Bogus calls, real outrage - Macleans.ca
 

Bogus calls, real outrage

The robocalling scandal that’s sweeping Ottawa is raising troubling questions about the state of Canadian politics


 
Bogus calls, real outrage

Nathan Denette/CP

During last spring’s federal election, Anthony Rota, a Liberal MP fighting for his political life in the northern Ontario riding of Nipissing-Timiskaming, didn’t pay much attention to the odd report of strange phone calls to some of his supporters. He heard a few complaints about obnoxious calls from what his campaign concluded were opponents masquerading as Liberals to annoy voters. Then on May 2, election day, some voters took calls, purporting to come from Elections Canada, misdirecting them to phony polling locations. It wasn’t until he heard news last week of similar widespread incidents that Rota woke up to the possibility of something beyond local dirty tricks. “I started thinking, ‘Okay, maybe this wasn’t isolated,’ ” he says.

So did many others. The pattern Rota describes was echoed, with variations, in accounts from more than a dozen ridings. But his case stood out: Rota lost to Conservative Jay Aspin by an ultra-thin margin of 18 votes. In Nipissing-Timiskaming, at least, the possibility that bogus calls resulted in even a handful of lost votes is clearly consequential. Overall, though, the uproar was less about the impact fake calls might have had on outcomes than what the controversy says about the state of Canadian politics—especially the way Stephen Harper’s Conservatives play the game. Bob Rae, the interim Liberal leader, labelled current Tory political culture “Nixonian.” The Prime Minister’s 2011 campaign manager, Jenni Byrne, insisted Conservatives won with “clean and ethical” politics, although she hinted that stray local operatives might have done wrong.

It’s a good bet the truth lies somewhere between Rae’s vintage Watergate intimations and Byrne’s broad denial. The focus of the spreading story, broken by journalists with the Ottawa Citizen and Postmedia, is Elections Canada’s ongoing investigation into calls received by voters in Guelph, Ont., falsely telling them their polling locations had changed. Last November, the federal agency’s investigators used a court order to get detailed information about those Guelph calls from RackNine Inc., an Edmonton technology company the Conservatives used extensively to send out automated recorded messages—often referred to as “robocalls.” After the robocalls story exploded, a Conservative staffer who worked on the Guelph campaign lost his job with a Tory MP, although the party declined to explain exactly why.

The Guelph revelations prompted Liberal and NDP campaigners to revisit similar incidents across the country. At least one Conservative, Ontario MP Dean Del Mastro, also said he was targeted by fake calls; so did Green Leader Elizabeth May. Some reports involved recorded robocalls. Others said messages came from call centres, where live humans read political scripts to voters unlucky enough to pick up the phone. As well, some candidates heard from supporters who took harassing calls, apparently from partisan operatives pretending to represent their rivals.

All these variations look like ugly outgrowths of the way campaigns legitimately cultivate and exploit databases of voters’ phone numbers, addresses and political leanings. A new book published by University of British Columbia Press, Political Marketing in Canada, analyzes the state of that art. It cites Patrick Muttart, a key Conservative strategist and Harper’s former deputy chief of staff, as seeing the “direct voter contact campaign” as an under-reported aspect of electioneering, overshadowed by flashier elements like advertising and media coverage. Muttart is also quoted saying national and local campaigns are “increasingly a fused effort.”

Federal campaigning has been evolving in this direction since 1993, when Elections Canada first provided parties with electronic voter lists. “This would come to revolutionize the ability of campaigns to organize, encourage the redirection of resources into the development of campaign management software,” writes Alex Marland, a political science professor at Newfoundland’s Memorial University, in Political Marketing In Canada. In another chapter, André Turcotte, a communications professor at Ottawa’s Carleton University, and a former Reform party pollster from the late 1990s, writes that “the use of such electronic data would later be mastered by the Harper Conservatives, whose constituent information management system (CIMS) database was used for direct voter contact and fundraising.” Turcotte calls the Tory approach “hyper-segmentation”—an obsession with tracking voters in such detail that local campaigners would know exactly what doorbells to ring on “highly targeted ‘walk routes.’ ”

The positive side of that sort of data-rich campaigning is that parties are better at reminding their likely supporters to get out and vote. The negative side is the potential for harassing or misleading the supporters of rival parties. That’s where the question of how RackNine’s services were used comes in. In an interview with RackNine’s president, Matt Meier, he said his firm’s role has been misunderstood. Yes, he’s a Conservative and sold automated calling services to Conservatives during the 2011 campaign. No, he was not involved in tactics. “I do not,” Meier said, “provide any kind of messaging advice.”

Meier said he has co-operated “proactively” with Elections Canada. But he noted that the agency’s investigators have asked only for information about Guelph—not about any other Conservative campaign’s automated calls that his firm sent out. Justin Matthews, RackNine’s lawyer, said Elections Canada might not have had enough time yet to follow up on the flood of complaints that came in after its Guelph investigation hit the news. He said the court order RackNine received from Elections Canada concerning Guelph was “very detailed.” “One can presume that to make such a request takes some investigation,” Matthews said. “It would take some time to catch up.”

In fact, how long it might take to sort out this metastasizing affair is an open question. Elections Canada fielded 1,003 complaints during the last election, and says it is still looking into “several,” including “crank calls designed to discourage voting.” It offers no more detail. Democracy Watch, an advocacy group for more open government, complains that Elections Canada has not reported publicly on the results of investigations into 2,280 complaints in the past four elections.

A swift resolution isn’t likely. Elections Canada’s last big probe, into the 2006 campaign’s complex “in and out” affair, was resolved only last fall, when Conservatives pleaded guilty to exceeding spending limits. Remarkably, after agreeing to pay $52,000 in fines in that case, the party called it “a big victory.” It was hardly that, but didn’t appear terribly damaging, seen in isolation. Obstructing a person’s right to vote—the violation of the Canada Elections Act that misleading calls might represent—carries a maximum penalty of a $5,000 fine and five years in prison. The political price a party tarnished for such a violation above its lowest ranks would pay is harder to calculate.


 

Bogus calls, real outrage

  1. At the root of this is the belief by the Reform wing of the Conservative party that winning is the only option for Canada — and failing to do everything within their power, ethical or not, to win is unpatriotic.

    • Probably so. But I’m worried that new technology will tempt all of our political parties to think likewise.One things for sure, at some point someone has to pay a steep price for unethical behaviour to slow this runaway train down – lord only knows what they’ll be up to a decade from now?

      • One won’t have to wait 10 years, its already happening right now with our “majority” Conservative Regime. More like a putsch from pre-war Germany than a democratic election. These actions must be prosecuted severely – while we stil have a semblance of a legal system left in Canada that can go head to head with a government of power mad tyrants.

        •  Agreed – the penalty must be swift and painful.

          According to a story broken by Le Devoir yesterday, the Conservatives were undeterred by the fines they paid for their conviction in the “In and Out Scheme” the first time and had another go in 2011: http://www.ledevoir.com/politique/canada/344016/un-autre-in-and-out-au-quebec

          For non-French readers, local ridings were required to pony up $15,000.01 (yes that .01 is not a typo) each to pay for polling services for which they received no services. It appears federal campaign expenses were being camouflaged as local expenses yet again.

          • Except now it’s legal.  One of the details many folk don’t know is that part of what made In-and-Out illegal is that the candidates the expenses and money were transferred through didn’t know it was happening and did not authorize it.  As such, it was a fairly simple matter to say, “No, this really was a party expense.”

            New language in the agreement would-be candidates have to sign in order to become candidates is that they authorize, ahead of time, any and all transfers of expenses and/or funds from the National Party.

          •  ah so you finally expose yourself as a conservative insider.

            Does this legal discaliamer somehow make it ethical behaviour to expense national campaign expenses to ridings who would not get the services?

            Remeber you are subsidizing these parties with your tax dollars. 75% for donations and the per vote subsidy.

          • Heh. Gotta admit, didn’t see that one coming.

            Were I discussing the ethical values of it, I would have said so. I was pointing out that we’re not likely to see any EC prosecution of it now. The CPC may not have much for ethics, but they’re pretty quick to toe the line of legality — especially when they’ve been caught out on it.

    •  This and other similar accusations are at this time arrant nonsense. Until the facts are known it is not only unfair but stupid to speculate that major elements of the  Conservative Party itself are responsible. Let’s wait until Elections Canada publish the evidence, whatever it is. And as far as dirty tricks are concerned no party is free from the stain – except Elizabeth May and under the rules of the House she is not a party but an MP.

      If it is proven that these deeds are the doings of a responsible level of the Conservative party, they will lose my sympathy and support, although I am not a party member.

      More likely a maverick enthusiast at a low level was responsible, notwithstanding the apparent complexity.  The technology is not that complex – access to the firm that provides the technology for robocalls, access to computerized voter’s lists (not a problem) and bob’s your uncle.  Any reasonably deft technical person could pull it off from the privacy of their basement. 

      So let’s wait and see.

      • Nobody low level would have this kind of clout to pay all that money.  It will be someone with clout, and since we know candidates are kept out of the action on purpose, they can indeed claim no knowledge.

        However, why would we say it’s okay for the candidates and upper crust of the party to claim innocence?  No accountability for the MPs?  If we keep going down that road, anything goes and nobody is accountable!  And I think you know as well as I do that nobody pulled this off from their basement.  Come on.

        •  There’s where you are mistaken. The voters lists (machine readable) are available free from Elections Canada. Robo calling is dirt cheap. All it takes is somebody with a few computer skills and a mission to pull it off. Not necessarily what you describe.  Anyway, I’ll wait until Elections Canada and the RCMP comer up with the culprits. The thing is that no one at a responsible level would try a stunt that could be so obviously traced.

           Anyway, Pat, no party can claim innocence from dirty tricks pulled off by low-level  yucks or goons mistakenly thinking they are  helping things.

          I remember many years ago when the Libs in PEI tried to buy votes. The next Saturday night the Cons did the same thing. The price of a vote was a mickey of rum (I suspect smuggled in from St. Pierre-Miquelon,  While it is inexcusable, the history of vote tampering goes back to Sir John A. so nobody should get up on their high horse  – either Bob Rae or Pat Martin.

      • This is the first sensible reply I have read thus far. One does not need a PHD in Psychology to understand why , when the media and MP’s all called for people in any riding in Canada to send their complaints to EC, well how many bogus calls or complaints were ” just remembered now”  after a prompting by the media.  It is just like people giving evidence at a trial 9 months after am event. Our minds do strange things. The best thing here is to let the EC and RCMP sort  through all of these complaints.  . Individual MP’s and all the media should stay out of  this matter completely until there is some real news to report, not just a series of what ifs, and projecting blame on one party or another until the truth is brought to light.

    • A Throw Away Phone was used to initiate RoboCalls that claimed to be Elections Canada and directed voters to locations where there was no polling station.  Illegal actions interfering with elections threaten to democracy.  Calling for answers and penalties for illegal actions is not a smear campaign.After the In And Out scheme it is not surprising that the Conservatives are being accused.  After four years of denying any wrongdoing, the Conservative Party and its fundraising arm pleaded guilty to the In And Out scheme, and paid the maximum fine $52000.  (And after pleading guilty in court; the Conservatives publically claimed a Victory.  Pure hyperbole.  Why would a person not suppose their present claim of being victimized by smear is not hyperbole.)

  2. I’m tired of hearing about this story. Until EC reveals their findings I think that there should be a break on this story until Elections Canada reveals their findings. It’s just the same thing everyday. I am willing to be that 75% of the current complaints from people are made up stories by people who hate Harper and are ticked that the PC’s  won the election. The whole thing screams sour grapes.

    • How do you know it’s sour grapes? What solid proof do you have to
      make such a statement? Please post your proof here.

