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The NDP says Elmwood-Transcona was targeted by robocalls misdirecting voters.

According to the NDP, the party’s campaign manager in Elmwood-Transcona has informed them of more than half a dozen complaints received in Jim Maloway’s campaign office on election day from voters who said someone phoned them and said their polling station location had changed.

Elmwood-Transcona, a longtime NDP-held riding, saw Conservative Lawrence Toet upset Maloway, the incumbent MP, by 300 votes. Maloway said the margin was so close the so-called robocalls may have played a role. Maloway said he did not know about the calls until contacted by the Free Press on Friday.

Meanwhile, Liberal MP Mark Eyking confirms complaints in Sydney-Victoria.

See previously: How many ridings?


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  1. Is there any documentation of these complaints, or is this just a case of piling on after the fact? And if “someone” called, ie. not a robot, shouldn’t it be easier to trace where the calls came from?

    •  It’s almost as if this should be investigated, to see who is behind it.

  2. I wonder how many Conservatives will have the sheer audacity to pull a Dean Del Mastro tomorrow? 

    •  They sent Omen in to provide some ground cover.

      • Presumably Elections Canada will eventually release the # of calls and ridings affected by the Racknine calls.  Give Dean some credit, he was careful not to claim his calls were of the same ilk.

        Indeed, I imagine there are some inappropriate calls every election.  With so many passionate, sleep deprived (occasionally drunk) people involved it would be shocking if there wasn’t.   Elections Canada presumably tries to keep a lid on it, (because it is criminal) but it wouldn’t be a priority because a few disorganized calls are hardly likely to be effective.  

        In this case, someone has invested considerable money, obtained the best technology available and devised a coherent effective strategy to maximize the benefit from the crime. It is reminiscent of what the Conservatives did with the In&Out process.  They took something bit-players had fumbled around with involving small amounts of money and made it national, effective and large.  It is even more reminiscent of what the Conservatives did in Mount Royal.  The used their technical expertise and strategic brilliance to combine polling and rumor mongering into an effective mechanism to dishearten a opposition candidate in a key riding for the next election.  

        I guess the reason so many think this is associated with the Conservatives is that it has their signature polish all over it.   All of Canada’s political parties have been guilty of ethical and even criminal infractions at some point.  However, it is only the Conservatives who have become so organized in their criminal behavior that it is practically an art form.

  3. I received robocalls in Indiana’s 9th district! They told me to vote in polls somewhere in the Northwest Territories. Of course, I just made that up. My point is this – the number of ridings where people claim wrongdoing is a pretty imperfect measure of what went on. We need to get Racknine’s phone records, and also to look at the phone records of everybody claiming to be the target of robocalls. There should be serious consequences for people who lie, just as there should be even more serious consequences for people that commit electoral fraud.

    If the scale of robocalls is big enough to have materially altered the outcome of any riding, that riding should have a by-election. Even that would be a liberal standard (since presumably not all people receiving robocalls were influenced by them). People that think this will result in many by-elections should probably stop frothing at the mouth, however. In most cases you’d need evidence of thousands of robocalls to make such a claim (contrary to most reports, the Tory margin of victory or defeat is pretty large in many of the cases in question).

  4. It seems odd that the NDP candidate, Maloway, didn’t even know about the complaints about robocalls until the media contacted him this Friday.  Most ridings do a review of the campaign afterwards, to distill what they learned, what went wrong/right, etc.  Maybe they did hear from a few people around election time and just didn’t think it was important enough to mention to the candidate.