What's next? - Macleans.ca

What’s next?


Bob Rae raises the possibility of challenging election results in court.

The NDP continues to raise questions about Racknine. Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro claims Conservative supporters in his riding were also harassed.


What’s next?

  1. I’m guessing there’s chaos and confusion at Con HQ right now because our Koolaid drinkers don’t have their talking-points ready on this yet.  LOL

    • They’ll be around Monday, after the leisurely weekend off.

      • I’m sure they know about the firestorm brewing over this….and they still have a problem with Toews, so I doubt they’re being leisurely.

        • This will blow over. No by-elections, no deep-delving investigations, nobody you hate gets crucified, probably no charges. The electorate completely forgets, by next election.

          Feel free not to be believe me, but I have something approaching a 100% track record predicting the long-term effects of these microscandals.

          • You have a 100% track record in your own mind….not in anyone elses.

            But it’s interesting to note that Cons think Canadians are stupid and apathetic.

          • Conservatives are Canadians too…and no, the fact is that you think Conservatives are stupid and unethical….all 40% of voting Canadians.

          • I must have missed the elections and subsequent unseating of the Conservatives stemming from TORTURE TORTURE TORTURE and prorogation, then, if I was wrong about those ones…

          • @57fc79f8528c0aa6c4b4330d53700334:disqus 

            I was PC for 30 years

            You’re talking about ReformCons

          • That kind of hubris explains why the Cons probably thought they could get away with it. Your assumption nicely demonstrates CPC party’s corporate culture.

          • @TheAVR:disqus 

            Obviously you’ve missed a lot of things.

          • I agree with you AVR…I will likely not vote Conservative again either but if the situation in Alberta is any indication, the electorate goes with the party that keeps the economy humming.  Unless they start actually pocketing money….then that ticks people off.  With this incident, it is all supposition of who did what, especially when Conservative voters got harrassing calls as well.

          • But the Sponsorship ‘scandal’ was the biggest blow to democracy in the history of the Western world, right?

  2. intimidating your own voters doesn’t count Dean, nice try though.

    • Okay so when it happens to Liberal voters, it has to be a Conservative doing it and when it happens to Conservative voters, it has to be a Conservative doing it?  Hmmm interesting logic..you guys don’t want justice, you want to hang Conservatives.  You cannot even consider that it might be a group that was looking to “terrorize” the entire election process and had no partisan affiliation.    I am with AVR, I will likely not ever vote Conservative again but I sure would not affiliate myself with a party so closely that I lose all objectivity and decide guilt prior to any trial.  Further, I would never want to hold such disdain for 40 percent of my fellow voting Canadians. 

      • The Robocalls came through Racknine who only worked for the Cons.

        •  I heard on one of those political panels on TV (CTV?) that Racknine had hosted some swanky parties for the Con elites, including Harper. Not exactly as non-partisan as owner Meier claims.

          • And even at their convention apparently. 

      • I am an unattached voter, so does that give me a claim to impartiality? I’m awaiting details from the Conservatives about similar, verifiable robocall campaigns directed at their candidates.

  3. In other historical incidents of political dirty tricks, subsequent attempts at coverup turned out to be more damaging than the original deed.

    It’ll be interesting to see how the Cons deal with this whole affair.

    • Release the Baird

  4. I bet when this was discussed, the failsafe was “EVEN if we get caught, we win those ridings and they can’t be taken away from us.  Fines?  Look how much we’ve tricked our supporters into giving us already! It’s totally worth it!” 

  5. Most rational Canadians who are not desperate hyper-partisans are embued with a sense of fairness.  That, and the fact that Canadians have come to know Harper as being boringly straight laced, means that the populace will not assume (without the wieght of supporting evidence commensurate with the gravity of the accusations) that this was anything other than a mischievious rogue (or perhaps Liberal plant).

    The desperate belief that Harper would authorize something so foolhardy and out of character, is, well, desperate. 

    • Noop…uh uh….not even a good try…sorry.

    • The harper most Candians know ignored direct orders from the house of commons, pleaded guilty to breaking election rules and said it was “complete victory”, and became the first government to collapse because of contempt (based on unwillingness to release financial data to Canadians about how their money was going to be spent).

      Sorry bub, but this is a prime minister who lies to your face and seems to get pathological pleasure out of it. And this is exactly the kind of ploy such a man would do.

      • …and has been heard on tape saying that he knew “financial considerations” were offered to Chuck Cadman in exchange for a vote in the House. How the Cons escaped prosecution on that one I’ll never understand.

      • “Ignored orders from the House of Commons”

        Again, most fair minded Canadians can appreciate that the “orders” came from a cabal of politically motivated MP’s, who were in fact, Harper’s sworn political enemies.  That they used the trappings of the house of commons for their political attacks does not change that fact.

        Of course, only the hyper-partisans like those here cannot see the logic and reason in this.  Thus, while the rest of us carried on in the normal course after the election, the leftist hyper-partisans were left frantically searching for answers after Harper’s overwhelming election victory in the face of the “disprespecting democracy” charges.

        Indeed it’s fascinating watching the leftists performing the same hue and cry while expecting different results. 

        • Interesting that you use all the same buzz words and the same political mythology over and over again, and expect to get ANY kind of result except more trouble.

          60% of Canadians didn’t vote for Harper

        • “… a cabal of politically motivated MP’s, who were in fact,…”

          Who were, in fact, the duly elected representatives of a majority of Canadians.   You understand that Parliamentary Supremacy isn’t trumped by  the poor dears’ feelings that they’re being unfairly attacked, don’t you?

        •  Party above country forever and always, con supporters

        • There it is again: the Cons’ habitual posture as perpetual “victims” of sinister forces. Nothing is ever their fault.

          Cue the violins one more time.

    • Yeah, someone’s a plant all right!

    • Just to be clear – is it Stephen Harper you’re talking about – your description of him is not matching up with the one who is PM.

      • To be fair, it’s long been established that pre-2006 Harper and post-2006 Harper are not only two different people, but that they are virtually diametrically opposed.

        The confusion around who Stephen Harper is can be quite understandable.

    • Interestingly, Andrew Coyne and others just don’t find this all that “out of character.”  In fact, everything I’ve read by our national pundits seems to indicate this is indeed very in character for the cpc government.  It’s an important chapter in a long-established narrative, in fact.

      • Coyne’s thesis, that it’s actually quite easy to believe that the Tories did this sort of thing, given their history, was really interesting.

      • After Andrew Coyne became a devout Dion follower, it became apparant that he sadly joined the chorus of the out of touch anti-Harper media. 

        • Now you’re creating counter-factual history. If you’re a typical Con, the smears and personal attacks can’t be far behind.

      • Yes, I recall Andrew Coyce announcing prior to the election that he was voting Liberal.  I also recall when the coalition issue arose, he suggested Stephen Harper should cross the floor and shake hands with Mr. Dion and give him the leadership.  Andrew Coyne was gobsmacked that citizens in Canada didn’t agree after they had just given the Conservatives a minority mandate to lead and took to the streets to protest the coalition.  Yes…that Andrew Coyne….he is a really objective journalist.

        • Here is what Andrew Coyne wrote on his decision to vote Liberal last May.  I think it’s a very objective analysis of the pros and cons. 


    • “The desperate belief that Harper would authorize something so foolhardy and out of character, is, well, desperate.”

      That assumption is either disingenuous or utterly naive. He doesn’t need to “authorize” such activity; he needs only to tolerate it while his underlings ensure he is never briefed on the details.

      It’s called plausible deniability. The belief that this inveterate control freak didn’t facilitate this behaviour is literally incredible.

      • “inveterate control freak”….based on what knowledge…Paul Wells told you that the guy doesn’t vett the questions from the press prior to being asked.  Clearly you guys have pre-conceived notions that are not based on reality.

        •  As in “I make the rules.” — Steve Harper, arctic visitor

        • Based on the fact that most of his caucus are afraid to open their mouths unless they have a scripted message from “the center”. Based on the fact that the PMO is now, beyond precedent, bloated with staffers who virtually run the entire government. Based on the fact that virtually all communications from his entire ministry run through that office.

          I don’t know how Wells entered this conversation. If, as you claim, Harper “doesn’t vet questions from the press”, it’s because the press very rarely have genuine opportunities to ask any.

          If Harper didn’t “know” about this robocall campaign, it’s most likely because his closest underlings deliberately shielded him from the details so that he can “plausibly” deny knowledge. But based on patterns of conduct, it most likely emanated from that skunk works in his office.

        • Harper has no need to vett questions, he has canned answers at the ready no matter what questions are asked, on the rare occasions he allows them.

  6. Hey Dean so you were the target of robo calls too? Maybe you should take a close look around that Conservative caucus. Maybe your show boating and grandstanding isn’t as popular as you thought it was. Keep looking over your shoulder there Deano.

  7. You heard it here first: Robocalls were the only reason the Liberals aren’t forming the government right now. Just robocalls. Not a lame platform or terrible leader. Just robocalls.

    Accordingly, the Liberal Party can now stop reevaluating where it’s going and what it stands for, because clearly, there’s nothing wrong with what they’re selling; it was just those damn robocalls.

    • Nobody said that, so give it up

      Cheez…you guys don’t even get an E for effort on this one

      Best wait till HQ talking points come out.

      • Rae is implying it pretty heavily, actually. Try to keep up, dear.

        • Noop, he didn’t.

          In fact Rae went out of his way to stress the pattern of misinformation Harp indulges in…..and you two are trying to continue it!

    • As any good farmer knows, you have to plant seeds. 
      Not even Stephen will be teflon forever

    • Who cares about the Liberal Party!  It’s about the citizens who were deceived by someone pretending to be calling them on behalf of Elections Canada.  I understand that as a Conservative you believe that Canada is a failed experiment and a second-rate country, but do you really think that Canadians are such failures and second rate persons that you can play them like pawns in your game of deception?

