26 February 2012


What a law and order government we seem to have. They want to build lots of prisons and they want to put people there for longer periods of time. I think it's all just a scheme to keep certain people from voting so they can maintain their majority. In light of recent news, would anyone be surprised if that's what it turns out to be? Let's review the news….

A couple of elections ago, the big scandal was the "in and out" scandal, wherein the Conservatives were accused of breaking the election spending rules by concocting an elaborate scheme to funnel money through local riding associations while actually spending it on national advertising. You know, when the rules would inconvenience your plan to buy the election by overwhelming the country with advertising by setting limits, you just find any way possible to get around those inconvenient rules. The party fought this for years, but quietly paid a fine in the recent past.
Now the breaking story is allegations that in dozens of ridings across the country there were incidents of automatic calls going out to voters from the opposition parties pretending to be Elections Canada informing them that their polling station had changed location. There are some other allegations, as I understand it, that there were some live calls by people pretending to be from the opposition parties late at night or otherwise annoying times, presumably to make these voters reconsider their choice in anger.

As the investigation begins, the question of what could be the possible outcome arises. The "in and out" outcome essentially allowed the party to buy its way out of breaking the rules. No electoral punishment applied. If in the current case fault is eventually assigned, will there be another fine to pay? Is that it, really?

I think there ought to be some real consequences for breaking the electoral rules. When this happens in a country that we in our great wisdom and arrogance consider not to be democratic, we offer our support to those who would use extraparliamentary means to throw out the offenders, prosecute them and chase them into exile. Could we at least have some nullified election results, maybe some lifetime bans from running for office?

I think there needs to be a modest proposal to amend the Election Act to make sure that those who engage in rulebreaking are excluded from the possibility of power and from the democratic process they have sought to pervert. And given our current government's penchant for hyperbole, I have a name to suggest for the amending act: An Act to Exclude Fraudsters and Pedophiles from the Corridors of PowerSure, there really is no relevance for including pedophiles in the title, but it really rallies the troops, doesn't it?


Greer said...

It's an interesting set of questions! Great comment piece, Ken. From abroad (or a broad) it is weird to see Canada withdrawing from Kyoto and getting mired in scandal. If the old image of Canada was Benton Fraser in "Due South", what's the new image? nidely Whiplash saying "nyah ha ha"?

Montreal Marlo said...

Well said, Ken! This latest scandal is just another flagrant example of the Conservatives disregard for public law and policy that is supported by the vast majority of Canadians. SHAME.