The Harperites have always pushed the envelopes of campaigning and governance. The Wright-Duffy Affair has provided us yet another example of how they govern. But, last week, Mr. Justice Richard Mosley reminded us yet again of how they campaign. Tom Walkom writes:
A federal court judgment on the so-called robocall affair provides an even more telling example of the blurred border between hardball partisanship and outright illegality.
In its broadest sense, the May 23 ruling by Justice Richard Mosley went against the eight citizens who brought the case.
But a careful reading of the judgement suggests that the bad news just keeps coming for the Harper government:
First, Mosley found that electoral fraud did take place. Someone was trying to subvert the election act by misdirecting voters.
Who committed that fraud? The judge, quite reasonably, said this question was impossible to determine.
But he also said that the “most likely source of information used to make the misleading calls” was a computerized database “maintained and controlled by the Conservative Party of Canada” that had been set up to monitor voting intentions.
In short, whoever committed this fraud almost certainly had access to the Conservatives’ carefully guarded computers.
Second, the judge found the Conservatives to be unduly obstructionist, at one point referring to their delaying tactics as a form of “trench warfare.”
The Conservative Party itself, he noted, made “little effort to assist with the investigation at the outset.”
It's all part of a pattern. What the pattern suggests is the Conservatives know they can't win the debate. That's why they have omnibus budget bills. It also suggests that they know they can't win elections by the accepted means.
So they game the system -- just as they game Senate audits. The end result is that they squander whatever integrity they used to have. They have sold their souls.