two workers on MP Cheryl Gallant's 2000 election campaign were an "erroneous interpretation of a statute and an unconstitutional statute at that," Harper said in an interview.

He suggested the agency had motives for laying the charges other than enforcing the law.

"This is a real reach that frankly raises serious concerns in my mind about the objectivity of Elections Canada," he said.

"We are collecting some information that I think will raise real questions about Elections Canada's comportment in this whole affair. I think there's a lot here that's going to come out."

[…]

The act requires that when poll information is published, it must include certain information including who conducted the survey, the dates it was conducted, the number of people contacted and the margin of error.

25 Comments:

  • Jeez, Grit. That was, like, 17 years ago. Well, 8. I'm sure he'll apologize. I mean, we all say stupid things in our past. That's how people thought at the time. Everyone did.

    By Blogger /dev/null, at 12:23 AM  

  • Isn't it interesting how he believes EC should ignore the will of Parliament and not prosecute offences Parliament created?

    What if the RCMP were to decide one day that they do not think car theft should be illegal and they simply stopped charging people? Would Harper accept that?

    By Blogger Gayle, at 1:27 AM  

  • Excellent, more fodder for the Opposition to exploit. BWahahaha

    By Blogger Alan, at 9:38 AM  

  • I think todays criminal charges against a Liberal over Adscam will wipe the smirks off many faces. June election anyone?

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 11:30 AM  

  • “I think todays criminal charges against a Liberal over Adscam will wipe the smirks off many faces.”

    Too bad the NDP doesn’t recognize that there is a new Liberal Party. Did harper ever thank you for giving him the government in 2006.

    RCMP lay fraud charges against former top Quebec Liberal

    Meagan Fitzpatrick, Canwest News Service
    Published: Friday, April 18, 2008
    Benoit Corbeil, a former high-ranking member of the Quebec Liberal party who was implicated in the sponsorship scandal faces charges today including fraud, exercise of influence and conspiracy to defraud, according to the RCMP.

    "These charges have been laid in the wake of the far-reaching investigation of irregularities in the government of Canada's sponsorship program," the force said in a news release.

    Corbeil, former executive director of the Liberals Quebec wing from 1998 to 2001, was arrested this morning in Montreal, the RCMP said. He turned himself in to the RCMP with his lawyer accompanying him. He was expected to make a court appearance this afternoon.

    The RCMP said that, in January 2006, it received information about Corbeil alleging he received "a large amount of money" from a company in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., "in exchange for favours with respect to the purchase of a piece of land owned by the government of Canada."

    By Blogger JimTan, at 12:17 PM  

  • “June election anyone?”

    Why not?

    I didn’t see any NDP cameras on Tuesday. So, the NDP has no chance of a government. Do you understand why?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 12:32 PM  

  • "there is a new Liberal Party."

    So the Conservatives don't have to worry about Mulroney at all as that was a completely different party.

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 12:57 PM  

  • Aw shucks! Politicos grow and mature and in so doing they often change their minds.

    Today, you may be assured that Harper has all the politically correct respect for Elections Canada that you would expect of a government leader.

    The cash collecting tenticles of any political party in Canada are massive, diversified and impossible to control, so even if some odd imbalances are found, you can bet they will be forgiven.

    Let me point to approximately 200 scams that were forgiven of the Liberal Party of Canada.

    http://bendgovernment.blogspot.com/2005_12_01_archive.html

    Scroll down a little to the guitar. = TG

    By Blogger TonyGuitar, at 1:12 PM  

  • “So the Conservatives don't have to worry about Mulroney at all as that was a completely different party.”

    I don’t hold Mulroney’s venality against the harperites. I am very keen to see Mulroney get the justice he deserves.

    I oppose the harperites because they are trying to create a state like Alberta. The civil servants will be cowed. There will not be checks and balances against the government. Public accountability from fanatics? This is corruption of a much worse nature.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 1:45 PM  

  • So, the NDP has no chance of a government. Do you understand why?

    Because Canadians have a Masochistic streak. More old line corruption, more, harder, harder...

    You wouldn't sell us out again would you, would you? would you....you would...again..

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:34 PM  

  • hmmmm.....

    isn't Benoit Corbeil the fellow Stephane Dion mused about returning to the Liberal fold?

    yes, brand new Liberal party!

    By Blogger Chuckercanuck, at 4:51 PM  

  • "isn't Benoit Corbeil the fellow Stephane Dion mused about returning to the Liberal fold?"

    Please show proof of this.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 5:05 PM  

  • Election Canada jackasses?

    That's about all that can be known for sure at this stage.

    By Blogger art, at 5:27 PM  

  • OMG! They’re going to unseal the warrant. The court in Toronto will release the warrant on Monday. Apparently, the application is 700 pages long. Gads! What have the Conservatives been up to?

