Archive for the 'Liberal Party' Category

Wajid again

Saturday, November 24th, 2007

Hmm, looks like Tory MP Wajid Kahn is in a bit of trouble, but not for the reasons I would have thought.

A few weeks back I complained that Mr. Kahn was still doing ads for his Toronto car dealership while he was a sitting MP. Well the Ethics Commissioner set me straight on that point. However, pencil throwing NDP MP Pat Martin has discovered something even worse about the floor-crossing Member for Mississauga-Streetsville.

According to

Wajid KahnOntario Conservative MP Wajid Khan has been charged with violating the Elections Canada Act.

Khan, who crossed the floor from the Liberals to the Conservatives in January of this year, is charged with exceeding his campaign expense limit by $30,000 and paying for some campaign expenses he wasn’t allowed to personally cover.

The charges stem from the 2004 election campaign, when Khan ran as a Liberal.

His former riding president and his car dealership, Dufferin Mazda, are also charged with paying for campaign expenses they weren’t supposed to cover.

“Some people treat the election financing rules [as] voluntary guidelines,” said NDP MP Pat Martin, who filed a complaint last January when he heard there were questions about how Khan financed his election campaign. “They’re not. They’re hard fast laws and there should be consequences. If not, it’s not fair to any of us.”

This revelation probably won’t do any real damage to the Harper Conservatives, since the incident occurred while Mr. Kahn was running for the Liberals 2 elections ago. It makes me wonder though why it has taken so long for this to come to light. Mr. Martin apparently learned of the questions about Mr. Kahn’s campaign financing in January ’07, right around the time that Mr. Kahn made his jump to the Tories.

Could it be that the Liberals knew about this situation all along and were keeping it quiet, only letting it out when Mr. Kahn stepped (way) out of line. Political backstabbing? Maybe. But a serious problem nonetheless. My guess is that while Harper will take a bit of a hit for not doing some due diligence on his new MP, the Liberals will take the bigger hit for not doing something about the situation before allowing Mr. Kahn to run in a second election for them.

The big winner… the NDP who now have a second scandal which, like the Shreiber/Mulroney affair, has the potential to do damage to both of their main political rivals in the House.

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You’ve got to stand for something

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

…or you’re gonna fall for anything.

Watching Stephane Dion dodge the land mines Stephen Harper has laid out for him keeps that John Cougar song playing in my head.

For the second time this session Dion’s Liberals have abstained on a vote in the House in order to avoid triggering an election. It’s an interesting strategy. Trading looking like a completeley ineffective opposition for time to rebuild the party, and the ability to pick the precise issue on which to take down the governement. Risky, but maybe the right play, and it’s driving Stephen Harper nuts.

For those remaining few who might actually believe the Conservative rhetoric of “we want to govern” consider the following: Harper is currently getting everything he wants done policy wise, since the Liberals are refusing to stop them. If he really wanted to govern he should be happy. He’s not.

Harper desperately wants to go to the polls, hoping to capitalise on a weak Bloc Quebecois and a Liberal Party in disarray. Unfortunately for him, the passing of Bill C-16 means that he can’t call an election until Oct. 19, 2009. So the PMO has instructed Conservative MPs to attack the Liberals for failing to vote, trying to goad them into toppling the government.

Dion, however, is going to have to pick his battlefield, and soon. Continuing to avoid an election has the nasty side effect of allowing more and more time for the Conservatives to take us farther down the path away from sustainability, sound fiscal policy and real justice for all Canadians.

For the sake of the country, I hope M. Dion knows what he is doing.

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