Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wednesday's in-and-out hearings

Regarding the appearance of the ad execs in front of the Ethics Committee today and other in-and-out election scheme goings on, a few points.

The public embarrassment that Retail Media is being subjected to is a fair warning to advertising types who will be in the mix during the next election. It is a reasonable conclusion to think that such companies will be dotting the "i's" and crossing their "t's" in the next go round lest they be called on their activities by both Elections Canada and a Commons committee. It is a significant distraction for any company and a loss of time and money to have to deal with such inquiries. There is reputation damage. Think they want to be in for another round of this? Don't think so. For this reason alone, I would like to think that the in-and-out scheme will not be enabled by such ad companies on behalf of the Conservatives in the next election. It's not clear, however, that the Conservatives won't try again, after all. They maintain, oblivious to all external indicators, that the scheme is perfectly acceptable. Hopefully those who have been burned will not play along.

Leading to today's reason as to why it would be perilous for the Conservatives to be handed a majority. The election laws as we know them would likely come in for a significant makeover. Of the Americanized no spending limits variety. Of the in-and-out is perfectly legal variety. Of the level playing field is a joke variety. Harper's been waging war against the election spending laws in Canada for years. He will undoubtedly act on this front should he ever get a majority.

And a final thought for anyone engaging in any kind of contract with the Conservative party, you may wish to consult your own lawyer(s) on the tasks you are being requested to perform. Look where you end up when you rely on Conservative legal counsel...