      • Not a Conservative, pretty fed up with them, and not planning to vote for them next time – “You stand with the child pornographers” was the last straw for me. But I like opportunistic, whiny innuendoes about “stolen elections” even less. Bob Rae knows very well that last election was a disaster for them, would have been a disaster in any event, and no seats can possibly change hands now; no court will open that can of worms. This is just stoking sore loser envy, Al Gore-style.

        (Also, the echo chamber in here that assumes anyone not on board with the current panic must be a PMO plant spouting official talking points? Kind of hilarious, as ever. Kudos, independent-minded critical thinkers.)

        • I don’t like inuendos about stolen elections either and I doubt this has changed the results.  However, I have at least a modicum of respect for the democratic right to vote of citizens, and obviously there are Con Con Macoutes who don’t.  I am not surprised nor shocked that the response to such extreme tactics is equally over the top.

          • If Conservative voters also received the calls, then isn’t it possible it was a group that wanted to subvert the election process altogether?  The difference between the Liberal bloggers and some of us that have voted Conservative is we don’t look at Stephen Harper and see Adolph Hitler.  We aren’t Chicken Little running around saying the sky is falling everytime Aaron Wheery reports on some “scandal” because the opposition is so small that they try to pin every horrible thing that happens in the country on the Prime Minister.  People insist that he is a control freak and demands that all questions from the press be vetted, yet Paul Wells has told you time and again that it isn’t true.  I find it insulting and ridiculous that you think that 40 percent of the voting public is stupid and unethical because they voted Conservative.  It is that attitude, that makes us grimace everytime Bob Rae opens his mouth.

          • I take it you don’t think election tampering is a serious charge?

          • Wheery [sic] wasn’t the original source of this story, so don’t blame him for this unfolding issue. The first reports came from the National Post, (a reputedly conservative paper):


            And perhaps you need reminding that it was a Con backbencher who recently spotted Hitler among the ranks of the Liberals.

            Confabulate much?

        • It’s not about the election writ large, it’s about the elections in individual ridings, and it’s not about whether or not the results as a whole would have changed, it’s about Canadian citizens being denied the right to vote for the person they wanted to represent them in the House of Commons.

          I don’t think one needs to be “opportunistic” or “whiny” to want to redress the fact that fellow Canadians apparently had their right to cast a vote in a federal election for the candidate of their choice interfered with.

          • That’s not what the Liberal talking points are suggesting, though; Rae is getting their supporters worked up into a lather with OMG STOLEN ELECTION innuendo. Since actual cause and effect between the Tory war room and the robocalls isn’t even proven at this point, let alone that they changed the outcome of a single race, it’s a bit rich.

          • Isn’t the violation that an attempt to change the outcome of an election occurred, not that it was successful or not?

          • Yes it is, and it should be investigated. But, again, that’s not what you’d think was going on listening to the opposition spin – they’re all too happy to conflate the fact of attempts to wrongly induce electors not to vote, with the conclusion “The election was stolen and we’re going to challenge it in court.”

            (On that note…boy, are a lot of people around here going to be sad when they find out about S. 527 of the Canada Elections Act.)

          • Liberal supporters may be getting worked up in the manner you imply, but I don’t think that it’s Rae that’s working them up that way.

            As for the elections in question, I don’t really personally care whether or not the result would have been the same (I’d imagine that by-elections would almost universally return the same MPs) I care how many people in said ridings were effectively disenfranchised. Not that I’d call for a “do-over” for a single disenfranchised voter, but if we’re talking about, say, hundreds of voters, I think I’d like to see them have their voices heard, even if the margin of victory was thousands of votes in their ridings.

            Also, if there are ridings where a Tory candidate was likely harmed by these shenanigans I’d say those ridings should be treated the same, even if it’s proven that the Tories were behind it all. Disenfranchisement is disfranchisement, period.

          • Well it is third world democracy if that, so any organized broad based conspiracy to disrupt voting is must be stamped out hard. It’s the law and order min sentences set an example thing AVR. You can never say 100% what shifted an election even in Chile, Venezuela or Cuba.

    •  I regret that I have but two eyes to roll at this comment.

    • And Harper won because of his brilliant (and ethical) statesmanship.

    • The talent pool in the PMO War Room is very shallow.

    • AVR: “You heard it here first: Robocalls were the only reason the Liberals aren’t forming the government right now.”

      You’re right. Not only is this the first I’ve heard it, this is the only place I’ve heard it. A sad lonely voice in the wilderness where it belongs

      •  Kind of interesting how easily obfuscation and lies come not only to the political right, but right wing citizens as well. Especially in context like this.

  8. Oh pleasepleaseplease somebody challenge the election results in court.

    The spittle-flecked, eye-popping rage that will be unleashed will be pure entertainment gold.

    • …On your part, you mean, when no court will agree to hear such an action?