I say this because new information has come out today that former Liberal MP Joe Volpe's riding had a last minute turn out of about 2,400 (or more or less) turn out to the polls without voter cards or adequate identification. But instead of being turned away from the polls, these people were allowed to cast ballots.
For a government that has made a big stink about making sure people had to present either a voter's card or some form of identification that contained an address, this is one of the charges that has come out that leaves a person scratching their heads.
Joe Oliver, who defeated Volpe, pledges that he ran a clean campaign and managed to defeat Volpe by getting '5,000 new voters' out to the polls on his behalf. Oliver stopped short of calling those lobbing the allegations 'radicials', but the story is new and who knows what the Natural Resources Minister will have to say about those making the allegations in the weeks ahead.
Unsurprisingly, the Conservative Online Rabble Squad (Let's call them CORS) have rushed to news media websites to defend their party and Mr. Oliver.
The usual complaints are being thrown about; the fact that the CBC broke the story has ruffled the usual CORS posters, who are lamenting the 'state broadcaster' and claiming massive bias from the CBC against their party. Keep in mind, these people are likely the same people who cheered when Harper was asked a question by the CBC during the election, and someone from the audience yelled about closing the CBC.
For people who are so anti-CBC, it's amusing just how many of them took the 4 - 6 minute it takes to get an account with the website so they could comment on news stories...But, if we see hypocrisy in the party they represent, I suppose we shouldn't be surprised to see it from their supporters as well.
The other defence being thrown around by the CORS is that this is not a fault of the Conservative Party, or Mr. Oliver, but of Elections Canada. As such, they've gotten on their high horse and have begun to suggest that someone else should start investigating Elections Canada to get to the bottom of this.
While this sounds like an intelligent point, there is a problem with it. The main problem is that the people who work in elections polls, are not technically Elections Canada employees. People who work in polling stations on E-Day are often one-day workers who have been hired by Elections Canada. They're given a brief training day, but other than that, they're not really trained do this as a full time career.
There are meant to be people who are trained better than the poll clerks, such as Deputy Returning Officers and the Chief Returning Officer, but even then...They're only temporary employees. As such, how much faith can we really put in these officials? I'm from Saskatchewan, and I will guarantee that there have been instances where someone shows up to the poll without information.
BUT, in a smaller Saskatchewan poll, does it matter? Chances are the persons working the poll know the local population well enough that they know whether or not someone is from the community.
But this is not the case in a city like Toronto. The odds of someone at the polling station knowing someone and being able to vouch for them, is highly unlikely.
Furthermore, there are supposed to be safeguards in the system already against something like this happening.
For example, political parties can send scrutineers into the polls and watch not only the count but also the general election process. This is important, because on occasion, these scrutineers should be able to file complaints to the DRO or RO and have those complaints noted.
On certain campaigns, scrutineers will have check box lists to do two things: One, to know when an identified supporter has cast a ballot (this helps with an internal count and helps campaigns focus E-Day effort only on supporters who haven't gone to the polls yet). Two, it shows those on the voter's list, not by name but by an identification number.
If the Liberals had scrutineers in this riding, then we need to ask exactly what happened, as these complaints should have come out a long time ago.
So, we can conclude two things from that: One; that the Liberals did not have scrutineers at the polling stations where this occurred. OR, two; that this is a last ditch effort by Mr. Volpe to justify his lost during the election. I don't like discussing the second option, as it seems tawdry, but we know what sort of character Mr. Volpe has from his actions during past elections and his brief leadership run a few years ago.
If we can assume guilt from the Conservatives based on past behaviours, we need to entertain the possibility for Mr. Volpe as well.
But, let's say that the second scenario isn't the case. Let's assume that the first scenario is, and that means that the Liberals didn't have scrutineers in the polling station. This is possible, I've scrutineered twice in my life time. The first time I did, I was the only scrutineer from any party in the polling station. The second time, there was actual representation. So, it is possible that scrutineers were not present in these polling stations.
What becomes important though is this: Was this turn out of unregistered voters ONLY at polling stations where there were no Liberal Scrutineers? It is possible the the Liberals had scrutineers at only certain polls in the riding, and forewent other polls.
If this turns out to be the case, which hopefully we can get to the bottom of, it paints a very dangerous picture. I say that because if this is the case, then it shows that this was a concentrated and controlled plan to get non-registered (and perhaps non-riding constituents) a ballot and to determine the outcome of the election in that riding.
Let me clarify that point:
If it turns out that voting stations without Liberal scrutineers were the only stations to have this influx of unregistered voters, the suspicion that this was orchestrated and deliberate becomes very clear and very real.
If this occurred in stations where Liberal scruinteers were present, the question then shifts to why these complaints and irregularities were not reported sooner. After all, scrutineers take notes of their objections back to Campaign HQ, so Volpe's campaign would have been aware of these issues the night of Election Day.
That's why at the moment the odds are more in favour of this occurring in polling stations without Liberal scrutineers present.
But what this means in the larger scope of things is that Canada's last Federal Election is growing increasingly more and more suspect.
Regardless of what side of the political chart you fall on, something doesn't sit right about this election and the cries of thousands is only backing that up. And more and more allegations are undermining the credibility of the government that we have representing us in Ottawa.
This is not a plot by the left against the right.
This is about whether or not our democratic process was undermined, manipulated, and downright violated by those seeking political power. Questions need to be asked, and eventually we will get the answers. Whether those answers exonerate or incriminate the Conservative Party of Canada remains to be seen; but the truth of the matter is that those answers need to come.
And they will only come when those who still blindly support this government start asking to hear the truth about what happened.