Disclosure contest - Macleans.ca

Disclosure contest


The Liberals say they have now “proactively” provided Elections Canada with documentation of its telephone campaigning during the last election.

See previously: What we’re talking about when we talk about document disclosure


Disclosure contest

  1. If you have nothing to hide….

    • This doesn’t sound like complete disclosure at all.

      It looks like they’ve only handed over the scripts from the central campaign.

      There are 308 seperate riding level campaigns that need to hand over their scripts too.

      It was at the riding level that the Liberal MP in Geulph place his misleading phone calls.

      • And the Cons (you know the guys who always like to say, “If you have nothing to hide…”) have handed over what? Diddly squat up until now.

        • Liberals Good, Conservatives Bad!
          Liberals Good, Conservatives Bad!

          • In this case. Yes.

          • I’m not the one who keeps intoning the “If you’ve got nothing to hide…” line. If the Cons don’t like it, then they should stop acting like school yard brats. Harper’s the one whose set the tone since day 1. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that people are going to use THEIR words when karma comes back to bite them in the butt.

          • Attaboy! Took you a while, but you’re finally catching on!

          • Good to see you are starting to come around, OB.

            Although, I find both parties distasteful.  You have to move away from binary thinking.

        • They’ve handed over everything they’ve been asked to hand over.
          In due time i’m sure that all parties will have all their calls examined.

          This is simply show boating. Hand over what’s needed as you are asked. Throwing boxes of documents at EC and letting them sit for months is pointless. 

          • True. It would be better if instead of handing them over to EC, the Liberals put them up for public perusal.

            However, simply waiting for whats asked doesn’t demonstrate a real willingness to show innocence.  Handing over everything means that you’re willing to let them look at even the things they didn’t think to ask for.. which simply shows a much greater confidence.

            What this should do, however, is shut up Del Maestro every time he tries to go on about how the other parties refuse to give over anything.. even though they’d given over exactly what was asked for as well (which at that time was nothing).

          • instead of handing them over to EC, the Liberals put them up for public perusal.

            I actually thought that’s what the Liberals were going to do. I didn’t realise they were strictly releasing this information to EC. But anyhow… Maybe there are some privacy concerns that we’re unaware of.

          •  Waiting for what’s asked while turning tail when a bill is changed that would allow EC to have greater powers to examine the election you were implicated in is also bad.

          • No the Conservatives have agreed to hand over any and all documents requested by Elections Canada.

            Normally this would require a warrant. That requirement has been waived.

            I am glad the Liberals seem to have also taken that step. Still haven’t heard any on the record from the NDP though.

          • Like showing up at a committee meeting with boxes of documents  – who would do that eh?

          • Let’s see… the Tories keep harping on how the opposition parties haven’t handed any records over to EC (even though EC didn’t ask for the records) so the Liberals do just that – and now Tories and their supporters have a problem with that? Make up your friggin’ minds!

  2. That’s a good step.  Of course, those with something to hide would simply not disclose whichever part they wanted to hide.  But, the Guelph example shows us that they might be found out anyway.

    The CPC Burke campaign, for example, disclosed many of their election expenses, but failed to report any expenses associated with Racknine.  This was only discovered because Racknine was traced to be the source of illegal calls from one recipients records of the call display. Burke and the CPC would have us believe this is just an amazing coincidence that those particular expenses went unreported and just happened to be with Racknine.  Yeah, right.

      • From the info in that article it appears the calls were from “Jeff”, went out to some Liberals (maybe only Liberals, or maybe only Liberals complained, who knows?) and gave the real CPC campaign office phone number.  One can only wonder what the CPC campaign office did if a Liberal-identified voter returned the call. It would be good to hear the actual script of those calls.  

        • By the way, I don’t think the return phone number is good enough for identifying the campaign, if that identification is required by EC.  In this case, it sounds like the calls may have wanted to leave people with the impression they were calling a Liberal campaign (although without the script one can’t say).  

