Not much to add to what’s already been expressed by other bloggers, except my two cents. It’s no surprise that the National Cons have come out swinging, saying they knew nothing about the cheque-swapping scheme. And, if you believe them, well, do I have a deal for you!
Wasn’t it just a week or so ago that the Harper said all the rules were followed? That’s what I thought. And now they knew nothing about it? How convenient!
And why is it that The Blogosphere had to break this story? What’s with the MSM, anyway?
And say, doesn’t it make you feel good to know that we all subsidized the folks who attended the Con-Flab Convention last year? And isn’t it good to know that the line, Liberal, Tory, same old story, still holds true?
Well, lookie here! The pristine PMSH and his reconstituted Conservative Party appear to have had difficulty understanding the laws of the land regarding the rules for campaign financing.
The Conservative party may have illegally accepted millions in unreported donations last year because it didn’t understand political financing laws
while over at Accidental Deliberations is the Canadian Press story, Tories may have taken in close to $2 million in illegal contributions, along with a list of the sections of the Canada Elections Act the Cons may well have violated.
At Accidental Deliberations I followed a commenter to his blog, Blue Blogging Soapbox where he quotes the CP story and says he is not about to take the word of ‘’ Elections Canada spokewoman Valerie Hache,‘’ apparently because only the Chief Electoral Officer and Election Commisioner [sic] are capable of clarifying this.
A couple of interesting comments over at My Blahg. Here’s #16
Last election we now have them on:
1. using undeclared money (see this thread)
2. publishing pamphets and distributing without identifying the source (see g@m toronto ridings during election)
3. running an undeclared “third-party” fake news outlet
(see National P online, Montreal G, Van Sun, and Me)
4. undeclared pre-writ spending used during the writ (how do you think the CPC paid for all their polling and targeted marketing used *during* the election)
The CPC paid well over million for its phone polls to identify winnable ridings and close polling stations. They continued both the calls and used the reports right up to election day… where does this expense show up in delcared spending???
For those ridings selected for the polling service, the economic cost of detailed polling is around $80,000/riding and the information is used in that riding during the election…. but does the riding delcare the expense??? The calls per riding versus the assigned cost per riding is generally off by about 5 to 1… In some cases no cost is declared as the calling is pre-writ and the only the reports are used post-writ; but according to the canada elections act if you use something during the writ period – even if paid for pre-writ – you have to declare it as an expense.
and, of course, the PS to comment #24
P.S. Does this mean they also stole the last election?
Well, does it?
Update 11:40AM 29Jun06:
* Liberal Catnip, once referred to by a right-winger as an Uber-lefty, ends her post with a series of questions that had me laughing: What shall we call this one? DonationGate? We’reJustSoConfusedGate? Don’tBlameUsWe’reToriesGate? Or how about ThereGoesOurMajorityGate?
* Greg at Sinister Thoughts comments on the tie-in with the upcoming Liberal convention.
* Eugene at Le Revue Gauche weighs in with a concise paragraph on the fiscally-challenged Harpercrites. (Heads up: longer than average load time, but worth the wait.)
Update 2:15 AM 30Jun06
* Rambling Socialist nails it — the party that came into power on accountability had no right to talk about accountability — with his pot/kettle post.
Update 11:15 AM 30Jun06
* Best and Better provides a short, annotated ConventionGate round-up.
Update 10:00 PM 30Jun06
* Blog Critics has an excellent essay suggesting that the Cons are proving they can be just as arrogant as any other party and have no conception of what the word accountable means.
Be careful what you take on. You can spike your blog hits and comments. Things can develop lives of their own. You can be insulted again and again. And you can learn interesting tidbits from others. Skdadl (of Peace, order and good government, eh?) taught me about Bacardi's involvement with bringing about the Helms-Burton Act in the USA. And, she provided quotes from a review of Bacardi: The Hidden War, by Hernando Calvo Ospina:
Bacardi has had dealings with the CIA and the extreme right-wing National Cuban-American Foundation (CANF) as well as links with both political and violent attempts to overthrow the Cuban government …
Bacardi has sought to use US laws to put a stranglehold on Cuban trade. This includes sponsoring the Helms-Burton Act that tightens the 40-year blockade. The author comments that “the text is so severe and over-arching that doubtless not even the laws and treaties imposed on African colonies by the European powers have contained such a degree of arrogance and lack of respect for a sovereign nation.
Bacardi lawyers were also heavily involved in writing the new trade laws that mean Cuban brands are no longer recognized in the US. Havana Club rum’s French partner Pernod-Ricard (the major competitor to Bacardi) has convinced the European Union that such moves are an infringement of fair-trading laws.
And there's more. A quick visit to google found this article at The Nation.
The Secret History of Rum
Rum has always tended to favor and flavor rebellion, from the pirates and buccaneers of the seventeenth century to the American Revolution onward. In addition, sugar and rum pretty much introduced globalization to a waiting world, tying together Europe, the Americas, Africa and the Caribbean in a complex alcoholic web of trade and credit. Not until oil was any single commodity so important for world trade. So it is not surprising that the Bacardi Corporation has become one of the world's first transnationals.
Even before Fidel Castro took power, the Bacardi family moved its headquarters from its Cuban home to the Bahamas, allowing it to get British imperial trade preferences, while opening a large distillery in Puerto Rico to allow penetration of the American market. Now its management is mostly living in exile in Florida, monopolizing the local markets across the Caribbean and the world with its bland, branded spirit. Fifty years of marketing have made Bacardi almost synonymous with rum in much of North America, and as Thierry Gardère, maker of the acclaimed Haitian rum Barbancourt, pointed out with a pained expression to me once, "They always advertise it as mixed with something else."
In Prohibition-era America, lots of thirsty Americans went to Cuba, and what they drank there, in keeping with the ambience, was rum, usually in cocktails and often in bars favored by Fidel's onetime fishing partner, Ernest Hemingway. He made a clear distinction: "My mojito in La Bodeguita, my daiquiri in El Floridita."
Cuba made great rums and had some of the world's most renowned bars. Bacardi had really risen to prominence after the American occupation, or "liberation" (sounds familiar?), of Cuba, at the turn of the twentieth century, when the island became the playground for its northern neighbor. Barcardi built its market position during Prohibition, edging out the old New England rum. When the Eighteenth Amendment took force, Bacardi USA sold 60,000 shares, closed down the company and distributed its assets, coincidentally 60,000 cases of Bacardi rum, to the stockholders.
During the dry years the company's order books would suggest that there were unquenchable thirsts in Shanghai, Bahamas and tiny islands like the French enclave of St. Pierre and Miquelon, off Newfoundland. But of course, shiploads of Bacardi went to rendezvous with the rum-runners just outside American territorial waters. As soon as repeal was in sight, Bacardi litigated all the way up to the Supreme Court to open its business in Puerto Rico, where it was eager to get Caribbean costs combined with American nationality. Its rivals in Puerto Rico used the same style of targeted retrospective legislation that Bacardi later did against Castro's Cuba in an attempt to keep Bacardi out. In the first year after Prohibition, Bacardi sold almost a million bottles to the United States. But soon it was not selling it from Cuba. Despite the family's overt and noisy Cuban patriotism, the company pioneered outsourcing and supplied the United States from Puerto Rico. Cuba's share of American rum imports dropped from 52 percent in 1935 to 7.3 percent in 1940.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT BACARDI
Rock around the Blockade, which campaigns in solidarity with Cuba, has launched a Boycott Bacardi campaign to highlight the organised attempts by the Bacardi company to undermine the Cuban Revolution – a stance belied by its publicity for its apparently ‘Cuban’ rum.
In advertising its lead brand white rum, Bacardi plays on its Cuban roots, misleading drinkers into believing that Bacardi still has some links with the island. In fact the Bacardi empire is based in the Bahamas and the Bacardi company broke all ties with Cuba after the Revolution of 1959, when its cronies in the hated Batista dictatorship were overthrown by a popular guerrilla movement led by Fidel Castro and Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara.
Since then the Bacardi company has backed illegal and violent attempts to undermine the Cuban Revolution, including funding the Cuban-American National Foundation (CANF), a virulently anti-Castro right-wing exile organisation based in Miami, which has been responsible for systematic acts of terrorism against Cuba. Bacardi’s lawyers also helped draft the US Helms-Burton Act, which extends the United States’ blockade of Cuba to third countries, in breach of international trade law. So central was the role of Bacardi’s lawyer, Ignacio E Sanchez (a CANF member) in establishing Helms-Burton that US Senator William Dengue said the law should be renamed the Helms-Bacardi Protection Act.
Imagine the great story the Prairie Dog could have had if they'd only begun to question the ad!
I wish I felt vindicated. I just feel sad.
Thanks, skdadl, for the lead.