Stephen Harper’s man in Elections Canada has wasted no time proving his mettle.
First it was a last-minute intervention at the Supreme Court of Canada on behalf of the embattled Conservative MP Ted Opitz (Etobicoke Centre).
Read that ruling and weep, all you who expressed such touching faith that Elections Canada would get to the bottom of the Roboscandal.
I can only echo Democracy Watch’s trenchant critique.
The Commissioner…refused to investigate the complaint because “some of the relevant information or persons are not within Canada.” These were the same excuses that the [previous] Commissioner used in 2008 after failing to investigate fully the complaints about a fraudulent election robocall scheme filed by voters in the B.C. riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands. That failure likely encouraged the people behind the massive fraudulent robocall scheme during the 2011 federal election.
The Commissioner also says in the ruling that “the activity complained of was of very limited duration” - essentially setting a ridiculous enforcement standard that means if what you do to illegally influence voters doesn’t last very long, you will not be prosecuted.
Overall, the ruling indicates clearly that the Commissioner will likely never prosecute a foreigner for illegal influence of voters in Canadian federal elections.
Foreign interference in Canadian elections? Hey, it’s not like the Conservative Party of Canada is a charity, now, is it?