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Federal court finds fraud in six ridings in last election

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Federal court finds fraud in six ridings in last election

Election results to stand despite “concerted campaign” to suppress vote


OTTAWA — Electoral fraud occurred during the last federal election, a federal court judge ruled on Thursday, but there is no proof that it affected the outcomes in six ridings at issue so the elections will not be overturned.

The court challenge was brought by the Council of Canadians, which sought to overturn the election of six Conservative MPs who won close ridings where there was evidence that someone tried to affect the results by calling opposition supporters and telling them their polling stations had moved.

Federal Court Judge Richard Mosley ruled that the 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.”

The evidence points to “a concerted campaign by persons who had access to a database of voter information maintained by a political party,” Mosley writes, but says there was no allegation that any of the candidates in the six ridings were responsible for the campaign.

“I find that electoral fraud occurred during the 41st General Election but I am not satisfied that it has been established that the fraud affected the outcomes in the subject ridings and I decline to exercise my discretion to annul the results in those districts.”

The decision fails to give the Council of Canadians the result it sought, but may pose a political problem for the Conservatives, who have steadfastly rejected any suggestion that the party mounted a voter suppression campaign beyond the infamous “Pierre Poutine” robocall in Guelph, which the party has blamed on rogue elements.

Mosley does not conclude that the party was involved, but does say the evidence points to the use of the party’s database.

“In reaching this conclusion, I make no finding that the Conservative Party of Canada or any CPC candidates or RMG and RackNine Inc., were directly involved in any campaign to mislead voters,” he ruled.

“I am satisfied, however, that the most likely source of the information used to make the misleading calls was the CIMS database maintained and controlled by the CPC, accessed for that purpose by a person or persons currently unknown to this court.”

Maude Barlow, national chair of the Council of Canadians, said the decision “should disturb Canadians a lot.”

She said her organization welcomed Mosley’s findings as “a very good decision.”

The finding of fraud, she said, “is stated clearly and boldly.”

Barlow said while she was disappointed Mosley didn’t overturn the results, the felt the larger finding of fraud was more important the results in six seats.

“We feel this is a very powerful statement and are pleased that the decision has come forward this way,” she said.

“We would, of course, liked to have the individual ridings overturned, but I think the much more important point is the finding of fraud.”

Barlow said she didn’t think anyone could try to subvert an election using robocalls again.

“I think it would be much harder.”

She said it would be up to the applicants in the six cases whether they would launch an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada of Mosley’s decision.

Conservative party spokesman Fred DeLorey said that “there was no wrongdoing by the Conservative Party or any of the candidates or campaign teams targeted by these applications and the court noted that not a single voter was produced to testify that they were prevented from voting due to alleged voter suppression.”

He also took a shot at the challenge, calling it a “transparent attempt to overturn certified election results simply because this activist group didn’t like them.”

Barlow said her organization has already spent “hundreds of thousands” on the court case, much of it from money raised through an online fundraising campaign.

Their legal fees were increased, Barlow said, by the repeated attempts by the Conservative MPs to derail the legal proceedings through a series of motions to dismiss the case.

The judge had harsh words for the tactics the Conservatives used in fighting the case.

The Conservative party’s lawyer, Arthur Hamilton, sought to have the case thrown out several times, relying on an argument that the council was engaged in “champerty and maintenance,” an ancient legal principle that prevents vexatious lawsuits by people who have no legitimate interest in a case.

Mosley ruled that “there is no evidence that the applicants acted for any reason other than to assert their rights to a fair election as Canadian citizens and electors.”

Mosley had harsh words for the legal tactics employed by the Conservatives during the case, saying they indulged in “trench warfare in an effort to prevent this case from coming to a hearing on the merits” while the council sought “the high ground of promoting the integrity of the electoral process.”

The judge points out that the Conservatives “made little effort to assist with the investigation despite early requests,” and notes that Hamilton was notified during the election that improper calls were being made.

Mosley rejected Conservative repeated personal attacks on pollster Frank Graves, stating that they “added nothing of value to the record before the court.”

A telephone survey by Graves that found many opposition supporters reported receiving fraudulent calls was at the heart of the council’s case, but Mosley found it did not “provide firm ground on which the court could have confidence in finding that the fraud affected the results in any of the six ridings.”

Mosley found that Election Canada’s evidence showed the voter suppression effort was “geographically widespread but, apart from Guelph, thinly scattered” and did not have a “major impact on the credibility of the vote.”

The council and the Conservatives faced off in court in Ottawa for five days in December.

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Federal+court+finds+fraud+ridings+last+election/8427435/story.html#ixzz2UB3UjCbl

So to sum up, contrary to the official narrative from the CPC, fraud did take place and it was widespread. And not surprising to anyone who pays attention, the CPC did its worst to help the investigation along.

Let it sink in for a moment - the Canadian government did not do its utmost in restoring Canada's electoral integrity, and did the opposite.

CPC may not have been found guilty, but this does nothing to improve the image of a party drowning (one can hope, anyway) in scandals, including stealing from tax payers and large sums of money exchanging hands hush-hush. There's never been a more appropriate time to renounce one's partisanship and denounce any remaining loyalty to this party. (Not that he's given true conservatives much reason to support him for years now.)

There are no Hitler/Harper cross-overs in this thread, so I don't suppose much discussion will take place.

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For anyone who thinks Harper isn't a corrupt dictator should do some Homework. I guess the problem was the alternatives. I can honestley say, I never thought the reform/alliance party would ever become the Government of this great country ughhhh. 2015 can't come fast enough!

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For anyone who thinks Harper isn't a corrupt dictator should do some Homework. I guess the problem was the alternatives. I can honestley say, I never thought the reform/alliance party would ever become the Government of this great country ughhhh. 2015 can't come fast enough!

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