Canadians on the federal parties

According to the latest Nanos Survey,

Party personality – Conservative Party: Let’s assume for a moment that each federal political party was a person. What one word would you use to describe the personality of each of the following political parties? [Open-ended] [Randomize parties].

Canada (n=925)

Untrustworthy: 14.4%
Conservative: 12.9%
Bad/Incompetent: 9.9%
Good/Good choice : 9.1%
Trustworthy: 6.4%
Controlling/Authoritarian: 5.8%
Arrogant: 5.5%
Strong/Powerful: 5.3%
Selfish: 4.6%
Intelligent: 4.0%
Progressive: 3.3%
Realistic/Pragmatic: 3.2%
None: 3.2%
Strong leadership: 0.8%
Other: 6.7%
Unsure: 4.9%

Party personality – NDP: Let’s assume for a moment that each federal political party was a person. What one word would you use to describe the personality of each of the following political parties? [Open-ended] [Randomize parties].

Canada (n=923)

Socialist: 13.3%
Caring: 10.2%
Bad/Incompetent: 10.1%
Good : 10.0%
New: 10.0%
Innovative: 8.6%
Trustworthy: 5.8%
Idealistic: 5.6%
Aggressive: 4.2%
Untrustworthy: 3.3%
Intelligent: 2.8%
None: 2.7%
Jack Layton: 1.0%
Other: 6.5%
Unsure: 6.0%

Party personality – Liberal Party: Let’s assume for a moment that each federal political party was a person. What one word would you use to describe the personality of each of the following political parties? [Open-ended] [Randomize parties].

Canada (n=931)

Bad/Incompetent: 18.4%
Untrustworthy: 16.2%
Good: 11.5%
Competent : 6.8%
Progressive: 5.8%
Strong/Powerful: 5.1%
Arrogant: 4.9%
Old-fashioned/Outdated: 4.4%
None: 4.3%
Liberal: 4.3%
Boring: 3.3%
Selfish: 1.7%
Centrist/Middle of the road: 1.0%
Other: 6.6%
Unsure: 5.8%

Party personality – Green Party: Let’s assume for a moment that each federal political party was a person. What one word would you use to describe the personality of each of the following political parties? [Open-ended] [Randomize parties].

Canada (n=941)

Environment/Eco-friendly/Green: 16.7%
Unrealistic/Naive: 14.7%
Not well known: 11.1%
Idealistic : 8.6%
Useless: 7.8%
Caring: 6.0%
None: 5.0%
Good: 4.8%
Hippie/Radical: 4.5%
Innovative: 4.5%
Boring: 3.2%
Other: 6.5%
Unsure: 6.5%

Party personality – Bloc Quebecois: Let’s assume for a moment that each federal political party was a person. What one word would you use to describe the personality of each of the following political parties? [Open-ended] [Randomize parties] [Quebec sample only].

Canada (n=232)

Useless: 15.4%
Narrow-minded/one-sided: 13.0%
Separatist/Independent: 11.7%
Aggressive : 10.7%
None: 6.3%
Untrustworthy: 5.2%
Selfish/Self-centred: 5.0%
Boring: 4.6%
Incompetent: 4.5%
Good: 4.0%
French: 3.4%
Arrogant/Stubborn: 2.9%
Radical: 1.7%
Not well known: 0.4%
Other: 4.0%
Unsure: 7.3%

Ignatieff.me

Jane Taber wrote last weekend,

For all those Canadians who think Michael Ignatieff, the newly-installed Liberal Leader, is an intellectual snob, read on: He enjoys keeping up on all the celebrity news and gossip in tabloid magazines, including Star Magazine and HELLO! Canada. As a result, he says he knows all about the ravages of cellulite, the dimply-skin problem that affects mostly women. Indeed, his knowledge of that issue is as rich as it is of the carbon cap and trade system. However, he is just enough of a snob that he refuses to be seen buying the magazines; his wife, Zsuszanna Zsohar, does that.

Dr. Ignatieff will be spending a lot of time on this mag. It’s Ignatieff.me!

UDPATE: Here are some of the videos from the site

Conservative Party ad: “Michael Ignatieff: Just Visiting”

Within the last few minutes, the Conservative Party of Canada finally rolled out an ad defining a message track about Michael Ignatieff. Take a look:

The main message from the Tories here is that Michael Ignatieff has been out of the country and is only back in the country for his own ambition. The “Just Visiting” line is a good one because it will ring true to many Canadians and their perceived sense of commitment to country. In fact, Michael Ignatieff has already tried to pre-emptively blunt this form of attack by writing a book titled True Patriot Love wherein he outlines his mother’s family’s commitment to this country.

