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The curious case of Eglinton-Lawrence


 

The CBC finds curious paperwork in one riding.


 

The curious case of Eglinton-Lawrence

    • Oh, interesting.  As all these pieces add up, it looks more systematic than previously thought.  As for Terry Milewski — I would love to have a drink with him one evening — he’s smart and witty.  And man does he dig.  Elections Canada is going to take years to get through all this stuff. 

      • I like him but isn’t he a “commie leftist”?   :)

        • Yeah, you’re right: I’d prolly have to buy his drink.  Cheap commie leftists.

      • Here’s an LTE that was published in last Monday’s Globe and Mail referencing this conference:

        “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”
         

        • It sounds less nefarious when you read Akin’s account of how our journos think it is their job to help The State improve its propaganda efforts. 

          “About two years ago, when I noticed the Manning Centre for Democracy was putting on a series of campaign manager schools across the country, I pitched them on the idea of making a presentation at these events. My presentation would describe how reporters at outlets large and small, at broadcast and at print outlets, view politicians and reporting on politics and how we go about our job. The Manning Centre agreed with the idea. 

          Indeed, at the Ottawa event, Kady O’Malley, then withMaclean’s and now with CBC and Julie Van Dusen, (I believe), now and always with CBC, attended my presentation. Kady live-blogged it and you can review her reportage on what I said here.”

          • I’m not so certain that he’s as pure as the driven snow Tony.

            As an aside, why do you have a picture of London Calling on your profile? The Clash seem to be so diametrically opposed to your beliefs — just wondering — it’s not a criticism or anything like that. It would seem to make about as much sense as have a picture of The Sex Pistols album.

          • 1) Liked The Clash since I was teenager and I don’t think of it as a political statement.

            2) I am anti-authority, photo is very evocative. 

            3) I think State has moral duty to help downtrodden and I often agree with left wing ideologues when identifying social problems. I disagree with left wing solutions. I read TorStar for news, Sun columnists for opinion. 

            4) Clash lyrics still topical today as they were than.

          • ” … white people go to school where they teach you how to be thick …. ”

            John Robson ~ “Strip-searching a father because his four-year-old sketched a toy gun at school paints a perfect picture of progressive public education: absurd yet sinister …. Waterloo Regional School district superintendant Gregg Bereznick told QMI Agency’s Kris Sims: “We do work hand-in-hand with these families because we co-parent, so we hope that we could move forward.”

            Maclean’s ~ Why Your Teenager Can’t Use A Hammer:

            It’s hard not to laugh when Barry Smith starts telling stories about the hapless young workers he has to deal with. Smith, who runs Toronto-area roofing company RoofSmith Canada, tells of one who didn’t come to work because his cat had fleas, and another who jumped off a shed roof, even though he’d just tossed bags of nails into the garbage bin below. But the laughing tapers off when Smith, 46, talks about skills.

          • Thanks Tony — I’m kind of in the same boat re: anti authoritarianism.

      • Hang out at the next Liberal Group Love-In. You`ll have a good chance to find Milewski there.

        • Milewski is not a Liberal toadie. He is a bulldog. He was relentless in going after the Liberals when they were in power, such as on Air India. You are such a waste of bits.

          • Milewski hasn`t been too relentless in going after the Liberal in Eglinton-Lawrence, has he Andrew.
            That was a lousy piece of journalism by a second-rate journalist.
            And you seldom have anything interesting.

          • I’ll also note that you are curiously silent on all the blatantly pro-Conservative media, such as the entire Sun Media organization. I don’t think there is an analogue on the left, of media run entirely by current and former party operatives. Sun Media is close enough to a CPC propaganda arm for jazz.

          • I don`t pay the salaries of Sun employees.
            We all pay to keep Milewski.

          • **ignore – comment popped into the wrong place

    • Somebody with the NDP liked the course and used the material!!!

      “The NDP has dropped its warm and fuzzy get-along-gang persona and is baring its teeth in the wake of a backbench Quebec MP’s defection to the Liberals.

      The New Democrats unleashed what former party member Lise St-Denis has called an “immoral” robo-call campaign that last week paralyzed her parliamentary and constituency office phone lines for two days. Her staff lodged a complaint about it with the House of Commons telecommunications department.”

      http://www.montrealgazette.com/Denis+lashes+robo+call+ploy/6011808/story.html

      • 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.

