‘This serious bastardization of our electoral system’

Here is some of Pat Martin’s opening statement to reporters this afternoon on the subject of fraudulent calls made during the last federal campaign.

Voter suppression techniques are commonplace in the United States with high-priced consulting firms specializing in sabotaging elections. But I don’t think anybody really expected a Canadian political party to stoop so low that we didn’t take the necessary steps to protect ourselves from it.

This could mean the end of the age of innocence in Canadian electoral campaigns. Elections Canada stated that these phoney phone calls deliberately disrupted the voting process. How is this different from a bunch of goons with clubs blocking the door to a voter station as we’ve seen in Third World countries or the deep south of the United States? Because the net effect is the same: you are sabotaging the ability of people to exercise their democratic right to cast their ballot in a federal election. In my view there can be no more serious crime, nor a more heinous affront to democracy.

Too many brave Canadians died fighting for the right to have fair and clean and free elections in this country to let this go unchallenged at the highest possible order. My father didn’t go to war to fight for democracy only to have some sleazy punk in an American-style black ops department run roughshod over it and undermine its integrity.

Now the boys in the black ops department will call it voter suppression techniques to try and give it some semblance of legitimacy, but in my view there is nothing legitimate about cheating and there never will be. We want the Conservatives to fix health care, not elections. We want the Conservatives to fix pensions, not elections. And we want the Conservatives to fix our crumbling infrastructure, not fix elections. When you consider the millions of dollars of overspending through the in-and-out electoral fraud and now the hundreds of thousands of phoney calls by the Racknine rascals, it makes you wonder about the legitimacy of the Conservatives’ 39% majority mandate. Did they really win that last federal election? Or did they achieve their razor thin majority by cheating?

The public needs to know because there is a serious matter of public interest that far exceeds the success or failure of any one political party. Cheating in an election fuels the cynicism of an already jaded electorate and if the public loses even more confidence in their electoral system, they will be even less likely to come out and vote and the integrity of our system is irreparably harmed. And, in my view, nothing could be more serious.

There were those who tried to say that Watergate was just a couple of snoopy plumbers, but those journalists who pressed on found it was much more than that. I predict the Racknine will become the Conservative party’s Group Action. And I predict that we will find that the sheer magnitude and audacity of the Racknine rascals will be enough to make Richard Nixon blush. And I predict it will hang around the neck of the Prime Minister like an albatross. And I wonder if Justice Gomery is still available because I think we need his services once again if we are going to arrest this serious bastardization of our electoral system.

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