In the strongest possible terms - Macleans.ca
 

In the strongest possible terms


 

The NDP’s Charlie Angus and Alexandre Boulerice have written to the commissioner of elections to lay out what allegations of voter suppression the NDP is looking into.

Voter suppression is an unacceptable practice that violates sections of the Elections Canada Act. Any individual or campaign that aided or abetted these voter suppression calls designed to disrupt Canadians from exercising their right to vote should be fully investigated. We urge you, in the strongest possible terms, to ensure that the people or parties responsible for these dirty tricks are held to account and charged accordingly.


 

In the strongest possible terms

  1. Elections Canada was wondering why voter turnout was going down. This whole debacle will probably give some people a reason not to vote. But we have to say that voter suppression is wrong, that partisan corruption must be challenged by citizen diligence and that this situation has the potential to strengthen democracy.

  2. surely the election results are void now and the reformer neocons illegitimate.
    stealing elections is a direct slap in the face to every Canadian soldier dead or alive and treason, this is beyond egregious, it’s criminal and a witch hunt to the highest levels should follow.
    torture, spying and stolen elections, this is resembling a coup.

    •  part of the “beauty” of such a scheme is that consequences are unlikely.  The Harper conservatives have a history of identifying things which should be unthinkable – so unthinkable appropriate consequences were never built into the system, because the people designing the Westminister system figured no, nobody would ever do that – and then just doing them.

      • Did you not read that the calls also targeted Conservative voters in at least riding?

        •  Do you believe Dean DelMastro, a proven liar?

          • What about Gerard Kennedy’s riding…the Conservatives were a distant third…the close race was between an NDP and a Liberal (Kennedy)…so really an NDP candidate benefitted from the calls, not a Conservative.

          •  An anomaly, it’s the riding I live in , I have many friends here and I haven’t heard of one instance of this happening (anecdotally). The Con candidates in this riding have all tended to be card board cutouts (like in Roger and Me) since Harper became leader. No shows for the all candidates meetings, they don’t even canvas on my street. In other words, I’m not sure why this would happen here. I can tell you that people who had Liberal lawns signs in this riding have had their homes vandalized. It happened to my neighbour.

          •  I should add, I think it’s disgusting regardless of who’s responsible.

        • No, but I’d be happy to if you provided a link.

          • It is in all of the newspapers and even in Macleans…Aaron Wheary’s blog about the week that was.  People just don’t want to acknowledge any truth in it, because it might suggest that the Conservatives weren’t behind the scheme.

          •  Again, I don’t believe that DelMastro is the most reliable source.

          • I query: does Wherry grow weary of your Weerys and Whearys?

          • Ah, so you’re referring to Del Mastro’s singular claim, about which not a whisper was heard before yesterday?
            I can see why you are avoiding giving me specifics.

          • Sorry Lenny…I didn’t provide you with a link because I am sure you could look it up yourself but if you are going to go on about the Conservative MP just “coming out of the wood work” now when the story has broken, I think you should know that the NDP has several ridings reporting in just now about voter suppression…..brace yourself!

          • Right.   So the balance of evidence suggests the calls were targeting everyone, if you pretend that the claim of one Con MP after the story broke, is the same as countless complaints from voters and MPs in numerous ridings in different parts of the country, the stories of which began emerging immediately, involving calls, some of which have been confirmed and traced.

        • I have a bridge that I’m trying to unload.

        •  Not the election misdirection calls. DelMastro is not claiming that yet.

    • Seeing how Conservative voters were also targeted, where is the proof that is wasn’t a group who had an axe to grind with the election process?

      • Wait for your talking points….because 27-1 isn’t one

        • …and Gerard Kennedy’s riding, where only he and an NDPer were really in the race….there was no motive for a Conservative to cause havoc when an NDP canadidate would benefit.

          • Gad, this one’s even worse.

            Wait to comment till Harp thinks up a better excuse than these!

          • To recap how Emily’s world works: If you only repeat Official Talking Points, you’re a shill and can be ignored, and if you don’t, then your argument is automatically invalid because it’s not the Official Talking Points. War is Peace, Slavery is Freedom, etc.

          • @TheAVR:disqus 

            When none of your excuses are working….attack Emily, eh?

            Sorry, but that doesn’t solve your problem either.

          • Oh my….actually…I will wait for the investigation to be completed….and notice how when you respond to my comments, I don’t accuse you of attacking me.  Why is it whenever someone responds to your comments, they are always attacking you…according to you?

          • Yet Liberal supporters where targeted if they were brave enough to display a lawn sign. I personally don’t think Peggy or Gerrard would do this. They’ve both been great MPs and they both deserve to sit in Parliament.

          • No one is saying Peggy or Gerrard did it either…maybe it was someone messing with the process….it doesn’t have to be a candidate.  The best thing is to do a full investigation before rushing to judgment.

          • @57fc79f8528c0aa6c4b4330d53700334:disqus 

            Well you can wait till the cows come home if you want, but I think most Canadians know who the guilty culprits are

            As to attacks….I think AVR was quite clear in what he said.

      •  It doesn’t count when DelMastro calls his supporters and threatens them.

        • This is why nothing will come of this…because Bob Rae jumped on the Conservatives and Stephen Harper over the “gay marriage” debacle and it turned out that it was Martin, a Liberal who messed that up and now, you guys insist on believing that EVERY Conservative…all the MPs and all those who voted (40%) of voting Canadians are unethical and/or stupid.  It is demeaning and totally inkeeping with the attitude of the Liberal Party of Canada.  I could remind you that you should wait until an investigation has been completed, but seeing how that is not your style, I will just let you continue with your rash suppositions.

          • I don’t think the Liberals are stupid enough to orchestrate something like this — there are consequences to being found out. Remember, the Cons have already thrown one person under the bus That’s says something

          • I never said the Liberals orchestrated anything.  I said maybe somebody did it without the knowledge of any candidate of any party.  I said it is the attitude of the Liberal Party that you can start making allegations (like they did with the gay marriage debacle) before there are any facts to back them up.

          • I agree that a full investigation and more concrete evidence is required before guilt is conclusively assigned. Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that the Cons don’t seem to be denying that a widespread robocall campaign of misinformation did occur. Instead, they’re busying deflecting blame and pointing fingers.

            On the other hand, a couple of unsubstantiated anecdotes from the likes of Del Mastro (who has credibility issues of his own, IMO) don’t make a compelling case that the “other guys were just as bad”.

          • Turns out Del Mastro was complaining about robocalls regarding the OAS….not giving misinformation on the election.

            The first is merely annoying, the second is illegal.

          • Yes, that is true.  The Conservatives aren’t saying that the robocampaign didn’t occur.  They are asking for it to be fully investigated before you jump the gun and hang them.   I am not sure how a case where a riding in which Conservative voters were targeted or one in which a Conservative candidate had no chance to win becomes an argument for “other guys were just as bad”.  Maybe it means that the no candidates from any party that was running for office had anything to do with the calls.  

          • I am not sure about Aaron Wheery, but man do I get weary of people who point out typos and spelling errors….I admit I am not perfect and may I point out that you are well named…your neurosis is showing.  Oh and sorry but I don’t know how to reply when they don’t give me that option.

          • Occasional misspelling of a surname would be an easily forgivable error. Habitually committing variations of the same offense suggests willful intent.

            As for my own neuroses, they spring from more egregious sins than yours, which are merely annoying.

      • This is beyond foolish.  Dean del Maestro is your source for the claim that “Conservative voters were also targeted”.  Dean del Maestro.  Please reconsider the road upon which you are travelling.

      •  So far Conservatives (DelMastro) are not claiming conservative supporters received the election day change of voting station robocalls

  3. Most tampered with election since Borden in WWI? 

  4. If a partisan driven leftist’s wishful thinking constituted evidence, the Harper government would be in trouble.  Thankfully Canadians’ sense of right and wrong is tethered to reality.

    What is more troubling than some misfit’s desire to send out fake robocalls, are the calls from those occupying the highest positions in the Liberal party asking Canadians to cast judgement based on no evidence whatsoever.   We can be thankful that those with such irresponsible thinking are nowhere near the reigns of power.

    • The Government House Leader has already admitted that the Conservatives send false messages to targeted voters.

  5. Well if this voter fraud was perpetrated by the Tories then they certainly are not very good at covering their tracks. Usually if you want to hide your tracks you certainly would not use a company with known ties to the conservative party. Unless you want to smear the conservatives. Interesting.

    • Unless that’s exactly what they want you to think…

      And maybe they thought they were so clever, they didn’t need to cover their tracks, or they did cover their tracks so cleverly, and left a smoking gun pointing somewhere else where the trail ends because they’ve cleverly covered up the evidence…

      Or maybe they were so overconfident and naive, thinking they could get away with it that they actually left the gun pointing at themselves….

      And now it’s so patently stupid that they couldn’t possibly have done that, ’cause they are all so devilishly clever…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_eZmEiyTo0

  6. I’m not going to defend the Conservatives on this. If they are behind this it’s a frigging disgrace. I don’t know if they are, but based on what they did to Cotler it certainly doesn’t look very good for them right now.

    But before you people start going crazy talking about stolen elections, it would be great if, for a start, you could find even one person who actually didn’t get to vote because of this. Because this was national news during the election campaign. It’s not like this is just coming to light now. By the time election day came around people were aware that these calls were happening.

    • Actually, I don’t think that’s completely true.  People were aware of the rude and annoying in-person type calls purporting to be from the campaign of the candidate the receiver supported.  These robocalls, I understand, were only on the day of the election, and supposedly were from Elections Canada.  So people couldn’t have known about them before election day.

      And the other problem is, nobody is paying attention to anything in the wider public beyond the Maclean’s boards and Facebook.  So to expect people to have picked up that phoney calls were going on is overly optimistic of our fellow Canadians.

      • Hmm…seems you may be right. Unless the Google archives are hiding stuff, the only stories I’m seeing about it were dated May 2. The harassing calls were previously in the news.

        I was sure I’d heard about the fake calls for moved polling stations before election day but I could be wrong.

        • I think some of those non-robocall calls might have stated the polling stations had been moved, but the problem is that so many of those calls are just anecdotal (nobody tapes an out-of-the-blue telephone call) that it is hard to discern whether the person talking received one of those calls and is telling what it said, or whether someone is relating what they heard about those telephone calls, and is now mixing it up with the robocalls.

    • Voter suppression is illegal.  It doesn’t matter if your voter suppression scheme is stupid and doesn’t work well, it’s still illegal.  This is no different than stealing a ballot box that you presume will have a high concentration of the “wrong” votes.

      • Not saying it isn’t, and whoever is behind this better go to jail.

        But it’s premature to start talking about new elections until there is some concrete evidence that this is more than “attempted voter suppression”. Even though what we know is already almost certainly illegal, if there are to be by-elections, or even a general election, there needs to be a hell of a lot more than what we’ve seen so far.

        In my opinion we’d need to see that a significant number of people lost their opportunity to vote before something like that could be considered. Now if the Conservatives created a fake polling station for these people (and at this point I’m not putting it past them) and directed people there, that’s a whole new ball game. But just giving them the runaround so that a few people missed the vote? Definitely illegal, definitely go to jail, but you’re not going to recontest an election based on that.

        But definitely whoever authorized this, and it looks more and more like a person in the Conservative campaign, needs to go to jail.

        • When it comes to the robocalls, I personally think every riding into which they were made should have a by-election, to ensure that the will of the voter was fully represented.  This is regardless of how material a difference the action made, or whether it made any difference at all.  Just to drive the point home to all parties that the elections are supposed to be the will of each and every one of the voters, and parties will do nothing to try to suppress that.

          Now if a particular party is found responsible, whether directly or through gross negligence, then their penalty is that no money from that party may be used to purchase advertising or any media which goes into the ridings affected and that the most assistance the party can give is its maximum donation of $1100 directly to the candidate.

          This is serious business, and it needs to be somehow driven home into the parties, and right through the entire DNA of each and every party that this kind of activity is not kosher.  Not just illegal, but flat out wrong in every sense, and that there will be harsh penalties for it.  I want this kind of thing to be as verboten as pedophilia.. so that if anyone in the party even suggests it, all of the people around them go, “Are you some kind of moron? What the hell are you thinking?”

          • Thwim, I recognize where you’re coming from and support making this kind of thing as unpalatable to contemplate as possible, but with all due respect, that’s crazy. If the threshold was that low we’d never get an election finished, any 3rd party goon with access to a robodialer could just do this over and over again.

          • Enh.. fair point, I guess.  Letting the hindbrain get away with me.

            Still, I feel there really needs to be some sort of consequences, something serious enough that parties don’t just give lip service to the idea of that being wrong, but so that each and every supporter of every party goes, “Holy shit, we do *not* want to be doing that.”

            Party de-registration doesn’t seem too harsh to me. And something less severe, like reducing all Elections Canada refunds to the party to 0 for the next election, is almost a base level.