Dirty politics

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With every day that passes, Peter Penashue’s resignation and the elections violations that led up to the resignation smell worse.

Originally, Penashue said he was resigning to allow the people to pass judgment on his work as a member of Parliament, and, in the process, he blamed all of the rule violations in his campaign on a single campaign worker.

Now, it appears that resignation is merely more stage-managing on the part of Penashue and the Conservative party: even before he resigned, new websites had been established and campaign advertising placed, signs that the federal Tories believe the adage that you can fool some of the people all the time.

And CBC News has reported that before the resignation, even with a new financial officer and after repaying tens of thousands of dollars, Penashue was warned that his new financial disclosures were not complete, and that if he did not update the file, he would not be allowed to sit or vote in the House of Commons.

The resignation is looking like a venture that the federal Conservative party is completely complicit in.

The Conservative Party, it turns out, supplied the money that was paid back to try and make up for the elections violations, more than $44,000. Not only that, but the Conservative party has already started an advertising campaign to convince voters to re-elect Penashue, even though a byelection hasn’t  been called yet. (The early advertising campaign has the benefit of not counting against federal election spending limits, because the ads are appearing before the byelection is called.)

In the House of Commons, other Tories are glossing over Penashue’s elections violations and stressing a variety of things he is supposed to have delivered for Labrador — in essence, saying that the end justifies any means, even if those means fall outside the law.

This is a dark little charade: Penashue won by fewer than 80 votes in the last election, spending far more than was allowed on his campaign and accepting improper donations. Elections Canada might well still complete an investigation that would ban him from being able to run for federal politics for the next five years.

Yet it’s full speed ahead, at virtually any cost, for a party and a candidate whom seem unconcerned that their actions speak to a deep disregard for the basic procedures of running fair and honest elections in a democracy.

You could call it a kind of blind electoral pragmatism and claim that the Tories believe such machinations to be fair play in an already dirty game.

One thing is abundantly clear: after all this, and after all of the federal spending and support that’s bound to be brought to bear on this riding during the campaign, if Peter Penashue manages to get re-elected, there will be plenty of people inside the federal Tories who will claim it’s proof that voters don’t care about ethics or violations of the law.

And that would be a sad day indeed.

Organizations: CBC News, House of Commons.The, Conservative Party House of Commons Elections Canada

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Recent comments

  • Nadine Lumley
    April 01, 2013 - 14:47

    Canada’s last 3 fraud elections: Harper cheated in 2006 with in-and-out fraudulent transactions to get around spending limits. Harper cheated in 2008 by calling an illegal election. Harper cheated in 2011 with misleading and deceptive Robo phone calls = voter suppression. Stephen Harper is not our Prime Minister. Harper stole all 3 last elections. It’s much worse than we’ll ever know. http://www.leadnow.ca/robocall-fraud

  • david
    March 21, 2013 - 13:23

    Penashue and his campaign manager cheated his way into Parliament...as far as any evidence shoiws, completely on their own. If there was evidence otherwise, it would be ferreted out, you can be certain of that. Harper then did what I thought was crazy...he gave this inexpereinced guy a cabinet job.....a guy from a province that was told to hate his guts, and will fro eternity, as decreed. The sap then gets caught for being a lying, cheating scumbag who got into Parliament under a cloud of corruption...and in Newfoundland, Harper gets more grief over it than the guy who did it. So distorted is reality that Penashue is going to probably get right back in, just to show how much we blame Harper, I guess!?! And you know what else? If Harper had disowned Petey and thrown him under the bus, as he eassily could have, and probably should have, this crowd would take to the streets whining about how Harper hates Newfoundand. What predictable, complete eejots we are. Thanks Danny.

  • Alex Cullen
    March 21, 2013 - 12:48

    How is it that Penashue could put up a campaign web site as the Conservative candidate without going through the process of being nominated first? Is there not a democratic process within the Conservative Party for nominations (even an acclamation must be ratified by the membership). Just asking ...

  • Culture Of Defeat? Or Culture Of Deceit?
    March 20, 2013 - 21:08

    If Business Man, or anyone else for that matter, comes knocking on my door on behalf of the likes of Harper, Penashue, or any of their oily henchmen... be prepared to be told in no uncertain terms to get the hell off the property.

    • Kev
      March 21, 2013 - 07:43

      Better still tell them you're undecided, then later that you'll vote Conservative. Then vote ABC. That way they waste time and money on you.