      • I think saying that the stories are fabricated is taking things too far, but I believe it’s fair to claim that the complaints are originating from supporters of the NDP and Liberals.  Anecdotally, the people I know who are most incensed about this are the more partisan opponents of the Conservatives – the same ones who screeched about the unfairness of winning a majority government with 40% of the popular vote. 

        It’s obvious that the political parties have been churning up complaints and accusations faster than the news media (let alone Elections Canada and the RCMP) can investigate them.  This will tend to have the effect of whipping up outrage.  The opposition parties will benefit from this.  Even if the accusations are later debunked, people are going to be stuck with a sense that the Conservatives somehow violated the rules.  That’s politics.

        • Prove that these allegations will all be “debunked”… just quoting Conservative strategy at work.

          • Prove that they won’t be debunked.

          • You need to work on your reading skills.  Try again.  I didn’t say that that they will be debunked.  I said if.

        • I think it’s OBVIOUS the complaints are coming from Liberals and NDP supporters, because they were the ones being targeted. 

        • With the way the Conservative Party spins everything to suit there purposes, you’re really trying to say that the Conservative Party is the victim here? It’s simple, why would the Liberals or NDP call people who they think are supporters and intentionally annoy them? it doesn’t make sense. Frankly NO political party should be getting as much information as they are about constituents voting trends. We might as well be voting over the phone. There is a reason polling booths are private, but it seems that political parties already know how I’m going to vote. I’m not criticizing only the Conservatives here. I repeat, NO party should be given such information and they should be going door to door at random, not targetting segments of their ridings. However, as someone said earlier, the conservative party of today does have more of a “the end justifies the means” mentality, and this fact laughs in the face of our history as a nation of fairness and equality.

          • All of the parties engaged in some degree of calling and robocalling for their polls, to drum up support, and to drive their get out the vote activities.  For many people, any such phone calls are an annoyance.  It’s ridiculous to assert that the only cause of such calls is malicious activity rather than being at least partially due to benign error or incompetence resulting from routine activities.  

          • your right, it is probably in part incompetence. And even if it was in part malicious, that doesn’t make it any worse. 
            I’m not saying that the other parties and many commentators, including Pat Martin, aren’t making it worse by being completely one-sided and going way over the top, but, once again, that doesn’t make this any less serious. Even if you vote conservative, you have to admit that they really are way to combative. Our country works precisely because we have always been able to debate, ferociously yes, but with an understanding that there are lines they can’t cross because if they do, they will be held to account. The Conservatives have been crossing this line way too much and I hope people, conservative, liberal, and NDP voters alike, start getting fed up. Unlike other countries, we have alternative parties that won’t rock the boat too much, but who might value fair play a whole lot more. The Conservative party sees elections as a war. Our country was built through debate.

      • Good one!

        • You do like that guilty until proven innocent bit, don`t you.

    • Voter subversion is what fascists do. Thanks for trivializing the issue. 

    • Yet the nonexistent complaints from people opposing the mandatory long form census were enough to have it eliminated? 
       This who;e thing screams hypocrisy. 

    • And what should we concentrate on in the meantime (sweep things under the proverbial rug!), more on Hollywood BS rather than a direct threat to our democracy! I don’t give a rat’s … about some Conservative’s useless mumblings about sour grapes, this is MY country too! And I want to keep the public spotlight on these creeps until EC is done investigating – I don’t intend on  waiting 3 years while they screw around doing nothing and reporting nothing! Some spotlighting of ECs accountability to Canadians is not too much to ask.

  3. I hate Harper, but in my defense I also hate the Libs and the NDP too, which is why I haven’t bothered to vote in quite some time.  At least 90% of policitcians are crooks and liars.  The issue is not whether this tactic affected the results of some close races.  If it is found to have any root within the CPC, there should be a completely new election period, not just byelections within the ridings in which it took place.

    • and you won’t vote in that one either?

    • Hint: The system doesn’t need your vote to keep running.  

