In so much as people wanted someone found and prosecuted for committing the robocall fraud perpetuated against Guelph and other ridings on May 2, 2011, there was also the matter of principle. How could we be sure that the person elected was the right person elected if so many people got a call that told them to go some place where they couldn’t vote? Did they all make it to their actual polling stating? How many decided to not to vote at all? It was a Charter issue. Everyone that can vote, should vote, and when the robocall story broke in 2012, that’s the angle that Kornelis Klevering decided to pursue.
Since June 2012, the candidate for the Marijuana Party has pursued a legal course to get the results of the 2011 election in Guelph overturned so that a re-vote could take place, one that would hopefully be free of interference from forces looking to disrupt the democratic process. It was an argument that Brother Kase has taken all the way to the Supreme Court and back again, largely spearheading the effort himself as his own legal council. His wasn’t the only court case about robocalls, but it was the only one not about assigning blame, and trying to undo the wrong it caused to begin with.
Still, despite years of effort and legal scholarship learned on the fly, Klevering’s last appeal was denied this past December. Hardly the Christmas present he wanted, but an understandable one just the same; another whole election had come and gone by the time the Supreme Court heard his leave to appeal. Between that, and last week’s decision that Michael Sona’s nine-month jail sentence will stand, the litigation phase of the robocall scandal is effectively at an end, and yet so many question remain unanswered. The anger and frustration is still out there, and you’ll hear that in this interview.
Interviewing Klevering last week was part of a piece I was working on for GroundWire radio, a half-hour news show put together by community radio stations and broadcast across Canada. Although that piece focused on the reaction to the Sona appeal, I sat down with Klevering to review his legal efforts and talk about where he goes from here in terms of fighting for electoral reform and, of course, marijuana legalization.
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