Yahoo News reported that Federal Court Judge Richard Mosley ruled that automated phone calls (robocalls) were used to misdirect voters. The judge found no evidence that the calls impacted the outcome of the election.
As a result, the judge declined to annul results of the election, an outcome sought by the Council of Canadians. The federal court's decision may be appealed.
I find that electoral fraud occurred during the 41st General Election but I am not satisfied that it has been established that the fraud affected the outcomes in the subject ridings and I decline to exercise my discretion to annul the results in those districts.
The judge concluded that the CPC was not involved
but that the evidence pointed to the use of the party's database.
The judge ruled that there was a concerted effort by persons who had access to the database of voter information to dissuade voters from casting ballots for their preferred candidates. There was no evidence that the candidates in the six ridings were involved in the campaign.
Federal Court Judge Richard Mosley ruled the calls "struck at the integrity of the electoral process by attempting to dissuade voters from casting ballots for their preferred candidates."
This form of 'voter suppression,' was, until the 41st General Election, largely unknown in this country."
There was little praise by the judge
for the CPC
He concluded that the proceedings were very partisan from the outset. The Members of Parliament involved engaged in trench warfare in an effort to prevent this case from coming to a hearing on the merits.
These proceedings have had partisan overtones from the outset. That was particularly evident in the submissions of the respondent MPs. In reviewing the procedural history and the evidence and considering the arguments advanced by the parties at the hearing, it has seemed to me that the applicants sought to achieve and hold the high ground of promoting the integrity of the electoral process while the respondent MPs engaged in trench warfare in an effort to prevent this case from coming to a hearing on the merits.
Despite the obvious public interest in getting to the bottom of the allegations, the CPC made little effort to assist with the investigation at the outset despite early requests.
The dilemma of the CPC
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his conservative party came into power in 2005 running on a platform of accountability. Early during the PM`s minority mandate the Accountability Act was passed, but it`s only legislation and needs to be backed up with action. As recent events have demonstrated that action is lacking.
After the 41st election, allegations of voter fraud soon emerged and were attributed to the CPC. The party distanced itself from the allegations, despite a number of allegations by voters in over a hundred ridings in Canada. Elections Canada.
Election fraud had become a major issue in Canada
. There were allegations of the Conservative government affecting vote results by using robocalls (automated calls) to send voters to a different polling station. The issue is still under investigation by Elections Canada, but it`s a slow process.
At the time the National Post reported
that the IP address used to send misleading robocalls to Guelph voters on election day was the same address used by a worker from the campaign office of local Conservative candidate Marty Burke, Elections Canada investigators believe.
The ongoing Senate expense scandal, which involved the Prime Minister`s Office (PMO), resulting in the resignation of the Chief of Staff, Nigel Wright, is not helping the CPC. The PM`s refusal to answer questions on the issue after his caucus meeting on Tuesday only adds to the suspicions. The senators involved cling on to their sense of entitlement and refuse to resign.
The situation is evolving quickly and each day new details emerge. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is starting to ask questions and have asked for a copy of the Senate expense rules, although force hesitates to call it an investigation.
Rex Murphy puts it aptly in his political analysis of the situation
, broadcast on CBC yesterday, using Senator Eugene Forsey as an example. He said that Forsey would tell the PM to stop the stall and put it all out there, reminding the PM that he blundered and that he appointed Brazeau, Wallin and Duffy.
To the Prime Minister he would say “stop the stall, whatever is known at whatever level, put it out, all of it and face the whirlwind.” And say on these three highest profile appointments: Wallin, Duffy, Brazeau - you absolutely blundered. Because you picked em. And on the Nigel Wright running interference if as you say you had no idea – demonstrate some magnitude of shock that your own Chief of Staff could have been so radically wrong.
To say the least, the PM has to accept responsibility for what happened in the PMO and has to quit hiding under the desk by deflecting criticism from himself. He appointed the senators, employed the chief of staff and the voter fraud involved the data base of the party he leads. At the very least he has to show some leadership and confront the issues head on. Failing that he should probably resign.