The Commons: The yellow piece of paper

Dean Del Mastro’s notes tell him voters have been demeaned

by Aaron Wherry

The Scene. Immediately after Question Period, Dean Del Mastro stood to complain that the phrase “exaggerated prevarications,” which had been directed at him by the NDP’s Charlie Angus, was unparliamentary.

Regardless of whether this was inbounds—Mr. Angus argued it was and offered to produce a dictionary definition to prove it—it was most certainly an attack, though perhaps not one that Mr. Del Mastro can claim to take personally. At least so long as he seems to be merely the conduit for what is written on a yellow piece of paper.

On the yellow piece of paper that sat atop Mr. Del Mastro’s desk this day seemed to be written something like the following.

“These outrageous and exaggerated allegations made by the member opposite demean millions of voters who cast legitimate votes in the last election. The opposition paid millions of dollars to make hundreds of thousands of phone calls … Before continuing these baseless smears, they should prove their own callers are not behind these reports.”

Lacking an elevator in which to escape to, the parliamentary secretary to the prime minister committed eight versions of this—an ad-libbed sentence here, a different adjective there—to the official record this afternoon.

Barely two recitations into the hour, the NDP’s Charlie Angus already sounded weary. “Mr. Speaker, there is only one party in this House that has been busted for electoral fraud,” he sighed in his aging punk rocker lilt. “These Conservatives tried to bilk the taxpayers out of $800,000 with their dodgy election filings in 2006. They were busted and forced to cop a plea and after years of stalling justice, they have had to pay the taxpayers their $230,000. Canadians are looking for a bit of contrition. Just like in this robo-fraud scandal. Now that the investigation is widening, will they stop playing games and come clean about their role in interfering with the rights of Canadians to vote?”

Mr. Del Mastro stood and dutifully repeated his lines. Baseless smears, extreme allegations, demeaning voters and so forth. But instead of merely suggesting the opposition parties needed to prove they weren’t responsible for the phone calls they now complain about, Mr. Del Mastro went ahead and declared them guilty.

“The opposition, in fact, paid millions of dollars to make hundreds of thousands of phone calls,” he reported. “We believe they are the source of these reports.”

This last sentence seemed not to be on the yellow piece of paper, at least insofar as Mr. Del Mastro dared not repeat it the rest of the day.

Here Mr. Angus mocked the parliamentary secretary with public pity. “Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary sure is a trooper,” Mr. Angus called. “He will read whatever lines the PMO gives him.”

Then a pop culture reference. “However, when it comes to robo-fraud, his attacks are about as effective as the black knight from the Monty Python sketch,” Mr. Angus mocked. “This would be funny if it were not so serious. We are talking about an investigation into electoral fraud in Nipissing—Timiskaming, Kingston, Guelph and Thunder Bay.”

And then that polysyllabic slur. “Does he not understand that his exaggerated prevarications demean the millions of Canadian people who have cast legitimate votes in this last election?”

Mr. Del Mastro managed that this matter was “not a joke” before retreating to his script.

Two more rounds with Mr. Del Mastro and then, perhaps belatedly, the Liberals got specific.

“Last week I was contacted by a voter who told me she received two calls during the election campaign. The first call was a live call asking her if she was going to vote Conservative. She replied she would not. Then, close to election day, she received a robocall telling her her polling station had changed,” Francis Scarpaleggia reported.

There were chuckles and chirps from the Conservative side, various government members apparently unimpressed with Mr. Scarpaleggia’s evidence.

“I would like to know how the Prime Minister would explain this strange coincidence?” the Liberal asked. “Also, how would he explain it given the fact that there were no Liberal robocalls in Lac-Saint-Louis during the election campaign?”

Despite this preemptive rebuttal to the yellow piece of paper’s contention, Mr. Del Mastro dutifully repeated the suggestion that the Liberals or New Democrats were responsible.

