Meaghan and Walks With Coffee seem to have taken a break on this, but their research is starting to pay off. CTV, heavily sourcing the Vancouver Sun, has a "state o' the scandal" piece today on its website. From the story:
1) All of the parties engaged in similar practices in the past:
But unlike the Tories, who continued to promote the scheme to help defray delegate expenses at their 2005 convention, the two opposition parties say they stopped the practice in 2004 after political financing laws were overhauled.
2) While the NDP and Libs moved to comply with the new laws, the Tories kept on swapping:
E-mails obtained by the Vancouver Sun have indicated that some Conservatives were using cheque-swapping to defray their expenses for the party's 2005 policy convention.
"I can tell you that all EDAs (electoral district associations) in Alberta are doing the cheque-swap," advised Red Deer Tory organizer Linda Toews in one e-mail.
3) So far, the CPC's explanation has been to blame the locals:
Mike Donison, the Conservatives' executive director, has said the party had no knowledge that local organizers were using cheque-swapping and did not approve or condone the practice.
4) The Party is also being investigated for "failing to disclose as donations as much as $2 million in delegate fees to the 2005 convention", and they have still refused to hand over their convention books to Elections Canada:
Elections Canada spokeswoman Valerie Hache said : "An offer was made by the party to provide us with the required information on the matter." She added that [Elections Canada] "will make a public statement when he deems it appropriate."
And we will all be waiting. BWAHH!-HAH!-HAH!-HAH!