Call in the UN Election Observers
For starters, William Corbett and other top officials are going to have to resign or be Keened. The government can't say it doesn't trust elections officials and then not replace them. So that alone means it's gonna get messy.
As for the talk about this hurting Elections Canada's credibility abroad...well, I doubt many Canadians will even know this has happened, never mind many Haitians (then again, I'm sure those with a satellite dish always tune into Don Newman). Domestically, the Tories are going to have to clarify their position because, with an election around the corner, this leaves things in a bit of an awkward position.
In short, I don't think this feud is going to go away anytime soon...
UPDATE: Via a very knowledgeable anonymous poster in the comments section, clarification on how this whole thing works:
There's an important distinction between the positions of the Chief Electoral Office and the Commissioner of Canadian Elections and the positions of a member of the CNSC and the president of the CNSC.
Linda Keen is a permanent member of the CNSC appointed by the Governor in Council under s. 10(1) of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act. She was formerly designated the president of the CNSC by the Governor in Council pursuant to s. 10(3). A permanent member may only be removed by the Governor in Council for cause (s. 10(5)).
It appears that the government received legal advice that it had no cause to remove Keen from the Commission. Instead, it stripped her of her designation as president. She remains a member of the CNSC.
Contrast that with the positions of the Chief Electoral Officer and the Commissioner of Canada Elections, who are actually even more protected against reprisal by the government.
Under s. 13 of the Canada Elections Act, the House of Commons appoints the Chief Electoral Officer by resolution. The CEO may only be removed for cause by the Governor General on address of the Senate and House of Commons. In other words, the Governor in Council has no power to remove the CEO, for cause or otherwise. Only the Governor General, on the advice of Parliament, has that power.
The Commissioner is appointed by the CEO pursuant to s. 509 of the Canada Elections Act. As it is the role of the Commissioner to ensure the Act is enforced, I doubt anyone other than the CEO could remove the Commissioner, and then only for cause.
So, it is irrelevant insofar as the CEO or Commissioner's security of tenure is concerned that the government has voted no confidence. What is important is that the CEO retains the confidence of Parliament, which he has.
So, I'm not too concerned about Elections Canada. They're protected against reprisals, and even if the Conservatives did damage the institution's reputation, I think Canadian democracy will survive.
The really interesting question is where we go from here.
What happens if and when the Conservative lose a court case on this. What happens if their judicial review application gets dismissed? What happens if the Conservative Fund or the Conservative Party gets charged with and convicted of an offence? Will they then vote no confidence in the courts?
It is one thing for the government to vote no confidence in the institution that runs elections.
It is another thing entirely for the government to essentially deny the legitimacy of the institution that enforces the constitution and the rule of law. Enough wingnut Reform types have muttered about "activist judges" and "out of control courts" in the past that I would not dismiss this eventuality out of hand if a court has to make a decision on "in and out".
And that's when I'll get concerned.