Well let's be clear, as he likes to say. Forget the smokescreen of fancy words, or the long list of minor changes, or the Orwellian name, the Fair Elections Act.
Baby Face Poilievre may have pulled the trigger.
But this was Boss Harper's revenge.
The Conservative government is overhauling the rules that govern how Canadians vote and run for office – cracking down on rogue robocalls that have embarrassed the Tories and increasing by 25 per cent the maximum allowable contributions to parties.
The government unveiled legislation that will also break up Elections Canada by stripping the agency of its role in investigating and prosecuting electoral wrongdoing. This policing function will be moved to the lower-profile office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, leaving Elections Canada with only one task: administering federal ballots.
The emasculation of the Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand for daring to criticize the Con mob's attempts to kneecap the robocall investigation.
Federal Conservatives have been dragging their feet in helping Elections Canada get to the bottom of alleged fraud in the 2011 campaign, according to Canada’s chief electoral officer, Marc Mayrand.
The disembowelling of Elections Canada, which did not get the powers it had requested.
A major problem with the bill is that it does little, other than stiffening some penalties and creating a call registry, to help investigate the most serious infractions of the law. Mr. Mayrand’s top request was for the elections officials to be able to compel testimony and demand to see parties’ financial records. That was ignored.
And must now warn suspects they are under investigation.
There is a special soft-touch provision for politicians: The new law requires the commissioner to inform people right away, in writing, if he starts to investigate them – unless he has reason to believe it will impede the investigation. Who else, apart from politicians, gets a statutory heads-up when an investigation into penal-law offences is started? It’s “not common,” an official admitted.
And the neutering of the Election Commissioner who instead of being responsible to Parliament, and appointed by the Chief Electoral Officer, is now appointed by the Cons and under their total CONTROL.
Which as you can imagine, almost ensures that there will be no further robocall charges laid before the next election.
As for preventing a similar scandal from happening again, the Con plan to create a mandatory public registry for robocall companies is also just a smokescreen.
As even Michael Sona, the only person charged in the robocall scandal points out...
.@PierrePoilievre If criminals don't register their long guns, what makes you think they'll register their robocalls?
— Michael Sona (@MichaelSona) February 4, 2014
So nothing has really changed, it could happen again.
And these are just weasel words.
“This bill … makes it harder to break elections law,” Mr. Poilievre said. “It closes loopholes to big money, imposes new penalties on political imposters who make rogue calls and empowers law enforcement with sharper teeth, a longer reach and a freer hand.”
It doesn't make it harder to break the law. It doesn't shutout big money. It allows for even more money to to be spent on elections and robocalls. It doesn't empower law enforcement.
But it does, and this is something the MSM seems to have missed, prohibit Elections Canada from putting out ads encouraging people to vote.
Because the Cons depend on voter suppression to win, that's what the robocall scandal was all about.
And it does make Stephen Harper feel really good, because it has been a blood feud for a very long time.
“The jackasses at Elections Canada are out of control.” In 2001, Stephen Harper was president of the National Citizens Coalition. That was his opening line in a fundraising letter. His loathing for the election overseers was almost pathological, recalls Gerry Nicholls, the conservative commentator who worked with Mr. Harper at the NCC. It was a “blood feud,” he says, one that appears to be “never ending.”
Which at the end of the day leaves me wondering, where is that maniac is taking us?
Is the MSM sleeping or blind?
Are we still a functioning democracy?
And of course, will it happen again?
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