The latest election interference drama

The latest Chinese interference drama has offered us a very valuable lesson: always confirm any hot goss you get before spreading it around.

What happened: A public inquiry into election interference by China might be on its way after the House of Commons passed a motion calling on the government to carry one out. 

  • The Liberal government, which has the final say on the matter, has been adamant that an inquiry is unnecessary, but Conservative and NDP MPs teamed up to ramp up the pressure for a new probe.

One MP who voted for the motion was Han Dong, who, mere hours earlier, resigned from the Liberal caucus to sit as an independent as he faces allegations of Chinese collusion.

The Prime Minister’s Office said CSIS transcripts of Dong and the diplomat’s chat revealed “no actionable evidence” to confirm the claim. For his part, Dong plans to sue for defamation. 

  • The Globe and Mail revealed it was offered the story weeks earlier, but passed on it because the source would not provide transcripts or recordings.

Why it matters: Allegations of election interference and Chinese collusion are serious, but the murkiness of Dong’s situation highlights the need for cold, hard conversation transcripts. 

What’s next: Public inquiries are not without their flaws, but the House of Commons (and most Canadians) are clamouring for some way to find what actually happened here.—QH