Judy Foote next moved to identify an accuser by name. “Mr. Speaker, according to media reports, Peggy Walsh Craig of Nipissing received a phone call during the 2011 election campaign asking her if she intended to vote Conservative, to which she said no. She received a second call just prior to election day claiming to be from Elections Canada to tell her that her polling station had moved,” Ms. Foote recounted.

Across the way, Heritage Minister James Moore seemed to dismiss Ms. Foote’s evidence.

“The Conservative MP from Nipissing won only by 18 votes,” the Liberal continued. “Can the Prime Minister categorically tell Ms. Walsh Craig and other voters in her riding that no one associated with his party had anything to do with this?”

Mr. Del Mastro was moved enough to acknowledge the “outstanding new member of Parliament for Nipissing—Timiskaming, who was emphatically elected by the voters of that riding,” but he was otherwise unwilling to deviate.

“What I can say categorically is that these exaggerated allegations by the member opposite and her party demean the millions of voters who cast legitimate votes in the last election,” Mr. Del Mastro offered in response to Ms. Foote, “including those in Nipissing—Timiskaming.”

So either Ms. Walsh Craig owes the country an apology or the yellow piece of paper owes Ms. Walsh Craig an apology.

The Stats. Ethics, 17 questions. Health care, four questions. Government spending, employment, pensions, veterans, trade and search-and-rescue, two questions each. Afghanistan, the National Research Council, science, government contracts, Air Canada and sports, one question each.

Dean Del Mastro, eight answers. Stephen Harper, five answers. Pierre Poilievre, Leona Aglukkaq and Diane Finley, four answers each. Keith Ashfield, three answers. Steven Blaney, Ted Menzies, Gerald Keddy and Rona Ambrose, two answers each. Peter Kent, Lisa Raitt and Bal Gosal, one answer each.




Browse

The Commons: The yellow piece of paper

  1. What I can say categorically is that these scripted lines of obfuscating bullshit from the member of  Peterborough  demean the millions of Canadians who actually give a shit about their country

    • Harper might as well get up in QP and give us all the finger.

      • Dean del Mastro is harper’s middle finger. 

        • well played Patch!

  2. I think we all know that piece of paper is too yellow to own up and take responsibility for anything.

    The inanimate carbon rod — now there was a modern hero our children can look up to.

  3. Starting to sound like a directive came down from the top to initiate the fraudlent calls across the country.

  4. A commenter at the G&M yesterday coined the phrase “Mastro baiting”. I wish I had thought of it first.

  5. Obviously Wherry and the bleaters on this board are getting frustrated. The Conservatives are not biting and the  opposition are finding trouble finding any real meat to continue the daily outrage. So as this shiny ball tarnishes the opposition will have to look for their next outrage. Eventually they will all have to return to running the country.

    • Cons are shell-shocked and in hiding….but it was a valiant effort on your part.

    •  party above country CPCers, forever and always

    • The role of Bagdad Bob is being played by hollinm tonight. 

      • A mere understudy.

    • Well, the EC investigator has traced Pierre Poutin’s cell phone purchase to a convenience store in Guelph.  Don’t they usually have cameras?  And he bought the Racknine service with PayPal, which the investigator has a warrent to look into.  So don’t you worry, there is progress being made on the file.

      • Well aren’t you happy now. We will wait and see. However, my position is that if somebody has done something illegal then they should be prosecuted. Maybe it was George Soros or  Tides Canada. They appear to want to interfer in Canadian domestic politics. :-)

        • The investigation is proceeding.  We should all be happy, right?

          • Of course the investigation is continuing. However, I don’t see any blaring headlines about where the cell phone was bought and the fact that the accountant was paid by paypal. You must be joshing.

          • I read  this in the Montreal Gazette – there is lots of information out on the issue you know.  MAybe if you spent less time spreading talking points…

          • Obviously the lamestreet media in the rest of Canada is covering up these facts that you seem to have uncovered. Give me a break.

          • Has the boss put a block on google for you guys.  I hope your not being held against your will, forced to crank out the stuff on the yellow papers. 

