Citizen Action Monitor

Secrecy prevents disclosure of Elections Canada’s rulings on election complaints

Canadians must insist that politicians hold investigative election officials to account

No 431 Posted by fw, March 7, 2012

Duff Conacher

“But the real problem is that it is not clear that the Commissioner of Canada Elections and the Director of Public Prosecutions investigate and enforce the law properly and effectively (and they enforce the elections law, not the police). The Commissioner and Director have kept secret their rulings on almost 2,300 election complaints since 2004, and so no one can tell whether they enforce the law fairly and well, nor whether they should be handling the current fraud investigations. Also, election fraud could have been prevented if the federal election law had been changed after the 2008 election, when misleading phone calls first happened.” Duff Conacher, Democracy Watch

Duff Conacher, Founding Director of Democracy Watch, is once again calling on Canadians to put pressure on federal politicians to hold investigative election officials to account. In a March 6, 2012 News Release, Conacher makes four specific demands –

  • Elections Canada must disclose its rulings on 2,284 complaints since 2004, and all its future rulings, to prove that it enforces the federal election law properly and effectively
  • Elections Canada should re-open investigation into 2008 election robocalls in B.C. riding
  • Canada Elections Act must be changed to make anonymous phone calls to voters illegal and impossible
  • Re alleged robocall fraud – “Canadians will want to know exactly what happened, and who did it.  We will not rest, because our democracy is at stake here, we will not rest until we know.”Jean-Pierre Kingsley, former Chief Electoral Officer

In addition, Conacher is asking Canadians to do their job by holding politicians to account. Here’s a copy of his March 6, 2012 action appeal which he requests be widely circulated —

PLEASE HELP stop election fraud in Canada by sending the letter set out below to key politicians

Dear Friend,

With the misleading phone calls during elections scandal in the news, some are calling for a public inquiry, and others are calling for the police.

But the real problem is that it is not clear that the Commissioner of Canada Elections and the Director of Public Prosecutions investigate and enforce the law properly and effectively (and they enforce the elections law, not the police).

The Commissioner and Director have kept secret their rulings on almost 2,300 election complaints since 2004, and so no one can tell whether they enforce the law fairly and well, nor whether they should be handling the current fraud investigations.

Also, election fraud could have been prevented if the federal election law had been changed after the 2008 election, when misleading phone calls first happened.

Please send the letter below now to key federal politicians from all parties (see email address listed below) urging them to require the Commissioner and Director to prove that they are enforcing the law fairly and properly, and urging them to change the election law to prevent election fraud in the future.

You can help win these key changes to strengthen Canada’s election law, and enforcement of the law.  If you would like details, please go to: Elections Canada must disclose its rulings

If you want more honest, open, ethical and democratic governments in Canada, then you can do no better than supporting Democracy Watch’s campaigns right now — you will get the biggest bang for your buck, and join together with thousands of other Canadians pushing for the key changes that will make the most difference!

Please copy and send the letter set out below to the email addresses of key federal politicians also set out below.

Thank you for your support,

Duff Conacher, Founding Director of Democracy Watch

**********************

EMAIL ADDRESSES OF KEY POLITICIANS [Note: I have not verified the accuracy of these addresses]

< pm@pm.gc.ca, harper.s@parl.gc.ca, open-ouvert@tbs-sct.gc.ca, tony.clement@parl.gc.ca, bob.rae@parl.gc.ca, rae.b0@parl.gc.ca, ndpadmin@fed.ndp.ca, nycole.turmel@parl.gc.ca, pat.martin@parl.gc.ca, charlie.angus@parl.gc.ca, Angus.C@parl.gc.ca, charlie.angus.p9@parl.gc.ca, angusc@parl.gc.ca, angusc0@parl.gc.ca, charlc@parl.gc.ca, charlc0@parl.gc.ca, MartipD8@parl.gc.ca, MartipD@parl.gc.ca, MartipD0@parl.gc.ca, pat.martin.p9@parl.gc.ca Elizabeth.May@parl.gc.ca, dwatch@web.net, oggo@parl.gc.ca, ethi@parl.gc.ca, proc@parl.gc.ca, just@parl.gc.ca, leg-jur@sen.parl.gc.ca >

THE LETTER TO COPY AND SEND

Dear federal politician:

Because of loopholes in the federal elections law, and questionable enforcement by the Commissioner of Canada Elections and the Director of Public Prosecutions, federal elections are vulnerable to fraud.

The Commissioner and Director have kept secret their rulings on almost 2,300 election complaints since 2004, and so no one can tell whether they enforce the law fairly and well.

The Commissioner and Director must be required to disclose the nature of each complaint, when it was investigated, and when it was ruled on, for every complaint received since 2004.  And as every new complaint is ruled on, these details and rulings must be released in the future.

Also, election fraud could have been prevented if the federal election law had been changed after the 2008 election, when misleading phone calls first happened.

The Canada Elections Act must be changed to prohibit robo-phone call companies, and all other companies that provide services to campaigners during elections, from doing anything for anyone or any organization whose identity they have not confirmed, and from doing anything that is within the clear powers of Elections Canada.  This will make it impossible for people to anonymously break the law, or make calls about things that Elections Canada oversees, such as changing polling station locations.

If you do not do everything you can to make the above changes to close the huge loopholes in the lobbying law, and strengthen enforcement and penalties, I will definitely not vote for your party in the next federal election.  You can see details at: <http://dwatch.ca/camp/RelsMar0612.html>.

Please send me a response that sets out in detail all the steps you and your party will be taking to close these loopholes and to ensure the Commissioner of Elections and Director of Public Prosecutions are doing their jobs properly.

I look forward to hearing back from you.

Sincerely,

PUT YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS HERE

*************

PLEASE PASS this message on to everyone you know in Canada, and thank you to everyone who sends a letter.

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS about this email, please contact: <dwatch@web.net>

RELATED STORY

  • Elections Canada denied new powers by Tories, MPs sayChief electoral officer wanted to see parties’ receipts. By Laura Payton, CBC News, Mar 6, 2012. “The Conservatives last week denied a request by Elections Canada for the power to demand receipts for political parties’ election spending, raising questions about why, opposition MPs said Tuesday. . . . NDP MP David Christopherson says he wants to know why Conservative MPs wouldn’t give the chief electoral officer the ability to demand receipts.”
Fair Use Notice: This blog, Citizen Action Monitor, may contain copyrighted material that may not have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material, published without profit, is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues. It is published in accordance with the provisions of the 2004 Supreme Court of Canada ruling and its six principle criteria for evaluating fair dealing.

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