Federal Court sides with Elections Canada in dispute with Conservatives

New ruling strikes down previous decision that absolved Tories


 

The Federal Court of Appeal has ruled that Elections Canada was correct in challenging the Conservatives reported national advertising expenses for the 2006 election. In striking down a ruling that cleared the Tories of wrongdoing for the in-and-out election financing scheme, the court has confirmed the election watchdog’s interpretation of electoral spending laws. Elections Canada contends that 67 Conservative candidates claimed local advertising expenses in a coordinated effort to exceed federal spending limits by $1-million. Conservative Senators Doug Finley and Irving Gerstein are among the four party members charged with breaking federal election laws by pooling funds from local candidates together to put them towards the 2006 national campaign.

The Globe and Mail


 
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Federal Court sides with Elections Canada in dispute with Conservatives

  1. So the "courts' have ruled! Try to explain this one Haperites. It is time for the party of "Law and Order" to actually obey the law and govern by the rules.

  2. So the "courts' have ruled! Try to explain this one Haperites. It is time for the party of "Law and Order" to actually obey the law and govern by the rules.

    • Harperites can take their Plank, and walk it to its very end!

    • A little late now don't you think? It only took 5 yrs for the appeals court to make a ruling. Do ya really think anyone other than the Libs & Dippers give a rats a$$…….BTW, still waiting for charges to be laid against Lib politicians for stealing bags of money re: Adscam! Obey the laws and govern by the rules indeed.

      • So you are asking for an inquiry a la Gormery? BTW ordinary Canadians care, they did not like Adscam and they do not like this!

        • MBToday… BTW ordinary Canadians cared about Adscam, but unfortunately for you and other Adscam party followers, this is no Adscam. Get a grip.

      • This will only play out like adscam if Harper has the stones to appoint an independent inquiry. I wouldn't buy a ticket in that pool.

      • The alleged fraud occurred in an earlier election, but the appeals court acted quite quickly. Don't quote me, but I think they took about one year to review the earlier decision.

  3. Time for the conbots to go to plan B…whad'ya mean there no plan B?

    Guess we'll just go with the first court ruling then and ignore the second.

  4. Time for the conbots to go to plan B…whad'ya mean there no plan B?

    Guess we'll just go with the first court ruling then and ignore the second.

    • You mean the way Adscam party followers ignore the first court ruling and go with the second?

      • Really! Gonna be a Gomery style inquir over this, is there? Thought not!

        • Why would there be, this isn't about the theft of millions of dollars from the treasury and laundered into Liberal party coffers. This about Liberals and liberal party supporters including the media, going ape s##t over a 5 year old accounting dispute, an accounting dispute that is still before the courts. Just because you wish this EC vendetta was as nefarious and criminal as Adscam was, doesn't make it so.

          • It's not just an "accounting dispute" when it involves scamming taxpayers. The CPC is allegedly claiming more rebates on campaign spending than they are entitled to (among other things).

            As costly as Adscam? No. As egregious an offence? Perhaps not.

            But that doesn't mean potentially illegal acts should be ignored unless they are "worse than Adscam". Especially when this government has gone out of its way to claim to be open, transparent, and tough on crime.

  5. Harperites can take their Plank, and walk it to its very end!

  6. Several weeks ago, the conservatives wanted to end the "subsidies" to political parties because they understand that any democratic mechanism that makes an election a contest of ideas instead of a contest of money is to the conservative party's disadvantage.

    This past week, the conservatives get caught by Canada's election watchdog claiming national campaign expenses as local expenses in 67 ridings and exceeding the national campaign-spending limit by more than $1-million.

    Now, the Federal Court of Appeal confirms Elections Canada's interpretation of electoral spending laws and the charges of wilfully overspending that were laid against the conservative party and four of its top campaign and fundraising officials, including two senators.

    Canada's democracy is in serious danger
    .
    I guess you can buy an election in this country if you have deeper pockets and a fatter chequebook than the other guy!

  7. A little late now don't you think? It only took 5 yrs for the appeals court to make a ruling. Do ya really think anyone other than the Libs & Dippers give a rats a$$…….BTW, still waiting for charges to be laid against Lib politicians for stealing bags of money re: Adscam! Obey the laws and govern by the rules indeed.

  8. Several weeks ago, the conservatives wanted to end the "subsidies" to political parties because they understand that any democratic mechanism that makes an election a contest of ideas instead of a contest of money is to the conservative party's disadvantage.

    This past week, the conservatives get caught by Canada's election watchdog claiming national campaign expenses as local expenses in 67 ridings and exceeding the national campaign-spending limit by more than $1-million.

    Now, the Federal Court of Appeal confirms Elections Canada's interpretation of electoral spending laws and the charges of wilfully overspending that were laid against the conservative party and four of its top campaign and fundraising officials, including two senators.

    Canada's democracy is in serious danger
    .
    I guess you can buy an election in this country if you have deeper pockets and a fatter chequebook than the other guy!

    • Guess so…….maybe time for the Lib/NDP to get off the taxpayer teet and actually figure out how to fund raise, maybe then they could buy their way in? Good luck with that!

      • Sorry it's the CPC that needs to get off our teets.

        At 75 cents on the dollar tax credit for donations to political parties and no ceiling on fundraising there is party deeper into the public trough than the Harper Conservatives. This judgement proves just how unscrupulously they went after our tax dollars.

      • Seriously? It is your view that buying an election is okay?

        • I don't think these people who are supporting Harper stand for anything anymore ….as long as their guy wins…

    • I think the Liberal party is in serious danger if they think the "in and out" scandal was the main reason they lost the 2006 election.

      I guess they're still so flummoxed and bitter over having been turfed….they continue to blame everyone else for their losses.

      One of the main reasons the party has been in such serious decline IMO.

    • I guess you can buy an election in this country if you have deeper pockets and a fatter chequebook than the other guy!

      Is that why there's been CPC majority after CPC majority?

    • What you thought this was a open and free democracy like we are trying to establish in Iraq?!?!?!? Well that explains a lot about this country yes? HAHAHA I was kidding.

  9. Can they nail Pierre Polievre for misleading the House now? He clearly said that the court had sided with the Conservatives on this just yesterday during Question Period.

  10. Can they nail Pierre Polievre for misleading the House now? He clearly said that the court had sided with the Conservatives on this just yesterday during Question Period.

    • The court had ruled in favour of the Conservatives, and now the court of appeal has ruled with EC. How is that misleading? Now we will have another appeal, further wasting taxpayer dollars so that EC can continue their double standard witch hunt. Can we then "nail" EC for misleading Canadians? Calm down dude, this isn't adscam.

      • First of all because the court never sided the Conservatives on the main issue. It refused to make a ruling on that initially. It just said that Elections Canada couldn't levy fines before the court case was done, that the evidence wasn't strong enough. Now the courts have gone further and said that the evidence is strong enough, and have sided with Elections Canada.

        • First of all, big deal. One court said one thing and another court said another thing. Now the taxpayer funded EC witch hunt continues in another court. I fail to see how this has anything to do with Polievre "misleading the House" as you asserted.

          • No witch hunt. The Conservatives broke the rules, may even have created fraudulent receipts. They fraudulently claimed over $600,000 of taxpayers' money in rebates. They got caught.

            How come if somebody grows a couple of pot plants you Conservatives want to lock him up and throw away the key, but when your guys break election laws you pretend it isn't important?

            And Polievre stood up and told the House at least ten times that the courts had found the Conservatives had done nothing wrong. That wasn't true before this decision…they had found no such thing…and now it's even less true.

  11. Dear AlphaNerd:

    Remember that civil case you were quoting extensively from to prove the CPC had done nothing wrong and that the laying of charges by the DPP must be some sort of Liberal conspiracy? Well, it just got overturned.

    Imagine that!

    I guess the FCA judges are all in on the conspiracy?

  12. Dear AlphaNerd:

    Remember that civil case you were quoting extensively from to prove the CPC had done nothing wrong and that the laying of charges by the DPP must be some sort of Liberal conspiracy? Well, it just got overturned.

    Imagine that!

    I guess the FCA judges are all in on the conspiracy?

    • Dear Keith,

      Does that mean you accept that this series of cases is at least relevant to the charges brought by EC, as you were recently denying? You decide to change your tune now that cases go your way? typical…

      i never suggested it was a liberal conspiracy – i alleged liberal bias by EC. see my extensive posts on the topic for evidence. anyhow, im looking for a link to the decision, so I can, you know read it, before i make my own mind about its relevance. its not on federal court of appeal site yet, and i cant imagine its on canlii either.

      in any event, even though this is clearly a blow to the conservatives, it doesnt mean criminal charges will stick, and i suspect the supreme court will hear the case.

      i wont pretend im not shocked by this news, i am. somebody on cbc radio claimed there were forged invoices at issue, something which had been explicitly ruled out at the FC level. very strange.

      • Nah; I was just yanking your chain!

        I haven't had a chance to read it yet either, but Wherry was good enought to provide a link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/inside-politics-b

        I'll read it later & we can trade barbs.

        • fair enough – i found that link too – thanks anyways.

          looking forward to trading barbs.

        • So, I just read most of it – its far less of a bombshell then what is being suggested by the likes of o'malley and wherry. The FCA just says that the decision of EC was "reasonable", not necessarily "correct", which is the applicable standard of review in this case. See par. 109:
          The question is whether there was material before the CEOC on which he could reasonably have based his decision, not whether he made the correct or even the better decision.

          On the more important issue of the interpretation of the act, even EC now agrees that the media buy was incurred by the candidate, but there is a question as to how the costs were apportioned between candidates – and the court hints that there may have been allocation of costs based solely on how much of a candidate had left on his spending limit. However, they dont investigate this in detail, and the court then suggests, at paragraph 129, that maybe the allocation of the conservatives is kosher.

          [129] In our view, there are no hard and fast rules applicable to the proper allocation of pooled election expenses. Indeed, this was recognized by the CEOC in an example cited by the Respondent. In that case, where pooled advertising was placed in Chinese language newspapers in the Vancouver area during the 2005-2006 general election, expenses were allocated among campaigns based upon the level of Chinese language readership in each riding. This demonstrates that, given an appropriate basis in the relevant facts, pooled election expenses may carry different values in different ridings so that an unequal sharing of costs is appropriate.

          So, while not good news for the Conservatives, this decision is not as big a deal as its made out to be.

          • Just gave it a quick skim… I tend to agree it's not as big deal as it's being made out to be; but then, I thought a much bigger deal was being made of the original decision than was warranted.

            You (and much of the CPC) were misrepresenting the FC decision as a sweeping endorsement of the whole in-and-out scheme,and were arguing that, as a result, there was bias and the whiff of a witch hunt to the recent decision to prosecute four Party members over the scheme.

            I countered that the case was only directly applicable to the applicants, and it was wrong to construe the decision so broadly. The FCA clearly agrees; at para 11: "However, this is a test case, not a representive proceeding."

            This is a setback for the CPC propaganda machine, but is not really determinative of the legality of the scheme. For that, we'll have to wait on the quasi-criminal proceeding launched last week. In the meantime, though, the CPC have predictably announced their intent to appeal to the SCC. With all the spin they've put behind this case, they would look like lying fools if they didn't.

          • The previous FC decision did endorse the interpretation of the Elections Act which was favoured by the Conservatives. I mistakenly believed the whole thing to turn on this one issue – turns out there's more to it.

            But that was still a very important battle to win, and the conservatives won it conclusively, and the FCA decision further supports this notion that the proper interpretation of the act is the one favoured by Conservatives (and EC prior to 2006 election). BTW, it is the switch in EC's interpretation of the act at this very specific time which makes accusations of liberal bias at EC plausible.

            Also, both the FC and the FCA suggest that the whole in-and-out scheme is legal. What's unresolved is that the Conservatives may have used the in-out scheme to attribute expenses to candidates not based on fair market value of services received, but on the ability of a candidate to take on the expenses. That is the question – the "scheme" is legal, as long as the candidate did in fact incur the expenses claimed.

          • I agree; the scheme is legal if properly carried out – which is why other parties aren't being charged. The issue is whether or not the CPC properly followed the rules.

            I don't, however, agree that "the FCA decision further supports this notion that the proper interpretation of the act is the one favoured by Conservatives" – in fact, I think the FCA makes the opposite case. They seem to indicate that the CPC misapplied both the intent and the letter of the law. At least, that's how I read it. I admit I only gave it a light skim rather than a detailed read – but with 19 years of practice skimming judgments as part of my job, I'm pretty good at getting the gist of a case.

          • In the meantime, Elections Canada has spent $84,000 in this exercise. I would like to know, in fairness, if the other parties have received this kind of scrutiny. I have heard of several Lib/NDP ridings who practised the same thing but have not been called to task on it. Fair is fair.

  13. What is interesting, the comments sections for this story are closed down on cbc and globe and mail web sites. Globe and mail site even claims it was done "for legal reasons". What's going on here? Is macleans.ca becoming the sole democratic and uncensored news site?

  14. Guess so…….maybe time for the Lib/NDP to get off the taxpayer teet and actually figure out how to fund raise, maybe then they could buy their way in? Good luck with that!

  15. What is interesting, the comments sections for this story are closed down on cbc and globe and mail web sites. Globe and mail site even claims it was done "for legal reasons". What's going on here? Is macleans.ca becoming the sole democratic and uncensored news site?

    • I noticed that too and wondered whether the other papers had been censored – it has been a bit "eastern bloc" in Canada of late.

      • BWB, they censor themselves.

    • I think it's lawsuit chill. I've noticed that both the CBC and the Globe have been very careful about how they word things on this. They can't control what posters say though.

    • The CBC has 700+ comments on their website…a bit of disinformation going on, perhaps?

  16. So you are asking for an inquiry a la Gormery? BTW ordinary Canadians care, they did not like Adscam and they do not like this!

  17. I noticed that too and wondered whether the other papers had been censored – it has been a bit "eastern bloc" in Canada of late.

  18. Hmmm…it's starting to look like systemic fraud. The BigCorp. media has been giving ample cover for the Harpercrites on this story (the National comPost didn't even report it for a couple of days) but all for naught now. Guess the Liberals now have all they need for their next commercial: "Stephen Harper: Fraudster-in-Chief."