  6. Would it make any difference if this women now complaining was a member of Leadnow? Has been posting anti-Harper,, and anti-Conservative things on a webpage for years? Would it make any difference that on the page she puts all this anti-Harper information, she never mention the 2011 election campaign, voting, or misleading phone calls?

     , I don’t know whether she’s telling the truth or lying. Come to think of it I don’t know who to believe, because Elections Canada hasn’t found any guilty partyas yet. Yet the regulars on here will treat her words as gold, because people on here think those that vote NDP never tell a fib. Elections Canada can pull her phone records to verify her story , which Im sure they will once the weed their way through the thousands of complaints, oops, I meant contacts EC recieved as a result of petitions by Leadnow and Avaaz.

    • Well, if the whole thing is just a big desperate socialist anti-Harper scam, and the Conservative Party has conducted themselves in an ethically sound manner and recorded their electoral transactions as the law requires, then the government will weather this storm just fine, and the opposition will look terrible.

      So what is it you’re so worried about?

      •  Where did I say I was worried? Obviously, something illegal occurred in Guelph, and it appears EC should have the guilty party any day now.

         As for the other ridings, conservative supporters also experienced decieving phone calls, which somewhat refutes opposition allegations. Conservative voters complained of recieving several calls in one day from someone identifying themselves as being from the party, when in fact the party had not contacted those individuals. Complaints were filed with EC back in May 2011. The fact the Conservative Party is keeping this info condidential between them and EC is far more professional than grandstanding in the media as victims.

         Which begs the question who? Liberals. NDP, third party? No idea. Neither does anyone else,but it doesnnt seem to stop them hanging the PM. 

        • Leadnow….nobody buys this, so save yourself some wasted effort and stop selling it

          • Don’t buy it eh? Two family members worked in the campaign office in Ajax-Pickering every day, and yes supporters recieved harrassing calls and EC was advised and a complaint was filed. CBC reported complaints from supporters of all parties back on May 2nd, but you are probably going to  tell me nobody is buying that too, right?

             Get a life. And wipe that egg off your face.

          • Sorry, nobody buys this sad sorry tale about it being some Lib/Dipper plot, and Cons are entirely innocent.

            People can’t just ‘say’ things….they need phone records.

            And the records all lead back to the Cons

            So give the BS a rest eh.

          •  At least you’re staying on script.

        • ” the Conservative Party is keeping this info condidential between them and EC”

          Won’t your bosses be upset, then, that you blew the confidentiality?

    • So, are you saying that a large portion of those 31,000,000 complaints could be from Harper-Haters who are frantically looking for a vehicle for their denial and frustration?

      • Ummm, I thought the number was 31,000, not 31 million.  Just sayin’.

        • On the other hand, if you want to stand by that 31 million number, that would be “interesting”, as it would mean that the number of complaints would greatly exceed the number of eligible voters.

          • Now look what you’ve gone and done. Do you know how long it took Ellen to come up with that one her fingers and toes?

          • Lol. I can forgive a beautiful women any amount of demographic hyperbole.

          • Would not be that uncommon. Ujal Dosanjh won his riding in the 2008 election, with more ballots counted than were cast.

          • The next election was called for October 2008. Dosanjh faced sociologist Wai Young running for the Conservatives, health worker Ann Chambers running for the NDP, and an IT consultant, Csaba Gulyas for the Green Party. Dosanjh won by 33 votes over Young, both receiving 38.4% of the vote. A recount confirmed Dosanjh’s victory but only by a margin of 22 votes.[55] The Conservative Party requested a second, judicial recount, which again confirmed Dosanjh as the victor

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ujjal_Dosanjh#40th_Canadian_Parliament

          • Oh, oh, someone is stuffing the complaints box. InvestigateGate!

        • —just trying to show the silliness of political parties getting their supporters to click a mouse as a means of protesting the enemy. Whether they convince 31000 or 31000000, it means little.
          My apologies if my sarcasm has upset the locals.

          • No, we have come to accept your silliness as normal for you.