        • Except that in the Cotler case, the calls were peddling a lie.

          • You mean “Free speech, a la Con con con.”

  1. More breaking news from cbc, leaked to them by public employees with an agenda, that political parties cheat during elections. Who knew?  

    Regina Leader Post ~ feb 29:

    Saskatchewan voters are also familiar with misguided attempts to bend the rules. An NDP worker was recently fined $3,000 in Court of Queen’s Bench after pleading guilty to attempting to utter forged documents during former leader Dwain Lingenfelter’s 2009 leadership campaign. 

    The case involved 1,100 First Nations residents who were signed up for NDP memberships without their consent or knowledge. The NDP later cancelled the memberships and said the volunteer acted alone, without the knowledge of Lingenfelter or senior party officials.

    Clearly, attempting to manipulate voting rules, federally and provincially, goes far beyond the depressing lack of decorum we see from our politicians.

    • You mean a print story from Feb 29 is still considered “breaking news” on March 8?  Maybe back in 1890.  Yes, that was a sorry situation, but then of course, the provincial NDP continuing to pick washed up has-beens as their leaders is also a sorry situation.  I trust they will do better nationally with Mulcair. 

    • Signing up extra people is electoral fraud. It’s serious, and should be punished.. as in this case it was. 

      Voter suppression is an attack on the very principles of democracy. It’s not just screwing with the vote, it’s screwing with people’s right and ability to vote. 

      Your fake voters for an internal leadership campaign is a skateboard compared to the Mack Truck of voter suppression in a federal election.

      And the problem with it is that you denigrate the seriousness of the latter in doing so. Stop it.

      • He’s attempting to establish a pattern of bad behaviour from the NDP and Liberals to cast doubt on the idea that anything bad is automatically the fault of those evil Cons.

        Look at the frame of this story. Its so left wing its almost comical. Joe Oliver says he increased turnout. SO then they bring up these extra registration forms. Then they interview the Liberal lawyer sympathetically.

        I mean its so obvious that they are implying Joe Oliver was behind this. There isn’t even an attempt to frame this story in a balanced way.

        • Didn’t Liberals create vikileaks ? Didn’t Volpe sign up dead people for his leadership campaign and recieve contributions registered to people’s children ?

          Wasn’t there accusations of voter fraud on native reserves in western canada against the Liberals in the ’04 or was it ’06 election ?

          Wasn’t Thomas Mulcair just accused of misleading phone calls by Nicki Ashton ?

          Didn’t the NDP robocall attack a Quebec MP who jumped ship ?

          Nobody is making any false equivalances. Just pointing out that the assumption that the Tories are automatically guilty of this new irregularity without any proof whatsoever is unfortunate.

          • See, the fact that you mention vikileaks as if it were relevant and comparable shows that you have no ability to judge the appropriate comparators here.  You are guilty of the same problem you are attempting to demonstrate. 

          • I mentioned it because it was topical.

            Again it has nothing to do with what is comparable.

            The claim that your side is trying to make is that the Conservatives are unique in their lack of political ethics.

            That they are so much worse than the other parties that they should be PRESUMED guilty whenever an irregularity occurs.

            The trouble with the CBC piece is that it basically framed the story as:

            Oliver accused of wrong doing. Oliver denies wrong doing.

            People seeing that are going to see smoke and assume fire.

            Why wasn’t Volpe’s history mentioned ? Any reporter doing his job should have brought it up. It is highly relevent.

          • Yeah, I have to admit that, with this being Volpe’s riding, there’s at least even odds that the unregistered voters may have been Volpe’s rather than Oliver’s doing.

            Volpe’s pre-election claims of harrassing calls certainly takes on greater significance though, when viewed in light of everything else that has now surfaced nationwide.

          • Based on the liberal history of database management (gun registry) and the poor quality of phone banks in general I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of these “harrassing” phone calls were just minimum wage young people hired by the central campaign and doing a lousy job.

            That’s why all campaigns need to release all their voter contacts and each one needs to be cross referenced against the phone numbers of people who are making complaitns to EC.

          • “…the assumption that the Tories are automatically guilty of this new irregularity without any proof whatsoever is unfortunate.”

