Community reaction to voter-duping robocalls and Sona's resignation
Investigations into "robocalls" that directed voters to non-existent or incorrect polling stations during the last federal election have cost a Conservative staffer his job and have sparked suspicions against the Harper government.
Michael Sona, who until Friday was a staffer in Conservative MP Eve Adams's office, resigned following reports that Elections Canada is investigating the misleading election day phone calls.
Leading voters to wrong or non-existent polling stations is a voter suppression tactic and is illegal under the Elections Act.
NDP MP Pat Martin, who called the tactic a "heinous" crime against democracy, said many of the areas targeted were swing ridings.
"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?" he asked at a news conference Thursday.
The Conservatives denied knowledge of the calls, which were traced to Edmonton call centre Racknine. What is clear is that the deed is not being taken lightly. When we polled readers as to whether punishment for voter suppression should be more severe, over 96 per cent of 3490 readers said 'Yes.'
The vast majority of CBC Community members were outraged at the tactic and called for drastic action.
- "Democratic principles should never be sacrificed for ideology or political expediency. Canada is one of the few places left on earth where such a system is possible, but our present government would like to have it otherwise. Whether you belong to the right, left, or centre, elections should be clean, transparent, and regulated. If we citizens don't defend our right to legitimate elections, who will?" - TylerJohn
- "The government is dragging the country into a morass of lies and deceit. There must be some mechanism by which we can control our own government - and they are most definitely out of control." - MBrunswick
- "There should be byelections in all ridings where these robocalls were placed. This kind of voter interference cannot be tolerated." - formerreformer • "This is treason of the highest order." - YOUNGandANGRY
- "This will set a dangerous precedent if this government isn't promptly booted out with a vote of non-confidence. Anything less is giving them the green light to commit even more fraud in subsequent elections." - Gong_Show
- "With scorn I watch American elections, never did I think that this sort of thing could happen here in Canada. What a jolt of revulsion I'm feeling. I used to be a proud Canadian, now not so much. Yes offending person and party should do jail time and pay a huge fine to pay for the by election whether it be another federal election or just a riding. There must be no room for this kind of degenerative politicing here. The party leader should be publicly scorned and then sent to life in prison!" - 2THESTREETS
- "Someone knows who ordered and someone paid for these ads. That information needs to be made public. Racknine must be compelled to either provide this information or have their business license revoked and cease to operate in this country." - gerryman • "Messing up with the elections' outcome should be a serious crime in every democracy from Putin's Russia to Harper's Canada." - pohara
- "Every effort should be made to find who was responsible for this crime, for that is what lt is Election Canada needs some real clout. This should be included in the up-coming Crime Bill. This strikes at the very fabric of our Democracy." - Frayea
- "I notice that today, the governor General is handing out awards for bravery. If the links can be proven to be to the conservatives for this Vote Suppression, It's time the GG showed some bravery and hold this government in contempt." - thathurstguy
- "This is fraud, and therefore a criminal offense. Albeit a sacrificial lamb, this fall guy needs to be charged, which will then get to the bottom (or top) of who instructed him to contract with and who paid for the Robocall activity. This guy was not acting on his own initiative, as he had nothing to gain!" - Dart45
- "Two words come to mind: Fall Guy." - rushgold
- "You KNEW they would throw this guy under the bus and make him the fall guy. But you also know there is no way in hell he could do this on his own. Keep investigating. Way, way more people are involved in this." - Taebok
- "The sacrificial lamb has been chosen...What I want to know is who ordered Sona to do whatever he did. Look higher." - ECCAP09
- "Can you say 'Scapegoat'? I wonder what he gets for taking the fall with this one." - Skoota
- "Win at all cost. Anything to free us once and for all from the mess the Liberals created." - Ashleigh1
- "If you cannot find your way to a polling station, you should not be allowed to vote." - HarperIsRight
- "There is no proof the Conservatives had anything to do with it. Clearly, they would have been stooooopid to engage in such a tactic as there is no way to get away with it. I don't think the Conservatives are that stupid, so I don't believe they had anything to do with it. The opposition is on another false smear campaign." - LifeIsButADream • "So where is the evidence of government involvement?" - amg111
- "First of all. Was every single person contact by these calls a non-Conservative voter? Second, I am disgusted that the NDP would have a news conference in which they blatantly point fingers without a conclusive investigation. If the Conservative party is guilty, then proceed. Until the evidence supports the NDP, this is pure slander. If the Conservative party is found to be not guilty, I expect resignations from these NDP members." - Aces_Up
Meet the Community Team
CBC News Community team, from left to right: Andrew Yates, Andrea Lee-Greenberg, Lauren O'Neil, John Bowman
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