Let's face it, in this hot new debate, the NDP are really only jumping on the band wagon. As usual, their opinion doesn't count for much.
Canada's chief electoral officer wants the Conservatives to open the books on their 2005 convention... the party did not report delegate fees as political donations. Liberals and New Democrats maintain the omission means the ruling Tories broke political financing laws, potentially raking in $1.7 million in unreported donations...The Tories vehemently deny breaking any laws or regulations...The interpretation of the law regarding convention fees is hotly disputed by the Tories, who claim they do not constitute a donation, and the Liberals and NDP, who claim that they do.
Did the Tories break the law or not?
According to the article at PoliticsWatch:
Parties usually deduct the fair market value of what donors obtain from the value of the contribution. So if a ticket to party fundraising dinner is $100 and the meal is $50, then the party records a $50 contribution. Both the NDP and the Liberals do not deduct expenses from party leadership and policy conventions, but the Tories appear to have been deducting all expenses, including hall rental and security, for their conventions and only claim a donation if a convention recorded a profit.
...Elections Canada spokeswoman Valerie Hache said the law stipulates that a fee paid to attend a political convention does constitute a donation "to the extent that the person paying the fee is not receiving a good or service that has any commercial value beyond its political value." She told CP that any portion of a convention fee that covers lodging, meals or travel does not count as a contribution.
So, this is one of those things that looks like it could be open to interpretation, as scary as it may sound. Both interpretations make sense. If any part of a convention fee covers the cost of meals, lodging and travel, then it makes perfect sense to only count the profit from a convention as the contribution to the party. On the other hand, if you choose to do things piecemeal, then it also makes sense to only count the cost of meals and lodgings per individuals and consider the leftovers as the contribution to the party.
The Liberals, of course, have decided to go nuts with the issue.
Opposition parties have pounced on the imbroglio. The Liberals, flayed by the Tories for past ethical lapses, have been particularly gleeful. "I have never seen anything so hypocritical and so shameful," Liberal national director Steven MacKinnon told a news conference Thursday.
The Liberals have broken every rule in the book. Do you honestly expect me to buy you newfound righteous indignation? It gets better.
The issue of delegate fees arose due to the introduction of Harper's vaunted Federal Accountability Act, aimed at cleaning up government in the wake of the Liberal sponsorship scandal.
So, please note, if it weren't for the Conservative's new plan, we wouldn't even be discussing this.
According to PoliticsWatch, the issue has gained prominence after the Conservatives and the NDP blocked Liberal amendments to the Federal Accountability Act that would have delayed the implementation of tough new campaign donation limits until next year.
So, the Liberals think they are about to get screwed, and are scrambling to find something.
According to Canada.com, among other things, the act would entirely ban corporate donations and reduce the limit for personal donations to $1,000 from $5,400... The government wants the act, currently being examined by a Senate committee, approved and in force by Thanksgiving. That means the donation limit would change in the middle of the Liberals' leadership race, which ends in December. The Liberals fear the change would mean anyone who has donated more than $5 to their party this year would be prohibited from paying the $995 fee to attend the leadership convention.
Ha ha ha ha ha!
Serves you right for having such a pervertedly high fee. Why not lower it, attract more peons to your convention? Oh wait, you prefer the elite.
MacKinnon said his party is planning to file... regarding the fact that the Tories charged outside associations and professional groups $750 to send representatives to the convention.
It's still lower than your rate. The argument is supposed to be that this counts as a corporate donation, which were banned. I find this accusation laughable. If you have ever been to any sort of conference, then you will know that businesses are often charged more than academics or individuals to attend. Why is it so surprising to find the same thing at a political party convention?
But back to the previous thought.
And they think the Tories are deliberately trying to disrupt the event. "I think (Harper) is pursuing a vendetta that is fundamentally undemocratic against the Liberal party," said MacKinnon.
I love this. Not only are the Tories trying to disrupt the Liberal leadership race(which is hardly off to a stellar start), they are undemocratically trying to pursue a vendetta against the Liberals.
Desperation for power?