Regarding the "robo call" scandal in Canada, I wrote the following to my Member of Parliament:
With regard to the news stories flying about "robo calls" being made during the last federal election -- which fraudulently identified themselves as originating from Elections Canada and steered Canadian voters to wrong locations to vote -- I'm going to reserve my judgment until Elections Canada and the RCMP conclude their investigations.
In the meantime, I would like to register my feeling about the kind of people who would undertake such odious, criminal and undemocratic practices during an election: I think they should be charged with treason and sentenced to long years in prison without benefit of comfort or mercy.
I'm sure you, would agree, as would any other Canadian, that our election process is (for lack of a better word) sacred. So many countries around the world do not have the right to vote in elections and yes, it's disgraceful how few Canadians avail of this right in our own fair country.
But for those of us who do, I cannot begin to describe the depth and breadth of my anger, contempt and disgust for any person who would deign to interfere with a Canadian election.
Every basic tenet of good citizenship, fair play and the Canadian character is offended by these so-called "robo calls" that were designed to mislead numerous Canadians into missing their opportunity to vote; to literally suppress the votes of Canadians.
Accountability is not the strong suit of Canadian politics, but this affront to our democracy may be the catalyst for a much-needed change.
No more empty condemnations of bad behavior, followed by empty apologies and empty promises to sin no more.
When Jean Chrétien was so dismissive and unbothered by his HDRC "misplacing" $1 billion in the late 1990s, I remember being utterly sick over the lack of accountability. The person in charge of that debacle wasn't even asked to resign! She was merely reassigned, where she continued to receive her unearned salary and eventually take home her unearned, opulent politician's pension.
Or, when the Conservative Party of Canada was found in contempt of Parliament. Such a condemnation means little if it isn't accompanied by serious repercussions. The Conservatives have remained contemptuous of Parliament and the Canadian people since that time with ne'ery a consequence to their actions.
But now, this, these "robo calls" -- this is effrontery of a different magnitude. This is the stuff of dictatorships. This is the stuff of banana republic coups. This is the stuff of tyranny. This is the stuff of Fascism.
When the guilty parties are finally identified, and if some of them are members of Parliament or otherwise affiliated with a political party, I, personally, and the growing groundswell of concerned, offended Canadians are going to see to it that a new era of accountability is ushered in to Canadian politics. No more empty gestures. No more hollow rebukes.
Because Canada's stature in the world has taken a very negative hit since the Conservative Party of Canada ascended to its reign. The RCMP is almost completely unhinged, with its virtually unchecked (until recently), unspoken policy of sexual harassment. Canadian scientists are muzzled by Conservative constraints because actual science conflicts with the CPC agenda. Legal experts from the United States are pleading with the Harper Government -- which appears impervious to facts, studies, or the opinions of experts -- not to institute mandatory minimums in our courts. Canada's withdrawal from the Kyoto Treaty. The petulant rebranding of The Government of Canada to the noxious "Harper Government". To Vic Toew's -- who's merely one visage of conservative tyranny -- saying to Canadian Internet users that we either support the Conservatives' draconian, Nazi Internet surveillance plans or else we're on the side of child pornographers. Or, Herr Harper -- proven to be impervious to facts, stats, experts or studies -- who's going to give a good "re-think" to public pensions. Right -- a member of the Canadian class who's set to receive a solid-gold, utterly undeserved, unjustifiably opulent, extravagant pension is going to look for ways to nickel-and-dime those of us who didn't grow up to be career opportunists in Ottawa.
I've always believed that if Canada suffered a Watergate-like scandal, it would be under Stephen Harper. Well, we've got the scandal, now it's just a matter of time to see who's responsible for it.
And when we do find out who is behind this most egregious and offensive "robo call" scandal, I hope it's not just some functionary who's thrown under the bus, who's given the obligatory Helena Guergis treatment. It's my hope that the actual persons responsible are identified and called to account, and if proven guilty, are sentenced as harshly as the law allows.
Say, what is the mandatory minimum for treason?