Brad Butt did not actually see what he said he actually saw

And the Christophersonian filibuster continues

Yesterday’s debate of the NDP’s motion on the Fair Elections Act starts here and resumes here—including speeches from the minister of democratic reform, NDP critic Craig Scott and Liberal critic Scott Simms. Mr. Scott suggested an amendment that would narrow the exclusion for fundraising that the legislation allows.

The debate was mostly overshadowed by something that occurred before the debate began—Conservative MP Brad Butt rising on a point of order during debate of a private member’s bill to report to the House that he had made a statement on February 6 that was “not accurate.” Back on February 6, Mr. Butt said that he had “actually witnessed other people picking up the voter cards, going to the campaign office of whatever candidate they support and handing out these voter cards to other individuals, who then walk into voting stations with friends who vouch for them with no ID” and that he had “seen campaign workers follow, pick up a dozen of them afterward, and walk out. Why are they doing that? They are doing it so they can hand those cards to other people, who will then be vouched for at a voting booth and vote illegally.” A YouTube user who seems to specialize in embarrassing clips of Conservatives and New Democrats, has compiled the video evidence.

A week after making those remarks in the House, Mr. Butt remarked at a meeting of the Procedure and House Affairs committee that he had “certainly heard anecdotally from members [of the Greater Toronto Apartment Association] that often when voter information cards are mailed into apartment buildings, residents will of course go their mail room, they will open up their mailbox, pull out whatever is there, a lot of it is often flyers, but also the voter ID card, or the voter notification card as I prefer to call it—it really isn’t identification, it is a notification card—is often discarded in the mailroom, in the garbage can or in the blue box, as the case may be. I have heard anecdotally that individuals have subsequently come into those mail rooms, they have grabbed those voter notification cards, and presumably for a reason I assume to use those cards to vouch for an individual who would then go to vote in place of the real voter who was the tenant in that unit.”

In hindsight, there should have been more attention directed at Mr. Butt’s original comments—he was basically confessing to having witnessed election fraud or at least possible evidence thereof. Indeed, the Globe now reports that a complaint regarding Mr. Butt’s comments had been filed with Elections Canada.

This morning, NDP House leader Nathan Cullen stood on a point of privilege to ask that the Speaker find that Mr. Butt’s original statement in the House amounted to a prima facie case of contempt of the House. Government House leader Peter Van Loan countered that Mr. Butt’s move to correct the record addresses any concern about contempt.

This afternoon, Mr. Butt returned to his feet to explain that he was relaying information that had been relayed to him “many years ago” from second- and third-hand parties when he worked in the rental housing industry. He also apologized to “all Canadians and to all members of this House,” saying it was never his intention to mislead the House.

Meanwhile, NDP MP David Christopherson talked out another two hours at the Procedure and House Affairs committee this morning, continuing his filibuster to protest the Conservative side’s unwillingness to conduct hearings on the Fair Elections Act outside Ottawa.




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Brad Butt did not actually see what he said he actually saw

  1. It’s an easy mistake to make.

    • LOL if you’re a pretzel.

      • Re: “easy mistakes”: Methinks I detect I certain note of sarcasm . . .?

        • Heh…just a tad, yes.

          • A bit of sarcasm in the original comment too, in case anyone was wondering.

    • a con weasel like the rest of them

  2. Conservatives lie it’s waht they do,
    They lie to me, they lie to you
    And now Mr. Butt says there’s no difference between
    What he has said and what he’s told he has seen.

  3. Perhaps Mr Mulcair might have stood and said that he had heard anecdotally, that the Conservatives were planning to cheat in the next election. Anecdotally, that seems to be allowed.

    • No, what he might have said was that he actually saw a Conservative Party Worker try to take a ballot box away while people were voti.. oh, wait.. sorry. That’s a bad analogy…

      ..that actually happened.

    • No..He’s witnessed Conservatives cheating, but only anecdotally.

  4. The information was relayed to him many years ago from second and third hand parties and that is why he presented it as FACT.

    “I’m sorry Mr. Speaker, it was really a case of broken telephone, I should have known from that purple monkey dishwasher remark.”

  5. He’s just another backbench bobblehead trying to show the PMO he is willing to do or say anything they need him to.
    Streetsville must be so proud.

    • I bet they have really cool Economic Action Plan posters in Streetsville

  6. even this type of fraud that apparently didn’t happen isn’t possible because the voter information card can not be used as identification in apartment buildings. In 2011 it could only be used as ID in selected nursing homes, student residences and reserves, but it required another piece of ID in addition. It can’t be used in combination with vouching, there two pieces of ID are required to vouch. Unless the imaginary incident occurred in a nursing home, and the senior fraudster has another piece of ID proving to be the same someone else, picking up these cards can’t possibly be used for fraud.

    • Thank you for that. I bet even Poilievre doesn’t know that.

    • Voter cards “can’t possibly by used for fraud?”

