Canada’s Conservatives under fire for promoting “election rigging” conspiracy theories echoing Trump

The Conservative Party of Canada is coming under heavy criticism for promoting conspiracy theories about “election rigging” a day after riots incited by similar statements by US President Donald Trump left five people dead.

A fundraising page on the official Conservative Party website claims that “Justin Trudeau is rigging the next election in his favour.”

President Trump has been repeatedly tweeting unsubstantiated claims that the he lost the election because the US presidential election was rigged.

“The United States had more votes than it had people voting, by a lot. This travesty cannot be allowed to stand,” Trump tweeted in the run up to the Washington riots. “It was a Rigged Election, one not even fit for third world countries!”

Canadians are reacting angrily on Facebook to what many see as a Conservative attempt to sow seeds of doubt about election integrity, with a number of people reporting the page to Elections Canada.

“Would Elections Canada please have a look at the Conservative Party’s website – in particular to erroneous assertions being made about the conduct of our federal elections,” Diane Marie tweeted.

“This is ‘exactly’ how Trump prepared his supporters for the false and dangerous narrative that the election was stolen,” Adam Bolt said. “Beware Canada.

“This is more than slightly concerning,” David Rowaan said. “After the events of this week [Conservative Party of Canada] should be ashamed of using any language that capitalizes on the idea of stealing elections.”

Even Justin Trudeau’s opponents are calling on Conservative leader Erin O’Toole to refrain from engaging in what they view as dangerous rhetoric.

There has been a recent uptick in comments spouting conspiracy theories about alleged election rigging on the Canada Proud Facebook page founded by O’Toole’s campaign director Jeff Ballingall.

“[Justin Trudeau] wants a trip to the poles[sic] during the pandemic so he can force mail in ballots and he and his Dominion voting buddies will cheat and steal every damn vote he could get,” writes Steve Murray in a comment that has been liked more than 350 times.
Elections Canada has repeatedly refuted these conspiracy theories.

“Elections Canada does not use Dominion Voting Systems,” the independent, non-partisan agency responsible for conducting federal elections tweeted last year. “We use paper ballots counted by hand in front of scrutineers and have never used voting machines or electronic tabulators to count votes in our 100-year history.”

Commenters on the same page have also repeatedly made violent threats against Trudeau and his family.

Request for comment on Conservative Party of Canada phone lines have gone unanswered.

Update: Conservative Party of Canada took down the page after we published this article.

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