  19. Hmmm…it's starting to look like systemic fraud. The BigCorp. media has been giving ample cover for the Harpercrites on this story (the National comPost didn't even report it for a couple of days) but all for naught now. Guess the Liberals now have all they need for their next commercial: "Stephen Harper: Fraudster-in-Chief."

  20. This will only play out like adscam if Harper has the stones to appoint an independent inquiry. I wouldn't buy a ticket in that pool.

  21. The alleged fraud occurred in an earlier election, but the appeals court acted quite quickly. Don't quote me, but I think they took about one year to review the earlier decision.

  22. Dear Keith,

    Does that mean you accept that this series of cases is at least relevant to the charges brought by EC, as you were recently denying? You decide to change your tune now that cases go your way? typical…

    i never suggested it was a liberal conspiracy – i alleged liberal bias by EC. see my extensive posts on the topic for evidence. anyhow, im looking for a link to the decision, so I can, you know read it, before i make my own mind about its relevance. its not on federal court of appeal site yet, and i cant imagine its on canlii either.

    in any event, even though this is clearly a blow to the conservatives, it doesnt mean criminal charges will stick, and i suspect the supreme court will hear the case.

    i wont pretend im not shocked by this news, i am. somebody on cbc radio claimed there were forged invoices at issue, something which had been explicitly ruled out at the FC level. very strange.

  23. Nah; I was just yanking your chain!

    I haven't had a chance to read it yet either, but Wherry was good enought to provide a link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/inside-politics-b

    I'll read it later & we can trade barbs.

  24. While several have written about the additional $1 million in extra advertising the Conservatives were able to exceed their spending limit by, few have commented on the fact that 67 Conservative candidates were also able to obtain rebates from Elections Canada on this expenditure.

    By my calculations the amount that the Conservative Party in essence has stolen from the Canadian taxpayer is about $670,000. And Harper, Poilievre and company have the audacity to crow about their "law and order" agenda.

    In days gone by there was much talk about Tory bagmen and illicit campaign donations. This is worst – now they're trying to fleece Elections Canada and buy our vote with our own hard earned tax dollars.

    SHAME and I hope the four Tory officials who are charged with creating this scheme when they go to court aren't released on their own recognizance so that they won't get 2 for 1 credit for time spent when they're eventually sentenced!!!

  25. While several have written about the additional $1 million in extra advertising the Conservatives were able to exceed their spending limit by, few have commented on the fact that 67 Conservative candidates were also able to obtain rebates from Elections Canada on this expenditure.

    By my calculations the amount that the Conservative Party in essence has stolen from the Canadian taxpayer is about $670,000. And Harper, Poilievre and company have the audacity to crow about their "law and order" agenda.

    In days gone by there was much talk about Tory bagmen and illicit campaign donations. This is worst – now they're trying to fleece Elections Canada and buy our vote with our own hard earned tax dollars.

    SHAME and I hope the four Tory officials who are charged with creating this scheme when they go to court aren't released on their own recognizance so that they won't get 2 for 1 credit for time spent when they're eventually sentenced!!!

    • Those 67 candidates must be some of the unreported crime who Stockwell Day was building prisons for.

  26. fair enough – i found that link too – thanks anyways.

    looking forward to trading barbs.

  27. I wonder how this will fit into the Conservative pledge of Accountability and Transparency?

    I strongly suspect that they will increase the Michael Ignatieff attack ads.

    At what point are they responsible for their own record?

    Forget the coalition bogeyman.
    Forget Yankee Michael Dandy.

    Why don't they bring the issues and their record to the debate table?

    Because they are now the source of the fetid stench they pledged to drive out of Ottawa. That's why

  28. I wonder how this will fit into the Conservative pledge of Accountability and Transparency?

    I strongly suspect that they will increase the Michael Ignatieff attack ads.

    At what point are they responsible for their own record?

    Forget the coalition bogeyman.
    Forget Yankee Michael Dandy.

    Why don't they bring the issues and their record to the debate table?

    Because they are now the source of the fetid stench they pledged to drive out of Ottawa. That's why

  29. To the Supreme Court we go then, I guess! See y'all in 18 months!

  30. The conservative party has created a cult mentality in its followers that, allows them, to do virtually anything that might be asked of them, even if it's against the law!

  31. To the Supreme Court we go then, I guess! See y'all in 18 months!

    • Not so fast. The court decision by the three judges was unanimous and the detail of 57-page decision will make it less likely the Supreme Court will grant the party leave to appeal.

      • Well, the Supreme Court seems to like to hear appeals of legal issues that it considers interesting or important. The unanimity of the Federal Court of Appeal probably won't affect their decision one way or another. (Assuming, as I am, that the respondents will in fact seek leave to appeal.)

  32. The conservative party has created a cult mentality in its followers that, allows them, to do virtually anything that might be asked of them, even if it's against the law!

    • This coming from a Trudeauvian cultist, and an adscam party follower. Hilarious!

      • If you want to compare this to Adscam, that's fine with me, Enslaved. Lets have a full inquiry playing on CBC News every day for weeks. Let's get those 67 candidates to testify in public and under oath. Let's get Finley on the stand. Let's get Harper up there too.

        • Adscam was a nefarious pre-meditated criminal act of fraud, malfeasance, and theft of 100's of millions of dollars from the taxpayer and then laundered into Liberal party coffers. The dispute between EC and the Conservative Government is not criminal, just an over blown, hysterical witch hunt. There is no comparison to be made.

          • Adscam is over. The Liberals were removed from government for it. Your bringing it up repeatedly makes you the one making the comparison. The Harper-appointed prosecutor said that there were serious illegalities in this case, which is why he went ahead with charges.

            If Harper and his pals are so innocent though, then a full public inquiry would show that. We should have one.

          • democracyseeker's point made; witness one cult member. Westnewf and JamesHalifax chime in later.

      • Still living in the past enslaved? Let's put todays issues on the table, shall we?

        I'm perfectly happy to have Canadians decide based on today's real issues. Why aren't the Conservatives.

        • I thought 2006 was the past, apparently not. I'm perfectly happy to put todays issues on the table, this isn't one of them. The only people living in the past are the Liberals, their followers, and the media.

          • This coming from a Trudeauvian cultist, and an adscam party follower

            an over blown, hysterical witch hunt

            The only people living in the past are the Liberals, their followers, and the media.

            Is this a pamphlet you print up and leave at the bus station?

            When is the next installment? I can't wait to read how Stephen Harper's clever, but illegal plan to skirt the rules and funnel more money into attack ads was necessary to stop the coalition of separatists; it was for our own good.

            Overblown witch hunt indeed.

  33. Those 67 candidates must be some of the unreported crime who Stockwell Day was building prisons for.

  34. You mean the way Adscam party followers ignore the first court ruling and go with the second?

  35. The court had ruled in favour of the Conservatives, and now the court of appeal has ruled with EC. How is that misleading? Now we will have another appeal, further wasting taxpayer dollars so that EC can continue their double standard witch hunt. Can we then "nail" EC for misleading Canadians? Calm down dude, this isn't adscam.

