Mounting evidence of fraudulent robo-calls, impersonations of Elections Canada staff and other deliberate attempts to deceive voters in the 2011 federal election have struck at the very heart of our democracy and shaken Canadians to the core.
It has been alleged that at least 34 ridings received illegal voter-suppression calls - advising them that their voting station had changed - during the last federal election. The total number is expected to grow on Monday. NDP MP Pat Martin says at least 34 ridings received the calls, while Liberal leader Bob Rae says he knows of 27 ridings. Originally it had been thought that 14 ridings had been affected.
The Harper Conservatives hold 166 seats in the House of Commons, 11 seats above the 155-seat requirement to form a majority government. Rabble.ca has pointed out that, “6,201 is the combined margin of victory across the 14 most closely contested Conservative ridings in Canada, with 6,215 being the number needed by the nearest parties in the race to have won these seats by one vote.”
The National Post reports, “Liberal supporters say the repeated calls usually came during dinner, late at night or early in the morning from people claiming to represent the local Liberal candidate. Calls also were placed to voters with Jewish-sounding names during the Saturday Sabbath and in one riding with a South Asian candidate, voters received phone calls from someone imitating a Pakistani accent.”
“Under the Elections Act, it is illegal to tell voters to go to a wrong or non-existent polling station. …NDP leader Nycole Turmel (has) urged for a thorough investigation by the RCMP and Elections Canada. …Rae says the (Liberal) party is considering calling for a number of byelections or even pursing legal action. …On Friday, Rae sent a letter to House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer, asking him to allow an emergency debate on the matter when Parliament resumes Monday.”
To send a message to Bob Paulson, Commissioner of the RCMP; William H. Corbett, Commissioner of Elections Canada; and the party leaders, you can go to http://www.leadnow.ca/robocall-fraud. The message you can send says, “I demand a full and independent public inquiry, backed by Elections Canada and the RCMP, to expose the facts about the robocall scandal and ensure that the penalty for this election fraud matches the consequences of the crime - including possible by-elections in the affected ridings.”
At this hour (Sunday night, 9:52 pm ET), 14,679 messages have been sent with this demand.
And Steven Shrybman has noted, “There is also a remedy under the Elections Canada Act that many may not be aware of, for s. 524(1) of the Act provides that: Any elector who was eligible to vote in an electoral district, and any candidate in an electoral district, may, by application to a competent court, contest the election in that electoral district on the grounds that: … b) there were irregularities, fraud or corrupt or illegal practices that affected the result of the election.” To read his rabble.ca blog on this, go to http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/steven-shrybman/2012/02/if-you-didnt-robocall-heres-something-you-might-do-about-it.
Brent Patterson, Political Director, The Council of Canadians
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