A May Blizzard of
Above is the signature from a letter from George Copley to Office of Berardino and Harris for the attention of Andrea Mackay relating to their capacity as Special Prosecutor in the case of HTMQ v. Basi et. al. The letter is typical of many released yesterday thanks to the efforts of the NDP concerning the vetting of documents and the assertion or non-assertion of various kinds of privilege in relation to the documents. This letter (and it is just one example) is dated November 24, 2004, or almost one year after the extraordinary raid on the Legislature. Keep in mind the fact that at this time Mr. Dobell's desk was virtually IN the office of Premier Campbell, yep, the same Premier who when he will say anything other than "I can't comment about something before the courts" says that he has never been involved in the vetting of documents requested by the defence in the normal course of disclosure. Yet somehow Mr. Dobell's name keeps coming up as the guy issuing instructions to George Copley and/or Alan Seckel and for some strange reason he receives copies of much correspondence between the various parties to the case. Hmmmmmmm........
For an interesting and long lasting read go to the Media Release (apparently ignored by the media) issued yesterday by the NDP Caucus. Be warned there are 400-500 pages of documents in Portable Document Format and the whole release weighs in at a hefty 30+ Megabytes. A gentler introduction that helps make sense of the blizzard of paper to us mere mortals can be found at Affidavit Documents Sorted by Subject, where one can download excerpts extracted and put together that deal with the same general subjects or players.
For those with a limited interest of time, this one message is worth the read. For lack of a better title I will just call it the "Irrevocable Undertaking" in which George Copley tries to establish conditions for the release of a document already designated by the judge as possibly relevant to "Innocence at Stake.
What could be so embarrassing or incriminating that the government would only be willing to release it to the defendants' lawyers on double secret, cross my heart and swear on my grandmother's grave I'll never share what I learn with a breathing soul other than those specified AND only if they too take the double etc. secret oath. Gimme a Friggin' break Gordo and Gang!
Not surprising our homegrown Media Megalopoly, Canned Waste, didn't think the release of these documents to the public was important enough to mention, or if they did it was so unimportant that they put it somewhere that I can't find it. Of course there were things like Spider Monkey killings and kidnappings and a video game launch that drew celebrity boxers.
One encouraging aspect of the NDP release is the fact that they too are now referring to whatever it is that is happening down there at Smithe and Robson as the BC Rail Corruption Trial. With a title like that, and appropriate it certainly seems, how can the media (or what passes for media) continue to ignore it much longer?
In order to give credit where credit is due though, I would like to bring my readers' attention to a column from yesterday by Vaughn Palmer in which he takes the Teflon Flim Flam Flip Flop Man, our own Gordon Campbell, to task for his 180 degree reversal on third party advertising during elections. Back in Opposition Mr. Campbell was horrified when the NDP Government proposed some limits on such advertising.
But Campbell himself made the case for what amounted to an absolute right of third parties to engage in political advertising.
"This government has decided that it knows better than anyone else to what extent someone should be able to participate in a democratic process," he preached.
"Anything the government does that restricts expression . . . undercuts the very purpose of a modern, open Election Act. Elected officials should not be deciding the rules by which they're elected."
So said Campbell on the floor of the legislature, July 4, 1995.
Jump ahead to the current session of the Legislature and lo and behold:
Enter the Election Amendment Act, Bill 42 on the order paper for this session of the legislature and one the Liberals have every intention of enacting before the house adjourns May 29.
Among its provisions, restrictions on third-party advertising that are in some ways tighter than those enacted by the NDP a generation ago.
The definition of what constitutes third party advertising is certainly broad enough to stifle almost anything other than praise for the existing government.
The transmission to the public by any means . . . of an advertising message that promotes or opposes, directly or indirectly, a registered political party or the election of a candidate, including an advertising message that takes a position on an issue with which a registered political party or candidate is associated
I guess I can still disagree with Rich Coleman, as long as nobody is paying me to publish my opinion though, can't I, or who knows, maybe you be hearing from me in a postcard from the Big House!