October 1, 2020

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Yet more robocalled ridings

Rae's count 27; Martin's 34

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 26/2/2012 (3139 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Winnipeg NDP MP Pat Martin says voter suppression undermines fundamental democracy.


Winnipeg NDP MP Pat Martin says voter suppression undermines fundamental democracy.

The number of ridings that received alleged voter-suppression calls in the last federal election is greater than previously thought, opposition MPs say.

NDP MP Pat Martin told CTV's Question Period he knows of 34 ridings where calls were received advising people their voting station had changed, and that number is growing every day.

"You can't overstate how serious that is," 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."

Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae told CTV Sunday he knows of 27 Liberal ridings that received calls and expects that number to grow by Monday.

"What inevitably happens is that people will look back at what they thought was an isolated incident in their riding and then they begin to understand that it may have been part of some sort of larger pattern," Rae said.

On Saturday, Rae told reporters voter-suppression tactics, including a pattern of harassing phone calls, were a factor in the Liberal party's defeat in the May 2 election.

On Friday, Postmedia News and the Ottawa Citizen reported evidence of a "systematic voter-suppression campaign" against Liberals in tight ridings during last May's federal election.

This campaign consisted of harassing phone calls targeting Liberal voters in 14 ridings -- the majority of which were in southern Ontario.

Liberal supporters say the repeated calls usually came during dinner, late at night or early in the morning from people claiming to represent the local Liberal candidate.

Calls also were placed to voters with Jewish-sounding names during the Saturday Sabbath and in one riding with a South Asian candidate, voters received phone calls from someone imitating a Pakistani accent.

Those who received the calls say they got them repeatedly and the person on the other line spoke to them rudely.

Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro told CTV Sunday his riding also received offensive live calls from people alleging to be with his campaign.

He joined the chorus calling on Elections Canada to investigate the issue.

"Let's get to the bottom of this," he said.

"Everyone deserves answers, including the Conservative Party of Canada."

Under the Elections Act, it is illegal to tell voters to go to a wrong or non-existent polling station.


-- Postmedia News


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