Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Rats chewing at their own tails to get out of the trap

The theatre provided by the Harperites yesterday was more than a little entertaining. It also smacks of desperation. Dr. Dawg provides a comprehensive walk through the sewage.

I found this rather interesting:
And later this week, these little latter-day Joe McCarthys want to drag Adam Carroll, the kid involved, in front of the Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics Committee—my God, the sheer irony of that choice!—to give him the third degree.

The problem is that he hasn’t done anything illegal, and what he has done, he’s already ‘fessed up to. Taxpayers’ dollars are going to be spent on this fatuous witch-hunt, no doubt intended to generate enough fog to help get them out of the robocon jam they’re in. Will the corporate media be sucked in? (That’s a rhetorical question.)
Agreed ... but that ain't all. This is a first-class act of "railroading" by Del Mastro. "Staffers" can't be held to account by the Information, Privacy and Ethics Committee. 

As Kady, Canada's self-admitted parliamentary committee-junkie, points out, this, if it ever warranted going further than it already has, belongs at the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.
As far as I can tell, the Del Mastro motion doesn't even try to squeeze itself within the broad but not unlimited mandate of the ethics committee, which includes, among other matters, the Access to Information and Privacy Acts, as well as the Conflict of Interest Act, which deals the conduct of designated public office holders. 

It was under those statutes -- ATI and CoIA, specfiically, that ministerial staffers Sebastien Tognieri and Kaz Nejatian were called to testify on their activities as ministerial staffers by the previous iteration of ETHI. Employees of party research bureaus, like MPs' staff,  are not covered by that particular law, which is why issues related to the conduct of non-ministerial Hill staff -- including the alleged use of House of Commons resources -- fall under the aegis of Procedure and House Affairs. 
Which suggests that the odious Del Mastro is doing this purely for the theatrics, which, as Dawg points out, will almost assuredly see the Harper tactic of cloaking committee activities in secrecy lifted.

They're acting like they have something to hide.

They are scared.

Keep them that way.


Steve said...

I clipped this from a Globe Commented, sounds good!

There is a way forward on the robo-call issue without having to wait to see if Elections Canada does anything.

Apparently any voter can contest an election result in the electoral district they voted in if they believe there have been irregularities in that electoral district. The voter has the right to contest this within 30 days of either the election itself or first having heard of the irregularities, which ever is the later of the two. I believe the conservatives are aware of this and, with their recent calls to 'send in any evidence', they are playing a delaying game of running down the clock. In this case it's a 30 day clock that started on February 23, when news first came out about the robogate scandal. The news of these irregularities is well within the 30 day limit at this point so I would suggest private citizens across the country proceed to court immediately. Here are the relevant provisions of the Canada Elections Act:

524. (1) Any elector who was eligible to vote in an electoral district, and any candidate in an electoral district, may, by application to a competent court, contest the election in that electoral district on the grounds that

(a) under section 65 the elected candidate was not eligible to be a candidate; or

(b) there were irregularities, fraud or corrupt or illegal practices that affected the result of the election.

Boris said...

I woke up this morning with similar thoughts. They're shit scared and facing the mother of all crises. They have little defence but distraction and obfuscation. They can't prorogue, they can't stop Elections Canada or the RCMP, there's no running to GG.

And perhaps most importantly, they cannot be trusted to run a clean campaign, ever. They'll be watched like hawks and any win will be questioned. There's no recovery from broken trust.

Beijing York said...

Thanks for the info, Steve.

I responded to the opposition parties replies to my angry letter to Joyce Bateman (who squeaked a victory with some 700 votes over Anita Neville).

I had copied them and decided to encourage them to get the two Winnipeg incumbents (Neville and Maloway) to follow through with contesting the results.