The Harper Conservatives want to end to make it harder to get a loan to run for leader of a party. They want to make sure the loan is for $1100 or less from an individual or is from a bank or credit union. Sounds like a smart policy. This way we know some shady business or union leader can't buy the favour of those in power. I like that.
The trouble is that they are changing the rules in midstream. The Liberals are facing huge challenges they did not expect. They ran their leadership under the older rules and then Harper changed those rules, making it much more difficult to pay off those old loans. And those loans are getting older by the day. I suspect that many would not have entered the race and/or spent as much as they did, had they known how restrictive the new donation and loan laws would be.
Unfortunately, Prime Minister Harper has yet to reveal who donated or loaned his campaign money in 2002 when he became leader of the Canadian Alliance. If this is about peeling back the paint to see whats on the wall, then he should be forthcoming as well. He has an obligation of ethical tradition to do so.
Don't get me wrong. I like the new rules. It does eliminate a good deal of the money in the system. So if Harper is pushing this new openness one needs to ask what is behind this new paint. The only leader in Parliament to get there on the old rules is Harper. The NDP and Liberals are electing leaders under the new rules.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper clawed his way to the top, using the rules he now says are a threat to democracy. He is disguising change as a step toward accountability and openness. That of course does not apply to the man making the rules.