Wednesday, September 09, 2015

How Will Paulson and the RCMP Intervene in This Election ?

We'd be fools not to expect them to.

So what is it likely to be? And when?

I suspect it will be late enough in the campaign so that the few journalists remaining who care about such things won't have time to look into anything too deeply. After all Harper won't care if it's discovered after the vote - he'll be able to pass another retroactive law exonerating his state police of any wrong doing.

They could barge into some all candidates meetings and march out the LPC and/or NDP candidates in handcuffs while muttering empty phrases about 'terrorism' and 'suspicions'. Again best done right before the event so that no curious journos, if there still are any, could look into it.

They will do something. They are Harper's police force and will do as they are instructed.


Scotian said...

You know, there was a time and one not so long ago at that, where I would be calling you a paranoid extremist kook for writing this. I miss those days.

I'm not as convinced as you that such a thing will happen, but that it could happen under the current RCMP leadership, that, it pains me greatly to say, I have no trouble believing at all anymore. Which given my family history vis-a-vis the Mounties is a hard thing for me to believe, let alone say publicly.

Let us hope that if such does happen it is so clunky/obvious it triggers a backlash effect instead of the intended effect, which given how distrustful of the Harper Government(tm) that the clear majority of Canadians have become is at least a real possible reaction to such an intervention, even on the night before the vote.

That you felt the need to write this post and that I felt the need to agree with it to the extent I just did is one of the sadder commentaries on what the decade of Harperism has brought Canada to. I recall a word used in the GWB years a lot, the Endarkenment, well Harper has given us our Endarkenment, and the inability to trust the independence/detachment of the RCMP from the political partisanship is one of the pillars of it for me.

ron wilton said...

double nickel said...

Some poor unsuspecting shlub is going to be entrapped and arrested on terrorism charges, similar to those two in Victoria.

Boris said...

It is quite a stretch to think the RCMP will interfere so much in an election that it would impact the outcome. That's still really on the fringe of possibility. What the RCMP is more likely to do, if they do anything, is limit their involvement or two should evidence of some sort of fraud come forward. Its a tremendous leap from a loose affiliation to active and illegal partisan activity. Something would leak. Even now, with the Duffy trial, despite it only being him (so far) being charged, the dirty laundry and conspiracy is now public knowledge and the fingers point toward Harper himself. To me, it looks more like a Crown-RCMP sting to target a small fish to go after the bigger ones. The Duffy trial has more of an impact in this election and not in the Cons favour, and that is a result of RCMP actions.

Dana said...

Already happened once, Boris. No stretch at all to think it could happen again, as far as I'm concerned. Especially with this Commissioner.

"Zaccardelli's revealing refusal to co-operate with this week's public complaints report can't be left unchallenged. By not clarifying what happened and why, Zaccardelli is further eroding public trust in a crumbling icon while fuelling speculation that the force was settling old Liberal scores while making like-minded Conservatives come-from-behind winners.

Even by Ottawa standards, those theories are unusually toxic. They suggest Liberals, Conservatives and NDP prefer not to draw public attention to abuses more typical of Third World dictatorships than First World democracies.

Here's what's germinating in the space left by Zaccardelli's missing evidence. Liberals who lost the most are so fearful of picking scabs off old internal wounds that they prefer not to revisit events that can't be reversed. Conservatives who won the most don't want to raise the spectre of a victory that might not have been quite fair or square. And the left-tilting NDP wants to forget its role in bringing to power the most ideologically right-leaning party in our history."

Kirby Evans said...

@ BORIS - I don't know why you think it is a stretch - it already happened once. The RCMP intervened in the 06 election when they announced in the last two weeks that they were investigating the budget leak and the office of Ralph Goodale, then the Minister of Finance. There is little doubt that this led to Harper's first government. And, of course, Goodale and his staff were all cleared after the fact.

e.a.f. said...