  36. This coming from a Trudeauvian cultist, and an adscam party follower. Hilarious!

  37. Really! Gonna be a Gomery style inquir over this, is there? Thought not!

  38. EC vendetta against the Conservative Government continues. I just hope that when EC eventually loses this court battle that there will be an investigation into EC questionable behaviour.

  39. EC vendetta against the Conservative Government continues. I just hope that when EC eventually loses this court battle that there will be an investigation into EC questionable behaviour.

      • Ha, Ha, Ha, thanks for that! That was really funny!! A disgruntled, failed "Conservative" candidate and the uber-Liberal Winnipeg Free press say so, so it must be true… Oy… get a grip, put down you're torch and pitch fork socialistseeker this isn't Adscam, and this isn't 2006, no matter what the media and the Liberals tell you to think.

        • The "uber-Liberal Winnipeg Free Press" is owned by two Conservative businessmen and generally leans to the right editorially. That Conservative candidate was neither failed nor disgruntled when he turned down the money.

        • "this isn't Adscam"…..hmmmmmm…I wonder how many times I am going to hear that bit of deflection in the next two or three weeks?

          • It wouldn't matter how many times you heard it, you'd still think Adscam was no big deal.

  40. First of all because the court never sided the Conservatives on the main issue. It refused to make a ruling on that initially. It just said that Elections Canada couldn't levy fines before the court case was done, that the evidence wasn't strong enough. Now the courts have gone further and said that the evidence is strong enough, and have sided with Elections Canada.

  41. BWB, they censor themselves.

  42. I think it's lawsuit chill. I've noticed that both the CBC and the Globe have been very careful about how they word things on this. They can't control what posters say though.

  43. Latest Ipsos is cons 43%, libs 27%, ndp 13%. This EC nonsense will not impact the growing trend indicating a con majority.

  44. Latest Ipsos is cons 43%, libs 27%, ndp 13%. This EC nonsense will not impact the growing trend indicating a con majority.

      • And no link to the poll, or the questions. Yay clarity!

        • I looked but I had no success in finding the questions on the poll…..

          • It's just a general annoyance I have with all polling in the media. I work with people who do research. I've seen live demos with focus groups on how to get wildly different results with different wording of a question.

            In a case like this, where the media guys comission the poll, they now own it, so have no excuse not to release the whole thing. But they don't.

  45. If you want to compare this to Adscam, that's fine with me, Enslaved. Lets have a full inquiry playing on CBC News every day for weeks. Let's get those 67 candidates to testify in public and under oath. Let's get Finley on the stand. Let's get Harper up there too.

  46. MBToday… BTW ordinary Canadians cared about Adscam, but unfortunately for you and other Adscam party followers, this is no Adscam. Get a grip.

  47. Well, if the Conservatives are "guilty" so are all the others. As an interesting aside, last time i was involved in a federal court case the judge actually stroked the DOJ counsel for a paper he'd recently written. Let's not forget it is unlikely the Justice was a conservative appointment.

  48. Well, if the Conservatives are "guilty" so are all the others. As an interesting aside, last time i was involved in a federal court case the judge actually stroked the DOJ counsel for a paper he'd recently written. Let's not forget it is unlikely the Justice was a conservative appointment.

    • The 'in and out' practice isn't illegal… it is when you use it to exceed spending limits. That's the kicker, as I understand it.

    • Two of the three Justices who heard this appeal were Harper appointees (Trudel and Dawson JJ.). Evans J. was a Chretien appointee.

      • Huh, apparently it was likely.

    • Nice… the court doesn't decide in the CPC's favour, so you slander the judges.

      • Judges do enough to slander they're own reputations.

        • You should go to a court of law and tell them that.

          • What the who now?

  49. Still living in the past enslaved? Let's put todays issues on the table, shall we?

    I'm perfectly happy to have Canadians decide based on today's real issues. Why aren't the Conservatives.

  50. Sorry it's the CPC that needs to get off our teets.

    At 75 cents on the dollar tax credit for donations to political parties and no ceiling on fundraising there is party deeper into the public trough than the Harper Conservatives. This judgement proves just how unscrupulously they went after our tax dollars.

  51. Not so fast. The court decision by the three judges was unanimous and the detail of 57-page decision will make it less likely the Supreme Court will grant the party leave to appeal.

  52. The only Conservative candidate who refused to participate in the party's in-and-out election financing scheme says he's gratified that the Federal Court of Appeal has sided with Elections Canada and that criminal charges have been laid against Tory officials.

    David Marler, a lawyer who ran for the party in 2006, turned party officials down when they asked to deposit money in his campaign account and almost immediately remove it for national advertising. About 66 other candidates agreed to the request.

    "It always seemed to me that the in-and-out was irregular and illegal," Marler said in an interview.

    "It is gratifying to note that the Federal Court (of Appeal) has come to the same opinion, which always seemed to me to be obvious. I think they're doing the right thing by prosecuting the alleged offenders."
    http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/breakingn

  53. The only Conservative candidate who refused to participate in the party's in-and-out election financing scheme says he's gratified that the Federal Court of Appeal has sided with Elections Canada and that criminal charges have been laid against Tory officials.

    David Marler, a lawyer who ran for the party in 2006, turned party officials down when they asked to deposit money in his campaign account and almost immediately remove it for national advertising. About 66 other candidates agreed to the request.

    "It always seemed to me that the in-and-out was irregular and illegal," Marler said in an interview.

    "It is gratifying to note that the Federal Court (of Appeal) has come to the same opinion, which always seemed to me to be obvious. I think they're doing the right thing by prosecuting the alleged offenders."
    http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/breakingn

    • If he hasn't already handed in his membership, you can bet they'll pull it for that.

      Onnthe other hand, if he were to run inmy riding, under ANY banner, I'd seriously consider voting for him. Honest politicians are as rare as hen's teeth.

    • Not to denigrate your point, but the Winnipeg Free Press is like the uncomfortable version of toilet paper.

      • "Not to denigrate your point, but…"

        That's like saying "Don't take this personally, but you're a real aXXhole." Work on your technique.

  54. The 'in and out' practice isn't illegal… it is when you use it to exceed spending limits. That's the kicker, as I understand it.

  55. So, I just read most of it – its far less of a bombshell then what is being suggested by the likes of o'malley and wherry. The FCA just says that the decision of EC was "reasonable", not necessarily "correct", which is the applicable standard of review in this case. See par. 109:
    The question is whether there was material before the CEOC on which he could reasonably have based his decision, not whether he made the correct or even the better decision.

    On the more important issue of the interpretation of the act, even EC now agrees that the media buy was incurred by the candidate, but there is a question as to how the costs were apportioned between candidates – and the court hints that there may have been allocation of costs based solely on how much of a candidate had left on his spending limit. However, they dont investigate this in detail, and the court then suggests, at paragraph 129, that maybe the allocation of the conservatives is kosher.

    [129] In our view, there are no hard and fast rules applicable to the proper allocation of pooled election expenses. Indeed, this was recognized by the CEOC in an example cited by the Respondent. In that case, where pooled advertising was placed in Chinese language newspapers in the Vancouver area during the 2005-2006 general election, expenses were allocated among campaigns based upon the level of Chinese language readership in each riding. This demonstrates that, given an appropriate basis in the relevant facts, pooled election expenses may carry different values in different ridings so that an unequal sharing of costs is appropriate.

