Thursday, March 03, 2011

Harper's "Interpretation" of The Law

Note Harper's "interpretation" of the Law...

Yup. That's what he says in response to QP questions regarding his party's breaking Elections Canada rules. He clearly repeats that they respect Elections Canada's "interpretation" of the law.

Of course he is just putting that notion out there - that what EC is accusing them of is only an INTERPRETATION of the law.

Similar to every single other time a Conservative breaks the law, or the rules, Harper won't apologize or fix the matter - he will simply attack the other and try to claim that the law is just one groups' "interpretation".

That's our "law and order" PM. Go spend another few billion on creating more prisoners to fill new prisons Stevie Boy!

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WesternGrit said...

Edit: The "create more prisoners" point is about HarperCo wanting to change the laws to increase incarceration rates to fill their new prisons. Crime rates are falling, so how do Conservatives justify their so-called "law and order" agenda (and keep terrifying Canadians)? Simple: just change the law to define more citizens as being criminals. THAT will help boost crime rates just enough to start filling prisons.

WhigWag said...

Guess by their newspeak logic, we should hold off building those prisons until all the accused's & provisionally incarcerated peoples' appeals are exhausted all the way to the SCC, then, eh, since in the meantime it's just a dispute over an interpretation of the rules.

KC said...

I don't think you're a lawyer so I'll forgive you but our laws leave a lot more open for interpretation than you might think. Some laws are quite clear, others are a little vague but lean strongly one way, and others are a complete toss up. I don't know the law as it pertains to the in an out kerfuffle, but the fact that a lower court judge favoured the Conservative interpertation I think shows it wasnt a completely unreasonable interpretation.

I wouldn't be so dismissive of the defence that we interpret the law differently from someone else.

Prairie Kid said...

Here's a few things you should know about the Elections Canada Act.

1. It is not illegal to transfer money from the party to individual ridings. Nor is it illegal to transfer money from ridings to the party. All political parties do it.

2. It is not illegal for ridings to get together and pool their money for advertising. All political parties do it.

What Elections Canada has an issue with is that the ads weren't "local enough". What a small grey area to get in a big huff about. Where does it spell out what percentage has to be local?

WhigWag said...

KC -- you should do a lot more research on this issue, and/or read the federal court of appeal decision first before making a comment like that.

Because not only was the federal court quite wrong to rule as it did, but the CPC has also completely misrepresented what it DID rule on:

which wasn't on EC's interpretation of the rules -- which even the lower court signaled it actually pretty much agreed with -- but on whether it had the right to APPLY that interpretation on its own to withhold the rebates to the indiv. candidates for those questionable advertising invoices, or whether it had to wait until its allegations or suspicions were proven in court, first.

And now the court of appeal has ruled that it DID have that right, and that it WAS making a reasonable interp.

Which is still not definitive, true -- the other case is to decide whether it both was against the rules and knowingly & willfully so.

But I don't buy for a second that the rules about caps on and the difference between allowable national and regional campaign activities & expenses were that ambiguous, and I think it's obvious that this was a deliberate attempt to try to get around them. Which is why the 2 MPs (Inky Mark & Helena Guergis) and 2 other candidates wouldn't go along with it.

WesternGrit said...

Couple of points here:
1) We still are waiting for an answer as to why the Cons exceeded campaign spending limits - ie- cheating
2) As far as I recall - and anyone else who is politically active - money raised/spent by a local campaign goes towards the size of the rebate a candidate/riding gets. The more the spending on a campaign, the bigger the rebate. The Con's little shennanigan put more money in the riding coffers, in effect potentially bilking tax payers for bigger rebates.

ps: You guys don't know my real profession, so we won't get into a legal debate...