      When political calls to residences before an election reveal that occupants are not intending to vote, or are in hospital, or are simply away, voter registration cards are helpful in obtaining specific, complete name and address information so someone else can use the name to vote.

      To get a vote on the basis of having someone vouch for your identify, only the “voucher” needs to have 2 pieces of ID. The person with the voter card simply has to state they are the person on the card at the residence printed on the card, and the card does not need to be presented. Voter cards, then, can be seen as very useful to those wishing to perpetrate election fraud. Of course, some advance planning would be necessary of the same sort that was revealed after the last 2011 election (where Harper Cons have not yet been cleared of election fraud using robocalls).

      Sorry, but your claim that voter cards are not useful for fraudulent voting is wrong.

      • You’ve seen this, of course. Just like Mr. Butts.

      • Words can be used for fraud. Better legislate.

  7. Brad Butthead. I’m sure he’s heard that one before. Anecdotally.

    • I’ve personally witnessed it…

  8. Ya, you can’t lie about what you saw when you didn’t see it. But the possibility of that being true, would take a bunch of lying election officials, cause I doubt that regular Canadians on mass would agree to re-vote in the same election hall.

    What would be more likely is that a election official, would take 50 voter cards, have 50 ballets, and when voting for themselves, would drop 50 ballets in there.

    stuffing a ballot box would be possible if you could have the same number of voter cards.

    • If we’re talking election officials they don’t even need the cards, do they? Just grab the ballots, fill them out stuff them in.

      • The voter notification cards wouldn’t get anyone a ballot at a properly functioning poll. They aren’t tallied, retained or counted, they are just a flyer that tells voters where to go vote, not a form of ID. And if the poll workers were in on a scam to use those cards, party scrutineers would object. It’s ridiculous that an elected official has such a stunted understanding of what actually happens at a polling station that he would make these kind of claims.

        Your scenario of ballot box stuffing also wouldn’t work. Ballots are tallied and registered in the poll book so they can be compared (audited) against the names that are either crossed off the voter’s list or sworn in and registered in the book.

        Voter fraud would have to be based on impersonating someone on the list or having someone on the list vouch for someone who is not. That’s why the failure to properly document vouching was an issue.

        It is, however, an issue that could easily be fixed with merit-based hiring of Returning Officers, who are currently partisan appointments that go on to hire Deputy Returning Officers and Poll Clerks.

        Fixing the process should be the focus, not banning vouching which is an important fail safe for ensuring someone gets to vote in a minority of instances when they get missed on the voter’s list and don’t have the requisite ID to demonstrate their residency.

      • exactly, I don’t like that people can go behind a curtain.

        if anything, every ballet should be seen going in, and the only thing that should be covered is the spot where you check the box with a black marker. A, B, or C, with the party and person running beside each letter. circle the a b or c , whatever. but in the open.

        And we should also use ink on our thumb. so you can only vote once, no matter how many voter cards you get.

      • Have ever work on an election? There are always people around representing different parties both as paid staff and as volunteer scrutineers. And those votes have to be cross referenced with the voters list. It wou be very hard to pull that off especially if the real person then came in to vote.

  9. A lying politician? What’s next, crooked senators?

  10. It turns out Butt is on the committee – surely he should be removed from it. Your opinion, Rick Omen?

    • Funny isn’t it the way Rick goes MIA when it’s obvious there is no defence for the stupidity of his team.

      • Or Francien or Cawm or any of the other PMO talking point regurgitators.

  11. This reminds me of the destruction of the long-form census, initially justified by a supposed huge number of privacy complaints which turned out to be something like 3. This government continues to lie to Canadians in its attempts to put ideology and self-interest above the public good.

  12. CONs lie.

    And when caught, Harper gives them no punishment.

  13. Of course this dweeb will get re-elected by the schmucks in his riding. That is one of the biggest problems with our democracy.

  14. Butt retracted his statement not because he lied in the house, because his statements were enough to have Maynard at Elections Canada look into it. Speaker Sheer has no power and wouldn’t use it if he had any, especially if it is a Conservative. That can’t be said of Maynard who could have exposed the Conservatives once again to another election investigation. People like Butt are either swimming with or in the same pool as Rob Ford. Stupid like brick!!

    • And we all know how well bricks float in pools.

  15. The real issue here is a lack of knowledge amongst the public. The assumption is that using someone else’s voter card is being done for reasons of voter fraud. I am willing to bet that in 95% of the cases it is being used by someone who is a legitimate voter but just doesn’t understand the nuances of the requirements.

  16. Yet now the CRAPpers are going after Just in for his pathetic attempt at a joke about Ukrainian hockey. I guess deliberately misleading Parliament is a lesser crime than telling a bad joke.

  17. Perhaps Mr. Butt has more direct knowledge of this tactic than he has so far revealed? CRAP has a habit of projection, their GOP masters, er advisors taught them to double down.

  18. The Fair Elections Act will make all Canadians the butt of a cruel joke . no respect !

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