Narrator: Why is Michael Ignatieff back in Canada after being away for 34 years? Does he have a plan for the economy? No, instead he’s running attack ads hiding the fact that he hasn’t offered any economic ideas… just attack ads. With no long term plan for the economy, he’s not in it for Canada… just in it for himself. It’s the only reason he’s back. Michael Ignatieff: Just Visiting.

It’s interesting to note that the Conservative Party has framed “Grit Girl” Youtube vidoes as Liberal attack ads. Most observers note that the professionally produced though anonymously released ads are most likely being churned out by the Liberal Research Bureau or by Liberal HQ. Usually the videos first see wide distribution on the blog of Ignatieff’s war room captain Warren Kinsella.

The image is strong and cynical. It show an image of the Liberal leader simply drifting by and transitory. The Conservatives are also accusing the Liberals of running attack ads. The ad touches upon the #1 issue in the economy successfully underscores Igntieff’s main negative. Some observers will remember that Ignatieff once mused that if he didn’t ascend to the Prime Minister’s Office that Harvard would likely take him back.

Warren Kinsella misfires

Our friend Warren Kinsella of the red team, calls me out as a hypocrite for blogging about Michael Ignatieff’s $0 record of donation to the Liberal Party of Canada in 2008, whereas Warren points out Elections Canada lists me as giving $0 to the CPC in 2008.

There are a couple of quick points I should make about this:
– I actually didn’t do this. I didn’t call out Ignatieff for his lack of donations to the Liberal Party. So I am being called a hypocrite for something I didn’t do!
– I did in fact donate to the Conservative Party in 2008. Warren, you don’t appreciate that cheques for less than $200 are not publicly disclosed by Elections Canada. I suppose that Warren thinks that folks that write cheques for less than $200 aren’t “putting their money where their mouth is”. I suppose Warren might say that only those that cut big cheques are allowed to have a voice!
– Warren also doesn’t appreciate the difference between movement and party. I work full time for the Manning Centre for Building Democracy, a integral organization in the conservative movement.
– I’ve never been paid $1 by the Conservative Party, whereas you are and have been paid by the Liberal Party for communications! Putting my money where my mouth is? The Liberal Party pays for your mouth!
– If we’re going to compare apples to apples here, you ask “What did they donate to the Conservative Party last year?”, I ask “What did you donate to the Liberal Party last year?” Elections Canada has you listed as $0 to the Liberal Party of Canada in 2008. (You gave to the Ignatieff leadership campaign)

You write,

Michael Ignatieff has donated through the Laurier Club in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. Both Michael and his wife, Zsuzsanna Zsohar, have donated the maximum amount to the Michael Ignatieff campaign in 2009. And, in 2007, Zsuzsanna donated $1,000 to Michael’s riding and $1,000 to the Liberal Party.

First of all, the Laurier Club doesn’t mean anything in a legal sense to Elections Canada. To Liberals, it’s the max donor club. To Elections Canada, it could be called the “First Annual Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence… Club” and it would have the same legal standing. Anyway, donations to the “Laurier Club” are in fact donations to the Liberal Party. And, according to Elections Canada, Michael Ignatieff has donated $0 in 2008. So, either Michael Ignatieff has given $0, or he’s made his donations off-book (you say he’s given the max amount), or you’re mistaken and he’s given as many normal political donors do, with a $50 cheque here and a $75 cheque there. You really shouldn’t be hard on us regular folk, you with your top hat, monocle and deeds to all four railroads, both utilities and Pennsylvania avenue!

So, we’re conservatives and we didn’t like the budget. What are we going to do about it?

“Well, what the hell else do you expect us to do with a gun to our head” remarked one ministerial staffer at Hy’s last night when I delivered the verdict of conservative ideologues to a budget which increased special project spending, established an ugly deficit, and indicated that hopes of small government would be shelved, at least for the foreseeable future.

A minority government is like a constant job interview, and the employer right now is a glutton. Pass the antacid and bring more pork; 62% of Canadians voted for those without a predisposition to sound economic sense, while the rest voted for those that know better.

If they know better, something else holds them back. “You have no idea how much I bled for this budget… this made me sick” another staffer told me. It was certainly a policy delivered in the context of a deficit pushing $1 trillion in the US, where every other government in the industrialized world is running deficits and whereas Canada is a rare exception in that we’re one of those jurisdictions that is receiving permanent tax relief. But for ideologues who moonlight as paid partisans in government, this budget policy is as much dyspeptic for their stomachs as it read dyslexic to their instincts.

