Today's Toronto Star Editorial reads "Tories' tactics insult democracy".
Funny, but when I met with the Toronto Star Editorial Board, they didn't consider Flaherty's 18 pages of blacked out documents to be an insult to democracy?
In fact these hypocrites were arguing that it was a "good" thing? That was April 12, 2007. Maybe the Star has "found religion", since then?
I doubt it, since their commercial agenda still rules their inane view on income trusts.
Tories' tactics insult democracy
Aug 15, 2008 04:30 AM
If history is any guide, the hardball tactics being deployed against a parliamentary committee this month are being carefully choreographed by Conservative party strategists. Doubtless they believe the best defence is a strong offence – no matter how offensive to the precepts of a parliamentary democracy.
By denigrating the parliamentary process, they may hope to distract voters from the substance of Elections Canada's allegations of co-ordinated spending abuses in the last campaign, in which Conservative headquarters – then as now – was seen to be calling the shots.
But even by the low standards of this dysfunctional minority Parliament, the latest standoff is unprecedented. Not content to hurl insults across the table about allegations of under-the-table dealings, some Conservatives have opted to duck the table entirely.
One after another, Conservative party officials, former candidates and their representatives who were served with notices to testify have snubbed Parliament and left the witness chairs empty. Some say they were told by headquarters to stay away.
Campaign director Doug Finley added his own unique twist by refusing to appear on his scheduled day and demanding to kick off the hearings so he could no doubt deliver a coup de grâce. In a performance that would have embarrassed previous Tory leaders who had an underlying respect for the institution, Finley behaved like a juvenile squatter who had to be evicted by the Sargent-at-arms.
This disrespect fits the pattern behind the Conservatives' so-called "in-and-out" scheme, which pooled untapped advertising spending limits from local ridings so that the national campaign could exceed permissible ceilings by more than $1 million. Elections Canada says $1.3 million was transferred into the local bank accounts of 67 candidates, then sent back to the national campaign.
It was a dubious moral calculation back then. And the party's latest theatrics may be another miscalculation. By thumbing their noses at Parliament, and aggressively casting aspersions against Elections Canada, the Conservatives are giving voters fresh insights into their modus operandi in the last campaign – and the next one.
Opposition MPs have accused the Conservatives of contempt of Parliament. By turning the committee hearings into a three-ring circus, on a fundamental question of election fairness, the Conservatives are showing their disdain for democracy itself.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Posted by Fillibluster at 10:27 PM