For Immediate Release
March 12, 2012
Liberals Call For Royal Commission on Electoral Fraud
OTTAWA— The Liberals are calling on the Conservative government to immediately launch a Royal Commission on the possible electoral fraud during the last general election and to determine whether the Canada Elections Act and other Canadian laws are sufficient to protect the integrity of our electoral system, said Liberal Leader Bob Rae today.
“Tens of thousands of Canadians reported irregularities in the last election, including allegations of voters being deliberately misled about the location of their polling station, receiving harassing phone calls purporting to be from the Liberal Party, particularly Jewish Liberal supporters who received calls on Passover, and that thousands of “instant-voters” voted without giving an address,” said Mr. Rae. “These reports are serious and deeply troubling in and of themselves, but if proven to be true, they call into question whether or not current Canadian laws are sufficient to prevent this kind of abuse of our electoral system. Canadians do not trust the Conservatives to handle this – they are demanding a full public inquiry to get to the bottom of it.”
The Harper Conservatives have a well-documented history of testing Canada’s electoral integrity. In the 2006 election, the Conservative Party of Canada was found by Elections Canada to have overspent its campaign limit by $1.3 million, and to have tried to collect $800,000 from taxpayers in rebates, in what would become known as the “in-and-out” scandal. In 2011, Conservative Senators Doug Finley and Irving Gerstein, as well as senior campaign officials Michael Donison and Susan Kehoe reached a plea deal for misleading Elections Canada. As part of that deal, the Conservative Party of Canada pleaded guilty and was forced to pay $52,000 in fines, and just recently was forced to pay back over $230,000 in taxpayer dollars stemming from the “in-and-out” scandal.
Last but not least, in 2011, Conservative Party operatives called into Liberal MP Irwin Cotler’s riding to sow confusion among the electorate, falsely informing them that Mr. Cotler was stepping down and a by-election was imminent. The Conservatives called misleading votes “free speech;” the Speaker of the House called it “reprehensible.”
“The evidence of electoral fraud in this last election is just one in a long list of reprehensible schemes that are shaking Canadians’ confidence in our democracy and the way we do politics,” said Mr. Rae. “An independent, fully-empowered Royal Commission, alongside the Elections Canada investigation – and any possible investigation by the RCMP – is the only way we can begin to re-build trust.”
Monday, March 12, 2012
Posted by Brent Fullard at 5:02 PM