    So, while not good news for the Conservatives, this decision is not as big a deal as its made out to be.

  56. Two of the three Justices who heard this appeal were Harper appointees (Trudel and Dawson JJ.). Evans J. was a Chretien appointee.

  57. Well, the Supreme Court seems to like to hear appeals of legal issues that it considers interesting or important. The unanimity of the Federal Court of Appeal probably won't affect their decision one way or another. (Assuming, as I am, that the respondents will in fact seek leave to appeal.)

  58. Liberal Press in full attack mode now that the polls have the Tories at 43%. Boom, Boom, Boom. Liberal heads exploding!

  59. Liberal Press in full attack mode now that the polls have the Tories at 43%. Boom, Boom, Boom. Liberal heads exploding!

  60. True, at least adscam came about because we were trying to keep the country together. This? This was just so conservatives could get elected.

  61. Westnefw

    So the polls exonerate the tory scam? You cons are nauseating.

  62. Westnefw

    So the polls exonerate the tory scam? You cons are nauseating.

  63. Sorry I spelled newf wrong

    BOOM BOOM BOOM BARS CLOSING BEHIND TORY SCAMMERS

    Let's see who's tough on crime now,you hypocrit lowlifes

  64. Sorry I spelled newf wrong

    BOOM BOOM BOOM BARS CLOSING BEHIND TORY SCAMMERS

    Let's see who's tough on crime now,you hypocrit lowlifes

    • This isn't a criminal case, you ill-informed turd.

      • Let's see,the four fraudsters are appearing in court,but it's not criminal? Spin away Baird clone!

      • A year in jail is one of the possible penalties.

  65. Seriously? It is your view that buying an election is okay?

  66. Just gave it a quick skim… I tend to agree it's not as big deal as it's being made out to be; but then, I thought a much bigger deal was being made of the original decision than was warranted.

    You (and much of the CPC) were misrepresenting the FC decision as a sweeping endorsement of the whole in-and-out scheme,and were arguing that, as a result, there was bias and the whiff of a witch hunt to the recent decision to prosecute four Party members over the scheme.

    I countered that the case was only directly applicable to the applicants, and it was wrong to construe the decision so broadly. The FCA clearly agrees; at para 11: "However, this is a test case, not a representive proceeding."

    This is a setback for the CPC propaganda machine, but is not really determinative of the legality of the scheme. For that, we'll have to wait on the quasi-criminal proceeding launched last week. In the meantime, though, the CPC have predictably announced their intent to appeal to the SCC. With all the spin they've put behind this case, they would look like lying fools if they didn't.

  67. Why would there be, this isn't about the theft of millions of dollars from the treasury and laundered into Liberal party coffers. This about Liberals and liberal party supporters including the media, going ape s##t over a 5 year old accounting dispute, an accounting dispute that is still before the courts. Just because you wish this EC vendetta was as nefarious and criminal as Adscam was, doesn't make it so.

  68. Nice… the court doesn't decide in the CPC's favour, so you slander the judges.

  69. If he hasn't already handed in his membership, you can bet they'll pull it for that.

    Onnthe other hand, if he were to run inmy riding, under ANY banner, I'd seriously consider voting for him. Honest politicians are as rare as hen's teeth.

  70. First of all, big deal. One court said one thing and another court said another thing. Now the taxpayer funded EC witch hunt continues in another court. I fail to see how this has anything to do with Polievre "misleading the House" as you asserted.

  71. No witch hunt. The Conservatives broke the rules, may even have created fraudulent receipts. They fraudulently claimed over $600,000 of taxpayers' money in rebates. They got caught.

    How come if somebody grows a couple of pot plants you Conservatives want to lock him up and throw away the key, but when your guys break election laws you pretend it isn't important?

    And Polievre stood up and told the House at least ten times that the courts had found the Conservatives had done nothing wrong. That wasn't true before this decision…they had found no such thing…and now it's even less true.

  72. Ha, Ha, Ha, thanks for that! That was really funny!! A disgruntled, failed "Conservative" candidate and the uber-Liberal Winnipeg Free press say so, so it must be true… Oy… get a grip, put down you're torch and pitch fork socialistseeker this isn't Adscam, and this isn't 2006, no matter what the media and the Liberals tell you to think.

  73. And no link to the poll, or the questions. Yay clarity!

  74. Judges do enough to slander they're own reputations.

  75. This isn't a criminal case, you ill-informed turd.

  76. I thought 2006 was the past, apparently not. I'm perfectly happy to put todays issues on the table, this isn't one of them. The only people living in the past are the Liberals, their followers, and the media.

  77. Adscam was a nefarious pre-meditated criminal act of fraud, malfeasance, and theft of 100's of millions of dollars from the taxpayer and then laundered into Liberal party coffers. The dispute between EC and the Conservative Government is not criminal, just an over blown, hysterical witch hunt. There is no comparison to be made.

  78. You should go to a court of law and tell them that.

  79. Huh, apparently it was likely.

  80. Thank you for pointing that out to the Liberal turd, enslaved. Forgive him his head hurts from exploding! Boom! Ho there goes another Liberal head! He He!

  81. Thank you for pointing that out to the Liberal turd, enslaved. Forgive him his head hurts from exploding! Boom! Ho there goes another Liberal head! He He!

  82. A noble theft! A curteous deceit! You make it sound so classy.

  83. A noble theft! A curteous deceit! You make it sound so classy.

    • Adscam was about the pre=meditated criminal thieving of taxpayer money and then laundered into Liberal party coffers. Adscam was theft, malfeasance and fraud. This issue with EC is not criminal and is essentially a witch hunt by the unaccountable bureaucrats at EC. Quite different.

      • in-and-out is about the pre-meditated criminal thieving of taxpayer reimbursements for campaign expenses and then laundered into CPC party coffers. In-and-out is theft, malfeasance, and fraud. This issue with the EC is not yet criminal because the CPC will spend party and taxpayer funds on their defence until the ends of the earth, rather than appointing any sort of commission to investigate the matter, and is essentially a fight by the Harper appointed EC to ensure that the CPC actually follow the laws of this country. The difference is that Adscam was perpetrated by various people at the bottom end of the Liberal party, while In-and-out was authorized by the top brass of the CPC.

        • Uh…better check your facts there.

          "In and Out" financing is NOT a criminal offense…no matter how much money the CPC does or does not spend on defending itself.

          • Semantically, you may be correct.

            Taking money from Canadian taxpayers that you're not entitled to is theft, and criminal behavior in my opinion. Period.

          • Depends on how it's done; there's a right way and a wrong way. According to the EC and now the DPP, the CPC went about it in a way that makes what they did illegal.

            Driving is legal too – as long as you obey the rules of the road. Try driving west in eastbound traffic, or on a sidewalk, and see how legal the cops think your behaviour is.

    • Given the choice between unscrupulous people taking advantage of a program designed to keep our country together, and a premeditated theft of taxpayer funded campaign reimbursements perpetrated by the heads of party, I'll go with the guys who at least managed to balance the budget while doing it.

