House of Commons Procedure and Practice
Edited by Robert Marleau and Camille Montpetit
2000 EditionMore information …
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4. The House of Commons and Its Members

Bribery and Corruption in Elections

Over the years, Parliament has passed several statutes touching on bribery and corruption in elections, delegating to the courts the authority to decide breaches of this kind when they occur. [173]  These laws ensure that fair elections are held, free from corruption, intimidation and other actions which may deter an elector, a candidate or an official involved in the election process. As such, where a candidate has engaged in bribery or some other form of corruption in being elected, severe penalties are provided for, including: several years’ disqualification from candidacy and voting in subsequent elections; fines, imprisonment, or both; a voided election; the loss of the right to sit or vote in the House. [174]  Still, the House has never relinquished its power to act in matters affecting its membership in instances other than those related to controverted elections. In addition, the House can always “receive petitions setting forth grievances and praying for a remedy, provided they do not question the return of a Member …” [175] 

Since 1926, the House has not been asked to investigate claims of corruption or bribery in elections, although suggestions have been made from time to time to do so. [176]  On at least one occasion, leave was granted for an emergency debate to discuss corruption in a specific election. [177] 

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