A political party’s first and last job is to get elected. If you thought that the Conservative Party should have held its ground, flipped off the opposition, delivered $30 billion in tax cuts and went out in a blaze of glory then you have the benefit of layering fantasy on a wholly incongruent political landscape where the pragmatists thrive. A political party, in practice, is not much more than a marketing machine to sell ideas to an electorate looking to buy them. However, elections span a meager 36 days and unless a voter is conditioned to think conservatively, they won’t vote Conservative. If a Conservative party does form government — especially a minority government — the long term goal is the same: keep the upper hand, survive when strategically beneficial, and win elections.

Let’s be clear. A majority Conservative government would implement a conservative agenda that would satiate the conservative base. In such fortunate circumstances, government action would unreservedly reflect conservative principles because this government would act comfortably without violating objective #1 — re-election from a plurality of conservative-minded voters. The underlying ideology would fortuitously overlap with winnable conditions.

How is a sustainable conservative majority-government-electing voter base in Canada achieved? While the party is focused on doing their job to win elections and form policies that are within Canada’s (ie. its electorate’s) interests, those of us who aren’t pre-occupied by such distractions must look at change as a long-term goal rather than a short-term fix. If the Conservative party is the election-winning machine, the conservative movement must be the one to give it a meaningful mandate.

By all means, we need a strong Conservative party because it is our vehicle. Do not punish the party for doing its job. However, we must also have a strong conservative movement. It is foolish to depend on an organization to change the ideological culture of Canada when its current success is inextricably bound to it as it presently exists. The political party that wins the election will always reflect the plurality of Canadian voter intent. Whether the blue team or red team wins, success is simply a jersey switched by the same central swing voters. In every election, the ideological and purist cynic bemoans the pragmatic and victory-focused party strategist that moves to capture the centre. Leave the party to appeal to the most voters and win elections, it is the job of the conservative movement to move the centre to the right.

We can lament the budget delivered by our Conservative Party and complain that it goes against our instincts as conservatives. But yesterday, the Conservative government did its job, it presented a survivable budget in the current political climate. However, the conservative movement failed because it was unsuccessful in creating the conditions of ideological survivability for what should have been a sincerely conservative budget.

So what are we going to do about it?

UPDATE: Some are reading this as a condemnation of the conservative movement. It is rather a call to action. The Conservative party is what we make of it; our model is bottom-up, not top-down. Let’s get to work at making more Canadians conservative.

Obama sets example for Canada

The election of Barack Obama is historic in many ways, most significantly in the progression along the troubled history of race in the United States. On Tuesday, Americans turned out in record numbers to give Obama a decisive win and vault the first African-American into the highest office in that country. The Obama team also set new records along the fundraising front and may indeed set a precedent for the financing of elections in the future.

According to opensecrets.org, a website on money in politics run by the Centre for Responsive Politics, Senator Obama raised $639 million during the 2008 Presidential election cycle with 91% of that sum coming from individual donations. Comparatively, Senator McCain raised $360 million, 54% coming from the same type; the majority of the dollars from each candidate’s campaign came from people making personal donations to their favourite candidate. A striking difference between campaigns was Obama’s refusal of public funding. The Illinois senator took $0 of public financing while his Republican counterpart from Arizona took over $84 million to make up 23% of his campaign’s spending power.

We didn’t start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington – it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston.

It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give five dollars and ten dollars and twenty dollars to this cause. It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation’s apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. This is your victory. — President-elect Barack Obama, Chicago November 4th, 2008

In Canada, the Reform Party under Preston Manning started a tradition of passing the hat in church basements and legion halls during rallies, speeches or simple administrative meetings. A donation of $5, $20 or $100 was passed on to bring change to Ottawa. The tradition continues today under Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party, though in a much more sophisticated way and one that is buoyed by databases and telemarketing. Conservatives have historically raised an average individual donation of about $100 while Liberals used to depend on fewer but larger sums. Jean Chretien –perhaps to kneecap his long-coveting Prime Ministerial successor — changed the way election financing was done in Canada by banning corporate and union donations. Chretien replaced the private financing of political parties by special interests with public financing by government. For each vote that a party earns during an election, that party receives $1.75 per year from the federal treasury.

On the surface, this reconfiguration of campaign financing seems to rebalance the funding equation from powerful institutions to those that ought to have the first and last word in any democracy. Indeed, voters are empowered not only when they give campaigns their vote but also when they do so with the knowledge that instead of corporate or union backing, there is a small financial sum that comes with each ballot cast that sustains parties instead. However, while Chretien’s system solves one problem, it creates another.

In Quebec where a province defaults to the inert rather than the principled, a problem exists with Chretien’s model of campaign financing. The Bloc Quebecois, doing all it could to supress its core principle of sovereignty for that province, rather stood against — indeed, as a block to — Conservative ideas in the 2008 general election and against Liberal corruption in 2006. In the first half of this year, the Bloc raised just over $70,000 but received $1.5 million in public financing. Donations are a result of direct support whereas that larger windfall comes from standing against something rather than offering something better. The Bloc Quebecois would not exist if it had to rely upon direct non-governmental financing from supporters.

This summer, I met a member of the Obama campaign’s senior staff in New York City. Discussing the presidential campaign and some Canadian politics, I was told that the Liberal Party had approached the Obama campaign to attain some insight into their fundraising capacity and to create a similar system in Canada so that a large number of small donors could fill their campaign war chest. The staffer told me that after initial discussions, the Liberal Party never followed up in any significant way.

A tried-and-true election strategy for the Liberal Party has been to strike fear into the electorate about what a Conservative administration might mean for Canada. In the last election we were warned that a Conservative majority would allow Harper to finally implement his hidden agenda. Yet the Conservatives in power have not been innocent of taking this lower path either. Defining Stephane Dion as a weak leader and scaring the electorate as to what his “tax on everything” would mean to the economy took a negative track and suggested people vote against, rather than for the Conservatives. People are goaded out of fear to vote against and they often hold their nose for the not-as-offensive choice they end up “supporting”. Since money comes from support, we should break the model that rewards false support and strengthen one that challenges parties to offer ideas rather than fear. Government subsidization of political parties hurts Canadian politics.

The motto of Barack Obama’s campaign for President was “Yes We Can”. Under the current Canadian system, we give welfare to parties for being best able to convince Canadians of the other parties, “No They Can’t”. If we made politics about the positive (Yes), responsibility of self (We) and enablement (Can) rather than the negative (No), what one’s opponent would do (They) and a need to stop them (Can’t), perhaps we could reduce voter apathy both at the ballot box and when parties pass the hat. If we gave voters more power to finance those they support rather than sustain those they least detest we could shift Canadian politics for the better.

On Tuesday, American politics changed. It is time to end campaign welfare so that we can replace politics that scares with that which inspires.

Yes we can.

Election’s a go

Today, Prime Minister Stephen Harper asked the Governor General for the dissolution of Canada’s 39th Parliament and Her Excellency will ask for the return of writs in 37 days. All five major party leaders made television appearences to either give speeches, take question or both. Here are my initial impressions.

Stephane Dion started by saying that in this election there will be “two stark differences”, that between the Liberal Party and the Conservatives. Stephane Dion is picking up right where Paul Martin left-off. No, I’m not talking about a firesale where all seats must go, but rather by trying to define the election as one of two choices. Unfortunately for Mr. Dion, this election is crowded on the left and will see attention given to NDP, Bloc and even the Liberal-proxy Greens which may end up being more trouble than benefit for the Liberals. In modern elections, Liberals have always had to strike out against their main Conservative opponents while taking time to suppress NDP gains on the left. By defining “two stark differences”, the right may be well-defined but there is a low signal-to-noise ratio on the left. Dion also made a point of saying that he “loves Canada” and took a minor tangent and regaled people on his love for our country. You’ll remember that Stephen Harper wasn’t so explicit when asked by a reporter/plant during the last campaign on this topic. It took the then-opposition leader by surprise and his answer wasn’t prepared. This may be significant because of the similar backdrops of the House of Commons; Dion gave his launch speech in exactly the same location that Harper did in December 2005. The Liberals may be trying set the scene quite literally for a contrast video piece on “loving Canada”.

A reporter asked Dion if he accepts the premise that this election is defined by leadership. Dion stumbles by accepting this directly and says that he leads on the environment, poverty and a whole list of Liberal policies. The Conservatives would like nothing better than the national media to accept leadership as the ballot box question and define the rest of the race through this lens through which the Conservatives have already focused their message for almost two years since Dion won the leadership race in late 2006. I also think that it was a disastrous mistake for the Liberals to lead with what is their de facto main policy plank months before this election. Questions have arisen even among Dion’s own MPs about the implementation, the regional differences and even the concept of the Green Shift itself. Canadians are aware of the Green Shift, so how does Dion plan to re-launch it? A reporter asked about the “carbon tax” and whether its a good policy for Canadians. Dion responds without redefining the question about the “Green Shift” and answers it instead in the context of a tax. These were two significant mistakes by Dion; to accept this election as a referendum on leadership and taxation.

