“From my perspective, they probably don’t like Harper going back to the days he was here, absolutely ... I just think it’s pretty hard to not think, if you’re sitting back objectively that there’s not a bit of friction between the Conservatives and Elections Canada,” Mr. Coleman said.Meanwhile Harper's seems to be giving up the fight:
But with government also positioning itself for a possible spring election, the prime minister also maintained that the Conservative party "always respects" Elections Canada's interpretations of the law.Personally, my position remains that the Conservatives should still fight this. Harper's triangulations on this issue are a little puzzling to me. At this point numbers of Conservative officials face possible jail time as a result of these charges which have nothing more to do than a difference of interpretation when it comes to election law. Just what is to be gained by letting this go?
"In this particular instance, we changed our practices to conform with its new interpretations three years ago," said Harper.
Beats me. Either way, I'd like to see an audit of certain Liberal MPs expenses for similar accounting practices that have been conveniently ignored by Elections Canada.
I find this quote most interesting:
The change in tone Wednesday from Harper matters, say critics and observers, because the Conservative government has gained a reputation for steamrolling arm's-length government watchdogs.Whenever the Conservatives disagree with a government bodies (notably ones filled with Liberal appointments) they are "steamrolling." It's the essential challenge that the Conservatives face in governing a country that has been ruled by the Liberal Party for most of the past century. Most government officials are Liberals. They can't get around it. It'll take years to sort out.
"Those of us who worry about the institutional integrity of the Ottawa system do worry about it," said Richard Johnston, a political scientist at the University of British Columbia. "One has the sense that these guys are prepared to take on any institution that gets in their way."
Especially at Elections Canada.