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Changing the channel

What’s particularly irritating about this face-covering brouhaha is not only that Elections Canada head Marc Mayrand warned anyone who would have listened on multiple occasions in the spring and summer that the new law would not oblige persons to uncover their faces, so it should not be a big surprise to anyone that Elections Canada ruled the way that they did in this case, but also because the opposition parties are allowing what should have been a non-issue to become a welcome distraction for the Conservatives from Con-Air.

That’s the issue the Committee should be dealing with, yet the opposition has allowed the Tories to add this to the agenda of the Committee that was recalled specifically to inquire of the Conservatives questionable and possibly illegal spending practices during the last election campaign. Worse, they seem to be agreeing with the meme the Tories and Harper are throwing out there that EC is somehow “subverting the will of Parliament” (I find that line kind of ironic, coming from Harper, but thats another story), when all Marc Mayrand and EC are doing is applying the law as it is written down and passed by Parliament.

Its not surprising the media would allow itself to be distracted as well, but even the blog-world has had its attention averted, though as with the prior link and with this one, some are trying to remind people that this mountain out of a molehill is designed to be a red herring, and keep the attention off of what should be the issue to focus on here. I also agree with the couple of blogposts I’ve seen that charge Harper is using this non-issue to try and impugn Elections Canada’s credibility, and hopes it casts doubt on the non-partisan body’s integrity as related to the Con-Air scandal.

UPDATE: The Star isn’t the only ones taking everyone to task over this issue. The Globe’s editorial does as well.

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3 comments to Changing the channel

  • Joseph

    I have no problem with them adding this to the agenda just to have clarity on it. For one thing, I think what we will all see is several committee members acknowledging that what Mayrand said is correct. I just can't see that not being the outcome, and those that insist otherwise will just look foolish.
    I have no problem with it as long as it is dealt with and then the matter of Con Air (ok, I've submitted) Money Laundering is promptly taken up.
    The reality is it would make sense to discuss this sense it has come up in rather fiery fashion (on purpose, we know) just prior to 3 by-elections. I refuse to see this as "hijacking" the committee, as someone claimed earlier today. It just makes sense to go ahead and discuss it since the committee is meeting anyway.
    My point is I don't think discussing the veil issue necessarily means the money laundering issue is going to be swept aside, which seems to be the fear.

  • Well, this veil thing may indeed be a political diversion.  Still, it should be addressed on its merits.  And if Harper objects to Elections Canada interpreting the law as it was passed, then he should pass anoher law.  I fervently hope Mayrand doesn't back down.

  • Lord Kitchener's Own

    Well, at least the next time the Tories start complaining that an "activist" judge is reading things into the laws passed by Parliament that aren't there we'll know they're being disingenuous.  You can't deride judges for reading things into legislation that weren't put there by Parliament, and simultaneously DEMAND that the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada read things into legislation that weren't put there by Parliament.

    Well, clearly you CAN, but not if you want to maintain any SHRED of credibility with me!

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