All posts tagged Elections Canada

Time to worry about the state of our democracy

Allan Cutler

I worry about the state or ‘fate’ of democracy in our country. Slowly laws are being passed to restrict freedoms, stifle opposition, and reduce transparency. Sometimes I wonder what the Parliamentarians have in mind.

It is convenient for the governing party to reduce the power and rights of any opposition to ensure that they remain in power. However, do they not see the flip side of the coin? When they are out of office, and it will happen eventually, their ‘replacements’ will inherit these increased tools of power. As a result, they will be deprived of effective opposition by the very laws that they have passed now.

Even more importantly, do Parliamentarians not realize (or do they just not care) that their children or grandchildren will inherit this reduced freedom? As democracy erodes and power concentrates in the hands of the few, our personal freedoms are threatened.

The Elections Canada situation is a prime example and a worrying one. The underpinning of our democratic system is the belief that elections are conducted fairly. The Conservative government is reducing the ability of Elections Canada to ensure elections are fair so they can be re-elected with less opposition or challenges. Sooner or later, the Conservatives will lose the right to govern and become a party in opposition.… Read the rest

2006 federal Conservatives election expenses case grinds on

Here’s a story that many will wish ran before voting day: the Conservatives will not be able to appeal a court decision on GST rebates it claimed from the 2006 federal election. I doubt that it would have made much of a difference in how people voted, though, as the final findings are years away.

The decision means that Elections Canada can proceed with its case against the Conservative party, alleging that the Conservative Party overspent in the 2006 election by about $1 million. This has also been referred to as the in-and-out case, as the issue revolves around money shuffled into riding accounts and then transferred back into the federal Party purse several days later (it was repeated in many different ridings). The Conservatives believed it to be a legitimate loophole allowing them to spend more; Elections Canada begs to differ.

As a result of this decision, the Conservatives can no longer use GST rebates to reduce the spending totals from the 2006 election to legal levels.

There may be fines for individuals (up to $5000), and a few people might go to jail? Much worse than that for the Conservatives, though, is the possibility that the Party is fined up to 5 times the amount overspent.… Read the rest

Media Update for December 13, 2010

News Summary and Comment:

Today’s accountability news isn’t much to comment on. There continues to be fallout from the Auditor General of Canada’s report on Christiane Ouimet, the now-retired and disgraced Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada. Some MPs are demanding she be compelled to appear before Parliamentary committee to explain her actions. While it would be satisfying, I’m not sure what it will accomplish besides humiliating her. She’s safe now from administrative sanctions.

In other news, La Presse and the Winnipeg Free Press are reporting that Elections Canada continues to try to investigate the Conservative Party’s financing of its election campaigns – the target this time being 2006. The Tories have won against this kind of thing before, so we’ll see where this one goes.

Also, I failed earlier to include Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer Report, which was recently issued. It shows that people believe that the Canada’s governments corruption-fighting efforts are insincere and ineffective.

There will be no update on Thursday as I will be recovering from surgery.

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Integrity Commissioner’s Conduct Condemned by Auditor General

Supporters Start Petition Backing WikiLeaks

Elections Canada Continues to Try to investigate Tory Election Expenses

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Integrity Commissioner’s Conduct Condemned by Auditor General

Force disgraced ex-watchdog to appear before Parliament: MP
Ottawa Citizen, December 10, 2010
Summary: The disgraced former watchdog who was appointed to protect whistleblowers will be summoned to appear before a Parliamentary committee early next year to explain the “catastrophic failure” of her office, a New Democrat MP vowed Friday.… Read the rest