BTC: An open challenge to readers (and perhaps parliamentary secretaries)


Been meaning to mention Alice’s most recent work over at Pundits’ Guide on the In-and-Out file. With her last contribution to the discussion, she reviews the Donald Affidavit, the primary text in the Conservative counter offensive.

Pierre Poilievre, who, we also learn from Pundits Guide, will face his a high school math teacher whenever the next election is called, has taken to standing in the House during QP and casting aspersions on the electoral financing of other parties’ candidates. On Tuesday, he even made a call-and-response song of it, which surely impressed any pre-schoolers watching at home.

But let’s do a little journalism, shall we. 

Two different people who reviewed the Donald Affidavit were asked awhile back if they could find one example contained therein that exactly replicated what the Conservatives are alleged to have done during the last election. Both, completely independent of the other, stated they could see no such evidence.

So. Few of us are federal judges, fewer still are experts in Canadian electoral law. But there’s the challenge: review the Donald Affidavit (not the most exciting read, granted) and find one (just one) example of another party’s campaign doing exactly as the Conservatives apparently did.

Specifically, cite one example wherein money was transferred from the national campaign to the local campaign then back to the national campaign at control of the national campaign; the money transferred was used to purchase advertising that was national in nature; the advertising was purchased with little to no input from the local campaign; candidates sought full rebates for the expense; and had that advertising expense been included in the national advertising budget, the party in question would have exceeded its official limit.

To my recollection, Mr. Poilievre has made various allegations of other parties transferring money between local and national campaigns and separate allegations of local campaigns pooling their money to buy regional advertising, but he has yet to cite any other party doing all of the above. So go forth and help him out (if that’s possible).

All submissions will be discussed here.


BTC: An open challenge to readers (and perhaps parliamentary secretaries)

  1. I don’t think it’s possible to show any case where another party did ALL of the above in one go, simply because no other party came close to the national spending limit…I could be wrong.

    But I think the point being raised here is that if each act, in and of itself, was legal, how can the sum of the acts be illegal?

  2. If I could inject a factual point, here, the Conservatives spent 99% of their national limit in 2006, the Liberals spent 95% of their national limit, the NDP spent 74%, and the Bloc spent 97% of their own national limit (albeit, a limit based in their case on running candidates in just 75 ridings).


    The table also shows what percent of each party’s candidates’ limits was spent, along the number of ridings in which each party candidate spent greater than 50% of the candidate limit, and similarly the number who spent greater than 75%.

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