Jack Layton addressed supporters from Gatineau along the banks of the Ottawa River overlooking Parliament. The speech was somewhat annoying because his crowd of supporter either wasn’t big enough, or didn’t translate on the microphone well enough to sound big. The camera shot also featured a somewhat disheveled looking lady and a guy in a bucket-hat. While his supporters applauded every speech point (which were many and frequent), Layton defined this election for himself; Jack Layton is running for the job of Prime Minister. Layton is taking a bolder and different track this time around and doing (what he may argue) Dion cannot. By echoing the same message of a choice between two visions, Layton is trying to drop the Liberals from the game. How can NDP voters go Liberal to stop Harper when Liberals gave the Prime Minister the green light during the last session? The Conservatives and NDP will attack the Green Shift on two fronts. On the right, increased taxation will be Conservatives warning to Canadians while on the left the NDP will make try their point that only the NDP has credibility on the environment (Bill C-377).

Gilles Duceppe with each passing election is becoming an anachronism in Canadian politics. The Bloc Quebecois leader’s speech had a number of hidden agenda references from George Bush to abortion to gender equality. Isn’t this 2008? We’ve heard this song before et désolé, ici ce n’est pas le Bloc. Also of note, Canada may be unique in modern western democracies in that it is a viable election strategy to inflate your opponents chances indicating that they may win a majority government.

Finally, Elizabeth May gave an impassioned speech about voter participation which should be well received by anyone watching. However, May’s passion moved into a speech about climate change that gave me the feeling that an advocacy group has not yet fully matured into a political party. If the Greens are going to debate, they need to broaden their platform and present themselves as alternative on the left rather than a pseudo-Liberal coalition. Watching CPAC coverage, I could not believe my ears that former Sierra Club senior policy adviser and now-Green Party spokesman John Bennett said that because of climate change “Stephen Harper doesn’t give a damn about his children’s future”. The Green Party is not ready for prime time. However, the fact that CPAC is putting them on panels, featuring May in the rotation may indicate that the most balanced political news outlet considers them part of the mainstream and this will have an effect on their coverage (and political gains). Will the Greens’ coverage actually harm the Liberals? Does the emergence of a fifth voice (and fourth on the left) amplify trouble for the Liberal brand especially under the weak leadership of Dion?

Double standard at the Globe and Mail?

In March of 2007, the Conservative Party of Canada held a training conference for its staff and campaign volunteers in Toronto. The conference was packed with seminars and panels designed to effectively educate Conservative Party activists on the best techniques known to win elections.

Six months later, Daniel Leblanc from the Globe and Mail got wind of a specific seminar at the conference that included information to optimize campaigning to reach out to multicultural groups for their votes.

Here is the above-the-fold front page story describing the Conservative strategy:

Click here to download the PDF of the front page
The opening paragraph of the story:

“Select ethnic and religious groups across Canada are being targeted by a previously unknown Conservative team that is bluntly gunning for votes in a bid to supplant the Liberals in multicultural ridings in the next election.”

Bluntly gunning for targeted minorities? Yeah… really.

Now, let’s move on to 2008. The blog Progress for Progressives describes a recent Liberal Party training course that the author had attended where… “targeting by ethnicity” is part of a seminar on voter contact.

Read this document on Scribd: Campaign Manager Training

Will we see alarmist headlines in the Globe and Mail? Who’s on it?

Leblanc? Laghi? Galloway? Anyone… anyone? Bueller?

The Elections Canada raid (supporting information and Conservative response)

Below you’ll find the application for a search warrant from Elections Canada (the warrant), attached appendices to the affidavit of EC official Ronald Lamothe, and a list of contradictions that the Conservative Party believes to exist between Lamothe’s affidavit and the supporting documentation.

First, the search warrant:

Read this doc on Scribd: stephentaylorca-warrant

and the appendices to the affidavit sworn by Lamothe:

Read this doc on Scribd: appendices to affidavit

The Conservative Party has pointed out contradictions that exist between the affidavit sworn and supporting material provided in the appendices to the affidavit. Here are the contradictions that they emphasize (received via email (on the record) from the CPC):

In general, the text of the affidavit is extremely one-sided. It is replete with misstatement, misquote, incomplete quotes, and apparently deliberate omission of information which is contrary to the existence of their “theme” of a “scheme”. A particular concern would be some very serious distortions of the documents that the affidavit purports to paraphrase or refer to.