    Stay tuned.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 10:46 PM  

  • With the greatest respect, I must urge restraint. The affidavit in support of the warrant contains only allegations.

    I suggest waiting until when/if those allegations are proven.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 1:25 AM  

  • "What if the RCMP were to decide one day that they do not think car theft should be illegal and they simply stopped charging people?"

    Or God Forbid they stop laying charges of violations against Controlled Substances. Perhaps because of a whiff from a Judge and a mere suggestion from a sitting Prime Minister. Oh, wait, those were Liberals in charge then. So it's okay for the Police to ignore the law and act on a whim of a PM?

    No. The law in practice does include much more than what is written by Parliament, and is heavily influenced by what is enforced by the Administrative branch of Her Majesty's Government, be it Conservative or Liberal.

    Has anyone read the CCC? Perhaps asked themselves what the difference is between "Bigamy" and "Polygamy" in the law? (Hint: it isn't what you think! It's about walking down the aisle; under the law, a married man having an affair is a polygamist but not a bigamist.) Is anyone seriously considering charging every married man who has an affair with a criminal act?

    By Blogger paul.obeda@, at 3:23 AM  

  • Well Dan, Harper might not have changed the laws he didn't like, but he certainly did manage to change the Chief Electoral Officer less than a year into his term. How long before Mayrand hands in his resignation now?

    By Blogger Maestro, at 3:39 AM  

  • “With the greatest respect, I must urge restraint. The affidavit in support of the warrant contains only allegations.”

    Gayle,

    An examination of the affidavit will indicate the evidence they have, and the evidence they need. Eventually, the culprits will be charged according to what can be found/proved.

    What we (politicals) need is the scope of the allegations. Will it be the hangman, or just the thumbscrews?

    Live it up! This may finally be dion’s lucky break. 700 pages? Break out the popcorn!

    By Blogger JimTan, at 12:29 PM  

  • paul - I am not sure I understand the comparison of bigamy and polygamy with the CEA. Are you suggesting the offences in the CEA are antiquated and unenforceable due to constitutional concerns?

    I simply point out to you that the CEA offences also involve a potentially fraudulent claim for several hundred thousand taxpayer dollars. Are you suggesting that EC should not enforce this section and allow any party to play fast and loose with the legislation in order to maximize their taxpayer funded refunds?

    PS - the drug possession laws have been inconsistently enforced for decades (it has nothing to do with the liberal government). That is much different from a politician suggesting that the EA not be enforced at all, in any circumstances, no matter what parliament has to say about it.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 1:19 PM  

  • Jim

    I do not like Harper any more than you do, but that does not mean he is not entitled to the presumption of innocence.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 1:19 PM  

  • Gayle, these good public servants are entitled to the presumption of innocence too.. .

    From a comment by Maz2 in tips, SDA.

    Librano$ Names of Interest: Benoit Corbeil, Joe Morselli, Alain Renaud, Real Ouimet, Denis Coderre, Allan Rock, Brian Tobin, Jean Brault, Paul Coffin and Jean Lafleur, Chuck Guité.
    No mention made of Chretien-Martin-Dion-Gagliano, etc.
    ...-

    * *Former Liberal official charged in alleged kickback scheme
    DANIEL LEBLANC
    From Saturday's Globe and mail* *

    OTTAWA -- Three high-profile Liberal officials conspired to defraud their party of more than $100,000 in 1999 and 2000, with one of them receiving an additional $50,000 in kickbacks to help a businessman who wanted to buy federal land, the RCMP alleged yesterday.
    http://tinyurl.com/64sk6w (No comments allowed))
    =================== Maz2

    trimmed here for reasons of reserve and good taste. = TG

    By Blogger TonyGuitar, at 1:24 AM  

  • "but that does not mean he is not entitled to the presumption of innocence."

    Gayle,

    I bow to your wisdom and goodness.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 3:48 AM  

  • The thing is - Corbeil would have peddled influence with Monsieur Ouimet who was once involved in political scandal - under Mulroney's Conservatives.

    From The Gazette:
    "Ouimet’s name has come up in the past in connection with questionable land deals with the federal government. In 1989, Carrière Bernier was able to buy federal land near the airport in St. Jean sur Richelieu that was never offered through public tender.

    Four years later, after a Quebec newspaper uncovered the deal, then public works minister Elmer Mackay apologized to the House of Commons for making arrangements to sell the land without tender. At the time, Ouimet was described as a businessman with close ties to the Progressive Conservative Party.”

    http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=6099f785-51dd-4edb-afba-4de672f79140

    Corruption is not the domain of one political ideology more than another.

    Or as my mother would have said, power corrupts.

    By Blogger Loraine Lamontagne, at 12:37 AM  

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