      If you don’t like the system there are but two ways to change it: 
      The first way is to get involved.. at the lowest end, this means voting. Pick the least objectionable candidate — even if it’s an independant candidate who’s going to lose — and vote for them. Whether your choice wins or not, you can be sure the parties are looking at where they might be able to pick up votes next time around.  At higher ends this means volunteering in a candidacy group, maybe help to get a guy elected, maybe help to shape policy, maybe even run yourself.

      The second way is armed insurrection.

      That’s it.  That’s the sum total of ways in which the system might be changed. If you’re not working toward either of those, you’re just letting the system proceed as it is.

    • The fact that people think that all politicians are the same is part of the problem in Canada right now. We simply assume that it will always be the same and therefore vote for the party that says the least and bothers us the least. I don’t know where I stand anymore, but I do know that after the awful performance of the Liberals in the last election, they have a chance to come back as a party that has truly changed. All I’m asking is that people start looking at political parties, not as how they were but how they are becoming. Maybe I’m being naive, but the alternative is giving up.

  4. Harper now has his heavy sitting on the CBC comment approval board aggressively filtering out any comment that is contrary to the Conservatives in Alberta.  Your tax dollar at work; another level of sway.

    • You really want to run with the idea that the CBC comment board is slanted in favor of the Conservatives?

      • I have posted several comments to the CBC site on obvious PR items.  In these cases, the comment was never posted to the site where as they were posted to every other news board in the world!

        However, my personal history page shows that the comments went up which, simply not the case.

        This is far too elaborate to be a miscellaneous board judgement!.

        Inquiries to the CBC ombudsman produced a reply the “new” comment board was in charge and I should direct my question to them.  No word on how to contact that elite board!

        Sticking heavies into the CBC news train is not a surprise to anyone in Canada I’m very sure!

        • Have a closer look at what appears as commentary on the pages of our national broadcaster and get back to us on that.

          • This is the comment on the Ontario/Alberta short debate on exchange curtailing growth and business:

            Dalton McGuinty is totally correct!  Being a manufacturing state a lower dollar
            would serve them well.

             

            Redford’s Alberta on the other hand charges Canadian Dollars
            for the oil whereas every other province charges US dollars.  So, the oil companies pocket the exchange and
            the Alberta Taxpayers loose it.   Redford
            is speaking for the oil companies again and not for Alberta or Canada.

             

            I have explained the oil royalty, where we are, how we got
            there and were we are going under this Government. http://albertathedetails.blogspot.com/2012/02/alberta-royalty-explained.html

             

            At11:50 Alb erta time this appears in my account”

            Comment
            on story: Alberta’s
            Redford calls Ontario’s dollar views ‘simplistic’

            rovince charges US dollars.  So, the oil companies pocket the exchange and
            the Alberta Taxpayers loose it.   Redford
            is speaking for the oil companies again and not for Alberta or  Canada.

             

            I have explained the oil royalty, where we are, how we got
            there and were we are going under this Government. http://albertathedetails.blogspot.com/2012/02/alberta-royalty-explained.html

             
            All the truth! But it is supporting a Liberal on one hand and knocking on a Conservative on the other.  Fair game for your critic?

      • All sorts of right-wing comments I make on CBC never appear its not just the left-wingers who are filtered out.

      • My comments don’t run either and they are really quite civilized. Maybe it was my assertion that Harper was a fascist or perhaps a reference to him being a sociopath. It is difficult, when the government, as inept and comtemptuous as it is, is in collusion with the majority of our  main stream media,.to find truth anywhere.

  5. courtenaybetty
    i am so offended by the probable voting corruption, using the Election Canada name, that I simply hang up my phone quickly if I receive ANY automated call. I no longer trust automated messages.

    • Hi, just fyi some automated messages give you the option to stop getting calls from them at the end of the message so it is better to listen and opt out.  Take care.

  6. The “CRAP”s are totally American political wannabes so I’m not surprised that they are using dirty tricks like robocalls misdirecting voters.  The party should be heavily fined by elections canada as a serious message to all parties about these types of tactics.  Keep our elections fair and clean!

