Thursday, May 23, 2013

Not Just a Symbolic Victory, Judge Slams Thug Conservatives for Robo-Calls.

Maude Barlow puts the robo-call decision in perspective.

Just hours ago the long-awaited Federal Court ruling on election fraud was released...

In a clear and bold statement, Judge Richard Mosley wrote: "I find that electoral fraud occurred during the 41st General Election."

While his ruling stopped short of annulling election results, this is a powerful victory for Kay Burkhart, Ken Ferance, Yvonne Kafka, Bill Kerr, Sandra McEwing, Tom Parlee, Jeff Reid and Peggy Walsh Craig – the eight brave Canadian voters who launched their legal challenges and the thousands of us who continue to stand behind them.

The judge raised grave concerns that the fraudulent calls "struck at the integrity of the electoral process by attempting to dissuade voters from casting ballots for their preferred candidates. This form of 'voter suppression,' was, until the 41st General Election, largely unknown in this country."

From the outset, the eight applicants argued that the fraudulent robocalls were widespread, targeted and centrally organized – which is precisely what Judge Mosley found. "I am satisfied that it has been established that misleading calls about the locations of polling stations were made to electors in ridings across the country, including the subject ridings, and that the purpose of those calls was to suppress the votes of electors who had indicated their voting preference in response to earlier voter identification calls," and that "the most likely source of the information used to make the misleading calls was the CIMS database maintained and controlled by the CPC [Conservative Party of Canada], accessed for that purpose by a person or persons currently unknown to this Court."

Of course the CPC will try to paint this as a victory, but they have nothing to celebrate. That is unless an attempt to steal the election using their database, to which only senior Conservative Party members have access, is a cause for rejoicing. This is a serious indictment of the CPC.

Judge Mosley himself praised the eight applicants for their virtue, while chastising the Conservative MPs. "It has seemed to me that the applicants sought to achieve and hold the high ground of promoting the integrity of the electoral process while the respondent MPs engaged in trench warfare in an effort to prevent this case from coming to a hearing on the merits."

And Mosley even made special note of their shameful obstructionist tactics, stating, "Despite the obvious public interest in getting to the bottom of the allegations, the CPC made little effort to assist with the investigation at the outset despite early requests. I note that counsel for the CPC was informed while the election was taking place that the calls about polling station changes were improper. While it was begrudgingly conceded during oral argument that what occurred was "absolutely outrageous", the record indicates that the stance taken by the respondent MPs from the outset was to block these proceedings by any means."


the salamander said...

.. I doubt one could summarize the determination of the court more effectively .. your report also does so eloquently & bluntly ..

Unfortunately for Canada & Canadians .. the explicit findings and statement of electoral fraud utilizing the Harper Government and Harper Party data base on citizens and voters is seen as as some sort of triumph.. an amazing accomplishment.. perhaps even the new twisted face of Harper Democracy.

This is the payoff from the Harper Plague Ship and the zombie crew. The so called defenders of Canada elected by us.. creating the Harper Conada we won't recognize

Stevie/Ray, Van Loan, Baird, Clement, Kenney, Oliver, Toews, Fantino, Adams, Moore et al are holding this judgement and their crude attempts to obstruct or deny it with an astonishingly expensive taxpayer paid legal firm.. as a win.. vindication .. accomplishment ..

Conservative courage/valor, royal & of the highest order .. in the daunting face of a very scary frivolous attack by ... their own citizens & voters.. and the federal courts & judges.

Perhaps our vaunted leader will declare this as paramouncy in his next pre-fabricated speech.

Maybe he will get Ray Novak, John Baird or Eve Adams to tell us that the root cause of electoral fraud is voters and elections and fling that zinger at us ...

Owen Gray said...

The Harperites will claim victory because their members are still in their seats.

But, clearly, Mosley is on to their game. Courts will make a judgment. It will be up to the people to throw the bums out.

Saskboy said...

Yet I'm profoundly disappointed there are no byelections for the Cons to blow money challenging in the Supreme Court, and voters will simply forget that the Cons ran a centralized election fraud scheme the last few elections.

The Mound of Sound said...

It's pretty obvious that we need new criminal laws. If I steal your car I go to jail. If I steal something far more important, your vote, nothing.

Vote tampering truly is a crime against society and it needs to be treated as such. When a person corrupts the electoral process, it impacts the entire electorate for we are all denied a free and fair election, not just the voters in the particular riding.

