Robin Sears writes that there are three lessons we should take from the Federal election:
Lesson one: We need a major overhaul of Elections Canada’s recruitment, training and election readiness. While we’re at it, let’s add several more advance polling days, culminating on a Sunday election day — the choice of most democracies around the world.
Lesson two: Remove all the TV networks from debate production, hire independent producers with no network affiliation, grant the hosting to a qualifying university or civic organization, and hold two debates in each language. The “real” campaign was triggered by three of the worst political debates in Canadian political history, and that was an already very low bar. Game show sets, ridiculously short sound bites, too many preening journalists, and the now infamously inappropriate question hurled angrily at Bloc Leader Yves-François Blanchet — a gaffe that probably moved several seats in Quebec.
Lesson three: Increase the penalties for any form of co-operation with a foreign power interfering in an election, including accepting payment, to a level that will help deter Canadians from being frightened into spreading slurs about any candidate or party. Name and shame those identified, and if any have diplomatic status, expel them. Mounting evidence of the Chinese Communist Party and its local agents attempting to disrupt the voting in Chinese-Canadian communities is disturbing. They may have prevented some Conservative victories in Vancouver and Toronto. We should have anticipated and prepared for this. The Chinese were much more secretive in their disruption plans than were the Russians and the Iranians during the Trump campaign, but more witnesses will no doubt emerge.
When it comes to elections we live in a brave new world.
Image: The Toronto Star