Saturday, November 26, 2011

Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Stephanie Larocque highlights the Cons' gall in hanging onto federal reimbursements from their own ad scam even after having admitted their guilt:
You don't have to prove guilt when the charged plead guilty. And that is exactly what happened last week when the Conservative Party entered into an agreement in Ottawa where they would plead guilty to overspending and pay the maximum fine allowable under the Canada Elections Act if the charges were dropped against their senior members.

One might think that pleading guilty to attempting to circumvent the rules that manage our democracy would be done with an air of regret or remorse. When it comes to the Conservatives, however, you would be wrong. Instead, Conservative spokesman Fred DeLorey issued a statement claiming the plea bargain was "a big victory'' for the party in its five-year "administrative dispute'' with Elections Canada over the legality of the in-and-out scheme. "Every single Conservative accused of wrongdoing has been cleared today,'' DeLorey said.

I don't think anyone has ever looked a an agreement that admits guilt as ever clearing anyone of wrongdoing. The notion is ludicrous. The coordinated overspending done by funneling funds through 67 ridings just happened spontaneously? No, the Conservatives accused of wrongdoing were only spared the embarrassment of having their involvement in the scheme dissected in open court rather than being cleared of anything.
Conservative Party spokesman Fred DeLorey responded that "The question of reimbursements will be dealt with in the ongoing civil proceedings." referring to the civil case the Tories brought against Elections Canada in which they dispute Elections Canada's ability to refuse to reimburse expense claims.

In other words, guilt not just without remorse, without apology, and without even having the decency to immediately repay funds improperly received from the taxpayers that they have already admitted were the result of a scheme to overspend their limits. Indeed, should they win the civil case they would compel Elections Canada to reimburse the outstanding expense claims which they have already agreed were illegal. The nerve of this position is staggering. They admit wrongdoing yet continue to seek a means of profiting from that wrongdoing, trying to have excessive refunds that were requested with fraudulent receipts taken from your tax dollars.
- pogge blasts Ontario's McGuinty Libs for decreeing that any deficit reduction will be accomplished solely through service cuts rather than even the most obviously needed tax increases.

- Mike DeSouza reports on Greenpeace's expose of multi-billion-dollar corporate lobbying against action on climate change.

- Tim Naumetz points out that even as the Cons claim to be retaining a meaningful gun licensing regime, their bill to torch the long gun registry also includes provisions to make it impossible to enforced the individual licensing rules.

- Finally, the Calgary Herald editorial board lists its home city as one of the areas which has been poorly served by utterly useless Con MPs over the past decade. And it's well worth using the attention of the NDP's national leadership campaign to change the part of the story which laments the lack of a viable alternative.

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