  7. Prime Minister Harper has always been a control freak so there is definitely NO WAY he was unaware of these illegal acts. The man prorogued the last Parliament to avoid being charged with Contempt of Parliament and the subsequent prosecution and conviction that would have blown his political career. This apparent recent activity to subvert people’s right to free and unobstructed voting smacks of a third world dictator in some banana republic. The Conservatives disgust me! They are not a democratic political party, but a collection of power freaks at the top of their organization (many in the PMO are not even ELECTED!) to which all Conservative MPs must pledge complete servitude, not to the voters in their respective ridings. NO Conservative MP dares make any announcement or comments on any government policy or directives without the direct approval of the PMO. Now that these Machiavellian tactics (win at all costs, even if it’s illegal!) are coming to light what response do we get from our Prime Minister? “Prove it!” he says, like democracy is something bothersome to be ignored whenever he feels like it. Elections Canada must broaden its investigation to include every Conservative riding in the entire country. Then if necessary, bring in the police to lay formal indictable charges, prosecute, and assign the maximum sentences since this is a party which talks real big about accountability and being HARD on crime! ALSO, EVERY riding in which these criminal acts occurred must have new bi-elections called by Elections Canada to allow all Canadians whose right to vote was stolen by these charlatans to actually vote! Sometimes Democracy costs money and may seem inconvenient, but to live in a system of vote rigging like Putin’s Russia is not convenient either!
    A blistering indictment of the Conservative Regime comes from one of its own hierarchy who had the principle and moral courage to quit the Party and to speak out publically of the vile, subversive goings on of the Conservatives!  Toronto Star Letters, Tuesday, February 28, 2012. “Ex-Conservative offers Warning:A few months ago I was a card-carrying Conservative, serving as a director on both the Guelph and Kitchener-Centre Conservative electoral district association boards.  I succeeded Michael Sona as president of the University of Guelph Campus Conservatives and I can tell you I deeply regret all the work I have done for the Conservative Party of Canada.  They have gone against Canadian values and have made a joke out of our democracy.  I believed I was working for a cause to bring greater accountability, transparency and respect for the taxpayer; the result was just the opposite.Canada is a great nation, built by a people who value hard work, taking responsibility for one’s actions and, above all, honesty.  The government that sits in Ottawa values only power and cannibalizes its own in order to save face. As someone who has seen what is talked about in the party, I can only say God help Canada in the next four years.  Because it won’t be the country that veterans, like my grandfather, fought so hard to protect. Victor Pocaterra, Kitchener

    •  I would like to see the Governor General prorogue this parliament until the Elections Canada and RCMP investigation had concluded whether or not the Conservatives hold a legitimately gained majority.  Not until all the criminal prosecutions are finished, since that will take ages, but just until EC can determine which ridings may have been unfairly influenced to a degree that the results of those races are questionable.

      In ridings where it has been so determined, I’d like the second place candidate to be handed the seat and parliament reconvened so that government business can proceed while byelections are held.

      Allowing the Conservative majority to bring into law legislation that they have misused their majority to limit debate is unconscionable.  David Johnston should be as outraged as the rest of us and should do what he can to prevent more damage than has already been achieved.  The Crime Bill passed the Senate late last night.  It should not be allowed to go any further while there is any possibility the results that gave the Conservatives a majority and control over this government was gained by illegal activities by themselves or any other third party actors.

      • I don’t expect there would be enough change to swing things from a majority to a minority situation, even if all the allegations we’ve heard so far are true.  So proroguing parliament wouldn’t be terribly useful.

        That said, if the CPC is found to be involved at anything more than a “rogue agent” level.. if there was any level of oversight going on that allowed this to happen, I think the party should be deregistered.  Their MPs would still be in place, but they’d lose all access to benefits that the official parties enjoy (ask Elizabeth May for some of what that might mean) and in the process of deregistering, Elections Canada would reclaim any and all refunds provided to the party and its candidates.  Not to mention the public subsidy.

  8. The $52,000 In & Out fine was “a big victory” because it should have cost them so much more – both financially and politically. They cheated; they knew they cheated; they essentially escaped unscathed.