            Whose assumption of guilt is apparent anywhere here?

            No one, least of all Miwleski on air in his piece, points a finger at the Cons. In fact, he explicitly makes the point that none of these cases of late and possibly fraudulent voter registrations suggests any involvement by the CPC campaign. The “sympathetic” interview of Volpe’s lawyer appears to have occurred because Volpe didn’t/wouldn’t comment on this particular story except through his lawyer. Oliver got roughly equal air time to present his side, in an equally “sympathetic” fashion.

            Stop distorting what the five senses reveal.

            Furthermore, all of your examples of apparent malfeasance by other parties cited above may well be true and, if so, are inarguably egregious. However, they are irrelevant in the context of the current story…such distractions are often referred to as “red herrings”.

          • “Whose assumption of guilt is apparent anywhere here?”

            Have you read half the comments on this message board ?

            No the CBC did not directly say that Joe Oliver was behind this. Obviously not. Nobody would be that obtuse.

            What i’m concerned about is their approach to this story in their reporting.

            The skeptical tone they took with Oliver. Anyone who is familiar with this genre knows exactly what the CBC just did here.

            It was a hit job on Joe Oliver to call his campaign into question.

            Answer me this:

            One of the two candidates in this riding has a history of phony voter registration (dead people). You don’t think it was relevent that it was not mentioned ?

            You don’t find that telling in any way ?

          • @JD: If anything, the CBC leaves the impression that EC was the negligent party in failing to challenge the questionable registrations in that riding, regardless of their origins. I don’t sense any skeptical tone regarding Oliver. He’s given two on-screen opportunities to comment on the situation without challenge by Milewski.

            As for the tone of the commentary on this board, if you don’t like the bias in many of the remarks, perhaps you’re hanging out on the wrong blog. There are plenty of blogs out there that are in high dudgeon about the abuse their defenseless Cons are receiving at the hands of a malevolent media conspiracy. If you need validation, go hang out with them.

          • @neuroticdog:disqus I see you have no interest in answering my question so i’ll answer it for you.

            Of course the CBC should have mentioned Volpe’s history in the piece.

            Further more the decision to run the story was in itself highly questionable. Its piling on. Another day, more dirty tory tricks.

            Honestly if you want to bc a CBC media apologist that’s all well and good.

            But you would gain more credibility if you actually called them out on occasions when they were actually being biased.

          • I don’t recall offering any apology for the CBC. I simply countered your biased take on the story with my own biased take.

            Honestly if you want to be a Con apologist that’s all well and good. Carry on.

          • If Milewski has any desire to be objective he should not say that none of these possible fraudelent voter registrations suggest any involvement by the CPC.
            A good and objective reporter would say that none of these possible fraud cases suggest any involvement of either the Liberal Party or the CPC.Milewski is a massive failure as a reporter. He is only fit to work for the CBC.

          • Milewski is, indeed, only fit to work for the CBC which, for the most part, strives for balance in its content. He’s definitely too objective to work for a government organ like, say, Sun TV.

          • When you use CBC and objective in the same sentence you lose any credibility you ever had.

          •  And you recommend, instead?

          • A Liberal created Vikileaks. It also happened to be perfectly legal, and ethically reasonable. Comparing this to widespread vote suppression is wrong-headed.

          • ethically reasonable!!!!   Really!– a sign of the decline and fall of the Liberal Party.

  2. Why would Elections Canada accept late-registration applications that were mostly blank? Is Joe Volpe (or his lawyer) suggesting that this scandal goes beyond the CPC and all the way up to Elections Canada?

    • No, I think they’re just pointing out irregularities without making any conclusions.

    • Aren’t such forms filled out at a polling station by election workers?  So were there volunteers who allowed this?  They were adamant for people to show ID at my polling station, even when you had your enumeration card with you. 

      • The one at my polling station was a drill sergeant.  She was ill tempered and bad mannered — the object of complaints about EC’s customer relations.

      • Election workers (DRO and poll clerk) at polling stations aren’t volunteers. They are hired and paid by Elections Canada for the day. The DRO would be responsible for accepting the forms. Some do their jobs better than others. 

