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NEWS: 75% want a public inquiry on the robocall scandal, rallies take place in 27 cities

Postmedia News reports, “Three-quarters of Canadians say an independent commission of inquiry should be established to probe the mysterious robocalls from last year’s election, a new poll suggests. Moreover, the national survey conducted for Postmedia News and Global TV reveals some public unease over whether Elections Canada will ever get to the bottom of the affair through its own investigation. …The pollster asked respondents if ‘a special, independent commission of inquiry with judicial powers should be established to find out what happened in the past election and make recommendations on our future election rules and structure.’ 75% of respondents said they agreed with that statement, while 24% disagreed.”

“In the House of Commons, opposition parties have called for an independent inquiry into the robocalls, but Harper’s Tories have indicated instead that they are working with Elections Canada by giving the electoral agency documents from the last campaign. But the new Ipsos Reid poll suggests that Canada are not overwhelmingly confident the agency will root out the truth. Respondents were asked if they think ‘Elections Canada will actually get to the bottom of these allegations and we will know the answers.’ 57% said they agreed with that statement, while 42% disagreed.”

“(But) according to the survey, the Tories continue to hold a comfortable lead over their rivals, with 37% of respondents saying they would vote for them if an election occurred tomorrow — unchanged since a poll taken last November. The NDP under interim leader Nycole Turmel would receive 29% of the vote (down two points) and the Liberals under interim leader Bob Rae would garner 23% of the vote (up two points). …Ipsos Reid president Darrell Bricker said in an interview the survey shows strong support for an independent commission of inquiry, but said he doubts the government will opt for an inquiry — especially since the Conservatives’ popularity has not been affected.”

Rallies across the country
CTV reports, “Rallies were planned in as many as 27 Canadian cities from coast to coast. …Protesters gathered in cities across Canada Sunday to demand a full public inquiry into the federal election “robocall” scandal. The largest turnout seemed to be in Toronto, with hundreds of people marching along downtown streets… There were modest turnouts of several dozen protesters in Halifax and Montreal. A small crowd had gathered on Parliament Hill in Ottawa as well.”

The Guelph Mercury reports, “More than 100 people took part in an Occupy Democracy rally held in downtown Guelph on Sunday afternoon. …Some signs demanded a public inquiry into the robocalls scandal, while others were anti-Conservative in nature. …Co-organizer Zoë Barrett-Wood said the rally in Guelph was joining a number of cities throughout the country including Toronto, Calgary and Saskatoon. …With the help of Drew Garvie and Norah Chaloner, co-chair of the Guelph chapter of the Council of Canadians, Barrett-Wood began organizing the rally less than a week before it took place. …Council of Canadians’ Norah Chaloner said she wanted this rally to help encourage Canadians to get involved and stand up for democracy. ‘Democracy is stolen, step by step,’ Chaloner said. The robocalls scandal is just one of the ways Canada’s democracy has taken a hit, she added.”

QMI reports, “A group of demonstrators, including members of Occupy Edmonton, the Council of Canadians and the Industrial Workers of the World rallied at the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton, Alta. on March 10.”

Two days ago, the Guardian reported, “Some Islanders looking for answers in the robocall scandal rallied Thursday in Charlottetown to demand a public inquiry into the alleged voter suppression. …More than 60 people gathered outside Province House for the rally… Leo Broderick with the Council of Canadians helped organize the rally and said they wanted to show that Islanders think it is a serious issue. ‘We want a public inquiry,’ he said. …Broderick said there were illegal activities during the election and if they aren’t investigated now who knows what will happen.”

Report election fraud
Mounting evidence of fraudulent robo-calls, impersonations of Elections Canada staff and other deliberate attempts to deceive voters in the 2011 federal election have struck at the very heart of our democracy and shaken Canadians to the core. If you or someone you know was the victim of misleading or harassing actions arond the 2011 federal election, the Council of Canadians wants to hear from you now. To do so, please go to http://canadians.org/election/survey/.

For Council of Canadians blog on the robocall controversy, see: