Conservative 'Robocalls' tricked voters in last election


mentalfloss
+1
#181
Quote: Originally Posted by MachjoView Post

So what are you expecting; that harper stick his nose in judicial issues? he's a member of the legislative, not judicial, branch of government.

It's in the way he frames the debate. Harper officially distanced himself from the Guelph employee who recently quit and basically said: "not my problem."

Rae, by contrast, made it very public that the Liberal staffer who just quit was his responsibility and that he is apologizing on his behalf. It's a much better way of exhibiting leadership and can also reinforce the concept of vicarious liability.
 
Machjo
+1
#182
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

It's in the way he frames the debate. Harper officially distanced himself from the Guelph employee who recently quit and basically said: "not my problem."

Rae, by contrast, made it very public that the Liberal staffer who just quit was his responsibility and that he is apologizing on his behalf. It's a much better way of exhibiting leadership and can also reinforce the concept of vicarious liability.

Then I apologize for the misunderstanding. If what you mean is that he could have worded things better and expressed more concern for the matter rather than seeming more concerned about just distancing himself from it, then I fully agree with you. This has been one of his problems from the very beginning, and one reason I'd have a very hard time voting for him if he were my local candidate.
 
mentalfloss
#183
The Liberals and NDP have so far provided names of 38 ridings which received reports of false or misleading calls during the 2011 federal election:

LIBERALS:

1. Sydney-Victoria (NS)

2. Egmont (PE)

3. Eglinton-Lawrence (ON)

4. Etobicoke Centre (ON)

5. Guelph (ON)

6. Cambridge (ON)

7. Hamilton East-Stoney Creek (ON)

8. Haldimand-Norfolk (ON)

9. Kitchener-Conestoga (ON)

10. Kitchener-Waterloo (ON)

11. London North Centre (ON)

12. London West (ON)

13. Mississauga East-Cooksville (ON)

14. Mount Royal (QC)

15. Niagara Falls (ON)

16. Nipissing-Timiskaming (ON)

17. Oakville (ON)

18. Ottawa-Orleans (ON)

19. Ottawa West-Nepean (ON)

20. Parkdale - High Park (ON) (also on the NDP list)

21. Perth - Wellington (ON)

22. Simcoe-Grey (ON)

23. St. Catharines (ON)

24. St. Paul's (ON)

25. Sudbury (ON) (also on the NDP list)

26. Wellington - Halton Hills (ON)

27. Willowdale (ON)

28. Saint Boniface (MB)

29. Winnipeg South Centre (MB)

NDP:

30. Davenport (ON)

31. Essex (ON)

32. Edmonton East (AB)

33. Elmwood-Transcona (MB)

34. Ottawa Centre (ON)

Parkdale-High Park (also on Liberal list)

35. South Shore-St. Margaret's (NS)

Sudbury (also on Liberal list)

36. Thunder Bay-Superior North (ON)

37. Windsor-Tecumseh (ON)

38. Winnipeg South (MB)


Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro added his own riding to the list:

39. Peterborough (ON)


Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said Monday her riding also had false calls:

40. Saanich-Gulf Islands (B.C.)
 
JLM
#184
Ho ho ho- the plot thickens. Just listening to "The Current" on C.B.C. radio, another little fact has come to light- there were in fact well over 100 polling locations that did in fact change (different from those shown on people's voting cards) - now it's a real mess.
 
mentalfloss
#185
Election-fraud probe zeroes in on Tories in Guelph

The Elections Canada probe into fraudulent phone calls in the Ontario riding of Guelph is focused on one or more individuals directly linked to the Conservative Party, court records show.

A production order, filed in Edmonton on November 23, called on robo-call operator RackNine Inc. to provide all documents related to its contacts with “representatives of the Conservative Party general election campaign in Guelph.”

In addition, Elections Canada called on the firm to provide all details of its robo-calls in the 519 and 226 area codes in the Guelph area on election day last year. The investigator requested the script and the recording of the phone messages that were broadcast on May 2, 2011.

The opposition has alleged the phone calls, which impersonated an Elections Canada official, were designed to send Liberal or NDP supporters to fake polling stations, in a bid to suppress their votes. Elections Canada does not have phone numbers in its database and never contacts voters by phone.

“It is more in sadness than anger that Canadians watch what could be the most comprehensive election fraud in Canadian history,” NDP MP Pat Martin said during Question Period Monday. “This took big money and sophistication to execute.”

The Conservatives are calling on the opposition parties to pass on all allegations of electoral fraud to the Elections Canada investigation.

“If the NDP has any information that inappropriate calls were placed, and we certainly have information in some cases, which we have given to Elections Canada, then I challenge that party to produce that information and give it to Elections Canada,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper said.

There are a variety of allegations relating to crank phone calls in the last election, from harassing messages to clearly misleading ones, designed to deter non-Conservative voters from casting ballots in favour of the Liberal Party, the NDP or the Green Party.

Regarding the situation in Guelph, the Conservatives are suggesting it was the work of one or more unnamed “local” officials, acting without authorization from the national campaign.

The president of RackNine said he is co-operating with the investigation and has offered information on the account used to send out crank calls. “I was shocked and distressed to learn that some party had used our services to try and disrupt voting during the 2011 federal election. We take these allegations very seriously,” RackNine president Matt Meier said in a statement last week.

Mr. Meier added that his firm’s goal is to help campaigns contact voters in a bid to encourage them to exercise their democratic rights.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...ontent=2352420
 
Tonington
+1
#186
Quote: Originally Posted by JLMView Post

Ho ho ho- the plot thickens. Just listening to "The Current" on C.B.C. radio, another little fact has come to light- there were in fact well over 100 polling locations that did in fact change (different from those shown on people's voting cards) - now it's a real mess.

But they don't call people, how many volunteers would they need to contact every one for 100 poll location changes? Just like when your bank calls you and asks you for your information...something doesn't smell right.
 
JLM
+1
#187
Quote: Originally Posted by ToningtonView Post

But they don't call people, how many volunteers would they need to contact every one for 100 poll location changes? Just like when your bank calls you and asks you for your information...something doesn't smell right.

Yes, they did call people.
 
earth_as_one
+1
#188
Quote: Originally Posted by MachjoView Post

I'll defend Harper here. If he genuinely knew nothing about this, then he's right to think of this as strictly a legal issue and those involved will pay; and if a re-election is ordered either by the Supreme Court or the Governor General, then he bows to that decision.

I can criticize Harper for many things, but if he truly is innocent of this, then his behaviour thus far is reasonable. Now if he is privy to something, that's a different matter of course.

I also doubt Harper had anything to do with this. He can't be that dumb. However, the evidence points to his party and his reaction was "if you have any evidence, give it to the authorities". Implying they have no intention or interest in finding out the truth. that's troubling....

What Harper should have said, "The Conservative Party and the PMO's office takes these charges seriously and we are cooperating with the police investigation. We will comment further as this case develops, but rest assured, the Conservative Party is determined to get to the truth of these serious allegations."
 
mentalfloss
#189
QP fodder..

NDP are grilling the CPC by claiming that both NDP and Liberals supported measures for the head of Elections Canada to obtain all information necessary during an investigation. The CPC did not support the measure to allow Elections Canada to obtain certain evidence from their party in the event of an investigation.

CPC's response was to avoid the question and blame NDP for supporting a union.
 
JLM
#190
Quote: Originally Posted by earth_as_oneView Post

I also doubt Harper had anything to do with this. He can't be that dumb. However, the evidence points to his party and his reaction was "if you have any evidence, give it to the authorities". Implying they have no intention or interest in finding out the truth. that's troubling....

What Harper should have said, "The Conservative Party and the PMO's office takes these charges seriously and we are cooperating with the police investigation. We will comment further as this case develops, but rest assured, the Conservative Party is determined to get to the truth of these serious allegations."

