Friday, June 1, 2012

Elections Canada: The Fix is IN

Holy fucking shit! In May, 2011, the anti-democratic harpercons stole a majority government (by a margin of 6,000 votes) based on a nation-wide campaign of election fraud. As a result, harper is driving a hearse through parliamentary procedures to ram through a whole gamut of right-wing nut-job policies to appeal to his scuzzy supporters (either the greedy or the stupid).

And Elections Canada is still quietly beavering away (supposedly) with its "investigation"?  Um, could we have some updates please? Could we have some sort of report? What's the plan "Elections Canada"? Is an illegitimate majority government going to radically transform the political climate in this country, cement its power-base, and then, maybe three years into its bogus mandate, you guys will issue some mewling criticisms in a report that is inherently flawed by your inability to subpoena evidence for your investigation?

"And so it seems very likely that questionable practices MIGHT have impacted election results in several ridings. We recommend fines of $2,000 for the party riding associations responsible in those ridings." (Upon which the harpercons appeal, lose, and, by 2019, they cough up the $10,000 but insist they did nothing wrong. Whereupon, shameless right-wing trolls bark "Har! Har! Stupid lefties! You and your paranoid conspiracy theories! Har! Har! Suck on THIS! LOL! LMAO!!!")

Excuse me, but that's not going to be good enough. Not by a long shot. Not at all. Not even in the slightest.

But Elections Canada knows this. Elections Canada is just another corrupt tool of the elites. This was first made clear to me with the evidence of its contributions to blatant election theft in Haiti. It also revealed itself in the slip-shod election work revealed in the ruling on the Etobicoke Centre election results as summarized here a the Sixth Estate:

5. Irregularities where the Liberals argue that voters failed to register (52 votes affected) — The judge accepted that at least 49 people at 2 polling stations were allowed to vote after filling out new registration forms on which they didn’t give their residential address, and that the pages where oaths that people were qualified to vote should have been made and signed were actually blank:
33 people voted by registration certificate… Their addresses, which should have been included, are not… This number is not repeated on the page which summarizes the results of the election. That page is blank. No registration certificates have been produced for Poll 426. If registration certificates were completed, they cannot be located… If they were prepared, they were never delivered to the… Chief Electoral Officer.
The Conservatives responded, in effect, that people should be allowed to vote even if they didn’t file their residential address or prove they were allowed to vote, because in their opinion we can be confident that the voting officers followed due process even if they didn’t file their paperwork: “the poll clerk would not identify a person in the poll book as having been registered without being presented with the completed registration certificate.”
It’s on this point, it seems, that the Conservatives finally lost Lederer’s confidence. For one thing, he noted, in one case at least two different sets of handwriting can be found in the poll book, so not just the one voting officer wrote in it. Moreover, he noted, the governing party was asking him to rule in their favour in the complete absence of the required registration certificates, the blank pages in the polling book, and the fact that none of the people actually appear on the final list of electors, which they should have.
Even here, however, Lederer was cautious. He noted that there were 8 people who filled out one of the magically missing registration certificates, but might correspond to people already listed on the voters list. So in reality, only 41 votes were affected by the missing paperwork. There were also two other people at a different polling station whose registration certificates were lost but for whom the vouching signatures were properly written in the poll book, and he agreed that their votes could stand.
Several other cases also fall under this category. First, at another poll, a registration certificate was filed even though it was not signed. The Conservatives argued that the signature should not be required, but the judge disagreed and threw out the vote.
Second, at a fifth poll, 10 registration certificates were not signed by the voters, and which the voting officer placed his/her signature on the line where the voter was supposed to sign. The Conservatives argued that the voting officer must have “signed on behalf of the voter.” The judge disagreed, noting that without their signature there was no paperwork to prove that they had declared they were qualified to vote. Without that declaration, their votes couldn’t count.

