Monday, September 08, 2008

Line! Overheard during the 2008 federal election.

Gilles Duceppe is the leader of the Bloc Québecois. While many in the so-called RoC - rest of Canada - wonder what role (or political game) the BQ plays in Ottawa and in federal politics, Duceppe reminded me today how refreshing it can be to hear an outsider's perspective.

The so-called "In-and-Out" accounting practices of the Conservative Party during the last federal election, also known as Adscam, were in the process of being scrutinized by the House of Commons Ethics Committee during August. The behaviour of the Con MPs who attended this committe proceedings were observed and live-blogged by Kady O'Malley, a reporter for MacLean's. This issue is important for the BQ because it may involve high-profile Con candidates that Duceppe's party wants to defeat at the polls on October 14th and so Gilles raised it today, when he spoke in Trois-Rivières.

The 'money quote' (pun intended) was Duceppe's response to the Cons grumbling about keeping their eyes on Elections Canada this time. He likened that tactic to criminals who threaten to watch the police for illegal activity.

Meanwhile, in news that remain relevant to the election campaign even though released before the writ was dropped, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation calculated the cost of pre-election spending announcements made by Stephen Harper’s New™ government. Total amount of promised spending as of September 5, 2008: "$8.8-billion, roughly $94-million a day or about $3.9-million every hour ..."
Updated to add: Oh, I forgot to mention this other important money fact. When byelections are cancelled, all the candidates' expenses not covered by donations have to be reimbursed by Elections Canada. So taxpayers will be stuck with a bill for close to $3.5 million. Additionally this election will cost us about $300 million. Just saying.

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