Saturday, April 19, 2008

Entirely warranted

It turns out that my week away from the blog has turned into potentially one of the more significant ones in Canadian politics for quite some time. Having not been around to comment at the time, though, I'll take the opportunity to toss in my two cents' worth on the RCMP raid of the Cons' headquarters.

What strikes me as interesting is the need for a search warrant when most of the facts don't seem to be in dispute. The Cons haven't tried to deny that they sent money to riding campaigns which was used on what amounted to national ads with the local candidates listed only in fine print. And it's hard to see what the raid would add to Elections Canada's interpretation as to whether the fine print is enough to legitimize the scheme.

That said, the question of whether somebody did something wrong as part of Conadscam is different from the question of just who actually planned and ordered the acts in question. And given that the Cons' idea of "cooperation" with Elections Canada's investigation consisted of suing for expense reimbursements and trying to raise straw-man arguments about the other federal parties, it wouldn't be the least bit surprising if Elections Canada was left with no choice but to seek a search warrant to find out who within the party had enough of a role in the scheme to be held responsible.

If that's so, then the real story from this week's raid remains to be told. And since it's highly doubtful that Elections Canada would have bothered requesting the search warrant if they didn't see the case as one which should be pursued, every Con who had a role in Conadscam - or who might be in a position to participate in similar schemes in the future - has to be concerned about the danger of having to answer for the Cons' disregard for the law.