  84. Not to denigrate your point, but the Winnipeg Free Press is like the uncomfortable version of toilet paper.

  85. Adscam was about the pre=meditated criminal thieving of taxpayer money and then laundered into Liberal party coffers. Adscam was theft, malfeasance and fraud. This issue with EC is not criminal and is essentially a witch hunt by the unaccountable bureaucrats at EC. Quite different.

  86. So goes the politics of the political appointees on the bench, so goes the decision. Right and wrong disappeared long ago in favour of political bias. To respect todays courts is to give credence to Charlie Sheen. The wingnuts on the left have really ramped up their insane screeching at the Conservatives now it looks like they may get a majority. Such honest reporters. How you gonna get a Senate appointment or a Governor Generlship without your liberals in power.

  87. So goes the politics of the political appointees on the bench, so goes the decision. Right and wrong disappeared long ago in favour of political bias. To respect todays courts is to give credence to Charlie Sheen. The wingnuts on the left have really ramped up their insane screeching at the Conservatives now it looks like they may get a majority. Such honest reporters. How you gonna get a Senate appointment or a Governor Generlship without your liberals in power.

    • Two of the judges in this decision were Harper appointees.

      Both the head of Elections Canada and the prosecutor who laid the charges against the four Conservative officials are Conservative appointees.

      According to your thesis, the Conservatives must be really, really guilty.

      • Uh oh. Talking point malfunction!

  88. This coming from a Trudeauvian cultist, and an adscam party follower

    an over blown, hysterical witch hunt

    The only people living in the past are the Liberals, their followers, and the media.

    Is this a pamphlet you print up and leave at the bus station?

    When is the next installment? I can't wait to read how Stephen Harper's clever, but illegal plan to skirt the rules and funnel more money into attack ads was necessary to stop the coalition of separatists; it was for our own good.

    Overblown witch hunt indeed.

  89. This whole episode about "in-and-out" is ridiculous. The other parties did the same thing, but Elections Canada is only concerned when Conservatives do it.

    I watched Ralph Goodale and Iggy spout off about "criminal" behaviour in the House, but talked about "illegality" outside the protection of the House.

  90. This whole episode about "in-and-out" is ridiculous. The other parties did the same thing, but Elections Canada is only concerned when Conservatives do it.

    I watched Ralph Goodale and Iggy spout off about "criminal" behaviour in the House, but talked about "illegality" outside the protection of the House.

    • E.C. is "concerned" because it exceeded spending limits…..now I imagine you will want an inquiry…..right?

      • Exceeded spending limits is how EC interrprets it, not the Conservatives. The other parties did it too….not that this excuses the actions.

        The question is whether this is a Criminal Code infraction. It is not. It's equivalent to a dispute between beaurocrats about policy. As I said below……you could go to jail for not answer Census questions not too long ago.

        • The other parties didn't do it to the point where it exceeded spending limits.

          • How do you know? You wouldn't care even if they did exceed spending limits. You only care because EC is saying the Cons exceeded spending limits.

        • "Two of the judges in this decision were Harper appointees."

          "Both the head of Elections Canada and the prosecutor who laid the charges against the four Conservative officials are Conservative appointees."

          Actually it DOES look like the Conservatives are interrpreting it as exceeded spending limits….

    • "The other parties did the same thing, but Elections Canada is only concerned when Conservatives do it."

      The kid who wears a mask and knocks at your door asking for candy? That's Halloween. A legal use of a mask.
      The kid with the mask smashing windows on Yonge Street during the G20?
      Illegal use of the same mask.

      Guess which one is the Conservative party here?

      • MostlyCivil:
        Of course, you are wrong as usual. As in the in-out debate, putting on a mask for halloween is not criminal in nature. Wearing a mask to commit a crime…..is.

        • You have your analogy wrong. I'll provide you a short re-cap.
          in-and-out. – using money raised by people who willingly donated to the Conservative Party. Not Criminal
          ADSCAM – laundering money through false contracts and kicking back stolen proceeds to the Liberal Party. Definitely criminal in nature.

          See the difference yet?

          • in-and-out. Taking money from taxpayers through the elections canada reimbursement program.

            See what we're talking about here?

        • Exactly.

          If the process is carried out correctly, the candidate is paying fair-market share; contracts are clear; spending limits are not exceeded. Proper use of "mask".

          However, the FCA indicates that there is reasonable doubt as to whether all these things were done; they agree with the EC that it looks more like a last-minute workaround to hide overspending on the part of the national campaign. Ilegal use of "mask".

          The DPP (Harper appointee) also thinks the EC is correct; hence the quasi-criminal charges laid last week.

          • The above was supposed to be a reply to JamesHalifax, not MostlyCivil.

  91. Goodale and other Liberals made a point about the seriousness of the actions of the Conservatives by using the mantra, "People could go to jail for this"…blah..blah..blah…

  92. Here's a reminder. Up until a few months ago, people could also go to jail for refusing to tell Census Canada how many bedrooms they have in their home. People could go to jail for not paying their speeding tickets. In fact, people can go to jail for a lot of things that are not criminal in nature…..but they rarely do.

  93. Goodale and other Liberals made a point about the seriousness of the actions of the Conservatives by using the mantra, "People could go to jail for this"…blah..blah..blah…

    • And so you think going to jail is NOT a serious matter?

  94. Here's a reminder. Up until a few months ago, people could also go to jail for refusing to tell Census Canada how many bedrooms they have in their home. People could go to jail for not paying their speeding tickets. In fact, people can go to jail for a lot of things that are not criminal in nature…..but they rarely do.

    • So?…what the heck does that have to do with exceeding spending limits?

    • So you're saying that a politician representing his/her constituents should be free to break the law without conequence? That breaking the law is unimportant if the result is electoral success? You seem to think the end justifies the means (much like those Adscammers you like to vilify).

      Given the CPC's claims to be hard on crime and strict followers of the law, how do you reconcile the party's stated policies with their alleged behaviour?

  95. The in-out activities were widely practiced by all parties (in fact, it was originated by the BLOC)…..but only the conservatives were charged by Elections Canada. This is an "Administrative" dispute…clear and simple. The conservatives interpretted the rules one way…and Elections canada choose another.

    No crimes committed…….sorry Ralph.

    $

  96. The in-out activities were widely practiced by all parties (in fact, it was originated by the BLOC)…..but only the conservatives were charged by Elections Canada. This is an "Administrative" dispute…clear and simple. The conservatives interpretted the rules one way…and Elections canada choose another.

    No crimes committed…….sorry Ralph.

    $

    • As Gottabesaid said earlier, the in and out isn't the problem. It's the using it to exceed limits. That's the problem. Same with Oda, it's the not being truthful, not whether or not she had the right to overrule her recommendations!
      Of course the opposition will try and milk it, but those are the issues, not number of bedrooms, and courage and administrative shiat the Cons are spinning.

      • easy way to explain the issue?

        Driving a car is a lawful activity.
        Using a car as a post-robbery getaway vehicle turns that into an illegal act.

        • MostlyCivil…
          You really need to work on your anologies. Lame.

          driving a car – not criminal
          using a car to commit a robbery – criminal

          in-and -out used by Liberals, NDP and Bloc…not criminal
          In-and-out used by Conservatives – not criminal

          Adscam – fully criminal.

