Monday, April 2, 2012

"Enforce the Damned Law"

A very simple suggestion from "The Sixth Estate":

At this point, the Canada Elections Act is virtually a dead letter. The last several years have shown that you can run roughshod over it with impunity. The Prime Minister of Canada lost a court case over election law violations. The Conservative Party of Canada has been convicted of election law violations (and paid a pathetically nominal fine). The Liberal Party has confessed to an election law violation in 2011, apparently without consequence, while someone else pulled off the largest electoral fraud in modern Canadian history last year and it looks like they will never be successfully identified and brought to justice by Elections Canada.

A lot of people have complained that we need new laws to tighten restrictions on robocalls, etc., and this falls into Irvine’s column of “quick fixes” that actually miss the point. There’s no point making new bans if you’re not prepared to enforce the ones that exist.

And the problem isn’t that the law doesn’t provide the appropriate restrictions. 5053 calls successfully placed by Pierre Poutine in Guelph, multiplied by $5000 for every attempt to falsely lead a voter to the wrong polling station, equals over $25 million. Assuming a 1.5% report rate (which is the confirmed rate in Guelph — about 70 complaints for over 5000 phone calls), 800 complaints under investigation by Elections Canada equals about 55,000 fraudulent calls. That times $5000 equals $275 million. I doubt whoever pulled off the Poutine conspiracy has a spare $275 million kicking around.

Indeed. There shouldn't be any "reasonableness" here. There shouldn't be any silly ideas that just because Dean Del Mastro is a funny clown, or that stephen harper is [sort of] Prime Minister and his imprisonment would be an unprecedented act, or that the Conservative Party of Canada represents significant numbers of Canadians, and etc., ... that the law should not be enforced.

Don't fuck with the vote and you won't go to prison.

Don't fuck with the vote and you won't be destroyed by fines.

But the harpercons fucked with the vote. They deliberately conducted a nation-wide vote suppression campaign. Nobody forced them to do it. In fact, laws were in place and ARE in place to convince them not to, but they did anyway. They were asking for it, so let's give it to them.


Owen Gray said...

Unless and until someone pays a significant penalty, no one is going to take Canadian election law seriously.

thwap said...

Let's all write Elections Canada a letter.