Banff-Airdrie: The Conservative party goes CSI -

Banff-Airdrie: The Conservative party goes CSI

The Conservative party seeks forensic analysis to confirm its secret recording

Adrian Wyld/CP

Adrian Wyld/CP

Unwilling to walk away from a minor controversy, or finding themselves with a surplus of time and money, the Conservative party apparently sought out an audio analyst to determine whether the Liberal candidate in Banff-Airdrie said what the Conservative operative who secretly taped him says he said. And the analyst says he’s “75 to 80 per cent” sure that it is the Liberal candidate speaking in the surreptitiously recorded clip. The full report of the analyst is here.

The analyst apparently had access to that clip and a video posted to YouTube by Marlo Raynolds, the Liberal candidate. The analyst doesn’t seem to have had access to any audio of Tam McTavish, the individual who says it’s he who can be heard speaking, not Raynolds. But McTavish says he is willing to provide evidence of his speaking voice.

For his part, McTavish said he’d be happy to provide the expert with another audio sample of his voice, repeating word for word what is said in the disputed audio. “But this is getting silly. It really is as simple as everyone who knows me recognizes it (as me),” he said.

And there is apparently already secondary evidence that points to McTavish.

Raynolds confirmed he’s the one speaking at the start of the audio recording, expressing his opposition to income splitting. But he and McTavish both say it’s McTavish toward the end.

The speaker starts talking about Planet Money, a National Public Radio podcast, just before the recording ends. McTavish said that’s one of his favourite shows. Raynolds said he’d never heard of the program until that moment.

I presume the Conservative party’s next step must be to prove that Raynolds was at least familiar with Planet Money.

This is not, oddly enough, the first time the Conservative party has resorted to forensic audio analysis, though their record in this regard is somewhat questionable. Five years ago, Conservatives claimed that a tape of the Prime Minister discussing the situation of Chuck Cadman had been doctored. But a court-ordered analysis of the tape later undermined that claim. (The Prime Minister ultimately dropped his related lawsuit against Stéphane Dion.)

This matter of Raynolds surely can’t be resolved without a full and independent royal commission. Though, taking inspiration from a reader’s suggestion last night, I might note that all of this confusion might have been avoided from the outset if Conservative operatives were simply outfitted with hidden body cameras when they engage in partisan reconnaissance.

Regardless, it is heartening to see our political actors showing such interest in accountability, thoroughness, investigation and scrutiny. Now, if we could just focus that energy on public policy.


Banff-Airdrie: The Conservative party goes CSI

  1. Which massive ego would prefer to spend donor dollars on this ridiculous assertion rather than simply admit he was wrong?

    Mind you, as a liberal supporter, I’m happy to see the CPC make such utter fools of themselves.

  2. Just when you think this party becomes a little creepy, it even gets more creepier. And to think, our PM condones this kind of sick, paranoid, and desperate attempt to smear a leader of a third party. Just think about for a moment people, this is the same crowd that are supervising a major military operation in a foreign country, not a Canadian war, even though they want you to think it is, supposed to be representing our country as competent(incompetent) managers. This should scare the be jeezes out of Canadians, and I’m talking about smart people who think this government are doing a good job.

  3. This is how politics is now played. This is regrettable and one hopes that a party would take the lead to stop the slide deeper into the mud pit, but that isn’t likely to happen in today’s wired world, where ancient blog posts about lakes of fire are regularly dragged back to the present to condemn the hapless poster.

    I do not applaud the CPC for doing this sort of thing, but I also think the more effective way for the Liberal candidate to have dealt with this was not to simply deny it was he who made the comments, but vociferously denounce them, i.e. “one of the reasons I know it wasn’t me that made the comments is that I wouldn’t have said anything so stupid”. Unless, of course, he doesn’t think they’re stupid.

    • Your desperate attempt to comparing digging up old blog posts (presumably written by someone who intended to share it with the world) to surreptitiously taping comments made by an individual is, well, desperate.

      But that was real cute how you try to make the wronged party responsible for not complaining about the lies being told about him loudly enough.

      PS – the comments were not stupid. They were correct. No doubt the conservative voter who made them will no longer be a conservative voter.

      • What about my comments warrants describing them as “desperate”? Where I express regret this is how low politics have become? When I suggest CPC should not be applauded for wallowing in the mud?

        Perhaps the answer lies in your denunciation of the efforts to attribute the comments to the Liberal, followed immediately by your assertion the comments weren’t stupid, but actually correct, i.e. the “truth”. Liberal aversion to the truth is well established, but it’s helpful to be reminded.

        • I thought it was pretty clear. Comparing this little secret mission to tape the candidate with using old blog posts is pretty desperate. Very desperate in fact. Almost like you are trying, desperately, to temper your dismay at the actions of this conservative operative by comparing her to, well, another conservative from a provincial party.

          In any event, the lie is saying the liberal candidate said this. That does not mean what was said was wrong.

          I am surprised you are having so much trouble grasping a rather simple concept.

          • You are sage and a credit to the Liberals. Please make the time next fall to campaign on their behalf in Banff-Airdrie. It will be time well spent, toiling for a chap whose excellence as a candidate is so clearly on display when he emphatically denies he spoke the truth and that the CPC are liars and dirty dirty cheats to suggest he did.

            And please try to convince the Liberals to spend oodles of money there as well – it is imminently winnable for them. No, really, it is!! After all, the Liberal vote in Yellowhead increased 7-fold!!! (that is NOT a misprint!) just two weeks ago! That’s JUST the sort of “evidence” that is perfect for Twodeau to base policy on. In fact, he should spend weeks there campaigning – he won’t mind – he loves the mountains!

          • Thanks for finally conceding a rather obvious point (I assume concession by you ignoring the topic and instead turning to a pathetic attempt at humour).