Sunday, May 4, 2008
So if I give you $20K and you give it right back, I can get how much of a rebate?
So here we go again, except it’s now surveys and polling.
If I understand this latest elections financing scheme by the CPC, it looks like this:
1. Riding X sends party headquarters $20,000, which is then recorded on their local riding books as an expense for surveys and polling.
2. Riding X then reports that $20,000 “expense” to Elections Canada, for which it then gets a $12,000 rebate from the taxpayer (60% rebate if they got 10% of the vote).
3. Party headquarters then sends the riding’s $20,000 back to them.
4. Net gain to party: $12,000.
5. Net loss to taxpayers: $12,000.
Multiply that by the 50 or so ridings that supposedly participated and we’re in the area of a half-million bucks that, if the allegations are correct, have been taken out of taxpayer’s pockets for the enrichment of the Conservative Party of Canada. And that’s without considering any taxpayer rebate that might have been paid to the national party for the same surveys and polling expenses.
While I personally will miss seeing Pierre Poilievre stumble and bumble his way around this particular minefield, Elections Canada needs to pull out all the stops to get to the bottom of all these election funding allegations as quickly as possible and either deal with it themselves or pass the file on to law enforcement and the courts for legal action. As long as the CPC remains under investigation, they will use whatever political spin and posturing they can to bring Elections Canada’s own judgement and impartiality into question. That cannot continue for long before the credibility of the very organization that is responsible for a fair and transparent elections process in this country becomes irreparably damaged itself.