Robocall rhetoric not evidence of anything 0
Watching the so-called "robocall" pseudo scandal unfold over the past week has been an instructive lesson in what is inherently wrong with politics in this country.
Much of the media, as well as the opposition parties, have been setting their collective hair on fire in hope that they finally had a scandal to pin on the prime minister. Aha! He stole the election!
Well, if he did, there's certainly little of what real investigators call evidence - the sort of stuff one needs to actually prove a theory.
And from the sublime to the ridiculous, there was Adrienne Carr, City of Vancouver Councillor and B.C. Green Party doyenne, on CKNW radio on the weekend, saying this was the most serious crisis this country has ever seen. Huh? Uh, well I guess it could be if we discount WWII, the Cold War, the October Crisis, the 1995 referendum in Quebec, 9/11 and the War on Terror.
The media have played along with the opposition politicians by dutifully referring to the 31,000 "complaints" received by Elections Canada after the issue became the cause de jour of the opposition. I'm guessing most, if not all of those, came from card-carrying members of the Liberals or NDP who were urged to do so by the political war rooms of their parties. Colour me cynical.
In law, there's the principle of the Doctrine of Recent Complaint. In essence, it means the sooner after the crime is committed that the matter is reported, it speaks to the credibility of the complaint. It's typically applied in cases of sexual assault as corroboration of the victim's allegation.
The federal election was May 2, 2011.
What we do know is that someone using the alias of Pierre Poutine, using a throwaway cell phone, initiated some robocalls via a service provider called Racknine out of Edmonton that allegedly tried to dissuade voters from exercising their franchise in Guelph.
NDP MP Pat Martin called it the most comprehensive electoral fraud in our nation's history and accused Racknine of being involved in a criminal conspiracy with the Tories. Because he has no evidence of any such thing, Racknine promptly filed a libel suit.
Rhetoric is not evidence of anything, let alone a criminal conspiracy of fraud. Elections Canada and the RCMP are looking into this and their findings will be what they will be.
Personally, I'm much more concerned about how a convicted terrorist like Jaspal Atwal came to be a guest of the BC Liberals in the Legislature on Budget Day. In that, I smell a real scandal.