'I actually don’t know quite what to tell these folks' - Macleans.ca

‘I actually don’t know quite what to tell these folks’


Glen Pearson deals with defeat.

It was expected by most that I would win and the media sent its staff to my campaign office to cover the victory party that wasn’t. It became clear as the evening progressed that the vote split between myself and the NDP was proving fatal. Yet I’d had something of a premonition of the outcome during the last few days of the contest. At doors I canvassed I kept hearing certain stories about how I spent too much time in Africa, or that my voting presence in the House wasn’t too impressive. When I informed them that I only spent one week a year on that continent (Sudan), and that I take it on my holiday time over New Years and on my own dime, I could sense the hesitation in their voice. “Oh … that’s not what we heard when the Conservatives phoned us last night.”


‘I actually don’t know quite what to tell these folks’

  1. Poor Mr Pearson, a man whose decency in HoC we all benefit from, a victim of lies. Just how do we deal with slanderous lies like this?

    On E-Day, the Con robocaller sent five — yes five (5) — calls to my house; in one the incumbent told me that if the NDP get in, gas prices will rise immediately by 10 cents/litre. That robocaller called into all Regina city ridings that day, not just the appropriate one.

    • Honestly, if people believe lies like that they get the government they deserve

      • But do we deserve our fellow citizens?

    • On the day itself? I thought it was illegal to campaign on election day. Save the messages and report to Elections Canada.

  2. The Conservative Party would lie to voters?

    Perish the thought.

  3. I hadn't even noticed he went down, but, good – his smarminess was starting to rival Ignatieff's.

    • Yes, and now he's claiming the Conservatives lied about his trips to Africa. Perhaps he might actually back that up with some real evidence instead of dirty innuendo.

      • LOL

        Blame the victim. Sure, he should try to look for evidence, particularly because he has a civil case to make.

        • Heck, if they were robo-calling, should be pretty easy to get some evidence. Should be pretty easy to find a second individual to corroborate.

          You say blame the victim. I say innocent until proven guilty, the burden of proof is on the accuser, nobody likes a sore loser, anecdotal evidence from a single individual is not enough for an accusation, etc etc

  4. I fear we may have gotten the government we deserve, as a people :(

  5. You know, this might actually be more serious than I thought.

    I think Pearson has grounds for a libel suit against the CPC. Wonder if anyone managed to record this conversation.

    • I don't think you know how libel works. You're free to lie to people in private conversations. I do it literally all the time.

      • Is it a private conversation when you call hundreds of people to read a script to them? Are robocalls private conversations?

        • It's a hundred private conversations, I think. My understanding of the law of libel requires that a third party (i.e. not the speaker or listener) must have heard or read the defamatory statement. Although I'm all for holding robots liable in tort – they've begun to think they're above the law.

          • I checked wikipedia for legal analysis (always dangerous). From the Canada section of the defamation page:

            "As is the case for most Commonwealth jurisdictions, Canada follows English law on defamation issues (although the law in the province of Quebec has roots in both the English and the French tradition). At common law, defamation covers any communication that tends to lower the esteem of the subject in the minds of ordinary members of the public.[80] Probably true statements are not excluded, nor are political opinions. Intent is always presumed, and it is not necessary to prove that the defendant intended to defame. In Hill v. Church of Scientology of Toronto (1995), the Supreme Court of Canada rejected the actual malice test adopted in the US case New York Times Co. v. Sullivan. Once a claim has been made, the defendant may avail themselves to a defense of justification (the truth), fair comment, responsible communication,[81] or privilege. Publishers of defamatory comments may also use the defense of innocent dissemination where they had no knowledge of the nature of the statement, it was not brought to their attention, and they were not negligent."

            Sounds like there are grounds. Robocalls could be construed as a form of broadcast, and might be subject to libel.

            This kind of blatant lying is highly corrosive to the public trust and confidence in our political system.

          • Ok, well if our working concept of defamation is what could be construed as consistent with an extremely generalized Wikipedia definition, I've clearly brought a knife to a gun fight. :)

          • And private conversation doesn't turn out to be a defense. You're only allowed to defame Glen Pearson when speaking privately to Glen Pearson.

          • Quite right.

          • All right, where is he?

      • Are you lying now?

        • Not to my knowledge, although my definition of lying is very permissive. Speaking out of my ass inaccurately with complete confidence is generally excused.

    • How many Liberals will suddenly claim they got these calls. What did Iggy say about sore losers? Liberals have been spreading these falsehood type statements for five years and quite frankly its starting to get a little tiring.

  6. What is Glen Pearson's voting record?

  7. This may be cold comfort to Pearson, but there are losers in every election and their followers are always sad. If he had won, there would still be a large contingent of his constituents crying.

