10.17.2012 07:53 PM

Jail time

I’m all for it, in this case. Anyone else?


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    james curran says:

    As I’ve said before, history will prove that this was the most corrupt government in the history of the country. Rules don’t exist for these fools.

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    As a former financial agent in the 2004 campaign, I can tell you that more often than not we are pretty much flying blind. I received absolutely no training either from the party or Elections Canada when I occupied that post. We were told by Elections Canada that we were not responsible for any errors. That fell to the party along with the candidates. The party’s version, of course, was that we were responsible along with the candidates…

    I have no problem with toughening penalties to whatever is appropriate. However, make it mandatory for all financial agents to get training and to properly brief candidates before sending us down the river.

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      bluegreenblogger says:

      Ronald, 2004 was pretty confused because of all the changes inthe Elections Finance act brought in by Chretien. I think EC was still wrapping their heads around the changes. I was on a GPC Finance committee that was tasked with reviewing the act(s) immediately after the election, I read it end to end, looking for the juicy bits and there were quite a few errors in EC’s directions to candidates and agents. I get the feeling that EC recognised the really bad loopholes (like exempting fundraising expenses from elections expenses), and gave , shall we say, misguided direction as to what was permissable. I had no involvement in the last General Election, but there have been a lot of changes since 2004. I do know that there is training offered by EC. Besides that, even in 2004 it was absolutely clear, or should have been to you that the Financial Agent is responsible, period. Surely you remember those forms you signed in blood attesting to, and confirming your responsibility?

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        Ronald O'Dowd says:


        Yes I do. But the telephone advice went in another direction.

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          Bluegreenblogger says:

          Yeah, I know what you mean. I had a few conversations with EC where I asked howcome the act says one thing, and your directives say another. When I quoted the Act, the response was: We have a legal opinion that says otherwise, which in the case that I was discussing was complete rubbish, because the wording of the act was explicit and clear. That was why I said above that they were probably troubled by some of the implications of the changes, and wanted to steer all the campaigns in another direction.

          In my life, I tend to pay attention to the documents I sign, and give little credence to words over a phone. The written word tends to take precedence, lol.

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    bluegreenblogger says:

    Elections Canada is not the appropriate investigator. They are shackled by the precedent set by a long history of looking the other way, giving campaigns second, third, and fourth chances to massage their numbers into compliance, and have no moral authority. The In and Out scandal amply illustrated this fact. The event in that investigation and prosecution that caught the publics attention was the RCMP raid on Conservative headquarters. Whatever very limited noise EC made was nuanced and promptly buried. A truly independant Investigator, with the budget, and human resources to dig for the truth is the only thing I can think of that could staunch the contempt with which ALL political party’s hold the various elections acts. That contempt is not limited to the Conservatives, by any stretch. To the best of my knowledge, EC has never conducted forensic audits of any campaign unless there was a specific complaint in front of them with corroborating evidence. Even the publicly released campaign financials contain reams of quite suspicious spending patterns and smelly looking donations to warrant a serious look. We simply do not know if EC ever so much as lifts a finger, because their mandate is basically to keep quiet as the grave until, and unless an actual prosecution happens. As a result, people like myself have no faith in them, and financial agents, candidates, and campaign managers are incentivised to push well beyond venal infractions into systematic perversions of the electoral process. This is seriously bad news. It really does strike to the heart of our polity.
    Wouldn’t it be a breath of fresh air if the RCMP were to be tasked with forming an electoral crimes unit? They could work with EC to assist in random audits of campaign finances, and be pulled in for full forensic audits when sufficient grounds are discovered. EC could have played this role in the past, but they are tainted now. I believe an actual law enforcement agency would have sufficient respect for the law that they would actually try to find evidence of lawbreaking. I would have faith in the RCMP to prosecute when they have sufficient evidence for a conviction. I have faith in the courts that when actual prosecutions occurred, egregious offenders might even receive a term behind bars. Guaranteed that 80% of offenses would never be committed in the first place if this (idealistic) scenario were the case.

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      scanner says:

      The RCMP (at least so it seems) is owned lock stock and barrel by SJHPM. before employing THEM to investigate an election problem I would want to see proof that they were independent. After all, who investigated ralph Goodale by press release?

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        Bluegreenblogger says:

        Sure, there have been recurring issues over many many years with the RCMPs impartiality, but with an independent unit, one may safely assume that succesful investigations followed by convictions = career enhancements and promotions. What we have right now is a joke, and is clearly not even pretending to work. I cannot think of any other Federal agency that has the experience to Investigate, and then support prosecution, with the possible exception of Rev. Can. You cannot tar the whole RCMP with the (mis)deeds of a Commissioner or two that have dropped the ball in the past.

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Tend to agree. I wouldn’t want to have Bob Paulson’s job for all the gold reserves at The Bank of Canada. He must really know headaches.

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