27 August 2015

#26 The Old In-Out In-Out

I suppose that in the history of electoral politics in Canada there have been many instances of attempts to influence the voters outside the rules of the game. I'm pretty sure that I have heard stories of alcohol for votes in the very early days of confederation. Those kinds of shenanigans led us as a country to set rules that would make them a thing of the past. It is extra disappointing, then, when we find a party scheming to act outside the rules to gain an advantage in the election.

The “In and Out Scandal” was a scheme to allow the Conservative Party to spend more money on national advertising by charging some of it to local campaigns. The expenses at the local level were questioned because they related to advertising that was clearly not local in nature.

The reaction on being called out on this by elections officials? Resistance and denial for several years, until they negotiated a settlement “to put an end to the proceedings”. An admission of guilt spun as administrative expediency, a fine paid from more funds subsidized by the public (we all subsidize dontations to political parties through the tax deductions from which the donors benefit). Maybe we need some real consequences for breaking the rules...but that is the next story.

Further reading here

That time your left hand
couldn't explain what your right
hand said it had spent

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