That’s how the Harper Conservatives are characterizing the growing scandal over fraudulent, misleading and harassing phone calls made to Canadian voters in over 30 ridings in the run up to last May’s federal election.
As of today, over 31,000 complaints have been filed with Elections Canada about the so-called “robocalls”. Elections Canada has hired extra staff to investigate the complaints, and is considering enlisting the RCMP’s help, and the Council of Canadians is consulting with aggrieved voters and is contemplating launching legal action to overturn the results in at least 20 ridings where the calls may have impacted on the outcome.
I’m not even sure if that should be the sole criteria for challenging the results of the election. In recent years in CIS football, teams have been found after the season has concluded to have used players who did not meet the eligibility criteria. When that finding is made, the team is deemed to have forfeited all the games in which the ineligible player took part. That happened most recently to the UBC Thunderbirds in 2011. In 2009, University of Regina Ram fans will recall, the University of Manitoba Bisons were forced to forfeit two victories because they used an ineligible player, which dropped their record below that of the Rams, and put the Rams into the playoffs ahead of the Bisons.
In making those rulings, the CIS didn’t look at the margin of victory in the games the teams played with the ineligible player, or even how prominent a role the ineligible athlete played on the team. Even if he was a benchwarmer, and the margin of victory was considerable, so that the argument could be made that the team would have won handily even if they hadn’t dressed the player, they were still required to forefeit the game(s) because the integrity of the contest had been compromised.
If, upon subsequent investigation, the Conservative Party of Canada, at whatever level from the lowest political operative to the upper echelons of the party’s electoral machine, is found to have engaged in fradulent and misleading activity during last May’s election then the integrity of the election will have been irredeemably compromised and the Conservatives should be required to resign government and another election should be held.
Case closed, end of the discussion.