      • Exactly – if there’s an issue with people being allowed to vote without providing an address, it’s an Election Canada issue, not a party issue.  Watch Milewski’s story again – the whole gist of it is that the problem with people voting without giving an address is somehow connected to Joe Oliver.  One is left with no conclusion from Milewski’s story other than there’s some further CPC skullduggery involved.  Were there no party scrutineers in Eglington-Lakeshore to ensure Elections Canada workers enforced voting regulations?  If there were, why didn’t any of them speak up as these thousands of persons unable to provide addresses were allowed to vote?

  3. The Elections Act was amended, in 2007 I believe, to include photo voter identification requirement.   I have a son in a wheelchair; he doesn’t drive.  He lives in Ontario, OHIP doesn’t include the address on their card anymore. I’ve had to transfer a few utility bills to his name so that he could vote, which was not easy as he hasn’t established a credit record.  The controversy about voter photo id has centred mainly around veils and muslims, of course, but in the course of time other problems were bound to appear.

    No matter how perfect a likeness a photo id is to a person, the only thing that should matter to EC is that one’s name is linked to an address, and to a polling station.  I would bet that these people who did not give addresses showed photo ID that proved that they were the person they claimed to be. If that were the measure, then you could go and vote in twenty ridings!

    Elections Canada must train their staff better so that they do not look at the face of an elector and that they strictly concentrate on linking a name to an address in the polling district. Personally, I think they should remove photo id requirement. It’s useless and can only lead to problems such as the one related in the Milewski report.

    • Photo ID puts a face to a name, and that name is linked to an address. Photo ID complements the other checks, it doesn’t supersede them.

      I would have a much easier time (if I wanted to falsify my vote) producing a fake Hydro or Rogers bill, and present that at a voting station. Obviously photo IDs can be faked, but you lost me when you suggested that a simple piece of paper with a name and address should be ample evidence of proof of residency. Photo ID is meant to enhance validation, far better (in my opinion) than a bill with a name and address only.

      It should also be noted, in an age of e-billing when bills aren’t mailed anymore, that it would be even easier today producing a fake bill than before. It’s already digital and can go straight to Photoshop for editing, and since it has to be printed on a home printer anyway, there’s no worry about quality of paper, security marks, etc. or anything too “official-looking.” A poor-looking bill can simply be blamed on a cheap home printer.

  4. Certainly Volpe is no stranger to shenanigans himself, but I hope this is thoroughly investigated and the truth comes out.

  5. Then there’s this:

    http://www.cyberpresse.ca/actualites/quebec-canada/politique-canadienne/201203/07/01-4503501-parti-conservateur-exit-le-collecteur-harcelant.php?utm_categorieinterne=trafficdrivers&utm_contenuinterne=cyberpresse_B4_manchettes_231_accueil_POS1

    Parti conservateur: exit le collecteur harcelant

    RMG fires it’s top in raising funds over the telephone for the Conservative Party of Canada. Recordings of aggressive and harrasing calls are surfacing, La Presse links to one.  The CPC has apologized.

    There is a pattern here…

  6. PLEASE!!! Whether you are a Conservative or Liberal or NPD supporter, listen to the link provided in the La Presse article Parti conservateur: exit le collecteur harcelant

    It’s in English.  This is so disgusting, so vulgar an attempt to extort money from a senior citizen on behalf of the Conservative Party, using their membership lists.  I wish Tony can come up with a good O’Rourke quote to describe such an inhumane, despicable practice. 

    Proud to be a Conservative?  I would be very ashamed and I dare any Conservative poster here to come up and say they think this is A-OK.

    • “This is so disgusting, so vulgar an attempt to extort money from a senior citizen on behalf of the Conservative Party …. ”

      I am not a Con party supporter, LoraineLamontagne. I think political parties are evil and should be abolished. Also, I agree with you opinion about AUS newspapers, I to enjoy them.

      PJ O’Rourke ~ Authority has always attracted the lowest elements in the human race. All through history, mankind has been bullied by scum. Those who lord it over their fellows and toss commands in every direction and would boss the grass in the meadow about which way to bend in the wind are the most depraved kind of prostitutes. They will submit to any indignity, perform any vile act, do anything to achieve power. 

      The worst off-sloughings of the planet are the ingredients of sovereignty. Every government is a parliament of whores. The trouble is, in a democracy the whores are us.