          • You've got it! Except the difference isn't who used it. It was how it was used.

          • "In-and-out used by Conservatives – not criminal"

            Let's wait until the courts have their say before making that call. And before you start calling them "Liberal appointees" again, just a quick reminder of what others have pointed out many times on this thread already: two of three Fed CA judges on the panel that handed down yesterday's unanimous decision areCPC appointees; the DPP who is pushing forward the prosecution of four party members – also a Tory appointee.

            SOME people (arguably, most Canadians) are able to put partisan loyalties to one side and do what is right rather than what is best for their party of choice.

            "Adscam – fully criminal." Yep! You won't find many of ANY stripe who would say different. But what bearing does that have on the actions of the current government?

      • The interpretation used by the Conservatives means they did not consider the national party to be exceeding the limits. That's the point. EC disagrees…fine. They've been taken to court before and lost.

        If the Conservatives lose this case…not the big deal the Liberals are pretending it to be. Slap a fine on…and move along. If the Conservatives win……Liberal heads will explode.

        • So, you're arguing that everyone else did it and only the Cons got busted, so unfair!
          or
          It's not a big deal, so the fact that the others did it isn't a big deal.

          If you spin too fast, you drill. be careful.

    • It was a conservative party attempt to fraudulently fleece the taxpayers of Canada.

      Back when I was a kid on the farm, my dad often said, that there were two things not long for this world. They were dogs that chase cars and politicians who lie to the people!

  97. I don't think these people who are supporting Harper stand for anything anymore ….as long as their guy wins…

  98. I looked but I had no success in finding the questions on the poll…..

  99. As Gottabesaid said earlier, the in and out isn't the problem. It's the using it to exceed limits. That's the problem. Same with Oda, it's the not being truthful, not whether or not she had the right to overrule her recommendations!
    Of course the opposition will try and milk it, but those are the issues, not number of bedrooms, and courage and administrative shiat the Cons are spinning.

  100. Adscam is over. The Liberals were removed from government for it. Your bringing it up repeatedly makes you the one making the comparison. The Harper-appointed prosecutor said that there were serious illegalities in this case, which is why he went ahead with charges.

    If Harper and his pals are so innocent though, then a full public inquiry would show that. We should have one.

  101. The "uber-Liberal Winnipeg Free Press" is owned by two Conservative businessmen and generally leans to the right editorially. That Conservative candidate was neither failed nor disgruntled when he turned down the money.

  102. JamesHalifax

    You sound like a Polievre clone.One rule for cons,and another for the rest of Canadians eh! Your leader is a liar and a cheat!

  103. JamesHalifax

    You sound like a Polievre clone.One rule for cons,and another for the rest of Canadians eh! Your leader is a liar and a cheat!

  104. Let's see,the four fraudsters are appearing in court,but it's not criminal? Spin away Baird clone!

  105. A year in jail is one of the possible penalties.

  106. Two of the judges in this decision were Harper appointees.

    Both the head of Elections Canada and the prosecutor who laid the charges against the four Conservative officials are Conservative appointees.

    According to your thesis, the Conservatives must be really, really guilty.

  107. "this isn't Adscam"…..hmmmmmm…I wonder how many times I am going to hear that bit of deflection in the next two or three weeks?

  108. It's just a general annoyance I have with all polling in the media. I work with people who do research. I've seen live demos with focus groups on how to get wildly different results with different wording of a question.

    In a case like this, where the media guys comission the poll, they now own it, so have no excuse not to release the whole thing. But they don't.

  109. E.C. is "concerned" because it exceeded spending limits…..now I imagine you will want an inquiry…..right?

  110. easy way to explain the issue?

    Driving a car is a lawful activity.
    Using a car as a post-robbery getaway vehicle turns that into an illegal act.

  111. "The other parties did the same thing, but Elections Canada is only concerned when Conservatives do it."

    The kid who wears a mask and knocks at your door asking for candy? That's Halloween. A legal use of a mask.
    The kid with the mask smashing windows on Yonge Street during the G20?
    Illegal use of the same mask.

    Guess which one is the Conservative party here?

  112. Uh oh. Talking point malfunction!

  113. "Not to denigrate your point, but…"

    That's like saying "Don't take this personally, but you're a real aXXhole." Work on your technique.

  114. The previous FC decision did endorse the interpretation of the Elections Act which was favoured by the Conservatives. I mistakenly believed the whole thing to turn on this one issue – turns out there's more to it.

    But that was still a very important battle to win, and the conservatives won it conclusively, and the FCA decision further supports this notion that the proper interpretation of the act is the one favoured by Conservatives (and EC prior to 2006 election). BTW, it is the switch in EC's interpretation of the act at this very specific time which makes accusations of liberal bias at EC plausible.

    Also, both the FC and the FCA suggest that the whole in-and-out scheme is legal. What's unresolved is that the Conservatives may have used the in-out scheme to attribute expenses to candidates not based on fair market value of services received, but on the ability of a candidate to take on the expenses. That is the question – the "scheme" is legal, as long as the candidate did in fact incur the expenses claimed.

  115. in-and-out is about the pre-meditated criminal thieving of taxpayer reimbursements for campaign expenses and then laundered into CPC party coffers. In-and-out is theft, malfeasance, and fraud. This issue with the EC is not yet criminal because the CPC will spend party and taxpayer funds on their defence until the ends of the earth, rather than appointing any sort of commission to investigate the matter, and is essentially a fight by the Harper appointed EC to ensure that the CPC actually follow the laws of this country. The difference is that Adscam was perpetrated by various people at the bottom end of the Liberal party, while In-and-out was authorized by the top brass of the CPC.

  116. Given the choice between unscrupulous people taking advantage of a program designed to keep our country together, and a premeditated theft of taxpayer funded campaign reimbursements perpetrated by the heads of party, I'll go with the guys who at least managed to balance the budget while doing it.

  117. Exceeded spending limits is how EC interrprets it, not the Conservatives. The other parties did it too….not that this excuses the actions.

    The question is whether this is a Criminal Code infraction. It is not. It's equivalent to a dispute between beaurocrats about policy. As I said below……you could go to jail for not answer Census questions not too long ago.

  118. Uh…better check your facts there.

    "In and Out" financing is NOT a criminal offense…no matter how much money the CPC does or does not spend on defending itself.

  119. Wonderful to watch the beneath contempt slime on the left whine and cry because Harper is gonna get a majority. Personally I don't see much difference in any of them but to see the parasitic hypocrites on the left panic is a dream come true. How are Canad'a's elitist media types gonna get a senate appointment or a shot at the GG largesse without their liberals in power to pay them back for all the PR.

  120. Wonderful to watch the beneath contempt slime on the left whine and cry because Harper is gonna get a majority. Personally I don't see much difference in any of them but to see the parasitic hypocrites on the left panic is a dream come true. How are Canad'a's elitist media types gonna get a senate appointment or a shot at the GG largesse without their liberals in power to pay them back for all the PR.

    • Take another read, "Judge". How many – other than strident CPC hacks – do you see mentioning the polls in this thread? It's not the topic under discussion here.

