It would be unseemly for a sitting government under the cloud of elections fraud and voter suppression in 200 ridings across the country to ram through the Fair Elections Act mainly benefitting themselves, so today Elections Canada Commissioner Yves Côté obligingly threw in the towel on any further investigation into what Federal Court Judge Richard Mosley called :
"an orchestrated effort to suppress votes during the 2011 election campaign by a person or persons with access to the CIMS database"
Commissioner Côté :
"... it is not sufficient to find evidence of misdirection of an elector. There must be evidence of intention to prevent the elector from voting, or by some pretence or contrivance, to induce the elector to vote or not vote for a particular candidate.
"No such evidence was found."
Skippy was pleased though :
"Pierre Poilievre, the minister for democratic reform, said the report proves the Conservative party ran "an honest and ethical campaign" in 2011.
"We followed all of the rules and we won fair and square," Poilievre said Thursday before delivering a speech on controversial new electoral reforms proposed for the 2015 vote.
"That is what we've been saying all along and those who've been making baseless smears ever since have been once again proven wrong in the process."Not that the Office of the Commissioner has shown much previous inclination to pursue evidence of election fraud in the last election, but his report shows he was hampered by "investigative challenges", due to "outright refusal to cooperate" on the part of witnesses.
Supreme Court Justice Louise Charron : "Some telemarketers retained by political parties simply refused to co-operate."
Unsurprisingly, the new Fair Elections Act declines to give him the power to compel witnesses.
So here is an example of what is presumably now legal in our new 'buyer beware' elections - a "misdirection of an elector" from Election Day in 2011, left on the phone of a librarian :
I'll save you the bother of looking up that phone number - it's Pierre Poutine.
Saskboy did an excellent rundown on the issues this morning and -updated- RossK reminds this is all just a redo of EC declining to pursue election fraud in SGI in 2008.
Back with more in a bit.
Update : So what exactly happened between an EC spokesey giving a completely bullshit reason 3 weeks ago for why their report would not be released until after the next election and its release today?
Is it a different report altogether?
Benson said the agency has decided not to report until after the next election.
“In light of the government’s announcement in the fall that it would introduce comprehensive legislative reform, Elections Canada decided to postpone the general enforcement report until after the next general election,” she said. “This was necessary not only to focus our attention and resources on the announced reform, but also of the difficulty of engaging stakeholders simultaneously on a parallel initiative.”.