Thursday, March 8, 2012

"Robogate"? Special prosecutor

Canada's relative proximity to the United States is beneficial in many ways -- not the least of which include that we get access to their markets relatively easily and we share a common air defense.    But it's not so beneficial in other respects; especially the dirty tricks in politics we have seemed to learn from south of the border.    Including robo-calls.     Thanks to the Internet, we can just program a list of phone numbers into a software program and auto ring the people connected to those phone numbers; often in the thousands.

Because there are so many complaints now, going into the tens of thousands where people were told by "Elections Canada" (not) to go to another polling station; and at least one district where quite a few registered with no address, an address not in the district or even a business drop (UPS ™) one can reasonably ask if enough districts were tipped to give Harper his long sought majority.

I am not accusing Harper or anyone else of wrong doing.   I do think all parties have tinkered with the rules long enough to know how to game the system, but there's a difference between GOTV and suppressing the vote to win.

At last count, the number of "irregularities" reported hit about 35,000.    There are so many that Elections Canada, the non-partisan agency of the House of Commons tasked with running and policing the system, is being overwhelmed.   If there was indeed thievery, maybe that's what the culprits are counting on so they can get away with it.

I think the leaders of all five parties should just get together and ask the Justice Department to appoint a special prosecutor.

To be clear:   This need not be a runaway cad like Judge Kenneth Starr who turned a real estate deal gone sour to an investigation about Vincent Foster (not murdered, said Starr -- twice), Hillary Clinton's playing the futures market (highly irregular in how she did it, but in any event just a case of dumb luck in making a lot of money) and finally Bill Clinton's middle leg (affairs with six women, only one of which resulted in impeachment but ultimate acquittal).

Instead, get a good, impartial lawyer or judge to go over the facts, specifically limited to the allegations at hand, set a date certain to conclude findings of fact, and then present them for referral for a preliminary hearing and possible indictment (unless the evidence is so overwhelming that that a direct indictment under section 577 of the Criminal Code  is indicated).     Let this special prosecutor sort through the wheat and the chaff so we can get back to fixing our economic problems.    A six or nine month breather isn't really that much to ask.    And if some of the elected members turn out to be disqualified because of fraud, it's not like the laws passed during that time would be automatically void; the "Doctrine of necessity" would kick in as it did with the Manitoba Language Reference in 1985.

I do worry ever more about the soundness of our democracy.   But cheap shot comments like calling unsuccessful incumbents "sore losers" doesn't help.    An open mind to fixing things so it doesn't happen again, does.


Rotterdam said...

Chuck Guite would be a good choice.

Anonymous said...

Guite? Nah. Let's go with Doug Finley or Irving Gerstein or maybe Brian Mulroney.