Once again I have that surreal feeling of being in the midst of history in the making. The short version, for those who have not been following Canadian politics: In the last election, the one where the Conservatives (for the Americans reading, that’s basically our version of the Republicans) won their majority government (again, for the non-Canadians, that’s when one party has more than half of the seats in parliament, which means more than half the votes on any bill they want to pass so that they can do whatever they want, and oh have they been doing their darnest to hang themselves), calls were made from a call centre of some sort telling voters their polling station had changed, and directing them to an incorrect polling location.
The number of ridings this occured in has so far been quoted as thiry-four. That’s thirty-four ridings where the voting may have been affected by this, and many of those ridings were won by under 100 votes. A lot of those were won by the Conservatives. The Conservatives won their majority by 10 seats. Enough ridings were affected to call into question the legitimacy of their majority, and even the legitimacy of their win, especially since they did not get a majority of votes, only a majority of seats, but due to our first past the post voting system, their representation in parliament is disproportionate to the number of votes they got.
The NDP member of parliament, Pat Martin said “The most fundamental freedom that we enjoy as citizens in a democracy is the right to vote in a federal election, free and fair and without interference.” And he’d right. The definition of democracy is the government is voted in fairly, with all citizens given equal right to vote. This kind of tampering with the electoral system is supposed to be something that happens in third world countries, not in Canada. The UN is talking about Canada losing it’s status as a country who can provide independent elections observers, because of our own corrupt, illegitimate government. Canada could go onto watch lists of countries with corrupt and illegitimate governments.
And the Conservative’s response? They would love to be able to just push it under the rug, and they’re trying. The company that apparently was hired to make the calls is threatening to sue Pat Martin for implying they did anything wrong, and trying to force him to state publicly that there’s no evidence of wrongdoing by them or the person (who they refuse to name) who hired them to make these calls.
This all blows me away. I feel again like I’m living in a world of science fiction, some futuristic world where everything has gone to shit. This is supposed to be things I write about, not what’s going on around me. It’s humbling to be witness to all this as I revise a novel about a country trying to overthrow a Monarchy and install a Democracy. My riding was one of the initial group reported to have been part of this electoral fraud. It’s also inspiration – fodder for a sequel as my Avalines set out to conduct an election and people who want to take power do everything they can to take advantage of their budding Democracy.
On that note, I shall go back to my revisions and hope the governor general exercises his right to call an election.