I am prepared for the Cons cheating again, as they have in the previous elections. would the RCMP interfere with an election? yes I think it is now possible in Canada. 10 yrs ago I'd say you were crazy.

the rcmp may start arresting those who support an end to the war with isis

the rcmp may arrest candidates of the other parties on chsrges of treason or some such rot, so that people will vote for the cons in a panic

the rcmp back in the day "joined" the flq to try and instigate inappropriate actions. they could do it again. Poulson is not to be trusted. I would not be surprised if the RCMP did do something to help steve and his cons to get re elected. Pouslon must know by now, that if steve goes, so does he. who ever wins the next election will want a new head for the rcmp

Unknown said...

How is this scenario you describe, Boris, different from what happened in pre-war Nazi Germany when Hitler got into power (constitutionally) in 1937 or 38, then used the Police and Brownshirts to disrupt everything - and we know what happened quickly after that....

Scotian said...


Zaccardelli in 05 showed it was possible as has already been noted, but there is also more recent evidence of how dangerously politically corrupted the RCMP leadership may be. Recall the gag order placed on RCMP members on speaking to Parliamentarians without clearance from the top. Remember when Paulson testified to committee that once Wright testified it would become clear why he wasn't charged with bribery while Duffy was. Yet now that we have seen and heard Wright testify, and even more importantly seen the documentary evidence of the contemporaneous internal e-mails of the PMO, the question becomes even more pronounced not less. For when you look at what we heard and saw in court the evidence makes it pretty clear that Duffy was not looking for the bribe all along, but was forced into it by Wright in particular because that was the only way Wright and company would get Duffy to cooperate in the public relations strategy they had cooked up in those "media lines". If anything the story on this that ended up being proven correct was not from the PMO side but Duffy's when he gave his last Senate speech during the expulsion period, yet the immaculate bribe charge still was what the RCMP recommended and the Crown used.

I used to theorize that Wright was not charged so as to try and preserve any credibility to bolster the evidence for the charge against Duffy, but given what came out in the documentary evidence there was no way to preserve that credibility, especially under the cross examination of any competent defence lawyer, and the RCMP/Crown should have known that, so therefore there has to be another reason, and the only one left is overt partisan protection of the sitting PM. For if Wright had also been charged then there was no longer any firewall for Harper to hide behind, because at that point it would have been an obvious question to basic competence or collusion on Harper's part, as it is without the charges against Wright that has been a real spectre, but with Wright formally charged with bribery and the "good to go"comment out there, things would have been a lot worse for Harper personally.

So there is real evidence to distrust the leadership of the RCMP for partisan interference. AS I said I am not as convinced it will go as far as Dana suggested, but that it could happen, no that I cannot say I find impossible or even hard to see/believe, and that is as I said a major issue for me. I was always a process geek first, and watching the way the Harper Government(tm) destroyed all the arms length agencies it could and brought them under direct partisan control (Revenue Canada audits anyone?) was a part of the abuse of power corruption I always warned about happening if Harper ever came to power. I used to get called a hyperbolic hysteric for suggesting the possibility, well not so much now, which is another reason why I fear that Dana has every reason to feel as he does.

Boris said...

I don't trust the RCMP to not fiddle a bit, but I don't think anything of an election swinging scale and complexity is likely without some deeper rationale.

Scotian, I don't know why Wright hasn't been charged (yet...), but filling the blank with cryptic statements from Paulson or conjecture about protecting a sitting PM isn't a good substitute for evidence of complicity, in my view. To deeply intervene to protect a sitting PM (and his staff) from criminal investigation and prosecution requires a very compelling motive and the promise of a bigger budget, vengeance on the Liberals, or some same-church ConClub sekrit decoder ring doesn't cut it for me as far as that's concerned. The senior RCMP brass, if they've been processed in Tory reeducation camps, risk their ENTIRE organisation under that light.

Unknown, Harper is not a charismatic, nor is he brave. He's a coward who will hide behind anyone and anything when things get hard. Mound of Sound ( mentioned in comments that he's only attracting B-list talent now because people are staying well clear after the Duffy scandal when he chucked Nigel under the bus. Even his A-team of experienced ministers have mostly walked away in the past year. The RCMP staff, even if they are THAT rabidly partisan (or were, I find it incredulous), would take note of that. Also, 2005, 2006 were ten years ago and anyone in Ottawa (who is still around!) will have had time to get to know the Cons and watch the scandals mount.
We also don't have Krystalnacht or book-burnings. we've got a handful of supporters who can at best yell obscenities at reporters and say nasty things on the internet. The reporters themselves aren't being silenced or carted off to camps and even an institution like Mansbridge is asking hard questions. Sure, they've passed some pretty shitty laws, but we've still got functioning courts and the Supremes could well hand those laws back to the next parliament covered in red ink frowny-faces. Harper's gov't has strong authoritarian and fascistic leanings but they are not even close to the early competence, seriousness and heaviness of the Nazis.

