Voter harassment -

Voter harassment


Glen McGregor and Stephen Maher identify 14 ridings where voters received harassing phone calls.

Many received calls in the middle of the night from callers claiming they represented the local Liberal candidate. Jewish voters in two ridings complained of receiving repeated phone calls at meal time on the Saturday Sabbath. In another riding where the Liberal candidate was of Pakistani heritage, some said the callers mimicked a South Asian accent. People who received the calls report that the callers would phone repeatedly, irritating the recipients, and then speak to them rudely.

The Liberal campaign alerted the media to this during the last campaign.

Meanwhile, Jean-Pierre Kingsley, the former chief electoral officer, talks to The House (starts around the 26-minute mark) about the robocall campaign. Tim Powers says Conservatives are outraged too.


Voter harassment

  1. Isn’t the robocall company based in Edmonton?

    Say, didn’t dirty trickster Ryan Sparrow work out of Edmonton during the last election?

    • And wasn;t there another ‘young man’ who took the rap on FOI I think, that worked in Edmonton during the last election.  Too hot for TO or Ottawa – send them out to Edmonton to fight the godless socialists. 

  2. I found Kingsley’s responses rather weak.  He placed a lot of emphasis on Harper saying he did not know about this.  So what?  What else would Harper say? Harper also implied that maybe nothing wrong was done by anyone.  I hope the current EC is more outraged by this fraud than Kingsley seemed to be.

    •  Wouldn’t it be great if we had a prime minister who when faced with accusations of actions so undemocratic and also so petty and he said “I would never personally authorize something like that, don’t approve of it at all and am adamant about getting to the bottom of it and fixing it”  the first reaction wouldnt’ be to disbelive him totally?

  3. That Tim Powers piece could pretty much give you a sprain from the convulsive laughter.

  4. I’ve long been thinking about how Elections Canada rules apply to the modern world of telephones and the internet – in a way, I agree with Pat Martin. Sure, it’s not goons with bats but there’s a (group of) individual(s) working to highly favour a single political party via misdirection and lying. I guess the big difference is you’re bound to catch the guys with clubs in a modern state like Canada – those who did this via the phone may be a while away from being caught and charged? Probably take just as long to wind up with a slap on the wrist.

    We already know that they got one heck of a sweet deal on the 2006 “In-and-Out” Scandal and it’s plain to see that ignorance of the law somehow works when you’re a trans-national organization (yet it doesn’t work when you’re chatting with the officer over that ticket you got for not spotting the ‘No Left Turn’ sign at an intersection). “Oh, you didn’t realize you couldn’t shunt money around from main office to local riding and back up? Well, I guess we can let you off with a plea bargain…”

    Our sensibilities were so offended at the Sponsorship Scandal under the Liberals, but now it would seem like we’re numb to the continued transgressions of non-Liberal political parties. I didn’t like the Sponsorship Scandal, I don’t like the “In-and-Out” scandal and I don’t like the potential scandal lurking in the halls with these events. It seems to be getting easier to confuse people and obfuscate the facts in our political debates (as if these partisan shouting matches were *real* debates) or maybe our broader access to material *to* debate is making it harder to condense debates.

    I just think it’s wrong, but to be fair those employed in the belly of the Conservative Fundraising Machine is an eclectic lot (at least the folks with their boots on the ground [aka: headphones in their ears]).

  5. If this turned out to be Harper’s watergate moment i’d say it would be nothing short of karma; remember it doesn’t have to be true, merely plausible – thankyou Tom.

    The possibility exists of course that this is simply a concocted exercise on the part of the libs – simply a major case or well orchestrated sour grapes. But it looks like even tory partisans like Powers isn’t willing to suspend his belief quite that much. This has the potential to hurt. It’s true the public was willing to overlook a certain amount of rough housing of the libs given the fact that they dished more out over the years than they received – but this about the right or joe public to cast his legitimate unimpeded vote…let’s hope it has legs…good call Rae…start with an emergency house debate.

  6. Looks like some staffers with the NDP leadership campaign need some fingers slapped as well, lol.

    “The NDP leadership race has been a relatively quiet affair to date with little evidence of dirty tricks. Now, however, candidate Niki Ashton says Tom Mulcair’s campaign has been spreading false rumours she is dropping out of the race in order to attract her Quebec delegates. Ashton, the 29 year-old MP from Manitoba, says she contacted the Mulcair camp and told officials there to bug off.

    While Ashton said she had heard that Brian Topp’s campaign — which is reportedly running strong in Quebec — was also putting out stories she was stepping down, she appeared more concerned about the Mulcair operatives. “I addressed this directly to them and my campaign did as well.” 

    • You wouldn’t be trying to muddy the pool would you? comparing  unethical political positioning, which is likely an unavoidable part of competitve politcs with straight out illegal vote suppression?

  7. Now the Conservatives trot out Dean Del Mastro. Hilarious.

    • Yeah, talk about trying to muddy the waters. 

      • They couldn’t even get their point man, Pierre Polliverre, out on Friday to defend the robocalls. 

  8. This is part of the problem. Separate from the issue of the robocalls, which may well be party approved (how does a person get access to their Racknine account without the party knowing why they’re sending money to a company), we have the issue of general assholes.  Overzealous campaign volunteers/idiots doing things they shouldn’t be — and I suspect there’s probably a few of these on every side.

    While the latter are still deplorable, they’re also mostly irrelevant to the larger concerns of the robocalls case, and their presence should in no way make us assume that everybody pursues the organized attempt at voter disenfranchisement that was the robocalling.