        • Won’t help a bit for US to know what they said….that just leads to miles of partisan bickering on here……..the inquiry needs to know.

          The only thing relevant on here is that the very Con leading the charge against robocalls did it himself, and that it confused his constituents.

          Which again points out the need for an independent inquiry…

          • Yes, I’d like to see an independent inquiry too, although I’d also like to see EC’s work continue in parallel.  Last time Harper just turned around and sued EC and ultimately the whole thing ended in a plea bargain.  Not too satisfying for purposely breaking Elections laws on a massive, federal campaign scale in order to create an illegally uneven playing field.
            I assume Harper can’t sue a Royal Commission or public inquiry.

          • Yes, we need something that’s public, and that Harper can’t touch.

          • Gomery was sued by Chretien.

            Anything judicial is open to review by the supreme court. Anything non-judicial could involve libel/slander.

          • It has been proven that violations of the Elections Act are worth it. 

      • I like how Dean came forward and instantly cleared everything up in a proactive fashion.

        Unlike the Liberal MP who didn’t bother to mention his robo-history.

        • That might have something to do with the liberal Jeff making a public stink? Attributing virtue to Big D is clearly a waste of goodwill.

          • As far as I call the entire “scandal” behind Dean’s call is that more than one person in the world has the name Jeff.

          • That hardly changes my point, that DD did not come forward just because he’s an honest dude as opposed to the liberal candidate.

          • And Dean Del Mastro didn’t know that until after he made a robocall with only the first name.  Because, hey, up to that point, there was only one person in the world named Jeff.  Never mind that a candidate in the riding you were contesting had an eerily similar–some might say identical–name.  Funny how that slipped his notice.

          • @2Jenn:disqus 
            You’re mistaken
            Dean was going up against a Dave, Betsy, and Michael.

            There was an MPP in the riding named Jeff Leal. He was worried people might think he was endorsing Dean.

            Although one wonders how they’d know the MPP by just his first name and one wonders whether or not the voice was so similiar to even make people think such a thing.

        • Of course you do.

      • Hahaha, when he emerged from hiding, did they ask him about his campaign not reporting their Racknine expenses or being the center for Pierre Poutine’s efforts?

          • It’s not an NDP riding. It’s a riding they won. Everyone who lives there ‘owns’ the riding. As unseemly as the events in S/RR are, the Conservative candidate is railing against rules/regs that don’t (but probably ought to) exist

          • Not exactly or completely.  It’s already illegal to coach people with respect to which candidate to vote for at a polling station, which is one of the allegations.

          • Well, if we have allegations of voter suppression calls (robo and live), false-flag calls intended to sour voters on an opposing candidate, calls that fail to identify the party funding them, and electoral fraud attempts, let’s get it all out there, regardless of party. Toss it all into the sunlight. If it cooks all the parties, good – I may have voted for Layton, but I’m not going to stop criticizing suspected CPC election-screwing tactics because NDP and Liberal candidates may also have benefitted from questionable-to-illegal tactics. I’m going to criticize and condemn those tactics as well.

            ‘Course, I also think concentrations of power and hierarchies are inescapably vulnerable to corruption and abuse anyway, but I really don’t have time to write that polemic today…

    • That is why Prescott needs to talk to EC because he paid RackNine for Burke’s robocalls and claims he was reimbursed by the campaign.  He needs to produce those records.

  3. Why would they do this?

    Given their hypocrisy so far on robo-calling, this will fly for the Liberals only until a revelation of undocumented calls by one of their own.

    Each time dirty tricks in the Liberal ranks come to light, it causes a climb down that does them no good and impairs their own protestations of fair play.

    Do the Liberals really think that we are all so blind that we are unable to find a parallel between Conservative calls in Cotler’s riding spreading falsehoods and those by Valeriote’s campaign spreading falsehoods about his opponents.

