Tuesday, April 19, 2011

To Be Continued

After failing to become prime minister in a coalition with Jack Layton and Gilles Duceppe in 2004, Stephen Harper used every opportunity to take down Paul Martin. He wanted power so bad he could taste it.

The Spring of 2005, with a Liberal budget looming, seemed like a perfect opportunity. But there was a problem. Belinda Stronach, his contender for leadership of the newly formed Conservative Party of Canada, was suggesting that it was too soon.
The end began with a shouting match in Conservative Leader Stephen Harper's oak-panelled Parliament Hill office. Harper hauled in Newmarket-Aurora MP Belinda Stronach to his inner sanctum last Thursday to, sources say, "read her the riot act." "You'll never have a future in this party. You're too ambitious," he told her. "If we lose the confidence vote I will hold you personally responsible," Harper screamed, furious, insiders say, that she had expressed support for some elements of the Liberal budget. (1)
Visibly shaken, Stronach began to ponder her future, and not long after defected to the Liberals.

What began immediately was a Conservative style smear campaign, as former members of her caucus launched a full frontal attack.
The party scheduled a rare evening caucus meeting tonight amid accusations of hypocrisy and opportunism, and questions about her work ethic and intellectual depth ... They handed out papers showing she only attended 11 of 28 meetings of the Commons trade committee. They distributed a litany of anti-government quotes from Stronach, including her reference last year to a "tired old Liberal government."

The Conservatives trotted out their brightest young MPs to face the cameras and demonstrate they would survive Stronach's loss. "I think she's a poster child for hypocrisy," said B.C. MP James Moore. Alberta MP Rona Ambrose, who was immediately appointed to Stronach's trade-critic portfolio, called the move a "betrayal." (2)
They would continue their attacks until her resignation, with Peter MacKay stooping to the level of calling this attractive and intelligent woman "a dog". Classy.

However, with Stonach out of the way, Harper was now weakened, so two of his insiders, Doug Finley, now a disgraced senator, and Tom Flanagan, visited the home of independent MP Chuck Cadman, who was then dying of cancer. They offered him a million dollar life insurance policy if he would vote their way.

Later Stephen Harper would be caught on tape admitting that he was aware of the deal. When the tape was made public, Harper at first denied it, saying that the tape had been doctored, even going so far as to suggest that it was the Liberals who had doctored it. Later, forensic experts refuted the claim, so what we had was a man who is now prime minister, being involved in the criminal activity of trying to purchase a vote. Not in the abstract sense, but literally.

I understand that this is an ongoing investigation.

To be continued .....

The RCMP and Election Tampering

The late James Travers spent several years trying to get answers to an unheard of situation in a healthy democracy. The head of our national police force, the RCMP, had been involved in election tampering, that was instrumental in bringing Stephen Harper to power.

More here, here, here and here.

Will we ever get answers as to why the RCMP tampered with an election?

To be continued ...

Election Fraud

In April of 2008, the RCMP raided the Conservative party headquarters, after evidence appeared to suggest that some Conservative candidates had broken the law, by using doctored invoices to claim credits from Elections Canada, that they weren't entitled to.

This scheme, that became known as the "In and Out" meant that the party was also able to spend over a million dollars more on their campaign than the law allowed.

Stephen Harper abused his executive privilege, by telling those subpoenaed to simply ignore them and refuse to testify.

The investigation stalled and when the House reconvened in the fall, Harper broke his own election law and sent Canadians to the polls. This action was especially troubling, since opposition parties had not anticipated something this blatant, believing they had a full year to prepare for a federal campaign. As a result, the Conservatives were the only party with all 308 candidates ready to go.

Hearings into the scandal have been postponed until summer, but we could see two Conservative senators behind bars. Harper calls this a mere "administrative dispute".

To be continued ...

Afghan Detainees

When the story of Afghan Detainee abuse broke in 2009, the Military Police Complaints Commission handed out 22 subpoenas, to members of the diplomatic corp, in attempt to get to the bottom of who knew what and when. But the Harper government informed each and every one of them, that if they did honour the subpoenas they would be charged under the 'secrets act'. This knocked out everyone but the courageous Richard Colvin.

Most of us are aware of the mistreatment of Colvin at the hands of the Conservatives, even going so far as refusing to pay his legal expenses.

When a committee was established to investigate the matter, Harper again told his people to ignore subpoenas and refuse to attend. This shut down the committee. Harper has since blocked any findings from being made public until after the election.

This hasn't stopped the International Criminal Court from launching an investigation that could result in Canada being charged with war crimes. Apparently Harper would prefer this, if it means holding onto his job a little longer.

To be continued ...

So Many Questions

During the 2008 election campaign, CTV and Mike Duffy pulled a fast one on Stephane Dion, who was at the time within 4 points of Harper in the polls. Duffy was charged with ethics violations but rewarded with a Senate seat.

To be continued ...

Bev Oda broke the cardinal rule of law, by changing a word in a signed contract, that gave the exact opposite meaning to the terms. She is still allowed to run for re-election.

To be continued ...

The Harper government was found in Contempt of Parliament, the first time in Parliamentary history, but refuses to accept the severity of the charge. If you are found in Contempt of Court, you go to jail, but it would seem that being found in Contempt of Parliament, the highest court in the land, gives you a free pass.

To be continued ....

Our ethics commissioner was paid a half million dollars in hush money to bury more than 200 complaints of wrong doing. We won't hear from her now until after the election.

To be continued ...

Harper refused to take action when Canadian citizens were abused at the G-20, despite the fact that he engineered the entire weekend.

To be continued ...

Jason Kenney abused his Parliamentary privilege to try to exploit "the very ethnic" and encouraged a group of Jewish high school students to break the income tax law and campaign for them.

To be continued ...

Julian Fantino channels $10 million tax dollars to his fundraisers.

To be continued ....

This election is a test. Not a test of Harper's prowess at avoiding accountability, but a test of the Canadian people. Do we reward this behaviour with another mandate, or do we send a clear message that those who break the law will be dealt with?

And if we choose the first, how will history view this era, as the story unfolds? Shocked at the actions of a Rogue in Power? Or more shocked at the revelation that we did absolutely nothing about it, despite being handed the perfect opportunity with an election.

To be continued ...


1. Stephen Harper's Shouting Match with Belinda Stronach, CP, May 17, 2005

2. Stronach defects, Liberal defeat less likely: Tory leader renews commitment to topple government Thursday, CP, May 18, 2005

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