LETTERS: Voters voices restrained at the ballot box

To my way of thinking, those responsible have declared war against the voting public.

During my 22-year Canadian Forces career, I served on two NATO tours in West Germany.

Arriving in Westphalia in 1961 for the NATO build up due to the Berlin Wall Crisis I personally experienced the shear delight in witnessing the German people regaining their rights to the four basic freedoms: free speech, a free press, the right to assemble and free elections.

Canadian NATO troops were highly respected by their hosts, the people of West Germany. The Canadian forces during those years — before PE Trudeau arrived — were the pride and envy of the entire alliance. We established the standard for all NATO troops. We were admired because in the eyes of the German people, we were recognized as the best military power.

Canadian troops do not often toot their own horns. We didn’t brag about our solid reputation; we did not have to, our professionalism and reputation did the talking for us. Canadian NATO  troops were all volunteers; most other national contingents were drawn from the ranks of conscripted troops.

How then could Canada and its politics have slipped from the top of the barrel to its bottom? I refer of course to the recent municipal election, where sadly for all voters in Penticton, we got the shaft. Only a fool or an idiot would have missed the obvious deceptive rigging of the vote.

Kelowna with three times Penticton’s population had 13 polling places — Penticton had one polling place. I will declare with this letter that Penticton voters were deliberately deceived by a cunning strategic plan to stifle the vote — we were deceived and our right to a free and democratic election was removed. A shot has been fired across the bow of the silent majority. For some of you it may be your last shot. The damage caused will have far-ranging political effects. History reminds us that this kind of deception and treachery has lead to civil war in scores of failed nations.

To my way of thinking, those responsible have declared war against the voting public.  While on active duty as a serving Canadian United Nations soldier, I have served in countries where their political leadership removed the right to vote in free elections. God forbid, I never expected to witness such a diabolical and deceitful act in Canada.

All of you have made your bed, now each of you will have to lie in it, until such time as is necessary, when eventually a judicial enquiry and a forensic audit can be held by a retired judge from either Alberta or Saskatchewan. The longer it takes to correct and solve this crisis the more economic and political damage to the name of Penticton will increase.

A foot note to this letter: recently I have asked German immigrants to Canada if they remember when they were children how disappointed their parents were when Hitler removed their rights to free elections. These German Canadians arrived in Canada as immigrant children during the late 40s and early 50s; many were visibly shaken when they asked me how something so fundamental as free elections in Canada could have been deliberately removed from them.

Many born in Canada citizens have never experienced  the consequence of being denied the right to vote.

One way or another that election disaster will be corrected. Those guilty of deliberately removing the right of a citizen, the privilege of voting in a free and democratic election the next time you walk past a military cenotaph — or view Canadian veterans on parade during a Remembrance Day anniversary celebration — take a good look at the names displayed on any cenotaph in Canada.

More than 100,000 were killed in two World Wars; they lie in scores of European military cemeteries. 512 were killed in the Korean War, more than 100 were killed on UN peace keeping missions, 158 were killed in the Afghan War.

The Penticton men lost in those conflicts will be rolling over in their graves.

Ernie Slump

Canadian Army retired




Penticton Western News