            You can’t just ‘click a mouse’….EC needs phone records

          • As usual, you are wrong.

          • As usual, you are silly.

      • Absolutely. Despite Pat Martin’s denial that both Ian Capstick and Robin Sears, both higher ups in Leadnow aren’t linked to the NDP, Leadnow sent out a mass email to it’s supporters, with a link to the petition. Included in that petition was an email address for the head of EC for it to be forwarded whenever someone signedon.

         That’s where the 31,000 contacts came from. American based avaaz put out a similar petition, also including the EC heads email as a recipient

        • Swing for the fences! Where’s the Soros connection? Weave in a little Michael Moore, a soupçon of Al Gore and yer on yer way, kid!

          • Research Leadnow. Want a link for the leadnow petition? Want a link for the avaaz petition? Funny, even Evan Solomon admitted the NDP connection to Leadnow and the inflated number because of the petition. And the 31,000 complaints became 31,000 contacts, EC’s own words.

             But keep fighting the good fight. 

          • Problem is, this the one most people get. 

            You can shout “Aaaaaahhhvaaaz” like Charlie Heston at the end of Planet of the Apes. You can do it in slow motion. You can do it in the mud as a pathetic-fallacy downpour encircles you while the mud pools about your knees.

            But…if all of a sudden people start realizing that a ‘stable majority  mandate’ wobbly rests on 6,400-some votes across 14 hotly-contested Ontario ridings – votes that may have been gained through less than wholesome tactics…well, people get that.

            People love their vote, As insignificant as you think that is, it’s their one attachment to what we call democracy. And if there’s even a hint that anyone mugged it, they get that. And they get mad. 

            So, you ‘keep up the good fight’. Obfuscate, send the Deaner out to repeat banalities that even he’s losing heart for. Poor Deaner’s searching for elevators – or transporters – to get him out,  wipe off the flop sweat and sleep. ‘Cuz he has to do the same schtick again tomorrow. Same PMO paper with the same stale crap. Repeat. Repeat. (Wipe brow) Repeat.

            People get this one, But, by all means, keep it up.

          • Come on, everyone knows only Maurice Strong would be capable of something like this.

      • “Harper-Haters”

        Can you see Russia from your house too?

        • I believe there are a number of confessed Harper-Haters on this site.

          • Actually I’ve only ever heard of one….but congrats for trying to make out that it’s illegal….instead of normal in a democracy.

          • That would be me — and I’m damn proud of it!

          • I’m a Harper-hater too. There are hordes of us. But hating Harper doesn’t necessarily mean we can’t view issues on their merits – as Ellen is implying. If they are right on an issue, I back them. It just doesn’t happen that often. :-)

          • I agree Keith —  the problem being that one either sides with Harper or you’re be labeled with any number of pejorative descriptors depending on the circumstance. This also happens to be my country and we have a right to dissent, especially when you feel passionate about your country. If Harpo doesn’t like my opinion then he shouldn’t take my taxes.

          • This whole meme repeated ad nauseum by Harper supporters that if someone doesn’t like him, they shouldn’t criticize him.  I don’t recall Reformers holding back criticism of Chretien and they certainly didn’t like him. 

          • I just find it disturbing that you adopt the language of Sarah Palin. 

            This is the kind of politics that the Conservatives have imported from the Republicans in the US – polarization. They use tactics, language and policies that divide people and leave little room for consensus or even basic decorum. And then when anyone disagrees by pointing it out you hang a “label” – preferably a polarizing one – hence the “haters”

             I don’t hate Stephen Harper, but the sleazy tactics are absolutely appalling to me. Sending out Del Mastro to repeat the same hollow phrase while simply muddying the waters is not accountable government and not good government.

             You may focus on the ends justifying the means, but how you play the game is important – you wouldn’t raise your children to obfuscate, finger point and flat out lie would you? Why is it OK here?
             

