I can't comment specifically on what happened in previous elections, although I can say that I think these powers would definitely enable the commissioner of Canada elections to investigate more thoroughly any allegations or instances of attempting to misdirect individuals to vote at a different polling location.
I've heard compelling recommendations from the commissioner himself with regard to why it would be important, specifically because, as you know, with regard to the ability to lay charges, it's something that's under the office of public prosecutions. He has to get into a lineup, in terms of when that's able.... That can take a long time. Particularly when it comes to elections legislation, the timeliness of being able to lay charges is really important. It's important to demonstrate that the elections law is upheld. It's important to demonstrate that we as a country do not tolerate transgressions of elections legislation, and it's important to be able to actually pursue the case itself.
Number one, the ability to lay charges is very important. Number two, the ability to compel testimony is also very important, because when you have strong party systems and strong party loyalty, which, as you know, all of us who come from different political parties can understand, it can be difficult for individuals, who perhaps know something, to feel that they can say something or would say something. The ability to compel would give the commissioner the ability to further question.
What's important as well within this is that while he would have the ability to compel testimony, you cannot self-incriminate when you're being compelled to testify. When we're dealing with big scandals that have a big impact on the outcome of an election, it is important that there are the teeth to be able to uphold what really is excellent electoral legislation worldwide.