In the battle pitting the federal Conservatives against Elections Canada, the opposition and the press, a typical Ottawa competition to see who can perform most discreditably, my money was on the Tories. Until I made a crucial blunder: I did research.
The key issue is whether the Conservative party, in the last election, could donate money to riding associations to purchase advertisements very similar to national ones without those ads being counted against national campaign spending and putting the party over the national legal spending limit. It was, at least to begin with, a dispute not about facts but about how to interpret the law.
At this point I foolishly read what I hope were all the relevant sections of the 500-plus page Canada Elections Act. Here, in unavoidable legalese, is what I found.
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