I don't think Harper's got many friends left in Ottawa. He looks dazed and exhausted, polls have him in third, and is pulling a Rob Ford "I'm not perfect" defence. The press isn't doing him any favours anymore and his supporters are angry and defensive coming out of his rallies. The polling now looks more and more like a competition between the NDP and the Grits. These are not indications of a man or party confident of winning.

Scotian said...


I was willing to give the benefit of the doubt until just the last few weeks, I would routinely say I expected it was to protect the Crown's key witness credibility, but it was Paulson who in committee made it clear that once we saw Wright on the stand we would understand why he wasn't charged. Well, between his testimony and (for me) more importantly the documentary evidence from PMO that came with it that argument makes no sense at all, and other than that it really is hard to see anything other than protecting this PM as the reason. Please, pray, what other viable explanation at this point can you come up with? I didn't come to this belief easily or swiftly, I literally can no longer see any other reason that makes any sense, and using Occam's well known razor, and the Holmesian reasoning of whatever is left however improbable rule leaves me here.

You are also assuming that the RCMP is acting in self interest instead of partisan preference here if this is what is happening, and since it is the CPC that has shown itself the most comfortable with abuse of power by those with authority one could see that partisan preference basis in that. I would also again remind you about just how many OTHER once truly arms length bodies, oversight and other, have become direct extensions of the Harper CPC/PMO. At this stage it is not unreasonable to fear that the senior RCMP leadership is too.

Understand something Boris, I didn't say that lightly nor without a lot of consideration earlier. My family has a lot of roots in both law enforcement and the legal profession, as well as politics, so for me to get to this point was a long and arduous journey. So, if you can present an alternate viable explanation given the factual record at this point, please, either kindly do so or be a little less chastising/dismissive.

Boris said...

Scotian, I don't intend to be dismissive or chastising but I am mildly vexed at the assumption of high conspiracy and invincibility of the Tory machine under Harper. There's a lot of information we do not have about the inner workings of the RCMP senior staff and what's happened internally both with them and with the PMO/Tories. Much of the commentary here is filling in blanks based on something that happened 10 years ago with a different person, and interpretations of what Paulson said at a given time.

Sure, anything is possible, and no doubt the RCMP are politicised at that level - the couldn't not be given the incestuousness of the ranking service and political officials in Ottawa. The degree to which they are willing to act is another story, and there's nothing to suggest that the RCMP are keen to do an incompetent boob like Harper any favours (at least anymore) now that he's demonstrated his ineptness. I mean, with the amount of investigations going on against Conservatives, the only favours he's done them is to provide them with trade. Whatever the HarperCons looked like in 2006, they are now demonstrably incompetent and to me that makes me think that anyone but a fanatical Harper loyalist would distance themselves. Whatever the general political leanings of Paulson and anyone else, they're not stupid and will know a lame horse when they see one. To me, what the Duffy trial has exposed is the corruption in the PMO with fingers pointing to PMSH. Charging only Duffy, with the trial evidence so far, has still really harmed the Conservatives and could cost them the election, so I find that argument that the RCMP is protecting the PM around Duffy to be a bit problematic. If they RCMP were serious about protecting them, it makes sense that Duffy would never have been charged or gone to trial to begin with. What's happened instead is a very public airing of soiled Tory laundry on the front of all the papers during an election campaign. Further, if the Tories lose the election (something actually quite possible now), they lose the capacity to pull internal levers and retroactively change laws to protect themselves. Losing removes that capacity, and Stephen Harper becomes just another person.

Steve said...

sadly expected the NDP and Libs should warn the public, let alone remind them of past indesgresons of a facist nature