Nov 262012
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Why are there no protests outside Elections Canada?

by Ish Theilheimer

Never mind riots, Canadians have yet to witness so much as a polite protest against election fraud at the downtown Ottawa offices of Elections Canada and anyone who cares about democracy in Canada must wonder why not.

This is the agency within the federal government where people show up for work every day ostensibly eager and ready to uphold Canada’s election laws. They are paid to care about and, as required, to protect the integrity of the federal electoral process.

Something mysterious seems to be stopping them from getting to the bottom of the hundreds of vote suppression complaints received in dozens of ridings during and after the 2011 election. For more than a year and a half, EC officials have been scrutinizing complaints received before and since the May 2 election day. Still, nothing happens.

Elections Canada has been scrutinizing voter complaints for more than a year and a half, yet nothing happens.

In the absence of action by the officials paid to ensure fair elections, the Council of Canadians' court case, by default, has become the most high profile effort to overturn the results, albeit in only six ridings.

The Conservative Party's lawyers in that case, as is their right, have made repeated attempts to halt the proceedings by challenging the status of the claimants and their claims. Their most recent effort is to seek dismissal of the case because the claimants failed to bring forward evidence from actual non-voters saying they personally did not vote because of misdirection by Conservative campaigns.

Even if a sample of non-voter testimonies were brought forward, the Conservatives would then probably demand personal identification of misled voters in sufficient numbers to mathematically overturn the result. And as a matter of practice if not policy, they would then have the information the party needs to mount personal attack ads against misled voters who had the temerity to step forward publicly.

“Poor Bob Blatz claims he didn’t vote just because of a phone call?” the sneering attack ad voice would mockingly intone: “But what was Bob really doing that day?”

Even the possibility is a deterrent.  How many private citizens out there want to step up publicly and take on the most vindictive and vicious government in memory?

If the Conservatives do manage to undermine the Council’s case, and the people paid to enforce election laws diligently continue not to get to the bottom of the problem, will we ever know what really happened in the final days of the 2011 campaign?

Most of the polls published in the final days of the campaign did not point to a Conservative majority.

We know that most of the polls published in the final days of the campaign did not point to a Conservative majority. Most pundits and informed observers who were following the election closely, predicted another Harper minority.

However,we now know that it was very late in the campaign, on the very eve of the vote, with their majority seemingly just out of reach, that the alleged vote suppression calls began, mostly to identified- non-Conservative voters,  with automated and live calls suddenly announcing misleading instructions about changes to polling station locations.

We also know that Conservatives won many of these ridings by very narrow margins, and that when the dust settled, they were able to slice-and-dice the electorate, to play the splits, and get just the right numbers in just the right places, so as to produce a Conservative majority in parliament.

A very small increase in Conservative support somehow produced an unexpected majority in previously-close ridings.

We also know now all too well that, since the election, despite the fact that more than 6-in-10 electors once again voted for other parties, Harper still claims that the election gave him a virtual landslide of popular support to do whatever his right-wing brain tells him will make him happy. Needless to say, anyone not happy with this can pound sand, as Harper sees no need for further debate in or outside Parliament on whatever he wants to do. His position is that the people have spoken.

Thus, the Conservatives' default talking point for trying to denigrate the Council of Canadians vote suppression case, and anyone else concerned about election fraud, is this basic arrogant misrepresentation. Harper was given a huge majority, they assert, and complainers are just angry and bitter losers seeking to disenfranchise everyone who voted Conservative in the disputed ridings.

And so it goes, mendacity marches on, with no end in sight.

And still, there has not been a single protest in front of the Elections Canada office at 257 Slater Street in downtown Ottawa. In a country with a more energetic and attentive electorate, one would expect that the sidewalk in front of their building would be worn away by now.

About Ish Theilheimer

Ish Theilheimer is founder and president of Straight Goods News and has been Publisher of the leading, and oldest, independent Canadian online newsmagazine,, since September 1999. He is also Managing Editor of He lives wth his wife Kathy in Golden Lake, ON, in the Ottawa Valley.


© Copyright 2012 Ish Theilheimer, All rights Reserved. Written For:

  One Response to “Defending robocalls: mendacity marches on”

  1. Thank you for this! I was beginning to think that I'm completely bonkers for wondering why the hell we put up with listening to the government telling us that it's okay, Elections Canada is investigating election fraud and that there is no need for an inquiry and Elections Canada keeps telling us that the investigation is ongoing so they can't discuss anything! This article nails how frustrated I feel about this. We should be dealing with this issue in an open, transparent and independent inquiry. Remember the Watergate hearings? We need to demand that those responsible for hijacking the 2011 election are held responsible and that the party they acted for pay the consequences. Thank God for Council of Canadians and those brave individuals who are going to court. Perhaps there should be crowds of Canadians showing their support outside the courtroom on December 10th when the trial begins. Elections Canada's Marc Mayrand is making all kinds of proposals to take a good long process to prevent election fraud from happening in the future through a national survey and roundtable talks and so on and so on. But surely if they knew about the calls in 17 ridings three days prior to the election we should have had some real action and results by now. The response from Elections Canada has been completely underwhelming. If they are so incapable of getting to the bottom of the robocalls why don't they get out of the way and let a criminal investigation get started? They don't need new laws to tell them that election fraud and voter suppression are illegal regardless of the means used to do it. 

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