That’s 12 reasons apart from the fact that under Harper, the Conservative Party itself successfully attempted to steal the 2006 election by deliberately exceeding its spending limit and laundering the ill-spent funds through riding association accounts.
Harper won his long-coveted majority in 2011 by 12 votes. That number, of course, includes a considerable variety of people who are, shall we say, not averse to breaking the elections law when it suits their interests to do so.
The latest person to join the list of Con cons is Essex MP Jeff Watson, who exceeded his election spending limit and is attempting to argue that he didn’t really exceed it because — you’ll love this — he has told the telephone company that he won’t be paying his bill for the campaign, and their pesky bill collectors can go piss up a rope, and he can write off the bill as a non-expense, and everybody’s happy. Incredibly, Elections Canada has a problem with this. Much less incredibly, Watson, like all Conservatives, now claims that he is the victim of an Elections Canada “vendetta” and has promised to fight them in court.
So you can tack up Watson’s name next to James Bezan, Shelly Glover, and Peter Penashue, who exceeded their expense limits in 2011; Eve Adams, who is seeking taxpayer compensation for several thousand dollars in such things as “salon visits and dry-cleaning” during the 2011 campaign; House Leader Peter Van Loan, who exceeded his expense limit in 2008; Parliamentary Secretary Dean Del Mastro, who is under investigation for alleged illegal expenditures in 2008; Minister Gary Goodyear, who solicited illegal campaign donations in 2008; and Minister Vic Toews, who was convicted in 2005 of exceeding his expense limit. That makes nine sitting MPs accused or found guilty of breaking the elections law, quite apart from those ridings which are subject to the perennially ongoing robocall investigation.
As you can see, if Harper did the honourable thing by kicking these people out of his caucus, at least until the investigations are completed, then he would be in dangerous trouble indeed. A few more like this, and he would be reduced to a minority government.
Which is why Harper puts protecting his MPs ahead of following the law. The alternative is to lose majority status. Power before principle.Tweet