          • I think that’s exactly why they behave like that — because that’s the way they were raised. I grew up in Alberta with so many people who had exactly that attitude and upbringing. The motto of my youth “What’s your is mine and what’s mine is mine” — ( knew people who recited this and acted accordingly. Sharing and compromise is for the weak-kneed commies.

          • So you don`t hate Harper. You are appalled. Then for you, I will change the phrase to Harper-Appallers.

            I don`t know why there has been such a concerted effort by the left in this country to go to almost any means to paint everything Harper does as evil. That is something you guys can analyze each other about.
             I suspect that when you get over that particular obsession, whether you are a journalist or an opposition supporter, you will find there will be much less cynicism from those you are appalled by.

            As for Del Mastro and the same hollow phrase, would you be happy if there were a different Conservative MP got up to respond in a different manner to the same question from the same opposition member?
            Instead of lecturing others about how they may improve, do what you can to improve yourself.

          • Gtplyr055:  I an sorry your perception of your youth in Alberta has affected your attitudes in adult life.
            I know a few people who were born and raised in Alberta and I find them to be a very positive, well-adjusted and cheerful bunch.
            It is probably not accurate for adults to mix in their political views with a general judgement of a particular geographical area. 

          • Just providing a backgrounder on how some people might become this way. I shouldn’t have generalized — sorry about that — I know many more well adjusted happy people from Alberta. I was just giving an example of how this might arise. I see same behavior being reinforced here in Ontario — some parents either can’t deal with bully children or refuse to accept that their children are anything but angelic.

            Bullies seem to have a way of rising to the top. I guess that’s part of their psychopathology.

          • Ellen
            You did not read it correctly – I wrote that I was appalled by the sleazy tactics – that is something I have a hard time respecting. Sending up Dean Del Mastro to repeat a shallow phrase intended to muddy the water is not the “accountability” I was promised, is it?

            http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Canada/20051104/conservatives_accountabilityplatform_20051104/ 

            Calling voter suppression a “particular obsession” is (once again) hanging a cheap label on dissent. This story is important no matter who is behind it because it poses a threat to our democratic system of voting. Any thinking person should see that this raises alarm bells that require the full attention of our government, not some glib rhetoric specifically intended to muddy the waters.

             Why don’t you head over to the National Post and read Andrew Coyne latest? Are Coyne and the NP Liberal msm shills too?

             

    •  I have suspicions based on observed behaviour past practice and numerous complaints.  If after impartial full investigations the suspicions are groundless I am prepared to abandon them.

      Anything else would be absurd.

    • You do realize that the Leadnow is a petition demanding a public inquiry.  It isn’t going to distract EC at all.

      • There have been several attempts that i’ve seen to conflate the leadnow petition with the calls to EC. Par for the course really.

        • Distortions, irrelevancies and outright lies – always the sign of people who are innocent.  I know they think we voters are all stupid but do they think they can play this game with EC? 

  7. Open on: CPC locker room between periods:

    Hon Mem: Atta Boy, Deaner!

    There is a round of applause as Del Mastro enters. He wipes profuse flop sweat from his forehead.

    Del M: Jeekers, fellas! These talking points….I don’t know how long I can repeat ‘em. They’re starting to make no sense.

    Some Hon. Mem’s: Hang tough, Deaner. 110 %!

    Toews: That Chuck Angus is a goon!

    Some Hon. Mem’s: Here, here!

    Coach Harper enters. He casts a malevolent glance at the assembled players. Silence descends on the dressing room. Harper taps purposefully, three times, on a clipboard. His icy glare looks freshly zambonied.

    The team re-focuses their collective gaze with a mix of fear, admiration and abject confusion.

    Dean swallows hard.

    Coach Harper: Del Mastro!

    More sweat appears on Dean’s vast brow. He discards his towel and grabs a freshie.

    Del M: Y-y-y-y-ess, sir.

    Harper looks at him. Hard. Dean might puke.

    A long, almost unendurable, 11.5 seconds of silence follows. Finally, the Coach breaks it.

    Coach Harper: Umbee, Deaner, Umbee.

    Some Hon. Mem’s: Here, here!

