Thursday, June 28, 2012

The first robocalls victim - again

The Ottawa Citizen published an op-ed by former Saanich-Gulf Islands Liberal candidate Briony Penn on Tuesday: "I was the first robocalls victim." It tells the story of the 2008 federal election in that riding and the strange robocalls urging people to vote for an NDP candidate who had withdrawn from the race, thereby splitting the vote to the Conservative Gary Lunn's advantage.

The funny thing is, the Citizen - home of McMaher - published the same op-ed when this story first broke back in early March, as an astute reader points out to me. She thinks that Penn's piece is being republished given its appeal at the very end for an international review of the 2011 federal election robocall issue.

I don't know why it's being republished, it could just be an oversight. It is strange to re-publish an op-ed twice within three months. Whatever the reason though, if you read Penn's op-ed again, it has even more resonance. In light of the ballooning and serious Del Mastro allegations, you can't help but think that our institutional oversight of elections is failing us. And that maybe Elections Canada really should have paid more attention to the Saanich-Gulf Islands flashing red lights.