Canadians watched in silence when accusations of foreign interference in the 2016 United States presidential election surfaced.
The accusations were supported by evidence of Russian meddling in the form of social media disinformation campaigns, among other things.
Seven years later Canadians find this country experienced its own instances of foreigners trying to sway voters in elections.
From the evidence brought forth so far, Communist Chinese backed supporters sought to defeat two Conservative candidates and elect seven Liberals.
The issue has turned into a national debate, and rightly so.
Most Canadians have been comfortable thinking only Canadian voters determine who is elected to Parliament.
Having foreign autocratic governments meddle in our election politics should not be surprising in light of information that China has several “police stations’’ in Canada to ensure its former and current nationals are in line with the Chinese government policies.
The Chinese Communist government has passed a law that allows it to capture and remove Chinese from other countries — a total disrespect for international practice and sovereignty.
That disrespectful behaviour has honed in on our election process.
Attempts to taint and thwart free elections in Canada were unheard of until recent weeks.
The politicians play games with new ammunition to sling dirt at each other while key pieces of evidence are withheld in the name of national security.
National security as a reason for not disclosing all the information and intelligence seems plausible but frustrates those who want to know and care.
Politicians should get their act together and work on this crucial issue that has potential to erode Canadians’ trust in the democratic system.
Measures need to be taken and implemented for Canadians to continue trusting the system.
Calls for a national registry of persons working for another government should be followed through and enforced with vigour.
The registry would give Canadian governments a means to keep track of foreign interference and take swift action.
Current evidence indicates Chinese attempts to sway the elections didn’t alter the outcome but may have changed a few seats.
The registry is necessary “to stand on guard for thee.’’
Ron Walter can be reached at email@example.com
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.