For those of us who are liberal minded and progressive, I think its time to lay off those who support Stephen Harper and the Conservative party. I know many, myself certainly included, find it difficult to understand how any intelligent person could support our current Prime Minister in light of his government's policies and the way he plays the political game.
But some people do support him, and I've been giving this matter a great deal of thought.
I had something of a catharsis when I read Gerry Nicholls' blog, 'Making sense with Nicholls'. Gerry, you see, wrote a column about the so called 'in and out' scandal. The only thing is, he says he doesn't understand it. Here's a quote from his piece in the Ottawa Citizen:
The actual charge is somewhat convoluted. It involves Conservative party officials allegedly engaging in some sort of complicated accounting shenanigans to mask their true election expenses. Not that the details really matter.
Here's a prominent Conservative writer and former National Citizens Coalition executive, and he can't wrap his head around how the CPC allegedly violated Canada's election laws. He basically describes it as a question of convoluted accounting, suggesting its all a matter of interpretation.
Okay, now I realize its fairly simple. And Gerry, if you're reading this, I'll try and walk you and other Conservative supporters through it slowly.
Canada has laws governing spending during an election campaign. There are limits, both for the parties, and for individual candidates. Think of it as a chain of pizza joints and their head office if that makes it easier. An individual store would be like a local candidate, and the head office would be like a national party.
Still with me?
Okay, well the head office..in this case the Conservative Party of Canada, they'd spent all the money they were allowed to spend during the campaign. Problem was, they still had wads of cash left over, gifts from lots of people with lots of money to give away.
So, what to do with all that cash?
It turned out that many individual Conservative Party candidates (the little pizza joints) hadn't spent all they were allowed to spend in their local ridings.
Now comes the fun part, hope I haven't lost you.
Instead of leaving all that money sitting in a bank account, the cash was moved into the accounts of some local candidates...and then "WHOOOOSH" it was gone.
OH MY GAWD!!! Where'd it git to?
It was used to pay for advertising for the national party (the big pizza head office). It's kind of like money laundering, but I realize that might be a bit too complex to fully grasp. If the money was spent directly out of the CPC's account, well hey...its cut and dried, they're violating spending limits, breaking the law. So instead they "launder" the money by transferring it into a local candidate's account and then shortly thereafter move it out.
Get it? IN>>>>>THEN OUT
Into a local candidate's account who hadn't spent all he/she was allowed to spend under the law, and then out to pay for national advertising because the national party had spent all that it was allowed to spend.
Now, some Conservative candidates knew this was wrong, so they said no. If you still don't understand maybe you can call up Inky Mark and Helena Guergis. Perhaps they can better explain it to you.
Of course, this 'In and Out' business...even as basic as it is, I guess I can see how some bright bulb conservatives might not fully grasp it. There had to be more. That's when I thought about the new prisons being planned. The US style mega jails that will cost billions of tax dollars.
You know the ones? They're for all those people committing crimes that are unreported.
Come on now, I thought. Even total morons will see how utterly stupid this is. Won't they??? Will these new prisons be named after Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny? After all, these two seasonal characters illegally enter thousands upon thousands of homes every year.
Even the twit who gets sent to the store for a can of steam has to see how utterly stupid this is...right? But then, in a flash, another catharsis. This time centred around one word.
What's so special about these 10 letters? Break it down, UN-RE-PORT-ED, that's four sylables!
Now I began to understand. By putting a four syllable word in front of the monosyllabic word "crime", the focus for Harper supporters shifts from the complex to the easy. Its all about crime, and crime is bad.
Harper no like crime, Harper good. You no like Harper mean you like crime and crime bad.
I realize now I, and many fellow bloggers, have been extremely ungracious to those of our fellow citizens who like Stephen Harper and who will vote for him and his party at the next opportunity. I humbly suggest we stop picking on Harper's supporters, and leave them to enjoy their bliss.
Obviously I don't like Stephen Harper, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for those people who do like Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party...denigrate means "put down".
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