To no ones surprise, Prime Minister Harper pulled the plug on Sunday throwing the nation into the longest election campaign since 1872.
The minimum number of days, and until now, the standard was a 37-day campaign. This one will be 79 days!
Despite Harper's talk of making parties pay for the cost of campaigns as justification for the early writ, taxpayers will be underwriting 50% of the cost. Going from 37 to 79 days may mean parties can spend a heck of a lot more money but the more a party spends the more the taxpayer pays in subsidies.
Harper told the country on Sunday that “It is important that every political party’s campaign be financed by itself – not government resources, not parliamentary resources, not of all the other resources available to us when the campaigns are not on,”.
The hypocrisy of Harper's comments about not using government or parliamentary resources while the "campaign is on" underscores the dishonesty of this regime. He has not hesitated to use public money for partisan advantage.
The disingenuousness of the statement is further amplified by the fact that the official campaign period does not take into consideration the reality of today's permanent campaign. What kind of government uses our tax dollars to pump out partisan propaganda to brainwash us? Certainly not the government elected on a promise of reform.
It should be noted that Harper has manipulated election financing in this country in several ways. Prior to the Conservatives gaining power spending limits were set and fixed - the length of the campaign did not matter.
As well, the Conservatives amended the election laws to increase spending limits beyond the initial limits for each day the campaign extends beyond 26 days. Crafty like a fox!
Harper and his cronies have undermined the spirit of all legislation designed to create a level fair playing field for elections in this country.
Fixed terms and spending limits were designed to create a level playing field for all parties. The Conservatives have chucked any semblance of that out the window. They deserve a profound rebuke from voters.