Friday, September 27, 2013

Del Mastro Charged ... and ... Your Point Is?

All over the news yesterday was headlines about Dean Del Mastro being charged by Elections Canada for misdeeds in the 2008 election.

You'd think I'd be cheering.  I'm not.

Yes, I'm glad that Del Mastro will, at last, have to answer for questionable campaign practices in the 2008 election.

But, it was the fraudulent practices of the Conservatives during the 2006 and 2008 elections that led to the much more widespread fraud that they carried out in the 2011 election - and that election is the one where the greatest damage has been done to Canada.

The fact that it has taken Elections Canada 5 years to bring Del Mastro before a court is a statement about how effectively the Harper Government has stymied the ability of Canada's electoral oversight body to hold politicians accountable since coming to power in 2006.

In 2006, the Conservatives engaged in a lovely little money laundering operation to get away with violating campaign spending rules.  It's gone downhill from there.

In 2011, we were visited with the most blatant abuses of the electoral system in the form of Robocalls misdirecting voters away from correct polling stations - with data from the Conservatives voter information database.  To date, only one charge has been laid in this case, and mysteriously the access logs for the CPC database have been "accidentally destroyed".

How convenient.

Quite frankly, we are seeing a consistent pattern of outright corruption and abuse from the Harper Government.  They essentially lied and cheated through the 2011 election, and in doing so have called into question the legitimacy of our very system of selecting a government.  Since then, they have moved quite deliberately to hamstring Elections Canada's ability to investigate and prosecute these crimes effectively by strangling their budget resources.

Yes, Del Mastro needs to be prosecuted.  So do a lot of other people in the CPC - starting at the top.  It disappoints me that it has taken 5 years to bring Del Mastro before a court, and it angers me that Harper will have gotten away with even more by the time 2015/16 elections rolls around while a hobbled oversight system struggles to bring all of these misdeeds to justice.

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