By Mark Taliano
In a matter as important as electoral fraud, transparency and the rule of law should be of utmost importance. What we’re currently getting is the opposite.
Instead of an immediate Independent Inquiry with the power of subpoena, we’re getting a pseudo-inquiry by Elections Canada, a government appointed watchdog group.
Instead of empowering Elections Canada at a time of electoral crisis, Elections Canada has been disempowered by a funding cut of $7.5 million per year, effective immediately. The watchdog has already become a well-restrained puppy.
Chief Electoral Officer Marc Maynard, who was appointed by the Harper government, emphasized that “a single elector being misdirected from a poll is a serious offence.” According to Elections Canada, there have been “800 complainants alleging specific occurrences of improper or fraudulent calls for people in 200 ridings across the country, in 10 provinces and 1 territory.” This is no small number. And this is no small crisis.
Elizabeth May, who is all too familiar with government “black-ops” strategies, has called for an emergency debate on the crisis, but her supplication, as well as those by the N.D.P and the Liberals, has fallen on deaf ears.
People across Canada have also been demanding justice, and a public hearing, but their supplications have also been met with indifference.
Award-winning journalist and author, Andrew Nikiforuk, recently observed,”… There are no institutional watchdogs in petro states, just puppies. The non-puppies tend to get fired.” Chief Electoral Officer Lorne Gibson was a non-puppy. He exposed electoral crime in Stelmach’s Alberta, and he was promptly fired.
Nikiforuk continues, “The culture of bending the rules has expanded beyond the borders of Alberta, now into the rest of Canada, with the petro state party winning its federal election.”
As freedom-loving Canadians, we need to continue to demand a full Public Inquiry into this frontal assault on our democracy. The Watergate scandal involving former U.S President Richard Nixon should pale in comparison to the magnitude and scope of our current electoral scandal.
Despite our “tough on crime “government’s best efforts to divert our attention and sweep this issue under the carpet, we need to send a strong message that lowering the bar on electoral justice is not acceptable. Once the bar has been lowered, it’s much more difficult to raise it again.
Mark Taliano is a Niagara resident and a regular contributor of commentary to Niagara At Large.
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