Harper is obsessed with mandatory minimum sentences. Make this sort of thing punishable by a mandatory ten years in the Greybar Hotel and these Tory swine will think twice about pulling this again.

deb said...

This story seemed to be losing traction, and I thought with CoC's taking them on it might actually do something and cause the govt to fall. Why in the world is this not causing more outrage...the cons stole the election. No doubt about it, and the proof is coming in bit by bit, but even the courts and judges seem to sighhh and say yeah it happened...oh well:P Have they all been bought off, are they all under the PM's thumb:P
I am hoping that amidst all the other scandals the govt would be finally held accountable, have things gotten this bad, that we have lost the democracy we have taken for granted.
I read it last night, and wondered why it wasnt on the news, emailed Rosemary Barton to ask if they are going to have it on power and politics and she said yes today. I look foward to more canadians stepping up and demanding a bye-election to get rid of these corrupt clowns.
I so hope Michael Sona throws the true culprit(s) under the bus, and I wish more Canadians understood the incredible situation that has come to pass under the corrupt Harper govt! I guess 50% dont vote, so they also probably dont pay much attention to the govt operations:(

Dana said...

The judge has basically told us as that one vote has no value.

Thousands of votes do but not one.

I think in future times this decision will be noted as marking the end of Canadian democracy.

The Mound of Sound said...

Dana, I think Owen is right. We have to throw the bums out. We can't rely on courts to defend our democracy for us, it's our job.

And, of course, if we're not satisfied with the judge's scathing findings we can take this on appeal to the FCA.

It's up to us, in the meantime, to show we won't stand for this rotten business.

Scotian said...

The problem I have with this ruling is that if you see a clearly organized attempt at corrupting the election process appearing to be coming from within any political party it should be enough to taint the results regardless of whether it can be proven to have made the critical difference. What this judge found was in my books sufficient basis to show this, and therefore (unless he was prevented by law/legislation from doing so) should have made this point and arguably said these results are invalid because of such (especially since I believe he also said this was the first election this sort of thing had been seen in, so his ruling was going to have the additional weight of setting precedent) and required by-elections to be held.

This is a very serious blow to the integrity of our most fundamental political structure, how we as a nation create and transfer legitimate political governing authority/power, and *ANY* clear and organized attempt to corrupt that process should be seen as sufficient grounds to invalidate results and to go after any and all involved with maximum intensity. I don't care what party or ideological group does this sort of thing, it doesn't matter! To taint the process in such a manner destroys legitimacy, and once that is gone eventually we will lose our remaining democratic checks and either become some sort of tyranny or a violent insurrection will occur to try to restore power to the people, either way the end result of allowing such organized tampering does great damage and therefore needs to be stomped on harshly regardless of source! There are some things where the process is more important than the players and this most definitely is one of them!

This is why I've always been the Harper foe, it was my concerns about the destruction on the process side he truly terrified me, as I'd said for years, and this is just the latest example of what I meant.

deb said...

apparently the NP and McParland say the cons arent guilty they just play the role for kicks...its tragic that people can view the robocall scandal with such an indifference to democracy.The cons benefited, it was their computer list, they have a few scapegoats. But guilty is just their default strategy. I think right wing pundits are paid to give the sheep something to eat thats palatable.

The Mound of Sound said...

Maybe some Lib or Dipper should propose a "Defence of Democracy Act" to introduce amendments to the Criminal Code to punish this sort of conduct with stiff sentences and fines. The Elections Act could likewise be amended to suspend any victory tainted with this sort of thing and direct a by-election runoff.

Dana said...

I can't even definitively say that I will be alive in 2 years.

I've been reading the comments sections at the G&M and NattyPo lately. (contributing occasionally too under a pseud).

It is astonishing how thin the knowledge of our political system is.

People think an election can be "forced" right now. People think Senators can be "fired". People think the constitution can be altered or even re-written, maybe by next month. People think a PM can be "forced" into doing what they want the PM to do.

And that's on the side of the angels.

I won't even get into the stupidities of the devils brigade.

I've given up on BC. There's no hope for this place. Too many spin classes not enough citizens.

Canada is getting pretty close to a lost cause too, frankly.

Now that it has been made explicit by a court of law that one person's vote has no meaning or value - well it just feels as though the barbarians have broken thru, we are now being overrun and we have no defence.

It was bound to happen I suppose. Jung called it enantiodromia; everything eventually becomes it's shadow self.

Valeria said...
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