It should be obvious to most people that the Liberal Party of Canada isn’t behind the vast majority of illegal phone calls made to voters during the May 2, 2011 election. If they were, the Conservative Party would have already bowed to public opinion to call an inquiry, and surely finish the Liberals off for a generation. Adscam’s inquiry was a big part of how the Conservatives were able to hold onto power for the last half of the last decade. Harper must be sweating bullets this week, however. Canada’s Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand will be presenting some findings from an Elections Canada investigation into illegal robocalls made in the riding of Guelph, and should also note that more illegal calls made across the country also need a detailed investigation, judicial inquiry, or Royal Commission.
How do we know the Conservatives are worried? They took the only exposure-minimization card and played it by making Mayrand report to a committee at the same time most of Ottawa’s media will be locked up so they can look at the budget before the general public hears the details. CBC’s Kady O’Malley has said on Twitter that she intends to hear Mayrand rather than attend the lockup, but she might be compelled by CBC to ignore Mayrand in favour of the budget, or she may just change her mind. Worse still, the Conservatives may force the committee to hear Mayrand’s report under a shroud of secrecy, in camera, so Liberals and NDP MPs cannot talk about the findings without risking repercussions. The media should be encouraged to all attend Mayrand’s report, stop being silly/blind, and if they are forced to wait outside, they should be as grouchy as they were for the NDP leadership convention, even though delays were in part due to an attack. Reporting on the budget can wait a few hours, it’s not a national emergency — and it won’t mean much if Mayrand’s report is thorough.
To recap the Conservatives’ stance on the RoboCon scandal:
- The CPC doesn’t know anything about it.
- The Liberals did it. Maybe the NDP?
- A rogue Guelph volunteer did it, and only in Guelph-and-area where we lost anyway, so no harm, no foul.
- The “rogue”, Sona, goes rogue and refuses to lie down in front of our CPC bus.
- Most of the complaints are from an American .ca website, so they don’t count because they’re all lying, because they hate Conservatives.
- The 700 complaints are all in Guelph, or are mostly all fake.
- We don’t know anything about RoboCon, but here are detailed phone records of Pierre Poutine. (Even though they contradict the findings of Elections Canada’s investigation thus far.)
And what’s the next response going to be?
It’s a mountain out of a molehill. Tempest in a teapot. The people who got ‘dirty trick’ calls were only Liberals, and voted anyway, no biggie. Every party does it. It’s an administrative dispute. Free speech?
OK. Listen. There are honest Conservatives in Canada, and they are going to start beating their heads against their desks whenever they hear any of the expressions of dismissal I just listed. There are piles of evidence that logically points to a conspiracy (plotted crime by two or more people) to misdirect and dissuade voters. The evidence, and the behaviour of senior Conservative Party MPs, point to some sort of national party involvement. Canadians should watch very carefully this week as dishonest Conservatives continue to attempt to minimize very serious Elections Act violations.
Imagine it’s 2007, and a bitter election is underway in Saskatchewan. Kids who favour the NDP kick down election signs for the Sask Party. Bloggers, particularly Conservative, SaskParty, and Blogging Tories (1), hype those crimes until the vandalism becomes a national news story. There were calls on the Internet for these kids to never be hired for a good job, to pay a fine and go to jail, and to be publicly shamed on the John Gormley Live radio show (2). Watch these same people now if they have the same level of outrage over more serious election crimes. I’d prefer we stop this spreading, anti-democratic virus that’s infected our country and is giving it a heart attack from way too much Poutine.
“This is another important reason why the Left is on the wane. Most civilized people regardless of their leanings, don’t like thuggery.”
“This may sound a bit extreme but, this kind of thing does bring to mind the history of brown shirts,swastika’s and brainwashed youth…………it just seems so familiar.”
“[Those] who think this is a tempest in a teapot, are, IMO, either woefully ignorant or wilfully obtuse about today’s youth [...] The arrogant and destructive behaviour of these young men is no small thing: it shows the utmost disrespect for the rights of others. If that’s the mindset that motivates them, stay tuned for more self-referential, selfish, anti-social behaviour. I don’t think they’re the kind of people one would want for an employee, a son-in-law, or father of one’s grandchildren. Yes, PMSH’s Crime Bills, which, I believe, will contain some “Broken Window” provisions, can’t come too soon.”