    Let’s hope this time around they get nailed to the wall – financially and politically.

  9. How about Real Calls, Bogus Outrage.
    They all do it and it disgusts me but for the Liberals to pretend to be on the high ground on this one is a bit rich.
    Let EC do their thing.

    •  Have any Conservative supporters received calls by people misrepresenting themselves as officials from Elections Canada (a crime) and been told to go to the wrong or a nonexistent polling station? That is the difference. Please don’t play the victim card – the CPC have worn it out crying wolf.

  10. The former head of Elections Canada calls it unprecedented. It is under investigation by EC with the assistance of the RCMP.

    If they all do it, why would that be so?

  11. I believe that Harper is a manipulater and tries to cover up the conservitesers short Cummings he is not a good pm.

  12.  Thats the last thing you want. If parliament is prorogued, the country is run on GG warrants. Meaning all spending is in the shadows.

    You would pretty much be giving Harper a blank cheque for his partisan purposes.


  13. The robocalling witch hunt that’s sweeping a square kilometre of inside the Queensway Ottawa is raising troubling questions about the state of Canadian media”

    Fixed it for you, now I suggest you fix your resume, because you’re going to be needing it.

  14. I think that each party has their issues here and that none of them are free from any wrong doings…seems from the years that i have been trying to figure out each party and which would be best to run our country…that they are all using dirty and backstabbing practices to get our votes. I dont feel there is any one of them honest enough to do so.thet all pad their own pocket books first,during and or at endof their time in office,and rarely fullfill all their promises.this is so very unfair to all canadians. I wish there would be one, just one…perhaps even a new party that could do good for all canad ians before themselves, and other countries.c

  15. Old Bob here is missing one key element when making public accusations. Proof.

    He better watch himself or he might catch a lawsuit like Pat Martin did.

    You want to talk about bogus? How about talking about Bobs leadership skills especially his run in Ontario. Now that was a whole bunch of bogus. Figures the Liberals would make that incompetent, loser their leader.

    • Many lawsuits are intimidation tactics, designed to stop an inconvenient and threatening voice from speaking the truth.

      Many people would be happy if the CPC were to sue someone over this. Then we can get the details out into the public eye. Smart lawyers would follow the money and dredge up every sordid detail. Now why do you suppose Harper is not threatening lawsuits?

      Bob Rae is smarter than you think. There is a big picture here that requires an above-average intelligence to see. Not everyone is so blessed.

      • “Bob Rae is smarter than you think. There is a big picture here that requires an above-average intelligence to see. Not everyone is so blessed.”

        DUH!!!

  16. The campaign manager of NDP candidate Gorden Earle said in a statement to the CBC that the “robocalls” which Pat Martin claims to have occured in South Shore-St Margret’s were actually the result of a known mistake made at the NDP call centre in Toronto. 

  17. The Liberals.NDP will stoop to anything, they know no bounds in order to smear the Consaervatives. A party whose main preiority is to legalize marijuanna is a joke.
    Adscam / collusion they are the low of the lows.

    • Scared are you? I sense the desperation in your words. It seems the same thing is happening at the top levels of the CPC. Interesting and telling patterns are becoming very obvious to trained eyes. Psychology explains it well.

  18. If we don’t follow up on alegations of election law violation and severely punish those found guilty, we loose democracy. No Brainer! 
    It would be nice if false alegations could be punished too but I doubt it would be practical. 

  19. Let’s not forget the medias role in manufacturing election news hysteria 24/7 .the orange crush just prior to election day being an example.

    • Woodward and Bernstein provide another example, which may be more relevant here.

  20. Wow. The Saturday “it was all a smear” squad is out in full force. For the record, I’m with the writer here. This is something in between the lonr gunman and the giant conspiracy. But I do suspect there will be a handful of charges and a small group involved. Just curious to see who.

  21. It should have been a front page editorial not found on page 18 “after’ the article on Arny and Sylvester posted on page 16….this is a threat to our democracy and some of our forefathers gave up their lives for it.