REGINA, SK – Elections Canada’s commissioner put an end to the so-called Robocalls investigation today, citing the difficulty faced with investigating a sweeping national election crime. Commissioner Yevs Cote told Postmedia’s Stephen McMaher, “It’s been really difficult for investigators to obtain evidence when the trail led to the United States, as we have no power there.” American prosecutors have been kept busy by the voter suppression techniques pioneered there, including robocalls that attempt to trick voters into missing their chance to cast a ballot. They’ve been reluctant to offer assistance to Canadian investigators, claiming the First Amendment rights of those being investigated outweigh the Canadians’ need for resolution in the almost two year investigation. The RCMP have since been contacted by Elections Canada to complete the investigation, although they’re really busy executing other search warrants and said to expect a further four week delay. First come, first served, is how the busy national police force has chosen to prioritize this case.
Conservative spokesperson Frederic Delorian emailed a statement to the press, expressing relief that the cloud of suspicion around his party will now pass. “We saw last week that the Liberals are the only party who has been fined for illegal robocalls in one of the hundreds of ridings that were under investigation. It’s our solemn expectation that voters will recognize that it’s most likely other unidentified Liberals, or the guilty Guelph Liberals, who were behind the other calls made from the United States and elsewhere our investigators have no authority.”
Adam Goldenrod, President of the Liberals, meanwhile reacted with dismay over Elections Canada’s news. “Our party needs closure. Without charges against those who phoned Canadian households falsely claiming to be Elections Canada, the Liberals are unfairly cast as the only party behind illegal robocalls last year during the election.” There’s already word from anonymous Conservatives that Dean Del Maestro is planning on calling Frank Valirote, MP for Guelph into an ethics committee hearing. The robocalls Guelph Liberals made, triggered a $4500 fine by the CRTC late last week.
In light of the NDP’s recent admission to improper accounting during their leadership campaign and in the wake of Layton’s death, they’ve remained conspicuously silent on the robocalls affair. Green MP Elizibeth May thanked NDP leader Tom Mulcare for “minding his own business”. May renewed her call for Elections Canada to re-open the closed investigation into fraudulent robocalls made in her riding in 2008, but no one noticed or responded at Elections Canada. Elections Canada declined to comment, as they do for all open-then-closed investigations.
The Federal Court meanwhile will be reviewing the Council of Canadians submission to trigger 7 by-elections, in December of this year. When asked why they will hear the case four months from now, the court gave no response as per tradition. The average case-load at the Federal Court includes 100 cases of national electoral fraud conspiracies every month, so it’s to be expected that there would be delays regarding the more than 1300 electoral crimes reported since May 2011.
“Canada has been a democratic country since 1867, and will be for the foreseeable future,” said Prime Minister Harper during a rare media appearance. “Our economy is fragile in the North, and a submission has been made to Elections Canada, and we’ll be working with them closely to see all problems are resolved.” The preceding article was satirical. Or is it?
Important UPDATE from the media who is tired of being told by Canadians to cover RoboCon more urgently:
It’s not like this is a national crisis or something! Sheesh!