  8. I can't believe how the Libs let the NDP's poor-attendance-at-votes allegations get out of hand. I think the libs actual vote record was about average once you took out votes where they kept members out in order to avoid triggering a premature election.

    I think that's true. If so, the Libs seemed to be totally incapable of explaining that it was Harper's constant and irresponsible brinksmanship that caused them to avoid votes, not a shoddy approach to showing up for work.

  9. The world according to Glen Pearson.
    And Ken Dryden wants his old Canada back.
    We will survive quite well without the insufferable arrogance of these two who have been told so many times by so few that they are special that Pearson believes he can insult the 40% of Canadians that voted Conservative, by referring to them as Harperites, a dispiriting minority, and the new MP for his riding as the faceless Conservative. Pearson lost his election because he belongs to a party that Canadians decided were unfit to govern—the people are always right. That is all he had to say—blaming his loss on phone calls insults his former constituents.
    I would suggest that the self-righteous Pearson and Dryden start up a new Party—The Insufferable Party.

    • But Harper is allowed to call the 40% who votes NDP and Bloc socialists and separatists?

    • And to be fair, saying that it's an insult that voters would believe what the Conservative Party says despite its factual accuracy isn't all that fair.

  10. It's comforting to know that Glen Pearson still thinks he's very special. Hopefully, if he campaigns again, it will occur to him to use the telephone as well and not let the Conservatives out-manoeuver him in this way.

    • If being out-maneuvered means not lying, Pearson would be best to stay out of politics while he still has his dignity.

      • No, being out-maneuvered means going door-to-door when his opponent was using the telephone.

    • So, he should lie about the Conservative candidate next time? Say that he, oh, went on a $200k junket to some caribbean island on the public dime?

      The problem here isn't that Pearson didn't out-lie his opponent. The problem is the blatant defamation.

  11. Clearly, some voters took the Conservative Party at their word. Was that where they went wrong?

    • And now you're taking the person Pearson talked to at their word at the expense of a Conservative MP. If he has evidence of lies, he should produce it, instead of accusations and innuendo.

      It's likely that the Conservatives were simply pointing out his voting record, which is quite poor in comparison to his colleagues.

    • Sure, some did, but I don't think that something like this is going to change many- if any- votes. My guess is that the intent was to shore up the low Liberal numbers and the NDP vote splitting that had emerged by the end of the campaign, but that situation was caused by much more fundamental issues with the Liberal campaign (and policies, and the party itself).

      If Pearson decides, in time, to work to address the problems that his party has, and works to rebuild it, then maybe if he runs again in the future, petty attacks won't even register with the voters.

      • Petty attacks are one thing–they should at least have some tenuous footing in reality. Outright blatant lies are another.

        • Again, you (like Pearson) are focusing on the wrong thing.

          Yes, it was a lie, made behind his back, and that should not have a place in the politics of this country. However, it is the type of attack that only works to supress the vote for a candidate, not to sway votes. The people that believed that lie were already likely to be voting for someone else, and the lie just helped them put aside any notion of voting for Pearson.

          It wasn't the lie the caused him to lose the race, it was the fact that most voters had already decided not to vote for him for other reasons. The lie was just an attempt to keep it that way.

          If he is focused on it now, I can understand that , but I just hope that he eventually sees the bigger picture, and works to resolve those bigger issues in the coming years.

          • Well, you're speculating. Maybe he was going to lose anyway. This tactic is still despicable.

  12. Good God the man is bitter.

    As long as Liberals follow the Pearson / Ignatieff line and claim that the only reason they lost was due to Conservative dirty tricks and NOT because voters did not like what the current incarnation of the Liberal Party is selling, we can count on Conservative victories for a long, long time.

    • You're completely missing the point: lying about candidates is wrong, bad, illegal and corrosive to our democratic process.

    • Cheating is cheating. It's not allowed in sports.

  13. …or praising the Conservatives when they put partisanship aside and got things done- as I recall, he had very kind words for Mssrs McKay, Baird, and Clement for much work that was done behind the scenes. I recall in particular one instance when Mr McKay literally dropped everything to help out one of Mr Pearson's constituents who needed to get home from Afghanistan quickly (?- sorry I don't remember the particulars).

    I have no doubt that Mr Pearson could dish it with the best of them, but he was thoughtful and articulate.

    Gross distortion of fact, such as turning Pearson's work in the Sudan into "too much time in Africa" calls for all reasonable people to speak up.

  14. Wonder what effect his confession that he paid back around 20,000 of wrongful expenses for booze had to do with his loss. Didn't he say his constituents didn't need to know. Dirty tricks by his staff did him in.
    Re only 40% voted for PMSH, well 97% voted against the Greens, and over 70% voted against the liberals and ndp.

    • I guess this is what is meant by the "new" math.

  15. While I'm sure that its true that he was the victim of some muck-raking

    You miss the point by a mile. He was the victim of behind his back muck-racking. Campaigns should be run out in the open, not conducted in shadowy dark alleys.

    • I don't disagree, but that wasn't my point.

      What I was saying is that when there is muck-raking (in the dark, as you said) there are two different types of reactions, based on the opinions of the voter. A voter who was intending to vote Liberal will react negatively to the attacker, and a voter to was intending to vote Conservative (or at least thinking about it) will take the attack into consideration.

      So, if he was already ahead, I don't think something like this would have much of an effect, but with the Liberals already in trouble nationally, this (unfair) attack was another thing on the pile.

      • What about undecideds? Committed conservatives and committed liberals are not a spanning set of voters. Many people aren't firmly aligned with a party.

        This isn't really an attack, it's defamation. Attacks are legitimate criticisms based on facts.

  16. Cry me a river, you hypocritical libtards!

    NOBODY played dirtier tricks than did the LPOC with it's 40 or 50 year record of corruption, scandal and incompetence as evidenced in the utterly appalling Adscam/Sponsorship Scandal, the infamous HRDC Boondoggle, the unbelievable Shawinigate Scandal, the totally wrong headed Gun Registry Scandal, the sleazy Canada Lands Scandal to name a few, bilking the Canadian taxpayer out of MILLIONS for decades and directing the misappropriated lucre to… themselves!! , have proved FOREVER where their loyalties lie and that the liberals put the interests of their party and it's vast coterie of bloddsuckers and hangers-on above the interests of Canada and the Canadian people.
    There is STILL $48 MILLION of Canadian taxpayer dollars missing to this day from the Adscam/Sponsorship Scandal ALONE and maybe now that we finally have a CPOC majority, Canadian taxpayers can see precisely into 'whose' bank accounts all that money disappeared and true accountability be apportioned to these criminals.
    The Canadian voter has most definitely NOT forgotten and bids you a good riddance!

  17. LOL!
    You want to know why you lost so monumentaly, Libtards?!
    It's the elitist and wrongheaded delusion and liberal hubris that assumes that if someone chooses not to vote for a big statist government it somehow means he/she is a victim of a "hellish campaign of distortion and misinformation" or "dirty tricks,"
    Liberals talk loudly about how they represent the common people, but when the common people render a verdict against them it can't be that the liberal's conception of themselves is wrong, it must be that the poor, stupid, credulous masses were misinformed.

    The LPOC, a discredited and idea-less liberal party along with 'their' biased leftwing MSM enablers are like Dickens' Miss Havisham; trapped in her decaying mansion, fixated on the past, where nothing ever changes and the clock stopped 40 or 50 years ago.
    Good riddance!

    • TL;DR: Blah, blah, blah

    • This is chet right? Hi chet, and welcome back!

  18. ^not
    Let's forget the reasoning behind this past election. For the first time in history, our government was found to be in contempt of Parliament. Speaks volume of the Harper government. Period.

    • Bye Bye libtards!

      • Oh come on. 'Libtard'?. "Libtard" is sooo yesterday.

        Lieberal (but only spelled with the caps lock on for the 'lie' as in LIEberal), is preferred by a margin of 3.5-1 by most partisans.

        'Librano' is also an acceptable form, and quite creative. Wasn't that Saint Ezra of Bow's idea?

        'Fiberal' is also an old standard- that one goes back to 1994 but has stood the test of time.

        'Gomer' is a new one- I'm not sure if it's short for Gomer Pyle or the Gomery Commission- you can use that one on anyone who doesn't agree with you.

        'Arts Major' is a relatively obscure one, but has popped up again and again on these boards and is used with devastating effect by a few special commenters. I thought you might like that one as you seem up on your works of fiction (quoting Dickens and all)

        As a special favour to me though, please don't use 'PMSH'- it sounds like something my beloved gets every 28 days and is not becoming of the Prime Minister.

    • The only reason for the contempt charge was the accuser got to be judge and jury as well. Total farce. The sooner the Liberals realize this, the healing and re-building of this once powerful party can start.

  19. Damned if they do, damned if they don't.

  20. I thought people didn't want an election?

  21. The day after the election I traveled to Bonners Ferry, Idaho to led their National Guard up to the border (they didn't know where Canada was) to complete the 'takeover' that the Liberals and NDP have been talking threatening for years. Yes, 'guns in the streets, our streets', the Libels were using smear campaigning all the way back to Preston Manning so I won't shed a tear.

  22. Well, let's think of it this way.

    Would it be libel if the Tories were to broadcast that message on TV? Or on radio?

