Along with all Canadians, I am deeply concerned by allegations that attempts were made to mislead voters in Guelph by sending them to the wrong polling stations. Such conduct is wrong, unethical, and an affront to democracy. If this occurred, it is a clear violation of electoral laws, and those involved must face the full legal consequences. I strongly endorse the current investigation by Elections Canada, and I have every confidence in their ability to deal with this matter.
The last two elections in my riding have been close and hard-fought. In 2008, I won by 17 votes – the smallest margin in the country. No one understands more than me that every vote is sacrosanct. I commend all citizens who participate in the process, whether they are supporters or not, and I’m proud that our voter turnout last May was well above the national average.
The core strategy of any successful election campaign is simple: contact as many people as possible on the doorstep or by phone to identify supporters, and then make sure they vote. The phone calls we made on Election Day were to our own identified supporters only, and solely for the purpose of encouraging them to vote. My campaign success was a result of good organization, committed volunteers, and old-fashioned hard work.
I also firmly believe, as I’ve demonstrated, that election campaigns must be inherently respectful. Any use of illegal or questionable campaign tactics is deplorable, and although my campaign was subjected to frequent sign vandalism and literature tampering, we strove to maintain the high road at all times.
As your Member of Parliament, I will continue to uphold the highest standards and defend the democratic principles that are so fundamental to Canadian society.
Peter Braid, MP