Independent Investigation Needed into Elections Canada Screwups

In some places across Canada, it looked like the way elections are manipulated in the United States: cuts in the number of polling places, fewer and further apart, and lineups of two to three hours or more.

And all this despite Election Canada’s budget for this federal election going UP more than a HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS …. to $610 Million, from $502 Million in 2019 to run the election properly.

South of the border, it’s a tried and true way for sleazy American incumbent politicians to discourage voters from showing up to cast ballots … especially in areas where their opponents have a good chance at winning.

But that’s America.

North of the 49th parallel, running the vote is Elections Canada, “the independent, non-partisan agency responsible for conducting federal elections and referendums. Its mission is to ensure that Canadians can exercise their democratic rights to vote and be a candidate.”

Until now, Elections Canada has been widely respected for doing its job professionally, efficiently, competently … and fairly.

Not in the Sept. 21, 2021 Election.

In 11 Toronto-area ridings, Elections Canada CUT the number of polling stations by MORE THAN HALF the normal number … up to 73% in one constituency, causing lineups that went on for hours. https://www.cp24.com/news/some-gta-voters-wait-hours-past-close-of-polls-to-vote-amid-massive-lineups-and-fewer-voting-places-1.5592438.

In BC, some prospective voters were forced to wait in line more than three hours. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/general-election-2021-ubc-voting-long-waits-1.6184286.

Screwups like those happened far too often this election in far too many places.

How many thousands of voters walked away … unwilling or unable to stand for hours to cast a ballot? https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/federal-election-2021/elections-canada-sorry-people-didn-t-vote-because-of-long-lineups-1.5594728

How might their votes have affected the outcome in so many close ridings?

I suspect many of those subjected to that grueling exercise will never even bother to try to vote again.

This when Monday’s voter “turnout” (those who did actually get to vote) was reportedly the lowest in Canada since 2008. https://www.orilliamatters.com/canadavotes2021/voter-turnout-for-2021-federal-election-among-the-lowest-4356251.

Even though iPolitics reported “Mail ballots, especially, are far more popular – almost 20 times as many people have voted by mail this time around as in 2019 (914,000 as opposed to about 50,000).

Something is not right!

Elections Canada officials blamed the pandemic.

Elections Canada media advisor Rejean Grenier “stressed the agency didn’t have a choice in whether to run the election during the pandemic. This year, there were significantly fewer overall voting sites in many ridings across the country, due to COVID-19 restrictions which prevented many schools, churches, or other buildings from being eligible locations,” CTV reported.

“We had all of the criteria that was placed on us where we had no choice about choosing certain sites,” Grenier said in a phone interview. He explained that despite ridings having fewer voting sites, there were more booths inside them, which meant the total number of voting booths overall was similar to past years.”

I don’t buy the excuses.

Elections Canada is NOT a rent-a-bureaucrat part-time operation, with those in charge hired only once the vote is called. Many officials there have made Election preparations/organizing a long-time career … paid well, and rewarded with terrific federal benefits.

Elections Canada brass knew Canada had a minority government that could fall involuntarily at any time; Elections Canada was aware Trudeau was often reported to be considering holding the election during the pandemic; Elections Canada should have had a constantly updated FULL inventory of available large venues ready to go for polling places … even during Covid.

There are too many riding races this election that are so close, the outcomes are still not known … and Elections Canada FAILURES could impact the outcome.

There is something wrong …VERY WRONG … when people who are qualified to vote, want to vote, show up to vote … but then have unreasonable obstacles placed in their way by Election officials so they cannot vote!

How did this happen? Who decided to cut so many polling places? Who decided where polling stations would be located … and where they were not? Were there any discussions, consultations with ANYONE … elected or appointed … in government about reducing the number voting places? Was any of the search for voting places OR their locations contracted out to anyone or any company? How many Election workers were hired this time, compared to last?

There MUST be an investigation into Elections Canada’s handling … or mishandling … of the 2021 vote.

And it should NOT be carried out by Elections Canada officials themselves.

Harv Oberfeld

(Reminder: Follow @harveyoberfeld on Twitter for FREE First Alerts to all new postings on this Blog.)

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25 Responses to Independent Investigation Needed into Elections Canada Screwups

  1. NVG says:

    Thanks for the opportunity to bring to your attention of keeping ‘Keep it Real’ real.
    h.o. “North of the 49th parallel, running the vote is Elections Canada”

    Toronto is not North of the 49th parallel.

    Fact is:
    Of the Canadian provinces, only Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba lie entirely north of the 49th parallel; even Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, lies far south of many Washingtonians it sits at about the same latitude as Deception Pass State Park.

    (Response: LOL! If you were on the Titanic after it hit the iceberg, I can picture you at the front desk insisting they correct a $2 overcharge on your bill. h.o)

  2. Stu de Baker says:

    Have to agree.
    UBC students waiting for three hours AFTER the polls closed to vote; unacceptable.

    Going online at 7:30pm to get the pre polls closing talking heads and immediately learning one of the networks had declared a lib minority; disconcerting.

    My personal experiences; 2019, three local advanced polls, 2021 just one; awkward.

    I dropped in at the polling station, because I was going by. I did not have my voter card and that threw them. I had photo ID, knew I was on the voters list and that my address would match up. They decided I needed to register to vote.

    Following that, then the two at the ballot box were confused and didn’t know what to. As they were about to enter me in the book, I insisted they first look for my name which should already be there. They looked and there I was. Now they had to call a higher up to get direction; amateur hour.

    (Response: I know there are always glitches and problems that can arise …and I’ve always given Elections Canada (and Elections BC) great latitude, given the size of the job. But this time, I worry whether an investigation would show, for example, the fewest voting places and the longest waits were consistently in ridings with demographics that vote EITHER maybe NDP … or maybe Conservative? Ask the poor, the blacks in Florida and some other southern states: they have endured great unfairness. And this election in Canada, there were so many close races, we need an investigation to make sure there was no interference here … just incompetence. h.o)

  3. nonconfidencevote says:

    It wouldnt surprise me if a former Liberal Toady was in charge of Elections Canada or perhaps the companies hired to put it alll together……..

    WE Charity was the precedent.

    (Response: It has always been a source of pride that Elections Canada is NOT political and appointments of those in charge are NOT partisan. But clearly this time, things went terribly wrong, with HUGE cuts in polling places in SOME places and very long waits at SOME. We don’t know the full story and, to protect the integrity of the Canadians voting system, this MUST be investigated by an INDEPENDENT Judge or panel of experts, approved by all the parties. h.o)

  4. D. M. Johnston says:

    Ah, voter suppression that time honoured US political tool has now entered Canadian politics.

    This election was a naked power grab by Trudeau and what it turned out to be was a $600 million cabinet shuffle.

    I thought 40 minutes was bad in my quaint burg, in Toronto, according to the CBC, waits to vote was for four hours!

    I can smell fear and loathing with Trudeau and the Liberals; it isn’t pleasant and certainly not Canadian. Sleazy and dishonest sums up Trudeau’s regime, one hell of an epitaph.

    (Response: I would hope SOMEONE in the working media would follow up and ask not only Elections Canada officials but all the party Leaders how could they spend $108 Million MORE than last time …but deliver so much less in service??? In private industry, heads would roll …but of course, this was a government operation. h.o)

  5. e.a.f. says:

    No problem in Nanaimo in the Harewood area. Same polling station, Salvation Army Church, good parking lot. People all lined up, with distancing in mind. Once in the building things went quickly. Enough poll workers to keep the lines moving. However, given this was a pandemic election things were a tad different. There was only one person at each voting station, instead of two. We were well seperated from the Elections Canada worker by plexiglass. You received your ballot, voted, then returned it to the “box” and in it went, What did take a tad longer is you had to wait for the other person, in front of you to vote, to return their ballot, and put it into the box. That didn’t take long, but I image it might have accumulated time over a day.

    Don’t think the whole thing took more than 20 minutes which is the usual amount of time I wait to vote.

    there were fewer polling places this time around, but it may not have been due to some nefarious actions or inactions by the government. It could simply be as it was described, not all buildings were willing to have a lot of extra people in them due to COVID. I’m sure there were any number of school boards who were not interested in renting out the gym this time round, ditto community centers, or private buildings. It is what it is, and we don’t need some investigation, etc and wasting a lot of money and time.

    Having to wait in line for a couple of hours is not having obstacles placed in your way to vote. Did the people who walked away make a differance in the out come of the election? Who knows, and who cares? So you have to wait to vote. If you’re not willing to do that, just how committed are you to voting? Not so much in my opinion.

    (Response: Sounds like a kind of “I was OK …so to hell with those who couldn’t vote” response. Why is it so unacceptable when they operate elections like that in the US, especially Republican states, but it’s okay to do it to Canadians … making it so difficult for many thousands to vote …to the point that a lot of them just gave up! h.o)

  6. Not Sure says:

    OK, just for the record, I am out of my home riding this month. I went to an Elections Canada office about three weeks ago. I showed my ID. They pulled up my name on some data base that confirmed I lived in my home town. They gave me a blank ballot and a list of the candidates running in my home riding. I filled in the name of my favourite. They gave me an envelop where I put the ballot, signed the back of the envelop and was done. Ten minutes at most. My wife was faster as we were their first “odd” voter and they learned from my experience.

    Having said that I am not excusing what happened to other voters. Clearly things went wrong. I was most upset that seniors and people with disabilities lost their chance to vote not because of impatience but discomfort. But seriously Harvey – an independent investigation because we want to make sure there was no interference, that maybe they targeted areas to suppress Conservative or NDP voters.

    You even asked the media to investigate. How would you do this if you were asked by Cameron Bell? I know what I would do. I would wait to see if any political party or
    activist group suggested there was purposeful suppression, targeting a specific type of voter. In the US, there are plenty of groups doing that. Has anybody come forward in Canada to even suggest what you are suggesting.

    I decided to do what checking I could. In one article somebody mentioned a problem in Ottawa Centre, another in Mount Pleasant (which would be Vancouver East) and a third in York-Simcoe. In York-Simcoe the Conservative won with 50% of the vote to the next best 29%. In VanEast, Jenny Kwan of the NDP won with 56% to the next best 20% and in Ottawa Centre, the closest of the three, the Liberal won 45% to 33%. None of them are remotely close to a nail biter.

    I know. I know. Your riding was decided by 250 some votes and who knows how many people chose to not to vote and how that might have changed the result but again – seriously. You want to make sure there was no interference.

    Let’s blame the pandemic. I read one article where the excuse was not just finding buildings as e.a.f. pointed out. It was finding workers. Election workers are often people looking for a little extra cash. Often retired folk. How many of those people decided it wasn’t worth it this time around because of covid. I could sense the apprehension of the three older ladies who were working in the Elections Canada office that I went to.

    Or let’s blame the guy who called an unnecessary election during the pandemic to give us the exact same result as before.

    And of course we can blame the Election officials who were not fully prepared for a pandemic election. Let’s make sure that we learn from our mistakes and continue to make voting as easy as possible for Canadians.

    But we can do all that without floating conspiracy theories.

    (Response: There’s the difference between us: you say you “would wait to see if any political party or activist group suggested there was purposeful suppression, targeting a specific type of voter.” Well, I don’t wait for others to raise questions: it’s the DUTY of a REAL journalist to ASK questions when he or she sees something that doesn’t look right … not wait for someone else to do it … especially when it’s not just a single incident but several happenings across the country. To protect the integrity of Canada’s election process, somebody MUST look into this … and it should not be officials of Elections Canada. As for pooh-poohing me as “floating conspiracy theories”, you sound like Florida’s Governor Rick Scott who pooh-poohed similar REAL REPORTERS’ questions when polling stations there were severely cut and so many poor and blacks, who most often vote Democrat, were kept waiting in lines for several hours in brutal heat just a few years back before they could vote. h.o)

  7. e.a.f. says:

    shouting voter suppression without any proof is so ridiculous. Its like some one trying to start something which isn’t there to start with. It is doubtful that any one set out to suppress ”’the vote, its just people didn’t want to stand in line. If you are disabled, old, etc. you can always vote early. Its not that hard.

    My previous comment was not with the intent of “I’m o.k.. jack” it was simply to demonstrate that not all polling stations had long lines. Yes there were long lines at some polling stations and the t.v. stations played that up as much as they could because in my opinion they didn’t have much else to report on, that they wanted to. Just tried to start something which wasn’t there. If the Liberals were going to start with voter suppression there are other methods.

    Its much easier to implement voter suppression in the U.S.A because each state sets it own rules for federal elections. Canada, has Elections Canada and given there are career bureaucrats running the show, it is doubtful they would have endangered their jobs to make Liberal politicians happy. There is nothing in it for them so why would they endanger their jobs? Lets remember the federal service has workers of every political stripe and that Includes Elections Canada. If there had truly been a “plot” some one would have ratted it out.

    (Responw: Clearly three WAS voter suppression: thousands did not get to vote even though they wanted to! Because the number of voting places in some ridings was SUBSTANTISALLY cut!!! And not everyone is willing or able to stand for four hours in a lineup! What we need now is to know why they were cut, why only some ridings, who decided??? h.o)

    • nonconfidencevote says:

      “without any proof”

      Its been less than a week since the election.

      A planned shortage of Polling stations?
      Bureaucratic incompetence ?

      Either way….unacceptable for a Prime Minister to call a snap election during a pandemic when the entire country has a shortage of workers.

      Another reason to hand Trudeau his walking papers ….as if the never ending story of the Liberals supporting SNC Lavalin isnt enough.

  8. Richard Skelly says:

    Quite possibly the most important blog post you have written to date, Harvey.

    I’m surprised that no Globe and Mail or National Post reporters or columnists have, to my knowledge, focussed on this.

    But for the almost lowest voter participation in Canadian history, the lineups would have been even more horrendous in those bottleneck polling stations scattered across the country.

    It’s a Canadian pastime to sneer at the democratic deficiencies of our American neighbours who are at the mercy of how each state—rather than a federal agency—runs national elections. But this Elections Canada screwup shows we’re not that much better at hands-on staging of this one at least.

    (Response: Thanks. Our right to vote is precious; Elections Canada had two years to get it all lined up, knowing we are in a pandemic and knowing we had a minority government. And yet, they could not get it together!! Why? Who decided to cut polling stations? Who decided WHERE to elimniste them? Why? Lots o questions that need to be answered ,,to protect our democracy!! ho)

  9. Not Sure says:

    There is a difference between Florida where there is actual evidence of voter suppression and Canada, even this specific election. Where is the evidence that there was a clear plan to suppress the vote, to interfere in the election process? You said that reporters are to ask questions when things don’t look right. Absolutely. There has been plenty of stories talking about the long lineups and trying to explain what went wrong.

    Here is an article from the Toronto Sun.

    https://torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/goldstein-stuck-in-long-lineups-waiting-to-vote-thank-trudeau

    Never heard of the reporter. Excellent piece. He blames Trudeau and the pandemic but mostly Trudeau who called the election during the pandemic. The article says that the head of Elections Canada asked for the campaign to last the maximum 8 weeks so Elections Canada could get fully prepared. Trudeau called for the shortest campaign allowed – 5 weeks. Elections Canada asked for the voting day to be split into two 8 hour days on the weekend. Trudeau didn’t pass the legislation so we had 12 hours on a more busy (work wise) week day. The pandemic and all the necessary protocols just added more misery for Elections Canada. When you are standing 6 feet apart, it doesn’t take much for a line to get out the door.

    I have no problem blaming Trudeau. This election was completely unnecessary made even more obvious by the result. At this point not one party has gained or lost more than two seats. Practically a mirror image result. Pointless.

    By all means question Elections Canada and I am sure it will be when its head reports to whatever parliamentary committee he reports to. We don’t want similar events to happen again. We want voting to be as easy as possible. I am just struggling to see any evidence that any kind of coordinated wrongdoing has taken place.

    (Response: There was no “evidence” in Florida until the media and affected politicians began investigating/analyzing exactly which areas had their polls cut. Elections officials and Republican politicians all poo-poohed the idea of interference … even after the facts came out. Here, our media are to weak, understaffed and frankly complacent these days to undertake such an investigative effort. I hope the Opposition parties will raise the question …but with so many of their internal problems, I fear it is not high on their agenda …even though it is crucial for our democracy that these cuts and the resulting denial of voting rights be investigated. h.o)

  10. G. Barry Stewart says:

    I’m wondering if it was localized pockets of unavailable polling spaces (COVID-related), as I’m not aware of problems in Chilliwack-Hope.

    Our polling place was Chilliwack Secondary School gym and we had maybe four people ahead of us in line at about 5 p.m. (In the line beside us, a young woman was making her first-ever vote. Good to see!) As EAF noted, the line was slowed by the new practice of bringing the ballot back to the same staffer, before the next person could step up.

    When we came out of the school, I looked across to the Chilliwack Middle School gym and was surprised to see a polling station there as well.

    We know that Ontario has taken greater precautions on COVID back-to-school practices, so I wouldn’t be surprised that schools — especially — were less available in this election in that province. That doesn’t explain the problems in some BC ridings, though.

    There’s always the mail-in option, of course. We knew about it, but were too unmotivated/lazy to take the step of asking for the mail-in ballots before the cutoff. Were others feeling the same way?

    (Response: There are lots of Canadian armory halls, banquet halls, empty warehouses that could have been used. Something doesn’t look quite right, even taking Covid into account. Thousands of Canadians may have lost their ability to vote …even though they wanted to and showed up. It really should be investigated. Something stinks about it all! h.o)

  11. Gilbert says:

    Yes, an independent investigation is absolutely necessary. Voter turnout in this election was very low, and we need to find out why. Were there many people who didn’t want to wait long in time and left?

    Prime Minister Trudeau has said he wants to electoral reform, but he hasn’t done anything. I think he has no intention of changing it because it benefits him. It’s another example of a politician saying one thing and doing another.

    It’s very bad that a Liberal minority was announced before all the polls closed in western Canada. Richmond usually votes Conservative, but didn’t do so this time. If Conservative voters knew that a Liberal minority had been called, would they vote? In many cases, I suspect they wouldn’t.

    If the prime minister were a man who truly believed in democracy, he’d want an investigation However, I suspect he really only cares about winning and maintaining power. With rising cases across the country, the public health officer conveniently disappeared, and during the pandemic, he suspended parliament and did little work. It’s a shame that such a person can be rewarded with another term in office.

    (Response: Politicians in every country … and their hired bureaucrats … know very well that by making voting a terrible experience (cutting the number of polling stations, making people wait standing up for hours) causes many people to NOT vote. That’s very clearly a tried and proven reality. And when it is done in select ridings, it’s very fair (even ESSENTIAL in a democracy) to REALLY find out WHY it was done, WHO made the decisions?? And we should not just accept the explanations of Election Officials or those politicians who appointed them: an INDEPENDENT review of what happened Sept. 21 MUST be done! h.o)

  12. Elle says:

    Voted in advance on the first day. Took hour and a half. Must have been 100-150 people in the lineup. Big waste of time. Thank you Trudeau.

  13. Edgar says:

    Mail in ballots in our riding were mailed without the names of the candidates on the return ballot or any where in the package, basically a blank ballot that you had to fill-in. Wonder how many mail-in ballots were rejected. As anyone else heard of similar blank mail-in ballots in their riding?

    (Response: Sounds weird! Why would someone go to the trouble of filling out the complicated on-line form asking for a mail-in ballot, get it, and then send it back blank? Haven’t heard much of that happening. Hope not. h.o)

    • Edgar says:

      Just to clarify – the voter had to hand write the name of the person they were voting for and the party, and then return the ballot.

      (Response: Right. That’s what I did. Maybe they forgot. h.o)

  14. Leila Paul says:

    I must commend you, Harvey, for this commentary. It is one of your best and it stands out for being rare, if not unique, among establish media, in the very serious and significant concerns you’ve mentioned.

    Voter suppression was a predictable result, by merely calling the election during a pandemic.

    It would very likely ensure shortage of volunteer workers; venues to vote; and cause wary voters to choose caution for their health, over gathering and then possibly waiting hours to exercise their citizens’ democratic rights to vote. Not all locations experienced this effect, but it did occur in a sufficient number of locations that it demands an inquiry.

    And this election call was made two years before the election was necessary, amidst a nation-wide requirement to avoid group gatherings, and with no logical crisis that would be ameliorated by an election. The reverse was obvious.

    It’s either irrational and incompetent, or the intent was to minimize voter participation while attempting to gain additional seats – a hoped-for power grab.

    It was a grossly cynical event that should not have been allowed to happen.

    I hope your call for an independent investigation is heard and heeded.

    As for the damage done and the ramifications of this damage – it will forever remain a force that diminishes, in a compound and progressively worsening way, our once cherished democracy. If this is so, then we can never fully estimate the domino effects at this point.

    Perhaps if good judgment and sanity is restored, history will judge this election and its architects harshly.

    Possibly the guilty parties will be Justin Trudeau, his “advisers” and all those who enabled this cynical act of demeaning our Canadian democratic tradition of electoral legitimacy.

    (Response: I’m hoping that the candidates who lost the election in ridings where there were unusually long lineups and delays will raise objections after the count is made official. How many people who would have voted for them gave up and went home without casting a ballot? Why were there very few polls and long lineups in SOME ridings but not others? Where is the media on this …especially in those places where many did not get to vote, even though they showed up and tried? These are just normal questions that MUST be addressed. If we fail to do so, who knows what kind of cuts to polls may happen next time … in certain ridings! h.o)

  15. D. M. Johnston says:

    As I write this, I am reflecting on hindsight.

    Trudeau called the election during the fourth wave of this damnable Covid pandemic and he knew full well there would be low voter turnout.

    Trudeau also knew that Alberta Premier Kenney, has flamed out over Covid, and to a lesser extent, Ontario’s premier ford, with their inept handling of Covid.

    Add the two together and the gurus in the back room said “strike now before the taxes spiral and there is a new SNC Lavalin scandal.”

    (Oh yes, our old friend SNC Lavalin was headlined just three days after the election!)

    Not only does this work well with my “dud” theory of politics, it demonstrates the beginnings of voter suppression. Trudeau had to know with the pandemic that voting would be problematic, especially in population centres and if he didn’t he is selling “porkies”.

    Trudeau wanted the base to turn out, only the Liberal base is no larger than the conservative base and the rest is history, a $600 million cabinet shuffle.

    Until there is change in how our electoral system works and how we elect politicians, those backroom gurus will continue to manipulate our slightly tattered democracy to suppress votes from segments of the population, to suit their own politcal ends.

  16. Harry Lawson says:

    Harvey

    Another home run

    The reality is the the manipulation of the voting process has been going on for many elections all very subtle .

    I remember when during the whole did tion period the public was engaged not only by elections Canada also by the political parties with polling reminders.

    We had signage, we had the media doing stories about hospitals and care home voting.

    I spoke to many who did not know there was a election.

    The drumming down of the electorate has hit a new low ,such a shame

    (Response: It’s hard to believe the losing candidates and media are not raising questions, demands for an investigation …not just accepting the spin put on it by Elections Canada brass! The state of political/investigative journalism in Canada … especially at cash-starved and reduced staff radio and TV stations is appalling! And it will not get better until more people and community organizations call the big media corporations and station bosses out on it!! h.o)

  17. RIsaak says:

    Many disturbing tales from our recent vote. The Liberal candidate in Calgary caught on security cam lifting election flyers from doorsteps is beyond stupid.

    In my region the line at the polls was non-existant, CPC & PPC had 57% of the vote (47% CPC) the MP probably had enough votes to win just with advance & mail in votes.

    Pandemic, massive forest fires, and the ever widening chasm between rural & urban citizens are all facts we deal with up here. Most of us never got CERB, were deemed essential (you urbanites get fed by many of us), the entire pandemic response by both federal & Provincial govts. has missed many rural concerns.

    Many CPC & PPC signs up here were vandalized, 2 days before the vote. I did not see a single Liberal, NDP or Green sign vandalized, and well over 40 from the right wing parties. Zero news attention. Swastica’s painted on signs (the few they did not destroy), zero news attention.

    SNC, who made the decision to make public the charges? Would any of the politicking have happened if SNC was not Quebec based & Quebec public employee owned? The timing of this requires investigation. I doubt two years ago if you’d have said Meng would get a DPA & SNC would not, that anyone would have believed you.

    Rural BC, suppliers of your housing materials (the bit left after a farcical fire season) your meals (they’re going up massively, we just pass along the increased feed costs before distribution & retail pad their margins even more), and for all our sticking to it, we get ignored by the urban elected governments of the day. Between election calls, evac alerts & complete bungling of fire danger in our rural communities ( 2017 backcountry closed during fire season, this year no backcountry closure and at least one fire (the one which closed hwy 5) would have not been as severe if the powers did not choose to leave the backcountry open for all the city dwelling pandemic folks to get out in), and then in the midst of this angst, some rich kid chooses to have an election for narcissistic purposes?

    The Chinese meddling in the Richmond ridings should also be investigated, if I did a election ad in a foreign language paper distributed in Canada would I be allowed to lie & manipulate as the Chinese fifth column has in our elections? Was any of this tied to Meng? Are Raymond Chan & Flipper Joe still pulling Liberal strings on Lulu Island? I recall 2 federal votes ago, all the non Liberal signs were pulled the night before along #5 Rd. Close to Steveston hwy (right by the church polling station) and the medians & curbs were all endless Liberal signs. Maybe we should just ban all election signs, it seems to be a continual red herring?

    Just a few thoughts from the interior.

    (Response: You’re right …disturbing tales. Of course, in every election, there are questionable/condemnable actions, characters and deplorable incidents. But those are politically-attributable … partisan problems that occur. The problems with Elections Canada are different: Canadians expect them to be non-partisan, professional and, most of all, competent. I believe when they cut SUBSTANTIALLY polling stations, but only in SOME areas, causing HUGE lineups hours long, there are lots of questions that MUST be posed ..and answered. And NOT by Elections Canada’s own spin doctors. h.o)

    • RIsaak says:

      The current tact of almost all internalized investigation will more than likely continue unabated. Our public employees are very well insulated, do not like answering queries from the unwashed and face it, both primary governments in office today are big government backers who have both credibility issues when reigning in our public employees or even holding them accountable. I would recommend not holding your breath while waiting for a reasonable response from our elected.

  18. Not Sure says:

    I am not using this in a pejorative sense, but you are floating a conspiracy theory. You have a theory that a group of people have planned together to do something unlawful. And you are demanding an investigation. At the same time you are wondering why “losing candidates are not raising questions, demands for an investigation”. In other words why aren’t other people seeing the same thing that you are. Also, despite many explanations and apologies from Elections Canada you “don’t buy the excuses”. If an investigation shows that there was no wrong doing would you buy that?

    To suggest a conspiracy – that Elections Canada purposefully did things that resulted in long lineups, that they might have targeted ridings that voted “Conservative or NDP” (in other words the Liberals are behind this) there has to be some evidence. I don’t see the evidence. I see a bunch of screwups during a pandemic election that shouldn’t have been called in the first place, but I don’t see any evidence of wrongdoing. Clearly the media don’t either but they are compliant, complacent and complicit so why would they. Even the losing candidates don’t see it. Maybe they are too stupid.

    I am not going to say you are wrong. That’s what makes a good conspiracy theory. It is possible. It is possible that at the hehest of the Liberals, Elections Canada purposefully screwed up certain polling stations to suppress the vote. But, before any independent investigation is going to happen solid evidence has to be presented. And sadly, Harvey, it is not up to anybody else to dig up that evidence for YOUR theory. It’s on you or someone that agrees with your conclusion.

    As I said in an earlier post, I looked up the three ridings that were mentioned in one news article about long lineups. None of the three were closely contested and each of a Liberal, Conservative and NDP candidate won. I have done my work. Three showing nothing to suggest anything other than a screwup. Maybe some others can dig into a few other ridings. Find the evidence.

    That does not say that your post doesn’t have merit. Clearly there is a lot that Elections Canada can learn from this election. And as I mentioned in an earlier post Elections Canada asked for some that were denied.

    There is lots to mull over, Fix the problems for sure, improve the system for sure,
    But I don’t think it does anybody any good to dump on the integrity of Elections Canada during a pandemic election without any kind of evidence that the screwups were purposefully orchestrated and had any effect on the outcome.

    (Response: You’re wrong. I am not FLOATING a conspiracy theory at all: that would mean I support/believe it. All I’m doing is RAISING QUESTIONS about the clearly errant way this election was carried out in several places by Elections Canada; that’s QUITE different… and in a democracy, there should be LOTS of questions raised … and answered by an independent authority … when thousands of voters, in several ridings, are made to wait standing up outdoors for HOURS if they want to vote. Why you see asking that be examined that as floating a conspiracy theory is ridiculous. And I suspect every one of those who waited two hours or more …or those who gave up and went home … would agree with me. h.o)

  19. G. Barry Stewart says:

    Well, the investigations have started. I heard on the CBC Radio news (always a good listen, I feel) that in the Kenora riding, even the re-elected Conservative is complaining.

    The Assembly of First Nations has identified 24 ridings where there were problems for native voters.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/elections-canada-investigating-kenora-riding-1.6188643

    (Response: Ahh! Maybe the read my blog! Too bad … so sad …the “national” media aren’t on to this. h.o)

  20. Not Sure says:

    If all you are saying is that Elections Canada officials should answer to the long lineups that occurred this election resulting in some people going home and losing their right to vote then no problem Nobody is arguing that things went well. There were real problems. Here is another one.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/elections-canada-investigating-kenora-riding-1.6188643

    By all means have Elections Canada officials answer questions about this election. And I am sure they will be. There must be a parliamentary committee that oversees Elections Canada.

    But Harvey this is what is bothering me. You said this. “I know there are always glitches and problems that can arise …But this time, I worry whether an investigation would show, for example, the fewest voting places and the longest waits were consistently in ridings with demographics that vote EITHER maybe NDP … or maybe Conservative?

    Calling for an investigation of what went wrong is one thing. By suggesting that you are worried about what the investigation MIGHT find is floating something. You could have simply said that “questions need to be asked and answers have to be given so that people can continue to have faith that future elections will run smoothly and people who want to vote will be given that chance. ”

    Like I said Harvey, I am not saying you are wrong. Most anything is possible. But there is an old adage that states “never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity” or incompetence or lousy judgement or an election during a freaking pandemic.

    If you don’t believe or support the conspiracy why even give it oxygen by saying that you are worried that it might be true.

    (Response: Yes, I am worrying about exactly what I said! But worrying is in inquisitive verb … not in anyway a statement of fact. And this is still a free country where NO ONE should tell someone else what they are allowed, or not allowed to publicly worry about, or how to phrase their concerns … or what they should or should not “worry” about. h.o)

  21. Not Sure says:

    I was done with this topic but seeing that you had to drag me into your response to Stu in the China topic by saying “you and Not Sure are just trolling, or spinning a cover up, with the suggestion that when people see something that looks like improper may have been done, it’s up to the citizen(s) themselves to ferret out the “evidence”.

    Conspiracy theory 101. When someone disagrees with the theory, make them part of the conspiracy. Accuse them of covering it up. Why isn’t the press writing about this? Well, they are compliant, complacent and some would say complicit so of course they aren’t reporting this.

    People can make accusations all day long. You are suggesting that Elections Canada may have interfered in the election by purposefully making it more difficult to vote. Maybe they did but where is the evidence. It isn’t up to me to provide the evidence doesn’t cut it.

    Nor does “see something, say something. ” Sometimes we have to do something. You said you worried that if we looked at the ridings that had long lineups we might see that these were ridings that voted Conservative or NDP. (This assumes that the Liberals were in on the plot.)

    I have already told you that I looked at the three ridings that were mentioned in one of the articles. Three different parties won, all by incumbents, and all by significant margins, I will do a fourth. (Has anybody else done any?) Let’s look at Kenora where a Conservative incumbent won handily but still wants Elections Canada to explain why there were insufficient polls in fly-in Indigenous communities. The winning candidate who happens to be Conservative, is not suggesting wrongdoing i.e. interference. He just wants this problem corrected for next time. Good for him.

    And again Harvey, I am not saying that Elections Canada should get a free ride. They should be held accountable for the things that went wrong. We should be certain that these events don’t occur again, especially during a non-pandemic election. We need to be certain that everybody has a chance to vote. That is not up for debate.

    But I will repeat the adage: “never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity” or incompetence or lousy judgement or whatever other terms you want to include. Not everything has criminal intent.

    So no Harvey, I am not trolling. I have a deep deep DEEP concern about lack of evidence. Look where we are on vaccine hesitancy. Look at the US. Some people almost a year later still think the election was stolen, and this after the Arizona audit showed that Biden won the state by even more than on election day.

    And no Harvey I am not saying that you are absolutely unequivocally wrong. You might have the scoop of the century. But to get any police investigation going you are going to need a lot more than long lineups = purposeful interference.

    If you were still working as a journalist what would you be doing to push this investigation. Would you be asking politicians if they thought there was interference and when they said no would you buy their excuse. I am legitimately interested in how you would see this playing out.

    (Response: actually it was clearly Stu who dragged you into his attempt to troll the topic by mentioning you. Regardless, the premise is unsustainable if ANYONE believes people who see something improper happening in several locations across this vast country should investigate it themselves. Ridiculous! ho)

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