Maybe, maybe not. Let's suppose some S.O.B. accused me of robbing a bank because money was missing and I lived right beside the bank. I wouldn't feel obligated to utter a single word (except maybe "F**K you")
 
damngrumpy
+2
#191
The fact remains that a candidate is responsible for the actions of all their volunteers and employees.
The candidate is responsible for advertising and that the funding has been spent correctly. The
candidate is responsible for the content of brochures and scripts. The candidate is responsible for the
conduct of those working on his behalf including robo calls. The office of the candidate cannot use
the name of Elections Canada on anything without written permission. The call can state that the
polling station has been changed by Election Canada but you should contact Elections Canada for
details. This did not happen.
In my view the robo calls were an addition to alleged changes in order to cause confusion and the
problem is in some cases the name Elections Canada was used before the information was given.

Now it must be determined how Elections Canada distributed the information did they themselves
make robo call? I would find that hard to believe, but JLM you are right this could be one hell of a
mess before it over. Despite that, if the calls were made by a conservative robo call system or
network there could be action taken by Elections Canada that could overturn some ridings and then
force an election. This is how democracy works no one can be rewarded for illegal activity if such
activity took place. That remains to be seen.
About the candidate being responsible? I know a little about it because I ran as a candidate back in
1997 before I was recertified as sane (joke ) intended . One would have to be crazy to want such a
job in my opinion looking back on it now.
 
Machjo
+1
#192
Quote: Originally Posted by earth_as_oneView Post

I also doubt Harper had anything to do with this. He can't be that dumb. However, the evidence points to his party and his reaction was "if you have any evidence, give it to the authorities". Implying they have no intention or interest in finding out the truth. that's troubling....

What Harper should have said, "The Conservative Party and the PMO's office takes these charges seriously and we are cooperating with the police investigation. We will comment further as this case develops, but rest assured, the Conservative Party is determined to get to the truth of these serious allegations."

Agreed... or at least something along those lines. Bear in mind though the conservative Party is a private organization subject to the same laws as private citizens, so for the most part the CPC cannot start investigating the personal files of Conservative party members. That's a matter for the police. But I do agree that Harper could have expressed more concern and so agree with your comment above.

Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

QP fodder..

NDP are grilling the CPC by claiming that both NDP and Liberals supported measures for the head of Elections Canada to obtain all information necessary during an investigation. The CPC did not support the measure to allow Elections Canada to obtain certain evidence from their party in the event of an investigation.

CPC's response was to avoid the question and blame NDP for supporting a union.

Interesting. Any links? And was this beofre or after this scandal?
 
damngrumpy
#193
Let there be no doubt Elections Canada can investigate anything they want. They do have
sweeping powers that most do not know. In addition many politicians and political parties
do not know the sweeping powers Elections Canada has. In 1997 I had a run in with said
group. I was enquiring as to the demand for pledges by the Christian Coalition. They were
persuading candidates to sign pledges stating they would vote for certain positions in the
House in exchange for votes prior to being elected.
Believe it or not it is against parliamentary law to do so. Elections Canada looked into the
matter. They did indeed demand to know from candidates of all parties if they had signed
such material. Every single party had signed pledges for one group or another on all sides
of the societal debate. We all got reminders not to do this and it was left as I recall to the
pages of history.
I am trying to remember the section I think it is around section 137 of the Federal Elections
Act but I can't be positive and I can't find the paperwork on that file, here or in storage.
Yes I can be a pack rat about stuff like this but some time ago I had a flood in my basement
office I will keep looking.
Elections Canada will usually use the police, however as this is a parliamentary matter I
believe they can do their own investigation. Will be interesting to see how opinions change
over time.
 
mentalfloss
#194
Quote: Originally Posted by MachjoView Post

Interesting. Any links? And was this beofre or after this scandal?

Not sure.. QP goes back pretty quickly and it's difficult to parse everything.. I'll do some digging.