    All this does is muddy the waters for a real investigation into illegal calls purporting to be from Elections Canada.

    • Elections Canada tracked down unreported campaign expenses to Racknine based on what was reported by the CPC and their own investigation.  Similarly, any party submitting incomplete phone records could be found out by EC’s investigation.  The risk of hiding something goes up when you supposedly report “everything”.  If you don’t have to report anything, it is easier to hide something.  So this is a good step in accountability. 

      For example, it would be good to see the script for Del Maestro’s confusing “Jeff” calls and compare it to what people receiving those calls say.

    • I assume you must be talking about the libs attempting to hide the origin of their calls – which was stupid; why would you want to hide a message you believe to be true from potential voters? Otherwise where’s the parallel or equivalence? The info on Cotler was false( he denied he was going to step down) but the info on Burke was based on views he had expressed, no? And while deniable were fair game in politics; although I’d much prefer such questions be only a matter of personal debate between the candidates where honest rebuttal is possible. That said I don’t see your parallel at all.

      • Fake name ? Out bound number only ?

        Its in violation of CRTC and Elections Canada’s rules.

        • Do you have a link for that? The only thing i’ve seen the libs admit to is not tagging the calls.

          • You’d have to go digging for the original CBC write up. I think Aaron Wherry actually linked to it in a post yesterday.

            It mentions that the woman used a fake name, claimed to be a Laurie Macdonald.

            EC put out a release refering to its rules for advertising. I think Wherry linked to that too.

            You’d need to watch QP on friday, they quoted the CRTC regulations to death that day. I can’t think of it off hand.

          • Hmmm, when all this is over there’s probably going to be a lot of red faces…some of them may even be at EC.

    • I believe the message in Valeriote’s robocall was accurate –  Burke is anti-choice is he not? It was the non-identifying that is the issue.

      • Using a fake name might also be problematic under CRTC regulations.

        • And i’m pretty sure you’re supposed to include a call back number, either in the message or on the call display.

          The Liberal party website recomends campaigns do that at least.

          The calls seem to have broken their own rules. Not sure if the lack of a call back number breaks any CRTC rules though.

        • Not as problematic as using someone else’s name fraudulently, say pretending you’re calling from Elections Canada, which would be identity fraud under s. 403 of the criminal code.

    • Why would they turn this over to EC? Maybe because the CPC keeps challenging them in the HoC to do just that?

  4. George Bush ~ He can’t have it both ways. He can’t take the high horse and then claim the low road.

    Guelph Mercury ~ March 10:
    Greg Schirk had written the 33-second automated call off as just another nuisance call, typical of those received during any election campaign … Schirk said he attempted to call back the cellphone number which showed up on his call display — 226-209-3758 — but found it is not in service. He said he has not shared the call with investigators from Elections Canada and is not sure whether to do so.

    Guelph Mercury ~ March 11: 
    Guelph MP Frank Valeriote spoke into the megaphone during the rally, letting the crowd know how easily democracy can be affected by something like these fraudulent robocalls.“I see the goal of today’s event as informing the public of what happened and indeed how fragile our democracy is,” he said, adding our right to vote is easily attacked. He said in the federal election last year, Canada’s democracy was attacked using neo-conservative tactics imported from the United States, designed to suppress citizen’s right to vote.

    Guelph Mercury ~ March 13: 
    Former Guelph riding Marijuana Party candidate Kornelis Klevering called for a byelection, saying the results in last spring’s federal election were unfair, fraudulent and corrupted. In a letter to the Mercury, Klevering asserted that a byelection would be a suitable remedy to deal with a riding tainted by two robodialling scandals.

    • “two robodialing scandals”

      Got that, everybody? As far as Tonyadams/jolyon/jwl is concerned, the Liberals and Conservatives were both involved in equivalent bad acts in Guelph.

      Of course, what the Libs seem to have done is fail to identify themselves when using automated calls to disseminate true information about the Con candidate.

