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All's fair in love and politics?
Reports of fraudulent “robocalls” in Vancouver Island North are sad yet unsurprising.
Last year’s federal election followed two minority governments.
This emphasized the importance of hitherto overlooked ridings such as ours, particularly considering how close the past few two-horse races have been in Vancouver Island North.
No investigation has been conducted and no wrongdoing proved, let alone discovering how robocallers might know which voters to target. Still, it would not be a shock to learn that some ethically challenged person tried to tip the scales.
For some people in a hurry, the old-fashioned method of finding a worthy candidate, crafting a platform that appeals to voters, then running a hard but clean campaign might be too -- old-fashioned.
That’s true of some politicians and their operatives who believe that the ends of getting elected and staying elected justify the means.
As 2011 Vancouver Island North Liberal candidate Mike Holland noted last week, there’s nothing wrong (except vexing residents at home) with automated calls promoting candidates.
Misdirecting potential voters away from legitimate polling stations to bogus ones is unethical and immoral, if not illegal.
Elections Canada says, “nothing in the (Canada elections) Act prohibits or regulates the use of telephone solicitation seeking support for a particular candidate or party, nor does anything regulate the content of such calls.”
That sounds like a loophole begging to be closed. Let’s see how long the federal government takes to address it.
Besides following U.S. parties in using robocalls to promote their candidates, our politicians have taken to savaging opponents (i.e. the Stephen Harper Tories discrediting Michael Ignatieff) with slick attack ads.
Add to that fraudulent robocalls, and is it any wonder Canadians are bypassing polling stations even when we know where they’re located?