    High fives all around, Dean drops his sweat-drenched rump onto the bench. It shakes.

    He pukes into a trash can.

    The Deaner will live to fight another period. 

  8. Better start hitting the books judge Gomery…your country may yet have need of you – again!

  9. Only the guilty do not want a public inquiry.   The peoples of Canada demand one.

  10. Am I alone in reaching the point where the contempt and cultivated gormlessness that saturates the Conservative party’s entire response to this matter has very nearly trumped their potential innocence or guilt in all of this?

    • Way ahead of you, I’m sharpening my Guillotine as we speak.

    • If you detect a certain contempt from the Conservatives it may be because several of your like-thinkers in the opposition and msm have already decided on the Conservatives` potential  guilt, long before any type of investigation, and seemingly based on the fact that several supporters remember that they received annoying telemarketing phone calls last year.

      • 1.  My only allegiance is to holding those in power accountable.   There’s plenty of sycophancy to be found in the “msm”, so can we please drop this BS line that the entire world is out to get poor Stephen and his choir boys? 

        2.  You folks seem pathologically unable to assume responsibility for your own actions (“if we are demonstrating contempt, it’s because we were forced to.”)  I don’t let my own children get away with that kind of excuse.

        3.  You are rewriting history.  The Conservatives quickly made reasonable skepticism all but impossible for folks like me; as they vacillated from a) blaming a lone Guelph staffer, to b) blaming the Liberals, to c) blaming Elections Canada, to d) suggesting that the mere act of questioning these apparent irregularities was somehow insulting to those citizens who did cast votes.  I’m still reserving judgement, but I’ve got to say that such clumsy evasion and obfuscation makes it difficult to avoid the presumption of guilt.  

        • Your restraint in exercising judgement is admirable, however, you must admit that the red-meat-attack attitude of many to this story is way over the top.
          When Harper said at the beginning that all parties should give all evidence to Elections Canada and wait for them to investigate, he was met with further accusations and hysteria. 
          Of course he is going to say wait a minute–rather then accept all the accusations hurled at him he said let`s explore all the possibilities of this story.

          • So why not present the evidence for public scrutiny? It seems obvious this issue isn’t going to simply go away any time soon, so the quickest way to deal with it would seem to be transparency.

            Open the records to public inspection, prove the Liberals and NDP accusations to be false, and demand a round of apologies from each of them.  This not only cuts the story off at the knees, but lends additional weight to any claims of innocence during whatever scandal is brought forward next.

          • Be patient.

          • Do you lack reading comprehension?

            It’s not me that the CPC reluctance to be transparent is hurting. I was suggesting to people like you that you urge your own damn party to hurry up so as to curtail the amount of damage this story is doing before it crosses a tipping point that throws them out of power.

          • Of course there’s some over-the-top coverage.  That comes with the territory of holding power, and is hardly something that was invented for Harper.

            Harper most certainly did not start out by saying that all parties should turn over evidence to Elections Canada.   In fact, quite the opposite line was argued:  http://www.canada.com/news/Tories+demand+Liberals+release+phone+records+refuse+release+their/6254295/story.html

            How on earth do you hear “The Liberals are at fault!” as “Let’s all share information with Elections Canada and calmly await investigation.”    

            Will you at least allow that the Conservatives have made it difficult effortlessly maintain presumption of innocence, without suggesting that we cease to do so?

            EDIT: and what do you make of the whole: “they should share but we shouldn’t!” line of argument?

          • I will agree the Conservatives are in a defensive mode on this story, but that is the nature of answering repetetive questions in Parliament. 
            They do go on the offensive {double meaning?} as the story progresses. That story you link to is dated March 5. When Harper was first questioned in Parliament in late Feb. he did say that all evidence should be given and wait for the investigation.

          • When Harper said at the beginning that all parties should give all evidence to Elections Canada and wait for them to investigate, he was met with further accusations and hysteria.