    If so, then what is the difference between a libelous statement on radio aired to an audience of 10,000 listeners and a robocall automated message placed to 10,000 households?

    • One is a broadcast statement, the other is 10,000 individual phone calls. Clearly, you are not Matlock.

      • How is it 10,000 'individual' phone calls when the call is identical, and is an automated message rather than a two-way conversation?

        The only difference the device – one is heard on the radio, one is heard on the phone. A robocall most certainly doesn't qualify as a 'conversation' when there isn't even two-way communication between the caller and recipient. And there is no more privacy to listening to a phone call than listening to the radio in the car. As such, I'd say it fails the 'private conversation' criteria discussed above. As for the 'third party' requirement also discussed above, the third party will witness the robocall message when that third party gets robocalled themself.

        If the precedent is not already set, it would be very interesting to see it tested in the courts.

        • I would simply argue that it's no different than a person making the same phone call and hanging up after delivering their message. The fact that it's a recorded message rather than a live one, wouldn't make much of a difference in my opinion.

          • And I would simply argue there is no difference between turning on the radio and hearing a libelous statement heard by 10,000 people and picking up the phone and hearing a libelous statement heard identically by 10,000 people. The fact that one's a radio and one's a phone wouldn't make much of a difference in my opinion.

  23. Ya, I'm sure his story is 100% accurate. No way he's just being a sore loser.

  24. Heh, didn't know he was previously a Wendy's Canada exec. He should have had Dave Thomas campaigning for him.

  25. It's ALWAYS Harper's fault, isn't it?

  26. While I"m sure his efforts in the Sudan were commendable, that's not his job. His job is to represent his constituents, and if they don't like the fact that his work in the Sudan has affected his performance in the HoC, it's absolutely their prerogative to dispose of him.

    Now this is where you tell me that all of his constituents who voted against him are idiots.

    • having a hard time understanding how one week of (personally financed) vaction takes away from HoC performance? Correct me if i' wrong, but Mr.Pearson appears to have made an effort to be available to his consituency? Every MP takes vacation, and where they decide to go needs not be approved by anyone. My arguement is that Mr. Pearson was a respected voice, especially as a CIDA critic.

  27. There hasn't been any evidence of lying. Not a single shred, except for the word of a failed Liberal MP.

  28. If you ain't cheating, you ain't trying.

    • That's it exactly. But to, if I dare, slightly correct you, there is evidence that the misleading robo calls re polling stations being moved on election day did occur.

      • If there's evidence (other than anecdotal) then somebody should be punished.

  29. It has been said that these calls originated in the USA, probably from the same groups that tried to stop SunTv. I would bet that a majority of Canadians made up their mind the day those three leaders appeared on TV announcing their plans to overthrow the elected govt. And remember there is a tape of Layton saying he had made a deal with the Bloc before the last election. With the media and pollsters saying nothing would change, it would be another minority, the coalition was ready to act again, only the Bloc and given Layton access to the Quebec vote.
    As for Pearson's defeat, maybe his comment that his constituents did not need to know about the 20,000 scam re expenses, had more to do with his loss.

  30. What part of Mary's math doesn't add up?

  31. Don't count on it. They'll be banging that drum for the next four years I suspect.

  32. Ya, it's clearly a massive nation-wide conspiracy so skillfully put together and pulled off that there's not a shred of evidence left behind. While Iggy was playing Checkers, Layton was playing Chess, Harper was building robots to destroy his Liberal opponents. Clearly, the Media is in the bag for the CPC or they'd have this all over the front pages.

    "Harper's robot's lied, Liberal MP's died"!

  33. What is that sickening stench? It's Libtards, and their media pimps crying and whining, while they blame everyone but themselves for this historic and continuing defeat. Pearson is a crook and was rejected, not unlike the Librano$ themselves. Get over it Wherry, you Liberal hack, you're party lost, and if you don't stop whining about it, and blaming you're party's failure on the Cons you'll quite probably never manipulate you're way back to power again. PM Harper is a big meanie, whaaaaa, what a pack of pathetic whiners. Grow a pair Libtards, you were rejected because you stand for nothing ( Trudeauvian cultism), you're inserted leader was a dud, and Liberal media pimps are loathed by a huge swath of the Canadian electorate. Libtards can never accept responsibility for their own failures, it's always someone elses fault… pathetic.

  34. I got a robo call april 30th, from PM Stephen Harper. So did a lot of other voters.

  35. Amazing all the anger and name calling coming from the Cons Party operatives on these sites. Calm down. Can't you take yes for an answer? You can keep kicking these cowering beaten dogs as long as you want, but why not turn your attention to what you are actually going to DO for the next five years. The crime bill and the budget we all know. But you need a Throne Speech. Some new stuff.