Quote: Originally Posted by JLMView Post

Maybe, maybe not. Let's suppose some S.O.B. accused me of robbing a bank because money was missing and I lived right beside the bank. I wouldn't feel obligated to utter a single word (except maybe "F**K you")

That's a terrible analogy because there is no circumstantial evidence pointing to your guilt. In the case of the robocalls, there is plenty for a case that this fraud is the responsibility of some CPC members.
 
Tonington
+1
#195
Quote: Originally Posted by JLMView Post

Yes, they did call people.

I think you misunderstood what you heard on the radio, that or the people interviewed on the radio were mistaken. Read the Information Officer's Manual (external - login to view) provided by Elections Canada, there's nothing in there about calling electors to inform them of moved poll stations. They can issue a Transfer Certificate when the polling station has moved after the time the voter information card was issued.

And here's the information contained on the National Register of Electors (external - login to view):
The National Register of Electors is a database containing the personal information of Canadians who are qualified to vote. It contains the name, address, sex and date of birth of each elector, as well as a unique identifier assigned to each elector to help track changes in his or her personal information. Elections Canada uses the information in the Register to create voters lists for electoral events, and Canadian electors may choose whether or not to have their names listed in the Register.
 
Machjo
+2
#196
Quote: Originally Posted by JLMView Post

Maybe, maybe not. Let's suppose some S.O.B. accused me of robbing a bank because money was missing and I lived right beside the bank. I wouldn't feel obligated to utter a single word (except maybe "F**K you")

You do have a point there too. just because the perpetrator may be a Conservative, it could turn out to be a frame. Also, even if it's eventually proven it's a Conservative, that does not mean the party approved of a potential rogue Conservative's actions, in which case the Conservative Party itself becomes a victim of sorts owing to the soiling of the party's reputation.

Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

Not sure.. QP goes back pretty quickly and it's difficult to parse everything.. I'll do some digging.



That's a terrible analogy because there is no circumstantial evidence pointing to your guilt. In the case of the robocalls, there is plenty for a case that this fraud is the responsibility of some CPC members.

PC members and the PC party are two different things.
 
Goober
#197
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

Not sure.. QP goes back pretty quickly and it's difficult to parse everything.. I'll do some digging.



That's a terrible analogy because there is no circumstantial evidence pointing to your guilt. In the case of the robocalls, there is plenty for a case that this fraud is the responsibility of some CPC members.

Now that call center in Ontario - They were told to pose as Conservatives to send people to the wrong poll. Is that correct?
 
Colpy
+3
#198
Quote: Originally Posted by Vanni FucciView Post

Hoo boy! I gotta tell ya, I find myself rather sickened by these developments. As it should any voting Canadian, regardless of their political stripe.

What sickens me even more, is the knowledge that those responsible will likely never be held accountable. All low to mid-level staffer in any conservative office should be dusting off their resumes in anticipation of being thrown on this grenade!

I view any investigation into this with extreme incredulity as I don't think that any agency involved is capable of following the convoluted threads...and even if followed to their conclusion, will likely not result in any significant change, as the Canada Elections Act is too cumbersome a tool to oust illigitimate governments.

I try to be hopefully optimistic in the face of such tyranny, as all should be able to agree that whether it was by a few or by many, the perpetrators of this act were purposefully trying to affect the outcome of an election, and all involved are as reprehensible as child pornographers!

...on crack!

A little overstated, I think.

I am a Conservative Party member, and before that I was a Canadian Alliance member, and before that a Reform member. This has been no secret, and yes, I have been misdirected to polls back when that bit of Liberal pond scum by the name of Paul Zed was trying desperately to hang on to his seat.

He failed.

But if I had not been absolutely determined to cast my vote, it would not have happened. (I mean casting my vote, not Zed getting kicked...lol)

It doesn't matter whether the Liberals are in, or the Conservatives.......these things happen. And they are, in both cases, not usually the end result of some plot hatched in Tory or Grit back rooms by the big boys. They are usually the result of an individual MP and his staff, or an over-zealous staff member, in this case one with some knowledge of the game.

Now, it matters not a whit to me whether these people are Liberal, Conservative, NDP, or Raving Loonie Party members.

Election manipulation and/or fraud chips away at the very foundation of our democratic society, and shakes the faith of the people in the ability of the system to represent them (see the post above!) IMHO, it ranks right up there with sedition, and the offenders need to be tracked down, charged, and if convicted given maximum prison terms.

I have no idea of the possible penalties, but I think ten or fifteen years would give any other potential fiddlers pause...........
 
mentalfloss
+1
#199
Documents show ‘Pierre Poutine’ owned disposable cellphone in robocall scandal

The fraudulent robocall that misdirected voters in Guelph came from a Virgin Mobile disposable cellphone registered to one Pierre Poutine, on Separatist Street, in Joliette, Que, court documents obtained by Postmedia News, the Ottawa Citizen and the Edmonton Journal show.

The obviously fabricated name appears to have been a ruse to evade detection in the event the number was ever investigated.

An Information to Obtain a Production Order was filed at the Edmonton courthouse in November to allow Elections Canada investigator Al Mathews to have access to records belonging to RackNine, the Conservative voice broadcasting firm that was used by whoever made the fraudulent calls into Guelph, Ont., causing chaos at a polling station.

The “Pierre Poutine” phone was activated April 30, two days before the election, and called only two numbers other than its own voice mail. Both corresponded to RackNine.

There is a restaurant in Guelph named Pierre’s Poutine.

The documents show that several other numbers associated with Conservative candidate Marty Burke’s campaign called RackNine during the campaign. The contact person was given as Andrew Prescott, Burke’s deputy campaign manager.

Prescott, who swears he had no role in the fraudulent calls, reportedly called RackNine on election day to send out a mass call warning Conservative supporters to disregard bogus calls.

The records show that 31 calls to RackNine were made from phones associated with the campaign between March 26 and May 5.

Matthews used phone records to trace all phone numbers from Eastern Canada to RackNine during the election period. He found 40 calls from area code 613 — the Ottawa area — which he found traced back to voice recordings for Rebecca Rogers and Chris Ruge or Ruger of the Conservative Party.

The documents point out that the campaign did not declare in its financial reports any expenses related to RackNine, as Elections Canada requires all campaigns to do.

Documents show (external - login to view)

 
Machjo
#200
Quote: Originally Posted by ColpyView Post

A little overstated, I think.

I am a Conservative Party member, and before that I was a Canadian Alliance member, and before that a Reform member. This has been no secret, and yes, I have been misdirected to polls back when that bit of Liberal pond scum by the name of Paul Zed was trying desperately to hang on to his seat.

He failed.

But if I had not been absolutely determined to cast my vote, it would not have happened. (I mean casting my vote, not Zed getting kicked...lol)

It doesn't matter whether the Liberals are in, or the Conservatives.......these things happen. And they are, in both cases, not usually the end result of some plot hatched in Tory or Grit back rooms by the big boys. They are usually the result of an individual MP and his staff, or an over-zealous staff member, in this case one with some knowledge of the game.

Now, it matters not a whit to me whether these people are Liberal, Conservative, NDP, or Raving Loonie Party members.

Election manipulation and/or fraud chips away at the very foundation of our democratic society, and shakes the faith of the people in the ability of the system to represent them (see the post above!) IMHO, it ranks right up there with sedition, and the offenders need to be tracked down, charged, and if convicted given maximum prison terms.

I have no idea of the possible penalties, but I think ten or fifteen years would give any other potential fiddlers pause...........

Economically productive hard labour I hope, because I don't want to have to feed them. Taxed enough as it is.
 
Goober
#201
Quote: Originally Posted by ColpyView Post

A little overstated, I think.

I am a Conservative Party member, and before that I was a Canadian Alliance member, and before that a Reform member. This has been no secret, and yes, I have been misdirected to polls back when that bit of Liberal pond scum by the name of Paul Zed was trying desperately to hang on to his seat.

He failed.

But if I had not been absolutely determined to cast my vote, it would not have happened. (I mean casting my vote, not Zed getting kicked...lol)

It doesn't matter whether the Liberals are in, or the Conservatives.......these things happen. And they are, in both cases, not usually the end result of some plot hatched in Tory or Grit back rooms by the big boys. They are usually the result of an individual MP and his staff, or an over-zealous staff member, in this case one with some knowledge of the game.

Now, it matters not a whit to me whether these people are Liberal, Conservative, NDP, or Raving Loonie Party members.

Election manipulation and/or fraud chips away at the very foundation of our democratic society, and shakes the faith of the people in the ability of the system to represent them (see the post above!) IMHO, it ranks right up there with sedition, and the offenders need to be tracked down, charged, and if convicted given maximum prison terms.

I have no idea of the possible penalties, but I think ten or fifteen years would give any other potential fiddlers pause...........

I have a feeling deep inside that there will be people doing digger time as we called it in the Army. Now it may not be a whole hell of a lot. But when connected to a Party or Parties well wait for the next election.
And there is a reasonable possibility that a judge may overturn the results in riding (s) where the votes were quite tight. Then watch the spin.
 
Machjo
#202
And Colpie does bring up a valid point that it might not be one organized scam but rather coincidental scams across many ridings, each locally organized.
 
Goober
#203
Quote: Originally Posted by MachjoView Post

And Colpie does bring up a valid point that it might not be one organized scam but rather coincidental scams across many ridings, each locally organized.

All of the major parties play this game. Just that the Cons are better orged than the others, up to date info, money, lists down to who is and is not.
 
earth_as_one
#204
I am not convinced that everyone does this, or that it should be tolerated to any degree. I agree with Colpy:

Election manipulation and/or fraud chips away at the very foundation of our democratic society, and shakes the faith of the people in the ability of the system to represent them (see the post above!) IMHO, it ranks right up there with sedition, and the offenders need to be tracked down, charged, and if convicted given maximum prison terms.
 
Colpy
+6
#205  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by earth_as_oneView Post

I am not convinced that everyone does this, or that it should be tolerated to any degree. I agree with Colpy:

Election manipulation and/or fraud chips away at the very foundation of our democratic society, and shakes the faith of the people in the ability of the system to represent them (see the post above!) IMHO, it ranks right up there with sedition, and the offenders need to be tracked down, charged, and if convicted given maximum prison terms.

I will immediately rethink my position...


lol
 
Machjo
#206
Quote: Originally Posted by GooberView Post

All of the major parties play this game. Just that the Cons are better orged than the others, up to date info, money, lists down to who is and is not.

But if it turns out to be multiple local scams, then the charges would apply to local Conservatives only and not the party, or if organized at the local level, then possibly the leadership of the local conservative Association and its leadership, but not likely to affect the party as a whole.

And as colpie said, we might even find other party members guilty too. We'll see how big this gets.
 
Tonington
#207
Quote: Originally Posted by JLMView Post

Yes, they did call people.

As a follow up to my last response to you, I listened to The Current podcast. What Dean Del Mastro -parliamentary secretary to the Prime Minister- said, was that 127 polling locations were changed by Elections Canada between the mailing of voter information cards and the day of the election, and that the Conservative party called it's members to inform them of the changes.
 
Machjo
+1
#208
Fraudulent election phone calls raise more questions - Politics - CBC News

Now it looks like some of the calls originated from the US. Any one making these calls from the US would of course be subject to any applicable US law (and hopefully US election laws apply to foreign elections too), though anyone planning such calls from Canada would be subject to Canadian laws.

This also makes it clear that we ought to ensure Canadian laws relating to election fraud apply not only to election fraud within Canada but also to international election fraud from within Canada, assuming we don't have that already; and encourage other countries around teh world to pass similar laws.
 
JLM
#209
Quote: Originally Posted by ToningtonView Post

As a follow up to my last response to you, I listened to The Current podcast. What Dean Del Mastro -parliamentary secretary to the Prime Minister- said, was that 127 polling locations were changed by Elections Canada between the mailing of voter information cards and the day of the election, and that the Conservative party called it's members to inform them of the changes.


O.K. I stand corrected.
 
CDNBear
+5
#210
Hébert: Robo-call accusations raise uncomfortable questions

By Chantal Hébert

MONTREAL—If there is a tactical scheme behind the so-called voter suppression scandal, it is not readily apparent in the list of allegedly abused ridings put forward by the opposition parties.

Only a small fraction of the 50 federal seats where the margin of victory was less than 5 per cent last May — and where presumably every vote counted — are alleged to have been targeted by fraudulent calls.

Liberal ridings such as Brampton-Springdale and Ajax-Pickering that were known to be high on the Conservatives’ to-win list (and that they did win) were apparently not plagued by such calls.

On the other hand, a substantial number of the three dozen ridings on the opposition list were safe Conservative seats.

Take the Ontario riding of Wellington-Halton Hills. On May 2, former Conservative minister Michael Chong kept the seat with a majority of 26,000 and 63 per cent of the vote. He clearly needed no help to get re-elected.

Chong has emerged as one of the least partisan voices in Parliament. He resigned from Stephen Harper’s first cabinet over a matter of principle. It is hard to imagine that he would have countenanced party-sanctioned dirty tricks in his riding.

In Simcoe-Grey, the Conservatives won by more than 20,000 votes and the aggrieved Liberals ran fourth, behind the NDP and former Conservative incumbent Helena Guergis.

In the Toronto riding of Parkdale-High Park, both opposition parties have complained that their supporters were victims of early morning or late night calls from people misrepresenting themselves as volunteers for their campaigns. In Davenport, the NDP reported the same complaint.

The Conservatives did not really have a dog in either fight. They ran a distant third in both ridings.

And then did Justice Minister Rob Nicholson (majority 16,000 +) or Conservative incumbent Rick Dykstra (majority 13,000 +) seriously need a dose of dark arts to hang on their Niagara Falls and St. Catharines ridings?

A Machiavellian mastermind could always have orchestrated fraudulent calls to a host of ridings where such tricks were unlikely to affect the outcome for or against the Conservatives just to throw anyone off the scent of an orchestrated pattern.

But that sounds like a high-risk investment for a relatively low yield. The Conservative vote is not noticeably more vigorous in the ridings where the opposition is alleging that fraudulent calls took place than in comparable ones.

That is not to say that something is not rotten about the state of Canada’s electoral democracy or that the ruling Conservatives have no responsibility in that deteriorated state. But they are not alone.

Under Stephen Harper, the Conservatives have pushed the line of what is considered fair game in partisan politics.

It now basically sits on the divide between what is legal and what is not. The evidence suggests that the closer parties play to that line, the greater the chances that some of their partisans will cross it.

The Liberals just learned that the hard way when it was found that one of their staffers was responsible for leaking details of Public Safety Minister Vic Toews’ private life on Twitter.

Too often, the opposition has been prompt to follow the Conservatives down the same slippery slope.

On that score, the addiction of all federal parties to robo-calling is a telling development.

A technique originally used to dispense useful information to prospective supporters is being turned into an instrument of harassment.
When MP Lise St-Denis left the NDP to sit as a Liberal in January, the New Democrats hired a firm to robo-call her constituents of Saint-Maurice-Champlain.

The NDP was not identified as the sponsor of the calls and recipients were not told that if they pressed 1 to signal their displeasure with St-Denis, they would be re-directed to her riding office — where they swamped the phone lines for a number of days.

There is nothing illegal about the ploy and NDP strategists profess to be totally comfortable with it.

But should it have its place an ethically moral political environment?

Throwing rocks at the Conservatives with one hand will achieve little for the common good if the opposition parties are busy expanding their own glass houses with the other.

Canada News: Hébert: Robo-call accusations raise uncomfortable questions - thestar.com
Last edited by CDNBear; Feb 28th, 2012 at 05:14 PM..
 

Similar Threads

126
Conservative voters have amnesia!!!
by JonB2004 | Jun 2nd, 2006
no new posts