Paul's Internet Landfill/ 2015/ Federal Election Trickery

Federal Election Trickery

In 2011 it was robocalls misleading voters about polling station locations.

I was fairly certain that the Conservative party was going to be up to trickery again. It is not absolutely clear what this trickery would be, but after listening to a podcast (I think it was Red Man Laughing) I started worrying that it might have to do with long lineups at polling stations.

Sure enough, after the first day of advance polling there are long lineups at polling stations. Some voters are being dissuaded from voting. Lower turnouts mean the Conservatives win.

If there is a pattern to these lineups, we have to record them. Somebody (not me) should be looking at the results of the #pollwatch hashtag on Twitter and correlate these findings to ridings (and ideally to polling locations). We know that the Conservatives (and all of the other major parties) keep detailed tracking data about where they have strong and weak support. My conspiracy-minded head is quite worried that voter suppression will be targeted to those races that are close.

Everybody who notices shenanigans should be taking notes (photos and video if possible) and reporting shenanigans to Elections Canada. The reason the robocall scandal was limited to Guelph was because there was only a sufficient density of reports from Guelph. If everybody who experienced these calls had reported shenanigans, the scope would have been larger and the Conservatives would not have been able to get away with throwing one staffer under the bus.

Most of all, regardless of whether this is an intentional suppression tactic or not, we must not let it dissuade us from voting. Even if voting takes three or four hours you should do it. It will be one thing if the Conservatives earn a legitimate majority government. It will be quite another if suppression tactics work and the Conservatives earn their majority because too many of us were dissuaded from casting a ballot.

If there is voter suppression, there will be plausible deniability on the part of the Conservatives (there is always plausible deniability, because they are not idiots). That makes it doubly important that we be vigilant that our rights as voters are respected.