Independent watchdog says Canada's 2011 elections may have been corrupt

The independent nonpartisan NGO Democracy Watch says that Canada's elections regulator has failed in its duty to prevent fraud in Canada's elections. This comes on the heels of a voter-suppression scandal in which "robocalls" were placed, allegedly to voters likely to vote against the (now ruling) Conservative party, telling them that their polling places had changed. One whistleblower claims to have worked on the phone-bank that handled complaints from the robocalls, and says that she was instructed to tell people that she was working on behalf of the Conservative party, and to give out misinformation about where to vote. Jeff David of Postmedia News writes in the Montreal Gazette:

"Here we are 144 years since Canada became a so-called democracy and no one can tell whether Elections Canada is enforcing the federal election law fairly and properly because it has kept secret its investigations and rulings on more than 2,280 complaints since 2004," said spokesman Tyler Sommers.

The Harper government scrambled to keep pace with the burgeoning scandal during Tuesday's question period, after Postmedia News and the Ottawa Citizen unveiled new details of the election calls that had been routed through a Tory-linked firm.

A total of 1,334 complaints were filed with Elections Canada in the 2004, 2006, and 2008 federal elections, according to the agency's post-poll reports. Concerning the 2011 election alone, however, Elections Canada received 1,872 complaints about accessibility problems, 2,956 emails complaining of voting rule confusion in the Guelph area, and 1,003 complaints about other issues.

Elections Canada not doing its job: Democracy Watch


  1. so? If your police and courts are corrupt who cares about an election? Nothing will be done about it.

  2. In other news, it emerged today that water is wet and plants grow better when exposed to sunlight instead of being submerged in high-strength hydrochloric acid.

    1. It’s responses like this that ensures our slow descent into an authoritarian, dystopia of a future.

      1. For context, I’m Canadian, and I’m no fan of the Harper Government[tm]. This last federal election was the first that I can remember where there were enough reports of irregularities and other things to complain about that I suspected that things were definitely being tampered with.

        The disclosure of the robocalling just cemented it. I think you’re interpreting my snark to be a lot more broad than I intended for it. Harper has demonstrated outright contempt for what anyone else wants unless they talk in money. I want a sane, halfway-decent government, and Harper is neither.

  3. Harper is now accusing the opposition parties of sabotaging their own campaigns during the last election, just so that they can now claim that the sabotage was caused by the ruling Conservative Party. It’s the world’s most convoluted smear campaign!

    Hmmm… HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. I don’t buy it!

    But Harper has no real choice at this point but to deny, deny, deny. If his party is caught, it doesn’t matter what he says now, and if they manage to bury this scandal like all of the others, it’ll look good that he didn’t equivocate on this point.

    1. Don’t worry. When the evidence piles up enough, they’ll find a minor staffer to declare as a scapegoat. Someone who was “acting independently and without the knowledge or approval of the Conservative Party.”

  4. Harper and accomplices have already been judged and convicted, behind the scenes, and would not be circumventing justice in this unprecedented matter.

  5. “she was instructed to tell people that she was working on behalf of the Conservative party,”

    on behalf of the Tories? Really? ummm, methinks there should be a correction here, non?

  6. Conservatives in the US have been doing this type of fraud for a while:  passing out leaflets in primarily Democratic areas reminding them to vote– on a date that is past the actual voting date.  Then, Republicans try to pass voter “fraud” bills requiring strict ID requirements, knowing that such requirements hit Democrats’ demographic the hardest.

    They profit from actual fraud, then profit from “deterring” nonexistent fraud.  Good times.

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