  • david
    March 20, 2013 - 13:39

    What is the worst, most unconsciopnable aspect of this sordid affair is Penashue's intention..... and pure gall...to run again in the bi-election. He should be in jail, not in parliament. So to the citizens in that riding: all of Canada is watching this bi-election. Are you going to end up being a template for other political crooks to follow, become the punchline of a joke? If your price is low enough, Pete can probably rustle up the cash.

  • Ruth's muller
    March 20, 2013 - 11:20

    The tremendous amount of disrespect that Prime Minister Harper has for people, including himself, is about to come to a full stop. The world is entering a brand new era led by men & women of integrity. Harper will be putout to pasture as Pope Francis & Justin Trudeau shine on the world stage.

  • Morley Bolero
    March 20, 2013 - 11:19

    I have faith that the people of Newfoundland and Labrador will show Mr. Penashue the door when the time comes, despite the dirty tricks and pre-election spending.

  • Sam Brace
    March 20, 2013 - 10:05

    How anyone could possibly come down on the CBC and support Herr Harper is beyond me. Wait until one of his gestapo come knocking on your door to either check your EI claim, your tax status or if you are a scientist with some environmental truth to tell Canadians. If however you have a corp[orate account off shore, are part of the Senate, part of King Stevies elite, or an oil exec, don't worry, you are tax exempt and above the law

    • a business man
      March 20, 2013 - 10:33

      Personally, I completely support the government sending people to check if people are really looking for work. EI abuse must be stopped. Yes, the seasonal annual EI abusers probably hate Harper for this, but the majority, the year round full time working taxpayers, thank Harper for this. I for one will be door knocking for Harper come election time.

  • C. Scott
    March 20, 2013 - 09:36

    Wild Rose how can you possibly use communism as any kind of slur against anyone when you support Harper. His recent approval of the takeover of Nexus by the Communist Government of China, approved by Harper, and the consideration he is giving of signing a trade pact with them indicates that he now approves of them...the communists. And yet, you continue to use something that your own favoured party supports as slur...I don't get it. I believe that the Pandas are arriving soon as a sign of the new friendship with Communist China. Therefore, if you are accusing the CBC of being communist, that should be a good thing by your obviously malleable standards. Just more proof that the values of the Conservative/Reform/Alliance party are so convoluted that it is turning itself inside out...there are no standards, no rules, no right and no wrong, just whatever Harper says and does and tells you is right.

  • Harvey
    March 20, 2013 - 09:32

    Smelling worse than Peter are Harper and his ilk in the Commons. Wild Rose, what do you think they would do if we did not have institutions like CBC to keep check on them?

  • saelcove
    March 20, 2013 - 09:13

    cbc Canada,s sleeze

  • wayne
    March 20, 2013 - 09:12

    The present day Conservatives have strayed SO far from the ideals of the Reform party it's sickening. Integrity, honour , and representing the common man have given way to "get elected at all costs". I don't belive that Preston Manning would have ever allowed Mr. Penashue to run in the first place let alone run again after being proven to be a cheat. They just don't get it......we threw out the liberals because of stuff like this....now they are just the same.

    • left or right
      March 21, 2013 - 15:25

      Much worse than the Liberals. It took Harper and his gang less than ten years to become far more corrupt than the Grits did in a hundred years of power.

  • Clinkerbuilt Willie
    March 20, 2013 - 09:04

    Wild Rose: Thank God for Medicare, you can get excellent psychiatric care quickly and at no cost. Mention your comments about the communist Broadcasting Corporation to the doctor, he'll prescribe something to help halt your ravings and get you to see things as they are, rather than as your troubled mind sees them.

  • L. LeBlanc
    March 20, 2013 - 08:57

    Wild Rose...you need to wake up and smell the Roses! The CBC does not have to do anything to discredit the 'Harper Government'. They are doing a terrific job of discrediting themselves....all over the world....and at home.

    • david
      March 21, 2013 - 12:30

      Only in Newfoundand could people be spitting blood at a guy who had nothnig to do with Penashue's crimes instead of at Penashue himself.......because Danny told us to. And no one can hold a grudge ---- especially a baseless, destructive one --- like a Nflder.

  • Danny
    March 20, 2013 - 08:34

    Oh Ms.Jones you are funny.

  • Wild Rose
    March 20, 2013 - 07:41

    Once again the communist broadcast corporation (CBC) is putting it's nose in to discredit the Harper Government. How much of my tax money is going to this lame stream media? Abolish it already.

    • Steve
      March 20, 2013 - 10:43

      Propaganda from industry controlled media (harper government) will always fear institutions that work for the people. Telegram included.

    • Judy Atmo
      March 20, 2013 - 11:05

      Wildrose: How much of our tax money is going to a by-election in Labrador caused by Penashue's illegal activities?