      Do you comprehend the concept of relevance?

      Try another thread.

  121. I think the Liberal party is in serious danger if they think the "in and out" scandal was the main reason they lost the 2006 election.

    I guess they're still so flummoxed and bitter over having been turfed….they continue to blame everyone else for their losses.

    One of the main reasons the party has been in such serious decline IMO.

  122. MostlyCivil:
    Of course, you are wrong as usual. As in the in-out debate, putting on a mask for halloween is not criminal in nature. Wearing a mask to commit a crime…..is.

  123. Semantically, you may be correct.

    Taking money from Canadian taxpayers that you're not entitled to is theft, and criminal behavior in my opinion. Period.

  124. You have your analogy wrong. I'll provide you a short re-cap.
    in-and-out. – using money raised by people who willingly donated to the Conservative Party. Not Criminal
    ADSCAM – laundering money through false contracts and kicking back stolen proceeds to the Liberal Party. Definitely criminal in nature.

    See the difference yet?

  125. The interpretation used by the Conservatives means they did not consider the national party to be exceeding the limits. That's the point. EC disagrees…fine. They've been taken to court before and lost.

    If the Conservatives lose this case…not the big deal the Liberals are pretending it to be. Slap a fine on…and move along. If the Conservatives win……Liberal heads will explode.

  126. MostlyCivil…
    You really need to work on your anologies. Lame.

    driving a car – not criminal
    using a car to commit a robbery – criminal

    in-and -out used by Liberals, NDP and Bloc…not criminal
    In-and-out used by Conservatives – not criminal

    Adscam – fully criminal.

  127. The CBC has 700+ comments on their website…a bit of disinformation going on, perhaps?

  128. If that was true, I would at least hope I could get my name right.

  129. If that was true, I would at least hope I could get my name right.

  130. The other parties didn't do it to the point where it exceeded spending limits.

  131. in-and-out. Taking money from taxpayers through the elections canada reimbursement program.

    See what we're talking about here?

  132. You've got it! Except the difference isn't who used it. It was how it was used.

  133. Exactly.

    If the process is carried out correctly, the candidate is paying fair-market share; contracts are clear; spending limits are not exceeded. Proper use of "mask".

    However, the FCA indicates that there is reasonable doubt as to whether all these things were done; they agree with the EC that it looks more like a last-minute workaround to hide overspending on the part of the national campaign. Ilegal use of "mask".

    The DPP (Harper appointee) also thinks the EC is correct; hence the quasi-criminal charges laid last week.

  134. "Two of the judges in this decision were Harper appointees."

    "Both the head of Elections Canada and the prosecutor who laid the charges against the four Conservative officials are Conservative appointees."

    Actually it DOES look like the Conservatives are interrpreting it as exceeded spending limits….

  135. The above was supposed to be a reply to JamesHalifax, not MostlyCivil.

  136. And so you think going to jail is NOT a serious matter?

  137. So?…what the heck does that have to do with exceeding spending limits?

  138. So you're saying that a politician representing his/her constituents should be free to break the law without conequence? That breaking the law is unimportant if the result is electoral success? You seem to think the end justifies the means (much like those Adscammers you like to vilify).

    Given the CPC's claims to be hard on crime and strict followers of the law, how do you reconcile the party's stated policies with their alleged behaviour?

  139. So, you're arguing that everyone else did it and only the Cons got busted, so unfair!
    or
    It's not a big deal, so the fact that the others did it isn't a big deal.

    If you spin too fast, you drill. be careful.

  140. "In-and-out used by Conservatives – not criminal"

    Let's wait until the courts have their say before making that call. And before you start calling them "Liberal appointees" again, just a quick reminder of what others have pointed out many times on this thread already: two of three Fed CA judges on the panel that handed down yesterday's unanimous decision areCPC appointees; the DPP who is pushing forward the prosecution of four party members – also a Tory appointee.

    SOME people (arguably, most Canadians) are able to put partisan loyalties to one side and do what is right rather than what is best for their party of choice.

    "Adscam – fully criminal." Yep! You won't find many of ANY stripe who would say different. But what bearing does that have on the actions of the current government?

  141. Take another read, "Judge". How many – other than strident CPC hacks – do you see mentioning the polls in this thread? It's not the topic under discussion here.

    Do you comprehend the concept of relevance?

    Try another thread.

  142. Depends on how it's done; there's a right way and a wrong way. According to the EC and now the DPP, the CPC went about it in a way that makes what they did illegal.

    Driving is legal too – as long as you obey the rules of the road. Try driving west in eastbound traffic, or on a sidewalk, and see how legal the cops think your behaviour is.

  143. It's not just an "accounting dispute" when it involves scamming taxpayers. The CPC is allegedly claiming more rebates on campaign spending than they are entitled to (among other things).

    As costly as Adscam? No. As egregious an offence? Perhaps not.

    But that doesn't mean potentially illegal acts should be ignored unless they are "worse than Adscam". Especially when this government has gone out of its way to claim to be open, transparent, and tough on crime.

  144. What, really, does this have to do with the Liberals – aside from the fact that they are trying to keep the CPC from burying the story with false spin?

    The issue is simple: Did the CPC break the law or not? If they did, then they deserve to be held accountable.

    OK; take your fingers out of your ears and stop yelling "ADSCAMADSCAMADSCAM". Yes, Adscam was terrible; yes, the punishments were insufficient. But the issue here is what the CPC did or did not do. Period.

  145. I agree; the scheme is legal if properly carried out – which is why other parties aren't being charged. The issue is whether or not the CPC properly followed the rules.

    I don't, however, agree that "the FCA decision further supports this notion that the proper interpretation of the act is the one favoured by Conservatives" – in fact, I think the FCA makes the opposite case. They seem to indicate that the CPC misapplied both the intent and the letter of the law. At least, that's how I read it. I admit I only gave it a light skim rather than a detailed read – but with 19 years of practice skimming judgments as part of my job, I'm pretty good at getting the gist of a case.

  146. democracyseeker's point made; witness one cult member. Westnewf and JamesHalifax chime in later.

  147. It was a conservative party attempt to fraudulently fleece the taxpayers of Canada.

    Back when I was a kid on the farm, my dad often said, that there were two things not long for this world. They were dogs that chase cars and politicians who lie to the people!

  148. I guess you can buy an election in this country if you have deeper pockets and a fatter chequebook than the other guy!

    Is that why there's been CPC majority after CPC majority?

  149. It wouldn't matter how many times you heard it, you'd still think Adscam was no big deal.

  150. How do you know? You wouldn't care even if they did exceed spending limits. You only care because EC is saying the Cons exceeded spending limits.

  151. In the meantime, Elections Canada has spent $84,000 in this exercise. I would like to know, in fairness, if the other parties have received this kind of scrutiny. I have heard of several Lib/NDP ridings who practised the same thing but have not been called to task on it. Fair is fair.

  152. I guess those clicking "thumbs down" just love corruption in government.

  153. I guess those clicking "thumbs down" just love corruption in government.

  154. What you thought this was a open and free democracy like we are trying to establish in Iraq?!?!?!? Well that explains a lot about this country yes? HAHAHA I was kidding.