Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Is Harper's Majority Illegitimate?

Is it really? Depends who you ask, and of course, how you view the robocall scandal. (And no, I'm not entertaining the "he only got 40%" idea right now.)

Let's face one fact first: even if the robocall scandal is found to be true, it's not likely it affected but a handful of ridings. If you held a by-election in the ridings where there were confirmed cases and/or it was a close race (I'm thinking Nipissing-Timiskaming, Etobicoke Centre, and so on), even if the Cons lost all the by-elections, it's likely they'd remain with a majority of the seats. If all 40+ ridings went up for by-elections... yeah I could see that being a problem, but in a riding like Kitchener-Conestoga or London West, the margins are too big to be really affected by the robocalls.

So if the allegations are true, Harper's majority is likely to stay intact. I wish it were otherwise, but hey, that's the game. The robocalls aren't likely to have affected all but the very close races in a significant way, and there isn't a lot of those.

But, the fact that this was done - that right there could illegitimize the entire May 2011 election!

Personally, I think it could. If proven true, while maybe the robocalls only affected a few ridings and not have changed the end result, the fact that is was used calls into question so much of what the Conservatives do. The fact that anyone within the Conservative Party would be willing to do this is a sign of corruption; if it goes all the way to the top - and I'm not saying it will - but if it does, then there is a total conspiracy on the part of a party to rig a general election.

That morally disqualifies their majority as illegitimate, because they made our election illegitimate. I'm unsure if it follows through legally, but if the allegations are true, then I say we ask for a do-over, because whatever is in Parliament would not be the legitimate result of every Canadian who wished to vote in May 2011, due to the corrupt actions of a corrupt party. Simple as.

(Note: I accidentally deleted this post, so if it shows up twice in the aggregators, sorry)

16 comments:

  1. In 1997 the Sponsorship Scandal was in full swing. In 1997 the Liberals won a bare-bones 155 seat majority. How many close Liberal ridings in Quebec were there where the outcome could easily been affected by the influence of the misuse of tax-payers money through the Sponsorship Scandal in those ridings? I, therefore, believe that the Liberals’ 1997 majority government was illegitimate and I demand a “do-over”.

    Goose? Gander.

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    1. ...the monies in the "sponsorship scandal" lined personal pockets---it had nothing to do with expenditures during an the federal election campaign

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  2. The Harper majority is as legitimate as any other in Canadian history.

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  3. Michael,

    There's a difference between what the Sponsorship Scandal did, and what this robocall nonsense is. Big, big difference.

    Rotterdam,

    Maybe, guess we'll see what allegations are true and which aren't.

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  4. Whats the big difference; the Sponsorship Scandal was a scandal due in big part because of the influence peddling, which could have easily affected the outcome in target ridings that the money for this program was used for, some of that money was kicked back to the Liberal party. Robocalls, from what is being said, is a scandal because of influence peddling, which could have easily affected the outcome in targeted ridings.

    No difference at all. You want to delegitimize this majority government based on these allegations, it works both ways.

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  5. The robocall scandal isn't influence peddling - it's about disseminating false information to voters about both who the callers are, and where their voting place is, in an attempt to drive down the vote of Opposition parties. They're two very difference concepts.

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  6. Influence peddling is about using influence in an illegitimate manner to get favours and preferential treatment from other parties.

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  7. Misdirecting with semantics, you know exactly what I meant even if, admittedly, the term "influence peddling" doesn't exactly fit; the base allegation we are currently examining is that the Tories have tried to influence the outcome of an election. You say they are an illegitimate government as a result. We know that the money from the Sponsorship Scandal was used to influence the outcome of elections in Quebec, as well as to provide some of that money as a kickback to the Liberal party. If the Tory majority government is illegitimate as a result, then it would follow that the 1997 Liberal government was illegitimate as well.

    There was only 1 seat separating the Liberals from minority status in 1997; there are 11 seats separating the Tories from minority status now. If you really want to go there, lets.

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  8. Michael:
    "I, therefore, believe that the Liberals’ 1997 majority government was illegitimate and I demand a “do-over”."

    Good point, so let's have a 'do-over' now. Election, Spring 2012.

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  9. Tuxedorama I wouldn't mind in the least, the Liberals would just lose again, maybe even worse. The point I was making is that we don't just start having "re-dos" just because the Liberals and the NDP say so, the government is not illegitimate, just because they say it is. No, we obviously can't 're-do" the 1997 election again, that is impossible. But seeing that the 1997 Liberal majority is illegitimate by the same standards I have set out here, why don't we just cross that election out as if it never happened? Ridulous idea, isn't it? Well there you go.

    It is patently obvious that the Liberals just cannot accept the fact that they lost the last three elections and lost a third of their caucus each time. Coalition, illegitimate majority governments, the fact that the electorate didn't want you the last three times out just won't EVER register, will it? So you have to grovel in the dirt with pathetic gambits like "this government could be illegitimate". Its laughable.

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  10. Technical details matter, and influence peddling is not the same as what happened here, which is fraudulent. So, 1997 =/= 2011, legally speaking.

    But, I get your point in a rhetorical sense. I even agree with it. Such corrupt tactics really do call into question the validity of votes. If this was 1998, and we knew about the sponsorship scandal back then, I'd call for a serious look into what's going on, and yes, an immediate election, because clearly the governing has lost the confidence of Canadians if the allegations ended up being true.

    Which is what should happen here if the allegations are true. If this Conservative government centrally directed these fraudulent calls, then they have clearly lose their way, and should let Canadians decide their fate. I think this is agreeable.

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  11. Michael,

    If you're serious about that statement, you don't really understand me, then, and I'd prefer you take your generalizations elsewhere.

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  12. The big difference is that Sponsorship harmed the Liberal Party while there is yet any evidence that Robocalls will effect the CPC in the polls.

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  13. The Federal Election was contaminated, and I don't give a damn how nor who is guilty of election fraud. I tend to believe it was Harper, he was frantic and rabid to win. He even begged for a majority. There were four senior Conservatives, charged with election spending fraud, Feb. 2011 as well. Those robocalls were sent all over Canada. That is corrupting to any election, and not to be condoned.

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  14. We will have to see how voters react. Remember that we live in a democracy. If the Tories do not budge an inch in the polls, then these acts have indeed been condoned.

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