Is your vote for sale?
Justin Trudeau sure hopes it is … and he’s offering cold hard cash, your tax dollars and mine, to buy your vote.
David Akin, writing for Global News, says that “Overall, for the month of August, the Liberals made 4,545 new spending commitments worth a combined $12.8 billion“:
This has, finally, prompted Conservative MP Peter Kent to file a formal complaint with Elections Canada charging that ““The Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers, and Parliamentary Secretaries have been criss-crossing the country making partisan announcements where they have been weaving campaign narratives into official government speeches and news releases … [he said, and] … Of equal, if not greater concern, is the fact that they have invited non-elected Liberal Party of Canada candidates to attend these official, taxpayer-funded government announcements.”” There’s probably nothing strictly illegal, maybe not even terribly improper ~ under the existing regulations ~ about ministers, parliamentary secretaries and Liberal backbench MPs making spending announcements just ahead of the election campaign, but when Liberal candidates are invited then, in my considered opinion, a line has been crossed, and it’s not just an ethical line, it is a breach of the rules, maybe a legal line has been crossed. The Trudeau Liberals are using tax dollars to conduct their election campaign … that’s not just unethical, I think it’s bloody illegal!
Looking back to the 2015 election, nearly 17.6 million Canadians voted ~ a good turnout. The Conservatives made several hundred (about 600, actually) pre-writ spending announcements worth almost $1.5 Billion. But, in this August alone, the Liberals made over 4, 500 such announcements ( 7.5 times as many) worth more than 9 times as much money. A lot of those promises, “1,396 new spending commitments worth a combined $2.7 billion,” Mr Akin says, went to Québec.
Justin Trudeau thinks your vote is worth about $725.00 ~ that’s what you get when you divide $12.8 Billion in promises by 17.6 million voters. Another way of looking at it is that Justin Trudeau has made more than 13 spending promises for each and every one of the 338 ridings in Canada … that was just in August, and, as David Akin explains, that doesn’t count “14 spending commitments worth a combined $3.7 billion where the spending will be distributed across two or more provinces. The biggest of those was an announcement on August 16 that the Canadian Army will buy 360 light-armoured vehicles which, while they are made in a factory in London, Ont., use parts and materials manufactured at facilities across the country.“
Now, not all those spending promises are bad, even I said that the money for new light-armoured vehicles was both welcome and useful, as is funding for runway upgrades at Arctic airfields. But much, probably most of that $12+ Billion is just partisan vote-buying, and some of it is, pretty clearly, improper, if not downright illegal under Canada’s election finance laws. But even so, as David Akin points out, in answer to a reader’s question …
… in the past 60 days, the Liberals have made over 5,000 new spending promises with a value of $15 Billion. And it’s all going to be added to a ballooning national debt just as a recession might be looming.
But Justin Trudeau and Gerald Butts don’t care. Why should they? Their big worry was that they lost about 20% of their potential vote and their status as being a shoo-in for a second term, in the early Spring, in the wake of the Jody Wilson-Raybould ~ SNC-Lavalin ~ Jane Philpott scandals, falling from nearly 40% to about 30% in the polls. But, they have regained at least half of that according to recent polls and their attacks on Andrew Scheer (aided by his own campaigning) worked well enough to prevent him from making enough meaningful gains in popular support to make the Conservative sure winners in October.
In August the Trudeau Liberals put a value, $725.00 or so, on your vote and mine. I know that they cannot buy mine … but is your vote for sale?