or don't bother voting!
As the accusations and evidence of widespread voter suppression tactics during the 2011 Federal Election mount and the cries of denial and claims of a "smear" campaign mount, perhaps its a good time to go back and examine the behaviour of the PsuedoCons during their first opportunity to sit in the big chair and pretend to govern as a result of the election of 2006. During this 39th Parliament, Spiteful Steve and his minions laid the groundwork for their first exercise in voter suppression. First they had the gall to enact an American style fixed election date law in spite of their minority status. Under Bill C-16, titled "An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act", the next general election should have been held on October 19, 2009. Though this law couldn't protect Stevie's slim hold on the big chair in the case of a non-confidence motion, one would have expected it to be honoured in the absence of such a action by the opposition. As well as passing this fixed American style election date, Stevie and his minions also changed many of the voter identification requirements, generally making it more difficult for a voter to prove his/her identity and residence at the polling station on election day.
Then lo and behold, the first person to violate the new fixed election date law was Mr. Lawn Order hisself. Emperor Stevie became frustrated trying to deal with a strong opposition and feeling that maybe his shot at the coveted majority had come decided to dissolve Parliament on September 7, 2008. Unfortunately he had a Governor-General that perhaps didn't understand her role (as she proved again during the prorogue scam later)* and granted Stevie not only his dissolution of Parliament, but his choice of and election date - October 14, 2008, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving. Steve and his minions were still just using sleazy methods to suppress the vote and hadn't yet worked their way up to completely criminal forms of electoral fraud and suppression that they would work their way up to later with the In and Out Scheme and the mess that is being more and more exposed hourly this week.
Jump ahead to October 14th, a day when many Canadians would wake up hundreds or even thousands of kilometers away from home, perhaps at grandmother's house, with a long drive or flight to their polling station necessary to exercise their right to vote. Then in many cases that occurred even in my small town, where damn near everyone, especially those who work in polling stations, knows everybody else, folks were denied the right to vote if they didn't have the appropriate, newly required, ID to satisfy the new, and mostly unpublicized requirements.
Of course by now the HarperCons have progressed way beyond the simply sleazy, but technically legal, forms of Electoral Fraud and moved on to tactics like the In and Out Scandal, which they denied just as vigorously as the current charges for a couple years before folding like a cheap suit, pleading guilty, paying a fine of $50,000 and tossing a couple party operatives under the big blue bus!
This morning we get news that the old "In and Out" scam has also resurfaced, this time in Quebec, thanks to Le Devoir with "Un Autre in and out au Quebec".
Les dépenses électorales de certains candidats conservateurs du Québec à la dernière élection générale soulèvent des questions. Au moins une direction de campagne locale admet s'être fait demander par le bureau national du Parti conservateur de payer une firme d'appels sans en retirer quoi que ce soit en retour. Une autre s'interroge sur la valeur réelle de la dépense.
Briefly – several CPC candidates were billed for using RMG call services, but their riding campaign never used the services. The money simply went through them to provide RGM services to the federal campaing. That’ll make it a fair bit harder for harper to isolate himself from riding activities.
Thanks to Of Gods & Other Monsters for the tip and the brief translation of the paragraph above. I won't be going to the Le Devoir myself for the full article as my French has become very rusty in the fifty years since I was semi-fluent during university days. This blog also had this to say about Harper's carefully parsed denials, which still doesn't account for the hot air that constantly spews forth from the nether orifice of Dean del Mastro.
With more and more allegations coming from individual ridings and Elections Canada indicating it has enough credible evidence to warrant an investigation, it may be that harper wants to protect himself from illegal election activity that he knows went on. By clarifying that the federal campaign is clean, but not defending the ridings, he sets himself above the scandal…or so he thinks. I don’t think that’ll fly, though. While from a legal perspective he may protect himself with this tactic, as leader of his party, he won’t be able to shake responsibility in the House and with voters. Either he knew about the activities and allowed them or even encouraged them, or he has practically no control over how his MPs and campaign people act. Either way, he is not fit to lead a party, let alone a country.
Perhaps Stevie Sleaze should crack some history books and refresh his memory about where one of his US Republican idols went wrong, more with the denial and cover-up than the original crimes, earning himself a special spot in history as a crook rather than as a statesman.
* In both cases Ms. Jean could have, and I feel should have, first checked whether or not the leader of the opposition could have garnered the support of a majority of Members of Parliament and continued the minority government under a new leader - it has happened in Canada and happens regularly in Parliamentary governments around the world - currently both the UK and Australia have effectively minority COALITION governments and in some nations like Stevie's fav Israel, coalition government is the norm!
or Father and Son?