Any Conservative MP, candidate or party official who has any knowledge of the widespread vote suppression campaign during the last election must turn the information over to the RCMP or Elections Canada for investigation, said Liberal Leader Bob Rae today.
“These MPs, candidates and Conservative Party officials all benefited from an elaborate web of under-handed vote suppression tactics, that included but didn’t stop at, false and misleading phone calls,” said Mr. Rae. “If they don’t come forward with what they know then they are complicit with electoral fraud that, certainly in my mind, is on the scale of ballot box stuffing. It is hard to believe that in a scheme this widespread and elaborate, there are not a large number of people who would have knowledge of some of the things that took place and who directed it all.”
Mr. Rae released a list of 27 ridings in which the Liberal Party has received reports of misleading or harassing phone calls, as well as other tactics that were used to prevent probable Liberal supporters from casting a ballot.
“Unfortunately, this doesn’t end at phone calls,” said Mr. Rae. “We have heard reports of aggressive people acting on behalf of the Conservative Party outside of polling locations misleading voters, often seniors or new Canadians, in an attempt to prevent them from casting a ballot. There are also extremely disturbing reports of scores of ‘instant voters’ who cast ballots in certain ridings in which they were not actually residents.”
Mr. Rae noted that some of the alleged violations, including falsely impersonating Elections Canada or a Liberal campaign, go beyond a violation of the Canada Elections Act and may even result in a conviction under the Criminal Code.
“For the phone scheme alone, there were hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of phone calls which would have required hundreds of phone bank callers using targeted lists in over 25 ridings. This would have cost thousands upon thousands of dollars to pull off. To even suggest this was organized by one lone 23-year old staffer is beyond ridiculous,” added Mr. Rae.