A huge stunner from Harper’s former Communications Director Geoff Norquay today on CBC’s Power and Politics, suggesting that the Fair Elections Act is vengeance on the Chief Electoral Officer for bringing in charges regarding two Conservative MP’s for their role in the “in and out” scandal.
Norquay went on to explain that the “in and out” scheme was being used by all parties and developed at first by the Bloq Quebecois in the late 90’s. Norquay has stated that the Conservative party feels discriminated against as a result of charges being brought forth on Conservative MP’s and not on any other party that had used this scheme in the past.
Many experts have weighed into the Fair Elections Act, all of which have come out against the bill, stating the bill would inhibit the powers of the Chief Electoral Officer to investigate election complaints. One of the most trusted public figures – former Auditor General Shelia Fraser – has also expressed strong concerns.
Norquay’s “vengeance” comments stunned all of the members of the Power Panel to which he was commenting on. Norquay later tried to retract. I will post the video of the panel when it becomes available online. Norquay is a regular contributor to the power panel.
While Conservatives may feel that they are being picked on by the Chief Electoral Officer, it is no reason to strip his powers to investigate if all political parties are in fact not playing by the rules. That’s not how to deal with this situation. As soon as a ruling party changes law to seek “vengeance” on those who are in charge of bringing accountability to our electoral system, is as soon as we should be speaking about “recall” legislation in electoral reform to recall the leadership of a party when it gets to the point of vengeance.
UPDATE: The Episode of CBC’s Power and Politics is now up on the CBC site. The full episode can be found here. Power Panel discussion on Fair Elections Act starts at the 58:05 mark in the video. Embedded below is the exchange with Norquay:
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