Thursday, June 29, 2006

What's that smell?

Aside from this post I was going to leave the Conservative Party of Canada finance irregularities alone until things developed a little more. That was a "benefit of the doubt" thing.

Then I read Meaghan's take on it at Somena Media here and here. Leading into an email exchange comes the illuminating fact that:

CPoC members are only concerned with how to also receive tax decductions for the additional expenses of travel, lodging, and food. Most already know that the convention fee is a political donation.
Benefit of the doubt is giving way to a stench of intentional illegal acts.

Tax deductions - for political donations. You don't get tax deductions for eating a rubber chicken unless the rubber chicken is actually worth more than four bucks. And there is no "profit" provision in the Canada Elections Act.

And then, there's this inevitable development.

Canada's chief electoral officer wants the federal Conservative party to open its books following a revelation by the Harper government's accountability quarterback that the party failed to report delegate fees to its 2005 convention.
With this inevitable reaction.

The Conservatives, who rode to power on a wave of outrage against perceived Liberal corruption, initially reacted with fury to questions about the apparent fee omission.

After Kingsley's statement, a spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper would only say they were "puzzled" by the Elections Canada statement.
What's to be puzzled about?

Or is this the start of another Harper dissing of a public service officer responsible for political finance oversight?

No need for Harper or any of his spokespersons to be puzzled. They have already lied that their 2005 books had been audited by Elections Canada, which brought this out of the Chief Electoral Officer:

"Elections Canada has not audited the books of the Conservative Party regarding this convention," said the release from Kingsley, adding Elections Canada has no legal authority to compel such an audit.
Either the Chief Electoral Officer gets to see the CPoC books, PDQ, or people will start flinging the "C" word around in reference to the Conservatives.

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