Like all Canadians who respect the rule of law and the importance of firm law enforcement against reprobates, I was disgusted by yet another case of activist judges and left-wing prosecutors putting criminals’ rights ahead of the rights and needs of the general public. It is a travesty of justice when prosecutors claim they have evidence to convict someone on a serious charge but they let them plead guilty to a lesser one just so as not to waste the court’s time.
Now that that’s out of my system, I want to address the wave of commentary which swept the Internet yesterday. First of all, the Conservatives have now admitted they are guilty of doctoring their books and breaking our election laws. They have confessed to submitting misinformation to Elections Canada and in doing so attempting to defraud the public purse by seeking government compensation for expenses which were not legally incurred. This is now on the record, in court, and needs to be mentioned on every possible occasion.
Second, those who are irate that they were allowed to cop to a lesser charge are right to be upset, but should also be realistic. In the majority of countries in the world, a charge of fraud against the ruling party would never have progressed as far as it was allowed to here. It’s true that the government would have insisted on full prosecution of an opposition party in the same circumstances. It’s true that we deserve a public inquiry to find out what happened. It’s true that we won’t get it. But we also don’t live in a genuine democracy.
All that said, I want to get a couple of reflective thoughts out of the way. First, the Conservative spin on this should be seen as what it is: the final nail in the coffin of democratic responsibility. This government has repeatedly argued that senior politicians are not responsible for actions of their subordinates. This compromise, and the Conservative claim that they have been exonerated, takes that claim to its full extreme. The party pleads guilty; in exchange, it is stated, no individual did anything wrong and therefore no individuals need face any consequences. It is, in legal guise, the same argument offered for why half of Harper’s Cabinet still have their jobs despite a litany of misdeeds ranging from embarrassing gaffes to outright crimes committed by their staffers.Tweet