Harper govt. comes under fire over robocalls controversy
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has come under fire from the public after a judge ruled that the 2011 federal election was fraudulent, Press TV reports.
Last Thursday, a federal court judge ruled that automated phone calls were used to try to misdirect voters in the 2011 federal election.
Å“Misleading calls about the locations of polling stations were made to electors in ridings across the country, including the subject ridings, and the purpose of those calls was to suppress the votes of electors who had indicated their voting preference in response to earlier voter identification calls,” Judge Richard Mosley wrote in his ruling on the so-called Å“robocalls” case.
The judge said on May 23 that Å“there was an orchestrated effort to suppress votes during the 2011 election campaign by a person with access to the [Conservative Party’s] CIMS (Constituency Information Management System) database.”
Although the ruling cleared Prime Minister Stephen Harperâ„¢s Conservative Party and its candidates of wrongdoing, Mosley noted the calls Å“struck at the integrity of the electoral process by attempting to dissuade voters from casting ballots for their preferred candidates. This form of Ëœvoter suppression,â„¢ was, until the 41st General Election, largely unknown in this country.”
Harperâ„¢s government has been trying to portray Canada as a kind of utopian democracy while, according to critics, its own democratic legitimacy has been called into question domestically.
Å“He [Stephen Harper] effectively got his majority government with about one out of every five Canadians voting for him, so roughly 20 percent of adult Canadians voted conservative in the last election and yet he has got this majority government which has effectively bargained away our freedom, bargained away our environmental protection election laws, threw our native peoples under the bus,” human rights researcher, Brian Seaman, said.
Å“Do some prosecutions… police should be investigating this and determine who is responsible for this corrupt practice, and people should be charged and if they are charged under the Elections Act and found guilty, then they could face potentially five years in prison, that is the most extreme punishment available,” Seaman stated.
Some critics even wonder if the Ottawa government is constantly picking holes in other countriesâ„¢ political systems merely to divert attention from its own anti-democratic tendencies.
This article originally appeared on: Press TV