      The Cons, on the other hand, seem to have actively interfered with voters’ right to vote by impersonating Elections Canada and misleading target voters. Using Racknine, of course, whose charges magically failed to appear on campaign expense reports.

      Good ol’ reliable Conservative Party of Canada TonyAdams is here to tell you that there’s no scandal here, boys will be boys and everybody did the same thing. 

      Don’t believe him for a second.

      • I read in this morning’s Globe that the EC is looking at Tory database and that it would contain the names of CPC supporters as well as non-supporters.

        I wonder, why would they want to identify and keep lists of non-supporters?  I want my name removed from their list, that’s for sure!

        If I gave them money or time, I would understand that they’d keep my name but I don’t want these unsavoury people to use my name for any purpose whatsoever. 

        • The article doesn’t explicitly say “non-supporters.” It says “other supporters.” I’m led to believe that the Tories have a list of supporters/donors, and with that list, they cross-check with the list given to them by Elections Canada. Anyone who’s not on the supporter list, is placed on the “other” list.

          If you want your name removed, you’ll have to remove your name from Elections Canada’s “National Register of Elections,” since this list is distributed to all the parties. However, be warned that it’s a bit more of a pain to vote, if you de-register from this EC list.


          • Are you implying that the conservatives are not smart enough to go to the EC website and get a list of donors to others parties, a list that is public on EC’s website, by riding?  I know for a fact that in Quebec, a party can get those lists, including the name and addresses of the donors.  A party gave that list to Le Québécois, a separatist magazine,  who in turn mailed personalized letters with the watermak of the FLQ to donors of the Liberal Party of Quebec; le Québécois still runs a website with the names of donors to the LPQ, their addresses, who they work for, what is the name of the children, etc. A quick google search for ‘donateurs liberaux reveillez-vous’ will get you there. And that’s all legal according to the EQ.

            My point is that I refuse to trade or compromise my right to vote by asking that my name be removed from the voter’s list to make sure that political parties don’t pass on my personal information to third-parties or be used by some to come and slash my tires or send me to a polling station in Timbuktu.

          • I hadn’t thought of the donor list. It’s certainly a possibility.

            Most of the controversy I’ve read has swirled around EC giving political parties the “National Register” that I mentioned above, and whether or not they should continue doing this. An official donor list hadn’t crossed my mind.

          • Related to Mike’s point, Loraine, I assume you’re familiar with Andrew Coyne’s recent article in the NP about this matter of the EC voters’ lists being provided to all the parties?

            I think Coyne makes an interesting point.  Certainly good fodder for thought and debate.  Coyne is 100% correct that none of this crap could take place in the first place if political parties were not exempted from the Do Not Call rules.

            If you provide the parties with access to the voters’ lists, then it’s only natural progression that they’re going to use those lists to “track the vote”, in the parlance of politicos.  All parties do it, and have been doing it for many years now, certainly long before robocall technology amped things up a notch — that’s what they’re doing when they canvass by phone and ask you whom you plan to support.  It’s like Santa — they make a list of who, in their eyes, is naughty and nice.

            And that’s what party scrutineers have in hand when they’re sitting behind the desk at polling stations.  They’re checking to see if their “friendlies” have shown up to vote or not.

  5. Rosie Barton 3 big D zip.

    Someone should ask EC if they’ve even requested anything from the Tories at all? DD’s word being so reLieable an all.

    As for full disclosurer from any party – the most fun would be if they each checked each other’s books. That would be a hoot!

    • Yes EC has asked for info through a court order last November I think.  And that’s all the Conservatives have released to EC because they had no choice.  I do not believe a word that Del Mastro or the PM say on this issue anymore.  They have lied too many times, especially Del Mastro.

  6. Although voter suppression’s a crime,
    Some Conservatives think it’s just fine,
    But the RCMP are looking,
    To give the them a booking,
    And  just see how they like doing time.