In 2006, Stephen Harper’s Conservatives won a minority over Paul Martin’s Liberals. The campaign consisted of two main themes: the sponsorship scandal and tax cuts. One must wonder why the Conservatives won: was it in protest against the Liberal sponsorship scandal? Was it because the GST was promised to be cut by 2%? Or was it because the votes were rigged?
It isn’t everyday that Canadians should have to worry about vote rigging. We know it exists elsewhere and some believe it’s how George W. Bush won over Al Gore in 2000 in the United States. Amid the second major scandal concerning electoral procedure, should a criminal investigation find results that prove the Conservatives rigged the 2011 election, who is to say that the 2006 and 2008 elections were legitimate? Wasn’t the last scandal – concerning overspending which led to the guilty verdict of the Conservative party to prevent 4 prominent members from going to jail dated back to 2006?
A cloud of doubt looms over the legitimacy of the last election result. The narrow win, the drastic shift of Bloc and Liberal voters to the Conservatives and NDP – did it really happen or was it all a ploy? A government which owns a powerful majority based on 39% of the vote cast by 61% of eligible voters, one must wonder how such a minority won a majority. Advocates may be waning on the idea of electoral reform, they may claim vote splitting and a number of factors were responsible, but what if the recent attack on Canadian democracy was the real cause?
Anyone who can be seen as cheating – multiple times – in elections is bound to be suspect to skepticism. The in and out scandal – proven and guilty verdict registered, the phony calls to Irwin Cotler’s riding, the robocalls which struck strategic Liberal ridings – a staffer in Guelph has already resigned, the list is getting quite long – add what Harper has to say about the Canadian public and one will get outraged.
The NDP and Liberals are taking the situation seriously. The NDP held a news conference administered by Pat Martin and Liberal Interim Leader Bob Rae is asking for an emergency debate on the matter.
Bob Rae's Letter to the Speaker:
So when will a criminal investigation be called and if proven, what does it mean about the transparency of Elections Canada and the validity of the election results over the past decade – or two?