Election fraud. You hear about it all the time in least developed states, and even recently as far reaching as Russia in their most recent parliamentary elections. But did you ever think it would be possible to occur north of the border, in the land of the igloos, Tim Horton’s, and hockey players? Well that’s a thought to consider, eh?
Before we jump on the boat of saying that election fraud is occurring in Canada, we need to examine the evidence rationally and allow Elections Canada to conduct their ongoing independent investigation while Parliament gets back to work.
In Canada over the past year, we have followed the ups and downs of the 2012 GOP election, but now it seems we have our own political firestorm to draw our attention to. Just last week, a staffer working for the Conservative government resigned over the rumors of his involvement in alleged voter suppression calls on Election Day (May 1, 2011), an incident which Elections Canada is investigating. This resignation has sparked the ire of opposition parties as well as citizens who are being reminded of ‘odd’ calls they received automated and live calls on Election Day, either wrongly informing them that their polling station has been changed or calling at obscene hours of the day to harass them into voting for them; the latter of which were claimed to come from someone impersonating the Liberal Party of Canada.
The easy thing to do for a centrist/left leaning political activist like me would be to blame to ‘Big Bad Conservatives’ and state that this is just another gross abuse of power and democracy since they were elected to a majority government last May. However, the notion that someone interfered with the ability for Canadians to cast their ballot is grave and serious; and as such should be dealt with in a serious manner. On Monday in Question Period, the leader of the Official Opposition took a hard line stance against the government stating, “Fixing elections means that by-elections could be called. People could end up in jail." Oddly enough, I agree with the Prime Minister in saying that much of the allegations in Parliament over the last few days are “broad, sweeping allegations,” accusing the Conservative Party of fraud because they used the services of RackNine and RackNine is linked to calls misdirecting voters. This case is a bit too thin for my taste as it doesn’t show, beyond a reasonable doubt, direct involvement by the Conservative Party in misleading voters.
As stated above, Elections Canada is investigating alleged voter suppression in both the riding of Guelph as well as a call centre located in Thunder Bay; both of which are situated in vote rich Ontario. Over the past three days, the news as well as Question Period in Parliament have been consumed by this ‘robocall scandal’ and allegations of election fraud. But my question to the NDP and the Liberals, is why bicker like children in Parliament when you are handing your evidence over to Elections Canada so that they can conduct their investigation? Yes voter suppression is a serious issue and interfering with the ability of a Canadian to cast their ballot is reprehensible, but let the appropriate organizations make those charges after they have examined all the presented evidence.
Plain and simple, Mr. Rae and Mrs. Turmel, as well as all other Opposition members, if you have any evidence, give it to Elections Canada and get back to work on governing our country. You were elected to represent Canadian interests and to ensure the government implements the necessary economic measures to both strengthen the Canadian economy and create jobs. Stop the partisan bickering and get back to work.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons