I would argue that the answer is YES!
The Conservatives won the seat by 79
The Conservatives, or some of their organizers, felt a change was occurring, they realized a win was possible with more resources. The problem, the Conservative Candidate did not have the resources! According to CBC News reports, the campaign was bouncing cheques before turning to the Innu Development Limited Partnership (a firm managed at the time by Penashue's brother–in–law) for an alleged interest free loan.
One of the basic tenants of the electoral process in this country is a level playing field that is supposed to ensure that the same basic rules apply to everyone. One of the most fundamental of those rules relate to spending. Unfortunately for Canadians, the power hungry Conservatives have shown that they have no respect for the rules. The examples of dishonesty and disrespect for the rule of law is staggering.
It seems as if some senior person in the party declared it is easier to get forgiveness than seek permission upfront to bend, distort and ignore the countries election laws. In fact, deliberate or not, there is. with out a doubt, a culture of dirty electoral tricks.
Only a party, over-flowing with cash could afford to buy itself out of breaking the law by paying the fines meted out by the courts and Elections Canada. This wealth, allows them to get away with distorting the electoral playing field. Think about for a second, the cost of overspending, of the on-out-scandal was fines, that they could easily pay. Money is not the issue, being able to spend it was the issue. So they just break the rules and pay the fines. They still get to keep the seat and the government! What a farce Canadian democracy has become!
I hope that the Elections Canada and the courts realize that our nations reputation as a leading world democracy is at stake when a governing party when our electoral laws are flaunted in such a shameful way. It is way past time that the results in some of these "bought" seats were overthrown and new elections called.
Let Canadians decide if they have had their fill with the perversity of this crowd!
* Peter Penashue's election night margin of victory was reduced from 230 to 79 after the initial count was recounted!