Election fraud: how many unsolved crimes are there and can Elections Canada get to the bottom of them?

Elizabeth May

Lately, a lot of allegations have been made
that there were election irregularities and some outright crimes committed in
the 2011 election.  What we do not know
is who was responsible.

But we may be dealing with a serial
offender, or offenders.  When one thinks
about the election skulduggery of the last six years, it is clear that Canada
does a poor job of getting to the bottom of some serious crimes.

Here’s a short list of the ones that still
bother me.  They remain unsolved.

  1. RCMP interference in the 2006
    . (Remember Zaccardelli issuing a press release about looking into NDP
    charges that the Liberals had leaked details about the income trust taxation
    issue? There was nothing to it, but it arguably changed the outcome of the
    election.)  Issuing a press release in an
    election campaign was a violation of RCMP normal practice.  Naming a Finance Minister in the release was
    unheard of. The Public Complaints Commission for the RCMP, under its director
    Paul Kennedy, tried to question former RCMP Commissioner Giuliano
    Zaccardelli.  Zaccardelli refused to be
    questioned and Kennedy lacked subpoena powers. 
    No one knows if there was any political involvement, inducement or
    pay-off involved. Zaccardelli is now a senior Interpol officer in Lyon, France.
  2. How hard did the Conservatives
    try to bring down the Martin government in spring 2005?  Did the effort include the offer of a million
    dollar life insurance policy to Chuck Cadman

    It was alleged, there was a tape
    What happened to the investigation? 
    If it happened, it was illegal.
  3. The Conservative campaign in
    the Nova Scotia riding of Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley in 2008.  Courageous MP Bill Casey had been expelled
    from the Conservative caucus
    for voting against the 2008 budget which violated
    the contract with NS, known as the “Atlantic Accord.”   In
    2008, Casey ran as an Independent.  The
    Conservative Candidate Joel Bernard left Stockwell Day’s office to challenge
    him. (In an interesting side-bar, the entire Conservative riding association
    insisted that Bill Casey was their candidate. The Conservative Party fired the
    whole of the local executive and appointed a secret group to choose their candidate.)  Casey was re-elected handily.  After the election, Casey learned that
    Bernard’s campaign had gone to the RCMP and alleged that Casey had embezzled
    funds from the Conservative riding association. 
    There was no truth to such charges, but it also emerged that efforts had
    been made to peddle the story to the local media during the election.  Media did not cover it because Casey’s
    reputation for integrity made it too implausible to treat seriously.  But making unsubstantiated allegations and
    wasting RCMP resources were themselves possibly criminal acts.
  4. In 2008, well-documented
    robocalls were made into the riding I now hold --  Saanich-Gulf Islands.  There are many details of this case in my
    previous blogs.  It was clearly
    illegal.  The automated calls claimed to
    be from the NDP and demonstrably were not. The home fax line of the NDP riding
    association president had been “spoofed.” (So that his number appeared to be
    the source of the calls.)  Calls were
    made that urged citizens to vote for the NDP candidate who had withdrawn from
    the race.  The robocalls may well have
    changed the outcome of the election. 
    Yet, Elections Canada dropped the case and ruled no laws had been broken.
  5. Were Larry Smith and Fabian
    Manning given any promises that if they left the Senate to run for a Commons
    seat in 2011, and were to lose, they would be re-appointed to the Senate?  Both Conservative Senators vied for a seat,
    one in Montreal, the other in Newfoundland.  Both lost and were re-appointed to the Senate
    within weeks of the May 2, 2011 election.  Democracy Watch demanded an investigation as,
    if such a promise was made, it violated the Criminal Code.

Add these to the spate of calls in 2011 designed
to misdirect voters to non-existent polling places, the allegations of a secret
Conservative bank account in Vaughan.  Add
to that the legal, but unethical, use of “voter suppression” techniques –
attack ads, writ periods at the legal minimum length, disgusting behaviour in
the House of Commons – and you have a toxic recipe for poisoning democracy. 

Canadians must not allow allegations of
serious election crimes to be swept under the carpet once again.  It may be that the guilty party has a “win at all
costs” attitude; an acceptance of the morally bankrupt idea that anything goes
and the only sin is getting caught.

We need to know and we need to stop it.