Thursday, April 17, 2008

"Did anybody think about the optics of this thing?"

J David A finds some cracks in the Conservative facade:
But while most Conservative MPs were publicly impugning the motives of Elections Canada officials, some Conservatives privately questioned the wisdom of their own party officials for being too aggressive in "pushing the envelope" so far as Canada's elections laws are concerned.

In their view, a decision by party officials to take a hard line against Elections Canada and the elections commissioner precipitated the RCMP move. These Conservatives say they believe their cause is just but they worry that, even if they do prevail, voters will only remember the pictures of police officers at their headquarters.

"Did anybody think about the optics of this thing?" asked a Conservative official.
Hardly surprising to hear the peanut gallery questioning Conservative strategery at this point. But still, remarkable to read given the orders of silence that have been issued from on high. The bull-in-china-shop approach to dealing with Elections Canada clearly has its detractors within the Conservative party. You my anonymous friend, have earned the significant wrath of one Ms. Sandra Buckler...cheers to you and cheers to Mr. Akin for ferreting you out...:)

Also of note in Akin's report, this little piece of information pertaining to the Elections Commissioner who is investigating the Conservative in-and-out scheme and who initiated the search warrant on Conservative HQ:
Corbett is a lifelong public servant and a former criminal prosecutor for the federal Department of Justice.
Doesn't sound like the kind of guy you want to be ratcheting up a big partisan slimefest against. But hey, maybe that's just me.

With respect to Don Martin's column last night on the raid on Conservative HQ, I respectfully disagree with his "pox on all your houses" bottom lining of this incident:
The bottom line may well be a pox on all federal party houses. They're all guilty of having fun with election financing figures and voting procedures at some time in their history.
The allegation that the Conservatives outspent their opponents by over $1 million, above their federal spending limit in the last election, is not worthy of shoulder shrugging/they-all-do-it kind of minimizing within some larger amorphous historical track record. No matter how hard the Conservatives spin this. It's law breaking and there have to be consequences. Elections Canada has already weighed in and deemed it to have been against the rules. So why should we be encouraged by such folks as Martin to give them a free pass? Last time I looked, this is not a banana republic.

Although with the government now absurdly alleging that there are Liberal moles within Elections Canada, we're well on our way...