1. An outrageous example is the fabricated purported quote of Irving Gerstein, Chair of Conservative Fund Canada, contained at p. 54, para 229d. Compare the paraphrased “quote” in the text to the actual email from the person purporting to quote Mr Gerstein, contained at Appendix 25 of the document. The person quoting Mr Gerstein in the email does not say that Mr Gerstein even referred to a “switch” in advertising expenses, let alone that this would be necessary to avoid breaching the limit. The version of the quote in the affidavit is a fabrication by the affiant.

This fabrication undermines the credibility of all the other paraphrased quotes in the affidavit, especially where the quotes are from individuals whose statements are not contained in emails of third parties (as with Mr Gerstein) but rather were allegedly directly made in conversations with the investigators.

2. Another outrageous example is the repeated but baseless implication or innuendo that Party staff essentially fraudulently altered Retail Media invoices (pages 16, 23, 53, 54, 55). This is manifestly false: the explanation is contained at para 79, and reflected in the documents at App 19 and 23. Simply stated, one Retail Media invoice that lists some 40 ridings was obviously re-copied for ease of reference to refer to one riding at a time. The amount applicable to a given riding was unchanged.

3. This baseless implication of fraudulent invoicing is repeated at p. 25, para 92. There is reference to a Retail Media invoice for a riding of $10,657 for “radio”, while it is noted the Party invoice for that riding for “media buy” is $21,240.57. The affiant states that he “is not aware of the reason for the difference”. The reason is that he ignored another Retail Media invoice for the same riding contained at the previous page in the same Appendix (App 8, at pp. 211ff), in the amount of $10,584, for “TV”. The two Retail Media invoices together total $21, 241 – i.e., the same amount as carried forward onto the Party invoice.

4. At p. 25, para. 90, there is a paraphrased alleged quote of an official agent, Lise Vallieres, suggesting that she had never agreed to the advertising expenditure. It is disturbing that there is no reference here to the letter that her candidate sent to Elections Canada dated December 15, 2006 concerning his campaign’s participation in the regional media buy. The letter states as follows:

“Il s’agit d’un ‘placement collectif’ de publicité de plusieurs comtés lors de la dernière election générale (23 janvier 2006). Mme. Lise Vallières, agent officielle du soussigné, a accepté d’y participer de bonne foi.”

(see O’Grady affidavit in Federal Court filing)

5. Anyone familiar with federal electoral law and policy would be aware that every candidate and official agent must sign the following declaration to Elections Canada in relation expenditure listed in their return:

“I hereby solemnly declare that to the best of my knowledge and belief:

“1. the information contained in this return is correct; all election expenses in respect of the conduct or management of the election have been properly recorded;

“I make this solemn declaration conscientiously, believing it to be true and knowing that it is of the same force and effect as if made under oath and by virtue of the Canada Evidence Act.”

Yet, there is no reference to this in the several pages of paraphrased quotes from candidates and agents who were interviewed by the investigators.

6. Further, given the repeated implications in the alleged paraphrased quotes that candidates or agents did not enter binding contracts for the advertising, it is unbalanced that there is no reference to the considerable evidence in the emails that Mr Donison dealt directly with many of the local agents or candidates and he stated at the time that he was getting “solemn contractual commitments” from them (see Appendix 47).

7. Also disturbing is the innuendo at p. 54 that Party officials “chose not to seek a ruling…prior to ‘switching’.” The underlying e-mail (Appendix 21) is actually between two people in the media industry, not the Party, who simply discuss whether the Broadcasting Arbitrator should be consulted as to whether they can act as buying agents for local campaigns. There is no mention of “switching”.

Back in November of last year, the Conservative Party filed an affidavit (the “Donald Affidavit”) with the federal court. The document describes similar activities of other federal parties during previous elections and serves to rhetorically ask why the Conservative Party is singled out for what they argue is a common practice. The Conservatives maintain that these transfers for federal/regional/candidate ad buying is legal and that their position is defensible. The party is currently challenging what they argue is the selective misinterpretation of the Elections Act against them by Elections Canada. The Donald Affidavit elaborates on this argument.

Read this doc on Scribd: stephentaylorca-donaldaffidavit