            Yes, and when people took his invitation as genuine, and came forward with their evidence and their concerns he accused them of “unsubstantiated smears” against his government. He called us all liars.

            The problem you face, Ellen, is that you are trying to defend a man and a government who are unapologetic about the contempt they hold for all of us, including you. (Presuming that you are genuine in your beliefs and not some paid shill.)

            You can waste your time (and our money?) by making distracting and disingenuous arguments on the internet, but you can rest assured that informed people can not be dissuaded by bad faith arguments.

          • Igarvin:
            I do not know how genuine your beliefs are or whether you are a paid shill, or whether you are wasting your time or our money, or whether you are making distracting or disingenuous arguments, but I do know who I am and if I choose to defend the actions of my government I will do it while ignoring second rate personal attacks from those who would prejudge my motives.

          • To Ellen,

            I resent the suggestion that my personal attacks are second rate. My personal attacks, on the rare occasions that I make them, are absolutely first rate. This is something you would know had you been subjected to one of them.

            As it stands, you make your “non-partisan” comments in defence of an administration that shows zero charactor, zero integrity and zero principles. If you find that your own charactor, integrity and principles are brought into question as a result of that choice, well, don’t be surprised by it.

          • I can vouch for your attacks lgarvin, I think I still have a few scars.  Ellen, you are forewarned.

        • Sean:
           As an example of over the top rhetoric I just saw that the commenter who initially responded to you has proposed the use of the Guillotine. 
          I know he was just being funny but I really think that, before I get accused for unreasonable rhetoric, there should be some criticism leveled at those who would propose the removing of actual heads, even if he was only joking.

          • I’m not sure one a-hole (and anonymous/unregistered) commenter on the Maclean’s boards advances your case all that much.   I’ll certainly agree that hyperbole can rule the headlines in such matters, but the whole “msm” is anti-con line is tired and patently false:  Ibbitson, Murphy, Wente, the Post’s editorial board, etc., have all demonstrated everything from cautious balance to virtually toady positions.

          • And I would say that those journalists who have shown restraint and have not had the red-meat attitude of the CBC and our blog host have shown wisdom in not rushing to judgement.

          • Why is hug-a-thug Ellen soft on crime?

    • Lorraine –  interesting.

      This LTE was in Monday’s edition of The Globe :

      “In January, 2010, my UVic inbox had an e-mail invite from a democracy centre to attend a campaign school. Intrigued, I signed up for the three-day event.
      Instructors made it clear that robo-calling and voter suppression were an acceptable and normal part of winning political campaigns. With election ethics like this, a more compelling case for changing to a system of proportional representation where each and every vote counts is hard to imagine.
      John Fryer, adjunct professor, School of Public Administration, University of Victoria”

      And here’s an article about his experience. All fingers point back to the Con “Brain” Trust – 

      http://www.vancouverobserver.com/politics/2012/03/07/robo-call-scandal-origins-inside-conservatives%E2%80%99-voter-suppression-school?page=0,0

      • And the NDP used the robocalling very successfully to harass the Quebec MP who crossed over to the Liberals.

        • Not even close to being the same thing, that was just petty on the part of the NDP –  I think the analogue is more like the Cons sending robocalls to Irwin Cotler’s constituents. Campaign Research is more like an euphemism for Con Pain Besmirch.

          You think Harpo would be pleased having robocallers calling his peeps in Calgary Southwest telling them he was considering a move to the home office in Dallas? I thought not.

  11. This really smacks of ‘you’re either with us or you’re with the child pornographers’. Actually, far worse. I consider myself a legitimate voter, but I sure as hell disagree with del mastro’s assertion that the electoral fraud allegations demean my vote…it’s his behaviour I find demeaning.

    How much more pathetic will this get? How can the stakes be raised so ALL Canadians can be made aware of this govt’s absolute 

  12. Mastrobation: (noun) working the same point again and again in the hope of getting your party off…

  13. Give Del Mastro a break. He’s on a training course for how to answer difficult questions in the HoC. Harper said so. How’s he supposed to know it’s not real?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *