Somebody to blame -

Somebody to blame


Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott says Elections Canada is “significantly responsible” for the confusion, but the Canadian Press notes that Elections Canada asked parties to refrain from calling voters with polling station information.

In its statutory report following the 2011 campaign, released last August, Elections Canada highlighted the incident in a separate box. “Because a polling site can be replaced by another at the last minute, and to ensure that electors always have access to the most accurate information regarding their location, Elections Canada indicated to political parties that the list supplied should only be used for internal purposes and that parties should not direct electors to polling sites,” said the report.

All parties were instructed to tell voters to check Elections Canada’s website or their voter information card for poll locations “to prevent electors from being directed to incorrect polling sites.” “Some political parties did not comply with this request,” said the report.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives are demanding that the Liberals release their phone records. But while the Liberals are happy to do so, the Conservatives aren’t willing to do likewise.


Somebody to blame

  1. “…. Elections Canada indicated to political parties that the list supplied should only be used for internal purposes …. ”

    Oscar Wilde ~ I can resist everything except temptation

    • Quotation … A writer expresses himself in words that have been used before because they give his meaning better than he can give it himself, or because they are beautiful or witty, or because he expects them to touch a cord of association in his reader, or because he wishes to show that he is learned and well read. Quotations due to the last motive are invariably ill-advised; the discerning reader detects it and is contemptuous; the undiscerning is perhaps impressed, but even then is at the same time repelled, pretentious quotations being the surest road to tedium.”  – Henry Fowler

      “The most annoying trait of Right-Wing Outlaws in general is a lazy incuriosity about the real world. They know their lines, they’re sure who the good guys and the bad guys are. Therefore they view the passing world as a kind of animated “Bartlett’s Quotations” – that is, as handy source material with which to illustrate, rather than challenge, preconceived views.” – James Fallows

      “I hate quotations.  Tell me what you know.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

      • Are you Humanities grad Sean? I always find it’s the left wing sociologists who hate wisdom the most. 

        Also, Emerson quote is delightful because you do neither. Very passive aggressive of you.

        • “It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom.”  – Mahatma Ghandi

          • Did Ghandi have any thoughts on who’s wisdom we should be sure of? 

            David Ricardo ~ I wish that I may never think the smiles of the great and powerful a sufficient inducement to turn aside from the straight path of honesty and the convictions of my own mind

          • “It’s such a fine line between stupid and clever.”  David St. Hubbins and Nigel Tufnel

      • Thank you for demonstrating the effective use of quotes.  It is a skill.

      • Tony turned the road to tedium into a super-highway.

  2. No human cannot be disgusted at the antics of the Harper government on this issue. 

    • What does that say about Harpo’s pom pom brigade?

      • That they’re beasts.

        • Of course that’s not true — but they seem to have a lot of anger and resentment that the CPC (and it’s predecessor Reform) is able to harness and channel for their own benefit. As I recall, you’re from Saskatchewan (I grew up in Alberta) — didn’t it ever strike you as odd that politics is so monochromatic out on the Prairies? Albertans (in my experience) always seemed to have a hate-on for outsiders — especially Ontario. I can tell you that having lived in Ontario for the past 32 years that I honestly can’t recall any Ontarian slagging Albertans. I think that a lot of people from Alberta consider themselves Albertans first and Canadians second. It seems to be the opposite here in Ontario. 

          • That’s what always puzzles Ontarians. Why all the hate towards us?

            I can tell you Albertans don’t like any criticism directed back at them, but they’re always keen to dish it out….and it’s a mystery to us.

          • Exhibit A : Mr. Omen.

          • Oh please. you hate Westerners more than anybody else here.

          • @Gtrplyr055 I don’t hate Ontarians. I just think you typically vote with the intelligence of a donkey.

          • That was a passive aggressive response Rick. Again proving my point. You seem to think that we (i.e. Ontarians) all mark an X beside the “Lieberal” or “NDP -Marxist Coalition” box and I can attest that this simply isn’t true. Admit that you’re not a Conservative supporter out in Alberta and you’ll surely be shunned in a manner similar to what JW’s do when one wants to leave the flock.

            You should come in live out here for a couple of years and get a different perspective of life. Ask your boss for a transfer to HQ.  You might be pleasantly surprised as to how your mind expands once you give it permission to accept that your cosmology isn’t the only one in existence.

          • @Rick_Omen:disqus 

            I lived in Alberta, married and had a child there. Never thought about Alberta any differently than any other province until they started attacking Ontario.

            After years of this, I simply returned the favour….that’s the part you don’t like. What goes around, comes around, Rick

          • @Rick_Omen:disqus 

            Ontarians voted Liberal…that’s what you hate.

            Cons have been voting for the same Con govt in Alberta for 40 years….and you think that is the norm!

          • cuz’ they are actually americans…

          • @Rick_Omen:disqus As do I you.

          • I live in SK but I am from the Maritimes, hence the fish out of water of being  Liberal out here.  I find people here very narrow and status-quo-oriented in politics, and other areas too, and I’m not sure what it takes to make them change their vote.  And SK has some of the more Reformy MPs representing us. 

          • I hope Vellacott isn’t your MP!

          • No, Ray Boughen.  The eldest MP, silent and invisible.  I do believe he was a Liberal — remember, the late Dave Batters was MP here, and he was off on a health leave and didn’t step down until very close to the election call — a day earlier, I think — and Liberals were surprised to see Ray Boughen as conservative candidate.  But  he was a shoe-in to the seat, and collects several pensions already.

          • And yet, I believe SK spawned the co-operative movement, “socialized” medicine, and the immortal Tommy Douglas. As well, it has elected NDP governments in its recent past.

            IMO, the CCF, Social Credit, and more recently, the Reform movement that became a right wing party, are flip sides of the same coin, i.e., good ‘ol prairie populism.

    • I’m much more disgusted at the LPC stealing millions of taxpayer dollars and never paying back a dime.

      • Meanwhile, blinded by a grudge, Rick is unable to see the big blue truck headed toward him…

      • I’m much more disgusted at the NDP for disenfranchising thousands of Natives.

        Sask Leader Post ~ Feb 2012:

        “A Meadow Lake man pleaded guilty Tuesday to attempting to utter forged documents in connection with the membership scandal that marred Dwain Lingenfelter’s eventually successful 2009 NDP leadership campaign …. It was alleged that members of the Flying Dust and Waterhen Lake First Nations were signed up en masse for memberships without their consent or knowledge. The 1,100 memberships — purchased by the Lingenfelter campaign at a cost of about $10,000 in total — were later cancelled by the party.”

        • Could you explain that a bit further (and include an actual link?) The single paragraph you copied and pasted would seem to be describing a bit of party membership tomfoolery. Sure it’s bad, and sure the party will have to do something about it, but where is the disenfranchising come in? How does cancelling a bunch of false memberships to a political party do anything to take voting rights away from Natives?

          You do understand that you don’t have to be a member of a political party to vote, right?

        • I am upset at this behaviour in the internal matter of a provincial party which never formed the government under that leader,  and  am glad the administration cancelled the memberships once the problem came to light.  I am not sure you are using disenfranchised quite properly and suspect that is deliberate on your part.

          • I know what the word means but I don’t know what I am talking about in Sask. I came across that story the other day looking for evidence that all parties engage in electoral fraud but I can’t tell what actually happened after reading a few articles.

            Natives signed up without their knowledge – were they NDP supporters who intended to vote in leadership contest or were fake memberships given to Lingenfelter’s followers?

          • The last one…rigging the nomination process.

          • “The last one…rigging the nomination process.”

            Thank you. More ‘vote early, vote often’ than disenfranchisement ….  enfranchised too much?

        • Disenfranchised?  They were signed up without their consent. 

      • how come you don’t feel the same way about multinational oil companies that have stolen billions of revenue from Alberta? Oh right, it’s okay if they give you beads for it…yee haw!

        • Can you provide a link to information about oil companies stealing billions of dollars from the Alberta government? Or are you referring to what the rest of us call “doing business”.

          • Royalties never come up for discussion in Alberta?

          • No, only discussions about how Ontarians vote like donkeys.

          • Hee haw!

        • You mean those multinational oil companies that used billions of their own dollars and took a chance? the ones that half of Alberta work for? the ones our CPPIB and RRSP owners hold shares in? those ones?

          • Given the guarantees and the subsidies the Alberta government provides, it’s really not much of a “chance” they took.  Certainly a hell of a lot less of a chance than they’d take trying to do the same work any place else in the world.. which is why they’re here.

          • You seem to forget the price of oil is rather important in the equation of risk/reward.

      • So that that gives the current government the right  to play fast and loose with the rules?  How is that logical.  And we turfed the Libs out for their bad behavior. 

      • “I’m much more disgusted at the LPC stealing millions of taxpayer dollars and never paying back a dime.”

        And I’m still burning over the CP scandal. Buncha’ Tory crooks.

      • Wow Rick.. you better take that to the RCMP! 

        I mean, millions of dollars! Why that’s a case they’d take up in no time flat unless some pathetic loser was just making up stories without a shred of evidence…

        • So now the Sponsorship Scandal never happened? Wowzers!

          • Yes it did and as I recall Paul Martin manned up and took responsibility. He didn’t finger-point or prattle on about being a victim. When has Steve ever taken responsibility for any malfeasance on his bench? When have any of his Ministers ever taken responsibility? Look it up Rick — it’s never happened — ever. Part of being an adult and a leader is accepting ultimate responsibility for the things that occur on your watch.

          • What happened was well covered and public and the object of a public enquiry.

          • We even had committees airing the sponsorship program.  Thank you for reminding me what it was like when we had an open government, one that doesn’t hide the deliberations of committees behind the veil of secrecy.

          • Funny that.. from what I remember, the investigation did not find that the Liberal Party of Canada was guilty of anything. Rather there were various individuals, some of them Liberal party members, who were guilty of it.

            Of course, on the other hand, we have the actual Conservative Party who has now pled guilty to one charge, and acknowledged a finding of guilt in a second charge of electoral malfeasance, attempting to steal at least a million bucks from us in electoral refunds.

            So really, is what you’re mad about that the CPC isn’t bright enough to avoid getting caught?

  3. Whose the leader of the club

    that lies to you and me?


    Hey, there?! Hi, there! Ho, there!



    Kick him out! Kick him out!

    So Canada can hold its head up high!

  4. Meanwhile, the Conservatives are demanding that the Liberals release their phone records. But while the Liberals are happy to do so, the Conservatives aren’t willing to do likewise.

    That pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?  

    The government demanding that an opposition party be transparent and accountable and release their records, and when the opposition party say “OK, sure” the government nonetheless continues to insist that the same records for the governing party don’t need to be released.

    Pre-2006 Stephen Harper would blow a gasket!!!  Thank God he’s not around anymore, eh?

    • Silly Canadians, consequences are for Liberals.

      I betcha within 10 days someone for the CPC will say “We have have agreed to release all our phone records but the Liberals will not do the same.” 

      • Or that the Liberals falsified their records.

        • That’s  a given.

    • It’s their reflexive victim’s posture, born back in the day when they were the Reform movement, that collection of outsiders with a massive collection of grievances against “Ottawa”.

      It has worked so well, they can’t give it up, even after getting their own hands on the levers of power. They’d still have us believe they’re being exploited by the evil “lieberals”.

  5. Isn’t it amazing how the Conservatives can turn the emphasis 180 degrees by sheer gall and the opinion makers kind of buy into it. “We say it’s the Libs, therefore in order to be fair, you have to give us 50 per cent or more of the coverage and pretend it’s possible because we say it is. So the Libs have to hand over records, but why should we?” It’s like history and facts and what we all know no longer exist. Harper has done this over and over and it always works. Amazing.

    • It’s the pandas, I tell you, the pandas!

  6. As hard as it is to step back a bit when one thinks there’s Harper blood in the water, I’d invite readers to ponder exactly what Elections Canada was advocating – that parties should resist the urge to engage in “get out the vote” efforts on election day.  To Elections Canada’s apparent chagrin “some political parties (i.e. every last one of them) did not comply with this request”.

    Presumably, the next brilliant directive from Elections Canada will be “we urge parties to do away with those lawn signs, since nobody notices them anyway”.

    • NOT what they said. In fact, an incredibly stupid misreading of what they said.

      • “Elections Canada indicated to political parties that the list supplied should only be used for internal purposes and that PARTIES SHOULD NOT DIRECT ELECTORS TO POLLING SITES” (emphasis added)

        Please elaborate on my “incredibly stupid misreading” of what Elections Canada said.

        • They said that they should not direct them to polling sites because it’s possible that they could change at the last minute, NOT that they shouldn’t engage in getting out the vote.  Since parties will go to your house repeatedly on election day until your name is crossed off, and drive you to the darn polling station, the request has little if anything to with the GOTV process.  Since your statement was unreasonable I called you on it.


          • You’re dancing on the head of a pin.  Of course Elections Canada didn’t phrase their request “don’t engage in (one important aspect of)  GOTV”, but that is, in essence, what they requested,  i.e. chill about ensuring your candidate’s supporters actually show up at a polling station to vote – just tell them to call us”.

            And you didn’t call my statement “unreasonable” (which I dispute), you said it was, not just a “misreading” or a “stupid misreading”, but an “incredibly stupid misreading” of Elections Canada’s request.

            I’ll resist the urge to call you out on the “reasonableness” of your statements.

          • If this is what you got, you got nothin.  

          • No it’s not. EC has never ( to the best of my knowledge) ever complained about the practice of driving people poles. Directing them to a poll is a different matter and if you think about that you’ll understand why there is prohibition on that behavior.

          • “If this is what you got, you got nothin.”
            What an incredibly stupid misreading of my comments. 

          • Does the Conservative Party decide where polling stations are located – or isn’t this the job of Elections Canada?

            The parties should definitely encourage voters to go out and vote, drive them there, whatever, but the parties should not tell people where their polls are.  That’s flirting with disaster.  Only Elections Canada should be allowed to do this. If that’s not the case, then it’s a flaw in the Elections Act that should be looked into immediately.

        • Well, isn’t that exactly what the robocalls did? Not direct voters to polling sites? So they were only following orders.

          • HA!

          • I suspect that’s true concerning the 1 out of 100 (500?  1,000?) recipients who didn’t hang up a half second into the robocall.

          • A vote subverted is a victory for the criminally minded.

          • “A vote subverted is a victory for the criminally minded.”

            I agree.  I also think that “robocalls” are but one of dozens of nefarious tactics engaged in by all parties come election time.  Democracy, as practiced in this country, isn’t pure as the driven snow and never will be.  This is not to say the “robocalls” matter shouldn’t be pursued – it should and heads of those responsible should roll. It is to say, however, that our election system,  despite it’s foibles, does invariably produce the correct result. 

        • See my response above.

    • Nope – they didn’t discourage get out the vote calls, they told them not to give out voting locations because they were subject to change.  They were told to tell voters to contact EC for the locations.  And the Cons requested the location list, EC was responding to that request.

      • “…they didn’t discourage get out the vote calls, they told them not to give out voting locations because they were subject to change.”
        I take it you’ve never personally worked for a candidate on election day.  In the fevered environment of election day, the reaction of a campaign worker tasked with ensuring every last person who at any point showed an inclination to vote for your candidate actually does so, to being told “don’t tell anyone where to go to vote – leave that to us, just in case we change it (the odds of which happening are about a thousand to one)” is unlikely to be acquiescence.

        “And the Cons requested the location list, EC was responding to that request. ”

        Would that be the same “location list” EC published at least three times in my local newspaper?  The same “location list” EC put on a handbill delivered to every home in my riding?  The same “location list” every single other party would have likewise wanted to get, so they could engage in their own GOTV efforts?  What’s your issue with the Cons requesting the polling station location list?


        • Every election I receive GOTV calls, I have never been told where it is I should vote.  EC tells me that because that is there is their responsibility.
          So why did the Cons request the list?  I assume it is because it lists individual voters and their voting locations which would make it easier to prepare a phoning list. And EC, after the Con request, sent  out the list to the other parties.  I have no objection to the Cons requesting the list, but given the unreliability of it, you have to wonder what use it was to them. It certainly wasn’t to give their voters accurate voting locations.

          • I agree with you JanBC.  I’ve been voting since 1968 and I have never been told by a party where I should vote.  The party that does this is irresponsible, and if the law doesn’t prohibit this, well it should.

          • Also remember, the rule was made in the age before robocalls, and robocalls compund any possible errors!
            But I prefer that they be encouraged not to direct people to polls.

             But the original issue politically is directing to a FALSE polling station claiming to be EC, and the issue in this thread is some guy blathering on about EC guidelines amounting to anti-GOTV practice adn something all parties engage in equally.