    • Lorraine, sadly this seems to be business as usual for supporters of Steve. This is after all,  for them, a war.

      I don’t get it — I used to support Jean Chretien until I became disgusted with his behavior at APEC. Bad behavior is bad behavior — period.

      I guess the moral compass of Steve’s supporters is stuck on “Win at all costs.”

    • That is awful stuff to listen to.  Don Duke sounds like a talk radio host.  He’s a bully and a tad abusive — like the leader he so adores and works so hard for.

      • The rot starts at the top and trickles down. Neo-con “trickle down” theory in action.

  7. I wonder when they will start voter suppression as the Republicans do by rrequiring increasingly complex and difficult vote registration procedures? They will need more friendly managers at Elections Canada but I’m sure they are working on that. Remember Linda Keen and Stats Can.

    • Steve’s working on the gerrymandering now.

  8. This the same Joe Volpe that got caught removing competitors’ election campaign material from mailboxes as he was canvassing? In direct violation of the Elections Act?

    Yeah, I thought it was.

    Is this the same Joe Volpe that got caught signing up dead party members in the 2006 Liberal leadership race?

    Yeah, I thought it was

    Is this the same Joe Volpe that was caught accepting thousands in donations from children in order to flout caps on personal donations?

    Yeah, I thought it was

    You know, an honest, unbiased journalist might have pointed this kind of hypocrisy out when referring to Volpe’s complaints about “dirty tricks” in his riding. Sadly, it again falls to us citizen journalists to do the job the CBCs and Wherry’s of the world refuse to.

    And given that there is no hint in the article about where these voters came from, an honest unbiased journalist might have looked back on Mr Volpe’s sordid history and perhaps assume the guilt starts there and ask him the first few questions. Kind of like they are doing now with the Conservatives.

    Fat chance of that ever happening.

    • So is what you’re saying that we have testimony from an expert?

      Or are you just attempting to poison the well?

      • I’m saying we have evidence of cheating in a riding where we don’t know who’s responsible, but one of the candidates is a serial cheater who has been caught multiple times . Where do you suggest we start? If we take the approach we use for Conservatives, where because they’ve been caught doing something similar they must be responsible…wouldn’t Volpe be the most logical suspect?

        All I’m doing is pointing out the obvious double standard at play here.

        • I suggest we start by getting rid of party leaders who reward fraud.

        • While that’s certainly reasonable, the solution appears to be the same either way — if it seems there were enough “fake” voters to swing the election, run a by-election.

          That said, it seems a bit of a risky ploy to bring your own electoral fraud to the attention of Elections Canada.. but I suppose stranger things have been known to happen.

          • That solution is horrible.

            It gives the fraudulent party the abiilty to have 2 shots at winning and all because he cheated.

            For all we know the real margin could have been 10,000 in Joe Oliver’s favour.

            You don’t see a problem with rewarding bad behaviour ?

          • You don’t see a problem with doing nothing about it?

            Funny thing, if I knew that malfeasance on either my side or the side of the opponents would be cause for a by-election, I’d be working extra hard to make sure that none was possible. I’d be demanding that the people checking on these things were aware enough to stop it from happening.

            Hey, what a novel idea.. catch the problem before it happens rather than wait until after.

            And if I won the election despite the person cheating the first time, why on earth would I be at all worried about having to win it a second time when there’ll be more attention paid to the process to ensure no cheating?

            Here’s the deal. The process of the election is more important than the result, because the process is the only thing that gives the result validity.

          • I didn’t say don’t do anything about it. Investigate it.

            Take each name who doesn’t have an address and find out where they actually were living.

            Charge them with a crime if they knowingly voted in the wrong location.

            Find out if anyone directed them to sign up in this riding if they were really living in another.

            Instruct EC workers not to accept incomplete forms.

            Tighten rules around voting ID. (although the left how will about US style voter supression against the poor and minorities…)

            If and only if there is proof of some kind of orchestrated campaign to the exclusive benefit of one candidate would I call a by-election. 

            If not i’d make sure it never happened again.  

          • I believe our elections are more important than that.  I don’t need proof of an orchestrated campaign, I just need proof that there are enough questionable votes cast that it could have swung the election.

            Everything else you’ve mentioned is just friggin’ baseline and should be done regardless. But I want it drilled into everybody’s head — candidates, campaign workers, EC officials, media, on-lookers.. EVERYBODY… that screwing with an election is a bad thing and is something that we *all* need to be working to stop.

            Our elections are the only means we have to get rid of bad politicians. Bad politicians, by definition, don’t play by the rules, so we need more than namby-pamby attempts to stop it. We need to come down like a hammer from God on anybody and anything trying to do it.

            Perhaps this is over the top, but screwing with an election should leave a smoking crater where you used to stand. It should make your family disown you and your friends deny you. People who do it should be registered like child molestors and treated as such.  Fair elections are the one and only thing that separate us from tyranny.

          • @Thwim:disqus again though without proof of an orchestrated campaign you can get the following situation:

            A candidate wins fair and square although his margin is smaller than what it should be because of vote fraud.

            That vote fraud is discovered and the guilty candidate is rewarded for his bad behaviour by getting another shot at an election.

            Due to the quirky nature of by-elections the guilty candidate wins this time.

            In what universe is that a fair outcome ??

            Does that not seem like an attack on democracy ? An attack on everyone who voted properly the first time around ? 

            This rush to call a by-election to me is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

            It is its own form of chaos, of anarchy, and consequently of tryanny.

            The legal standards and requirements for calling a by-election are very stringent and high.

            It strikes me that that is a good thing.

            Although I understand and appreciate your approach and views.

      • I have to agree with john g on this one Thwim. Volpe has broken the rules too many times to be credible. As his complaint about the calls came pre-election, and given everything that has come to light recently, I’d say there’s a good chance the dirty-tricks calls are legit. But the unregistered voters could easily be Volpe’s handiwork – it fits his M.O. – while the story is presented in a way to make us think it is Oliver’s.

        • And again, fair comment.  Once john g explained his reasoning, I did agree with it. I probably reacted a little quick because well-poisoning attacks seem to be particularly common among CPC supporters.

          Personally, I find it amazing that the Liberal Party even allowed Volpe to run again, and that anybody would vote for him I find even more disheartening than people who vote for Rob Anders.

    • It wouldn’t be remiss to mention Volpe’s past transgressions but it’s not a necessity which otherwise kills the piece (I brought it up myself above, in fact). Speaks  more to your constant constant assertions that the news isn’t given to you exactly the way you want it.

    • While I can’t support this whole desperate move to change the channel that so many of the usual suspects are trotting out, I will agree to this: if your party is determined to cheat to knock someone out of office, I fully support that someone being Joe Volpe.

  9. Thwim said:

    “While that’s certainly reasonable, the solution appears to be the same either way — if it seems there were enough “fake” voters to swing the election, run a by-election.

    That said, it seems a bit of a risky ploy to bring your own electoral fraud to the attention of Elections Canada.. but I suppose stranger things have been known to happen.”

    Well, if we’re looking for a starting point, as posted above, I suggest we start with the Elections Canada officers who allowed people to vote without being satisfied they lived in the riding because the “address” boxes were blank, and then move on to the scrutineers from every party whose job it is to ensure Elections Canada officers don’t let people vote who leave address boxes blank.  Following that, perhaps an investigation of Milewski is in order, given he said nothing about any of this in his hit piece.

    • No riskier than having your call center identify themselves as calling on behalf of the Conservative Party while allegedly perpetrating voter suppression activities?

    • Elections Canada officers, as you call them, are persons who work for EC one day every four years!!!

      What we need are simple and clear laws and regulations.  The voter ID requirements have been muddled with the introduction of photo voter ID.  It doesn’t matter that you are who you claim to be, what a photo ID accomplishes.  For voting it matters that your name matches an address in an electoral poll.  I’ve been saying this for years – the recent changes to the Electoral Act were ill-conceived (of course, they stem from The Harper Government) and have caused nothing but trouble, and will cause more in future.

      • “Elections Canada officers, as you call them, are persons who work for EC one day every four years!!!”
        So that excuses them from checking to make sure everybody proves they live at an address in a riding before being handed a ballot?  I don’t care if they work for EC one day every 50 years, it ain’t rocket science to understand that an unregistered voter who wishes to vote needs to prove they have a right to do so.

