Federal Court Judge Richard Mosley ruled tonight on the “robocalls” case, the attempt by a handful of voters in six ridings, backed by the Council of Canadians, to have the 2011 election results in those ridings thrown out and new elections ordered because, the applicants alleged, there was widespread voter suppression using “robocalls” and possibly other means to do so. The Council of Canadians alleges the Conservative Party of Canada was the bad guy.
Here’s the questions Mosley asked and I have summed up his answers:
Has “fraud” under Section 524(1)(b) been made out?
Did the fraud affect the results of the election in the six subject ridings?
Did the fraud call into question the integrity of the elections?
Should the Court exercise its discretion to annul the elections?
It should not.
And what about the alleged bad guy? Did the Conservatives do it? Well, Mosley doesn’t know:
“I make no finding that the CPC, any CPC candidates, or RMG and RackNine Inc., were directly involved in the campaign to mislead voters. To require the applicants to identify the perpetrators of the misleading calls would impose an impossibly high standard of proof. I am satisfied, however, that the most likely source of the information used to make the misleading calls was the CIMS database maintained and controlled by the CPC, accessed for that purpose by a person or persons currently unknown to this Court. There is no evidence to indicate that the use of the CIMS database in this manner was approved or condoned by the CPC. Rather the evidence points to elaborate efforts to conceal the identity of those accessing the database and arranging for the calls to be made.”
UPDATE: An important corrective from Stephen Maher:
Some media reports on yesterday’s federal court ruling refer to fraudulent calls as “robocalls.” They were live calls.
— Stephen Maher (@stphnmaher) May 24, 2013
There’s lots more — and lots of nuance on all sides — so if you want to read all 100 pages, here you go: