The past few weeks have given us a long line of instances where our beloved government, from all sides of the House and Senate, have broken the law- even thought they’re the ones “making” the laws. Both electoral fraud and MP expense scandals, which have been haunting the house as of lately, are based on long-standing legislation and rules. This is likely because it takes time to see if a “law” is going to be “enforced” before it can be flouted.
Someone needs to contact the Guinness Book of World Records to see if anyone has ever passed a law and then broken it within two weeks of it coming into force because it seems like we sure have a record-breaker. The Conservative Party’s latest attack ad is certainly a contender for that record as the Tories may actually have broken new laws brought into force mere weeks ago by C-51.
While portions of the legislation have created some unrest (or have at least allowed the NDP to create some unrest), one of the least controversial aspects of it have been about prohibiting the promotion and encouragement of terrorism. The latest Conservative attack ad fires some shots- almost literally- at Justin Trudeau and the Liberals’ policy of withdrawing from the bombing mission (which seems to have bombed anyway). Images of ISIS atrocities superimposed by party rhetoric (from the Conservatives, not ISIS) and the anthem (this time from ISIS, not the Conservatives) spew across the screen. Despite being an effort to recruit Conservative voters and not ISIS militants, the ad does explicitly portray the atrocities of the organization. And that was exactly what C-51 was meant to stop from happening.
Both the Liberals and NDP are crying foul, the Liberals doing so for obvious reasons and the NDP because they don’t want their newfound popularity to fade into irrelevancy in a war merely between Red and Blue. When questioned about their curious decision to apparently violate their own legislation, the Tories sent forth Kory Teneycke to answer (or rather not answer) the awkward questions being thrown their way.
Questioned by Global News, Tenecycke’s defensive strategy seems to be four pronged.The strategy was as follows;
- Repeatedly insist they aren’t breaking the law.
- If that fails then, point out that, if they are breaking the law, someone else is doing it too.
- Blame the Liberals of being bad (it doesn’t matter how or why).
- When in doubt, just don’t answer the questions.
Presently the matter is not before the courts (yet), but that didn’t stop Teneycke’s resistance to answer Global’s questions. Although he did insist that, while not violating the new laws, the Tories are showcasing ISIS propaganda in order to engage in debate over Liberal and Conservative policies. When asked if such clips could be used by someone else trying to weigh in on said debate, Tenecycke refused to answer. He supported his own party’s use of ISIS materials but wouldn’t support anyone else’s. This is actually fine since no other organization is really desperate enough to propagate ISIS propaganda to proud, politically persistent Canadians.
As per usual, in order to cover all their bases, the Conservative spokesman argued that, even if they did break the law, Canadian news agencies do it too. At least they show ISIS images, not necessarily the ISIS anthem. Teneycke went so far as to argue that the Conservatives are “better than the news… more truthful.” This is a bit rich coming from a party which once again broke the law. It’s even more ironic since it’s their own law, which they just passed.
While the mandatory minimum penalty for promoting terrorism or terrorist propaganda (as the Conservatives arguably seem to be doing) is five years, there’s no fear that the Conservative Party is going to be thrown in jail. For those who do want to see the Conservative Party behind bars (or rather, more of the Conservative Party behind bars), you’re shit out of luck. Even if they did end up in jail, it wouldn’t be for very long. Recalling the Del Maestro verdict, it seems that mandatory minimums aren’t for Tories. Neither are laws like C-51, even when they’re the ones who introduced them. It seems that the Government is really (or thinks it is, at least) above the law.