So Michael Sona is guilty of election fraud, even though the crown prosecutor and the judge both agree that he did not act alone. The Harperites will continue to insist that Sona was just one bad apple. But that meme has become the punchline of a national joke. Michael Den Tandt writes:
There was the “in and out” affair in 2007, related to spending-limit violations in the 2006 election, which the Conservatives minimized for years but to which the party ultimately pleaded guilty.
In-and-out amounted to a series of money transfers in which central campaign ad dollars were routed through accounts belonging to dozens of MP candidates. Elections Canada’s investigation, Mr. McGregor and Mr. Maher later reported, cost taxpayers more than $2-million.
There was former intergovernmental affairs minister Peter Penashue, who was found to have overspent and accepted illegal contributions in his winning 2011 campaign in Labrador. Mr. Penashue eventually resigned his seat, sought re-election, and lost in a 2013 byelection to Liberal Yvonne Jones.
There’s Dean Del Mastro, formerly Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s parliamentary secretary and a key player for the Conservatives on the Commons floor, now an independent on trial for exceeding spending and donation limits, and filing a false return. Mr. Del Mastro has pleaded not guilty. Closing arguments are expected in September.
The Harper Party rode into Ottawa full of sound and fury, outraged by the Adscam affair. However, all this putrefaction makes Adscam look like small potatoes.
Mr. McGregor and Mr. Mahar -- rest assured -- will keep digging. And Senator Duffy will be hell bent on revenge. There are all kinds of rotten apples in the Tory silo.