        As for the slam against Harper for somehow “muddie(ing)” things by requiring photo ID, you are most assuredly a very lone voice in the wilderness if you’re seriously suggesting a system whereby unregistered voters don’t have to show photo ID is superior to one where they do.

  10. I’m starting to think that regardless of how unethical some Conservative supporters are capable of being (and I’m not saying the party is doing this, but it’s clear that someone who supports them has) the ultimate problem is that Elections Canada is not up to the task of preventing them from doing it.

    Yes, the people who did these things are responsible and yes the prime minister bears some of the responsbility for setting the all’s fair in war and elections tone, but we need to have resilient and independent institutions that are able to prevent the abuse.
     
    Let’s face it the investigation into In Out was very slow, very deferential and the ultimate settlement was lenient.

    Elections Canada also failed to take an interest in what some are saying was a robocalling pilot project in Saanich Gulf Islands in a previous election. That should have been a heads up that robocalling was coming.

    Now it appears that Volpe’s complaints weren’t exactly jumped on, and there are other regularities with voter registration that make it sound like Elections Canada should be investigating itself in some ridings.

    They aren’t transparent with their complaints process and reporting on problems to parliament or anyone seems to be missing.

    I think a lot more than enhanced investigative powers needs to be addressed at Elections Canada. If the institution is week and secretive the power abusers will have their way.

    • “They aren’t transparent with their complaints process.” I’m not sure what you’re referring to here, but if you mean that they’re not willing to divulge or make public every document in their possession under investigation (for example, not wanting to hand over all voter registration documents to CBC for this investigative piece), it’s probably because it might affect an ongoing investigation.

      The demands of “access to information” must be reasonably balanced with the requirements of a clean, unbiased, legitimate investigation. If divulging confidential information will compromise an investigation, then nobody wins.

      • I’m not talking about  the current investigations, although I beleive they should be more forthcoming than they have been. I mean that previously Elections Canada has only reported the number of complaints received but not the dispostion. They should routinely report to parliament about:

        nature of complaints received
        whether an investigation took place or not
        findings/resolutions if any to those investigations
        follow up action required (i.e. revising candidate materials, procedure changes, etc.)

        Is it too much to ask that the agency responsible for ensuring free and fair elections demonstrates that it is doing that? First instance, where is their report on the complaint they recieved about Saanich-Gulf Islands from the previous election, the robocall pilot project? We don’t even know if they investigated let alone results or any changes they made (probably none) to their processes. We only know about it all because the complainant made it public. What about the hundreds of other compalints from that same election?

    • Elections Canada also failed to take an interest in what some are saying was a robocalling pilot project in Saanich Gulf Islands in a previous election.

      I don’t think they failed to take an interest; I think they were unable to investigate because the calls originated from the US, outside jurisdiction. Adding to the confusion is a Liberal candidate admitting that her campaign arranged for robocalls that showed up as US-based phone numbers. If there were accusations, as in Guelph, that the Liberals never hired a US-based firm (or one that uses US servers) in 2008, then EC might have probed a little further.

      (Of course, why the media refuses to explore the inconsistency between the Liberals’ claim that all their robocalls had Canadian numbers, while one of their own candidates contradicts that, is beyond me.)

      “A Liberal Party candidate from
      British Columbia has publicly acknowledged hiring First Contact and that calls
      her campaign arranged to solicit voter support showed up on call display as
      coming from the United States. Former Liberal candidate Diane Janzen told
      The Chilliwack Times last April that this occurred because calls arranged with
      the aid of First Contact relied on a computer “based in the U.S., similar to
      other patented software for computers.”

  11. So basically under the Harper Conservatives, Politics is the continuation of War by other means. (With apologies to Clausewitz.)

  12. So the CBC and the Opposition are now blaming the Conservatives for Elections Canada screw-ups?  And the screw-ups by Volpe’s scrutineers?  The Conservative Party doesn’t decide who gets to vote.  Elections Canada does.

    Elections Canada registers voters, not the Conservative Party.  

    • Clearly Elections Canada dropped the ball.

      That doesn’t clear the non-registered voters of wrong-doing.  And it doesn’t ease my mind about what may have happened at other polling stations. Possibly these same people succeeded in voting at several ridings.

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