Tuesday, May 26, 2009

How Accountable Do They Want To Be?

If you're not familiar with this man, he is Senator Dennis Dawson. Today he tabled a Bill in the Senate, that is designed to plug a loophole that was left by the 'set election date' law...(as if that wasn't a big loophole in itself).

It will be interesting to see how the government reacts to this Bill. Gawd knows the NCC already thinks the rules are too onerous re' third party advertising and considering Harper's history, something tells me that he's not going to be too keen on this little addition.

What can he say though? The aim of the Bill is to increase accountability. How can the Conservatives, with any credibility, say they are against that? Wasn't Baird screaming from the rooftops that his Accountability Act was all about elections not being 'bought'? Wasn't one of the aims of his legislation to 'level the playing field'?

We know through the In and Out investigations that the Conservatives are not adverse to skirting election spending rules. This Bill is just another step in preventing what I'm sure that party believes is extremely creative accounting.

To be clear, the Bill would still allow pre-writ advertising, but anything spent within 3 months of an election would be considered an election expense.

In a minority situation, it's a rather interesting proposition when you think of it.

Calling John Baird.

Update - forget John Baird...we have Steven Fletcher instead.

Steven Fletcher, the Conservative minister of state for democratic reform, immediately slammed the bill as an anti-democratic and "un-Canadian" assault on free speech.

Yep, there's that NCC line that I was expecting. lol Sigh. They are so predictable.


Anonymous said...

The funny thing here is that Liberal Senator Dawson’s bill is unlikely to get support from the NDP or the Bloc in the House of Commons, because the effect of the “truth ads” against Iggy and the Liberals is good for everyone except the Liberals.

KNB said...

While you have a point anon, they'd have to twist every way to Sunday to sell their opposition to it.

John said...

This bill wouldn't apply to those anti-Iggy ads anyway unless anyone really believes there will be an election in the next 3 months, which precisely no one does. And if by some massive miracle we did get an election in the next 3 months, well this bill wouldn't have even been voted on yet by anyone by that point anyway.

For the NDP/Bloc to come out against this would be bizarre since those are two parties that have a big problem spending the max in election campaigns so anything that would force the bigger parties to spend LESS within the actual writ period (which this bill would do if any party wanted to run pre-writ ads 3 months prior) should be embraced by them with gusto.

But then again they don't always listen to common sense or even take actions that would help their own party's interests so what do I know.

KNB said...

You're right John, they wouldn't apply to the current ads, but they would be prevented in the future.

Layton and Duceppe could only look foolish if they opposed these ads, just as they would look idiotic in supporting this government should the Lib's decide to force and election.

Anonymous said...

just as they would look idiotic in supporting this government should the Lib's decide to force and election.And that situation differs how given that Iggy supported the Connies with their budget?

Anonymous said...

"just as they would look idiotic in supporting this government should the Lib's decide to force and election."

Iggy and the Liberals need both the NDP and the Bloc to force an election, after Iggy leaving them both at the alter, good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

Iggy on Jack Layton;

“Jack Layton can’t stop Stephen Harper. Remember, Jack Layton gave us Stephen Harper. The Harper Government is the house that Jack built.”

Anonymous said...

Iggy on Quebecers;

“Quebecers walk around with this fantasy of how different they are, but they are just North Americans who speak French. They take the minor differences and magnify it.”

KNB said...

Well for starters, if you've spent the past 3 years mocking a stance that you now intend to adopt, that's pretty idiotic don't you think?

To your question though, the stakes are different and you know it. The NDP are not in a position to take power, so they can whinge all they like and throw around morally superior platitudes till the cows come home. When it's crunch time however, when they actually have to live by what they have preached, that'll be the test as to whether or not they are the party that says what they believe and believes what they say.

Bottom line, the situations aren't remotely analogous.

KNB said...

The Conservatives have responded. I've added an update to the post.

Anonymous said...

This bill was in the works for months.So the question is if the liberals think
that it has a good chance of becoming law,why than it wasn't introduced in the house commons first?

I don't see this bill ever becoming law. There is a reason why it was introduced in the senate instead of the H.O.C.It's the same reason why the conservatives introduced their gun bill in the senate that is in my opinion it is destined to fail.

Example when was the last time any bills that was introduced first in the senate actually became law?

How would this bill work in a minority situation when in any given month the government could fall?

The only way that this bill could work if by some miracle it should become law,is for the government to reach the full term or has a majority. In a majority Con/Libs they could always change the law again.

Moral of this story I don't see this happening not before the next election if at all.

Anonymous said...

Face it, Liberal fund raising sucks.

There is no other reason for this joke of a bill, that will never pass, to be brought forward.

wilson said...

I doubt the law, if passed, could be used if the election date was unknown.

Dion threatened an election for 18 months,
MI has been threatening one since he pushed Dion out in December, 5 months.
And we may not have an election until 2011, who knows.

So, unless there is a fixed election date, that also applies to minority governments,
the law will never pass a challenge.