I know Barbara Yaffe is a columnist and is therefore expected to give us her opinion, but doesn't there a time when even this segment of media must be required to use facts accurately to make their points?
In her column today, she more or less justifies the Conservatives deplorable attack on Elections Canada. She's entitled to her opinion of course, but she's not entitled to her own set of facts.
Conservatives are stepping forward to criticize Elections Canada for behavior unbecoming an independent, non-partisan agency. This is not good.
Unfortunately, the organization charged with administering Canada's election laws has left itself vulnerable to such an attack because of the differing postures it has adopted with respect to the two main political parties.
Really? How exactly are they treating the two parties differently?
Election Canada's leniency with the Liberals is in stark contrast to the strong stand it has taken on Conservative advertising election spending during the 2006 election.
She, like Poilievre conflates two completely different issues.
Well instead of comparing apples and grapefruits, how about something a little more analogous? Like say, Conservatives missing campaign debt repayment deadlines.
The law governing political loans to election candidates is almost identical to that which applies to leadership contenders. The only difference is that election candidates have only four months in which to pay off their debts while leadership candidates have 18 months.
In both cases, candidates are legally entitled to seek extensions.
According to a chart compiled by Elections Canada, 426 candidates - including 121 Conservatives - sought extensions to pay off loans after the 2004 election.
As well, 401 candidates - including 125 Conservatives - sought extensions to clear unpaid bills.
Then, in spite of yesterday's clarification in La Presse (referred to here by Douglas Ferguson), of Dion's outstanding balance, she says this:
Mayrand has yet to rule on an extension request from Stephane Dion, who reportedly still owes some $560,000.
And finally, she drops this little nugget:
An RCMP raid last April on Conservative headquarters -- to which TV cameras were tipped beforehand -- further exacerbated tension between Elections Canada and the party.
TV outlets had been tipped? If you are going to write a column on a subject, don't you think you'd know a little something about it? No one was tipped off and if she'd watched the committee hearings she'd know that the cameras showed up 2 1/2 hrs. after the raid had commenced.
In spite of contributing to the undermining of EC, she points out how this is not a good thing.
Tension between the governing party and Elections Canada also creates discomfort. Elections Canada needs to maintain its reputation as a fair-minded and impartial body among both taxpayers and all political parties.
It's one thing to opine like this fawning Harper worshipper, but it's quite another to misstate facts. Barbara Yaffe may not believe the facts, in which case she should explain why, but even opinion writers shouldn't be allowed to ignore them.