A major topic of discussion by the media in Canada these days seems to be the extent to which China has, or has not, influenced our electoral processes in recent federal and provincial elections. Because in the current debate there is an appearance the federal Liberals may actually have benefited from such alleged meddling it has understandably become a bipartisan issue, creating sound and fury which conveniently obscures the real issue.
The real issue is not if this has been going on, as anyone with any political understanding knows, of course, these influencing attempts have occurred, and Western governments themselves engage in such activity; the media have acknowledged it was widely known about by our intelligence agencies; it is even acknowledged that Liberal cabinet members were “frequently” briefed on the topic for the past number of years. But no need to fear, these attempts did not undermine the democratic integrity of our electoral processes in a broadly general manner. Or did they?
Justin Trudeau has never acknowledged whether or not CSIS advised him to reject the candidacy of Liberal hopeful, Han Dong in the 2019 election as has been alleged, and that is the issue which deserves more careful scrutiny. Dong added another seat to the Liberal’s slim minority government, and the significant question to be determined is if Trudeau chose to ignore a CSIS warning because of partisan considerations about a popular candidate. Answer this question in an open and forthright manner and we can dispense with a costly, long-drawn-out inquiry which will be long forgotten by the time it has any significance for the general public.