Robocall scandal could lead to by-elections

Andy Radia
Politics Reporter
Canada Politics

Here is the worse-case scenario for the Harper government with regards to the robocall scandal.

As the Canadian Press reported, Elections Canada and police are looking into reports that automated calls in as many as 18 ridings falsely advised voters that the locations of their polling stations had changed.

If some or all of those election results are overturned, the Conservative's narrow 12 seat majority could soon be diminished or even lost. It's a scenario that is not beyond the realm of possibilities.

Former Chief Electoral Officer Jean-Pierre Kingsley told radio host Evan Solomon, on Saturday, that any Canadian can ask a judge to overturn election results if there's been any "irregularities, fraud, corrupt or illegal practices."

"If a judge is satisfied [the dirty tricks] could have affected the results then the judge can overturn the election and the government must call a by-election," said Kingsley, who held Elections Canada's top post for 17 year before resigning in 2007.

"The judge would have to be satisfied that the number of electors who were affected or potentially affected is greater than the difference in the votes between the candidate who came in first and the candidate who came second."

Kingsley added that the individual or individuals responsible for the alleged "voter suppression tactics" could also face fines and jail time.

"If an individual is found guilty of any of those practices the law says that they could go to jail. It's either $5,000 fine or/and up to five years in prison," he said.

On Saturday, interim Liberal Party leader Bob Rae released a list of 27 electoral districts where his party allegedly  received reports of false or misleading phone calls during the 2011 General Election.

Below are the ridings that could be in play:

1. Sydney-Victoria (N.S.):  Winner:  Liberals; Margin of victory: 765 votes

2. Egmont (P.E.I.): Winner:  Conservatives; Margin of victory: 4,470 votes

3. Eglinton-Lawrence (Ont.): Winner:  Conservatives; Margin of victory: 4,062 votes

4. Etobicoke Centre (Ont.): Winner:  Conservatives; Margin of victory: 26 votes

5. Guelph (Ont.): Winner:  Liberals; Margin of victory: 6,236 votes

6. Cambridge (Ont.): Winner:  Conservatives; Margin of victory: 14,156 votes

7. Hamilton East-Stoney Creek (Ont.): Winner:  NDP; Margin of victory: 4,364 votes

8. Haldimand-Norfolk (Ont.): Winner:  Conservatives; Margin of victory: 13,106 votes

9. Kitchener-Conestoga (Ont.): Winner:  Conservatives; Margin of victory: 17,237 votes

10. Kitchener-Waterloo (Ont.): Winner:  Conservatives; Margin of victory: 2,144 votes

11. London North Centre (Ont.): Winner:  Conservatives; Margin of victory: 1,665 votes

12. London West (Ont.): Winner:  Conservatives; Margin of victory: 11,023 votes

13. Mississauga East-Cooksville (Ont.): Winner:  Conservatives; Margin of victory: 676 votes

14. Niagara Falls (Ont.): Winner:  Conservatives; Margin of victory: 16,067 votes

15. Oakville (Ont.): Winner:  Conservatives; Margin of victory: 12,178 votes

16. Ottawa Orleans (Ont.): Winner:  Conservatives; Margin of victory: 3,935 votes

17. Ottawa West-Nepean (Ont.): Winner:  Conservatives; Margin of victory: 7,436 votes

18. Parkdale-High Park (Ont.): Winner:  NDP; Margin of victory: 7,289 votes

19. Perth-Wellington (Ont.): Winner:  Conservatives; Margin of victory: 15,420 votes

20. Simcoe-Grey (Ont.): Winner:  Conservatives; Margin of victory: 20,599 votes

21. St. Catharines (Ont.): Winner:  Conservatives; Margin of victory: 13,598 votes

22. St. Paul's (Ont.): Winner:  Liberals; Margin of victory: 4,545 votes

23. Sudbury (Ont.): Winner:  NDP; Margin of victory: 9,803 votes

24. Wellington-Halton Hills (Ont.): Winner:  Conservatives; Margin of victory: 26,098 votes

25. Willowdale (Ont.): Winner:  Conservatives; Margin of victory: 932 votes

26. Saint Boniface (Man.): Winner:  Conservatives; Margin of victory: 8,423 votes

27. Winnipeg South Centre (Man.): Winner:  Conservatives; Margin of victory: 8,544 votes

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