St. Paul, Alberta - Tuesday, September 3, 2002 - by: Paul Pelletier


Editor's note:
today we have two stories with different angles on the same issue by two contributors.

The recent ramblings of Steven Harper has brought to light a
flaw that could only be matched by Stockwell Day. Steven Harper announced that the Canadian Alliance Party is debt free. That means they own nothing to anyone. What a bald faced "terminological inexactitude".


The debt was transferred to the riding associations by asking for their bank accounts to wipe out the debt. The money is repayable to the riding associations by 2003, therefore the National Party still has a debt, payable on demand should an election be called. Just the kind of financial management we need in this country. Keep it up Steven, your the best thing the Progressive Conservative Party could have hoped for to continue pulling away from you in the Polls.




Using Steven Harper`s logic, if the Canadian Alliance was to form government, they could transfer the national debt to the shareholders (the people) and the country would become debt free. I find it difficult to understand how someone who so desperately wants to be taken seriously is advised to make such ridiculous statements. If you can`t make honest statements how can anyone take you seriously.




Must be something in the water, we should send a crack team of Liberals there to check it out. (Oh yeah! There's no such thing, I slipped there for a moment.)




Paul Pelletier

Calgary, Alberta - Tuesday, September 3, 2002 - by: Jason Inness


Smoke, mirrors, and hidden agendas. Stephen Harper's announcement that the Canadian Alliance has wiped out it's debt has shown that this party has not learned the lessons from it's own past.




The way in which the millions in debt disappeared seems to me to be taken directly from the Arthur Anderson / Enron playbook. Please allow me to explain.




Enron executives set up limited partnerships, under their control, so that debt could (and was!) be transferred from Enron's balance sheet into these hidden companies. The result is a balance sheet with a much more favourable asset to liability comparison. This led investors to believe that the corporation was doing much better than was actually the case.




The Canadian Alliance has riding associations. That is standard with any political party. What is not standard is moving the national party's debt to the riding association level and then claiming to be debt free! This method of debt "retirement" does nothing except give the impression to potential donors that the party is being well managed financially.



good fix

However, what I am sure the Canadian Alliance is not saying about this scheme is that upon an election call, the national party must immediately return any borrowed funds to the riding associations. This, like the Enron case is a temporary, short term, feel good fix that shows the Canadian Alliance is not being managed well at all.




In fact, the only real difference between Enron and the Canadian Alliance, is that for Enron, it was illegal and immoral. For the Canadian Alliance, it's just another day at the office.

Jason Inness

  Is Canadian Alliance debt free? Maybe not


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