6. Irregularities where vouching paperwork was flawed (27 votes affected) — If you don’t have the proper ID, someone who knows you still can swear or “vouch” that you are who you say you are — and that signature has to get taken properly too. Moreover, you can only swear for one other person per election. The Liberals argued that any error in the vouching process should result in disqualification.
To that end, they identified 22 people who they claimed were allowed to register without the required vouching. The Conservatives argued that it was unclear from the paperwork whether they actually needed the vouching or whether the voting officer’s notes were simply unclear on what had happened, and the judge agreed. He threw out these 6 objections.
With regard to 16 others, however, people clearly failed to provide the required ID and should have required vouching, for which no documents existed or for which the required forms were blank. The judge accepted this claim and threw out 16 votes.
Next, the judge noted 9 cases where vouching was done by people who didn’t live in the riding, and therefore weren’t allowed to vouch (you can only vouch for people in the same riding that you live in), and furthermore that 2 of these vouchers had illegally vouched for an additional person. That meant another 11 votes had to be thrown out because of illegal vouching.

All in all, Lederer found that at least 79 votes were cast improperly. Since this was more than the 26-vote Conservative margin of victory, legally he had no choice but to declare the election “null and void.” The Conservatives now have a week to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. If they don’t, or if they lose the appeal, then Opitz will be evicted from the House of Commons and there will be a by-election in Etobicoke Centre.
As I have said so far, legally it doesn’t matter whether the 79 improper votes were really all for Opitz (in the event of fraud, for instance), or split evenly, or all for Wrzesnewskyj. We can’t be sure. That’s the reason, legally, why they have to be thrown out and why a by-election has to be ordered. If Opitz had won by enough that 79 ballots didn’t matter, his election would still stand.
Now, I've worked as a poll clerk. ("Whoa thwap! That's a pretty impressive statement!") I'm sure a lot of you people have. For a poll to be conducted so sloppily, so carelessly, ... and for nobody to have been fired after this ruling???? This is bullshit. Complete fucking bullshit. And it can only mean one thing: that Elections Canada is part of the problem. Elections Canada exists now as a means to dupe Canadians into thinking that there's a process and that there are rules and that there is accountability. And our job as citizens is to sit on our asses and wait for the proper authorities to do their job.

Canadians have fouled things up by moving towards the NDP in response to the complete failure of "free market" capitalism. In the USA, they don't have that problem. They have the Democratic Party to capture the votes of decent, intelligent people who are frustrated by the failues of capitalism. Here in Canada, we had the Liberal Party of Canada to cry crocodile tears for the victims of corporate greed while they all they, in practice, aid and abet the process, but they have imploded at the federal level because of the existence of the NDP. (This force is still relevant, especially in Ontario, where McGuinty cuts taxes for corporations and the wealthy, but imposes "health care levies" and other hikes on the average worker.) [Don't be mistaken, ... the fact that the NDP is moving to the centre when it should be moving to the left is evidence of how all official means of resistance are withered and ground-down within liberal capitalist hegemony. The NDP will sell us out too unless certain processes are reversed.]

Elections Canada is doing its part to stifle resistance and legitimate the crimes of the ruling elites. We are on our own people. There has to be a reckoning.


Beijing York said...

I agree. Harper is shitting all over our democracy and the opposition parties are next to useless. Meanwhile, that useless entitled Speaker of the House is claiming that Parliament is more polite than before. It's easy to be polite when you lack spine and passion. The ridiculous omnibus bill should have made all opposition party MPs walk out in protest - refuse to partake in what has become a farce.

thwap said...

Beijing York,

The dude over at "Far and Wide" says the opposition should pack it in, but Dr. Dawg says that the Opposition should stay, but be more theatrical and do stuff like call the government's bluff and leak about all the in camera bullshit that's going on.

I think they should at least wear black armbands like the Mound of Sound said, over at "Disaffected Lib."

Saskboy said...

It's getting to that uncomfortable point I imagined in February that we'd get to if no charges had even been laid. As I said then, the waiting game is rigged to lose, and justice delayed is as good as denied. What peaceful means do we have left when the formal authorities are refusing to act responsibly?

There's still some media willing to talk about this stuff, but if it drags on much more, the status quo illegitimate Harper gov't will only gain legitimacy as people roll over and accept it again like we dutifully did last year right after the election.