elections canada combs through 31 000 complaints regarding election fraud
Posted 03 March 2012 - 04:10 PM
Cons finally seem to be at the "oh oh" level
the party who has used the leader as a whip has delivered a different message each day which certainly has not diffused the issue.
the robocalls were calling opposition supporters and stating the polling stations had been moved during the last election when they hadn't been moved.
big time election fraud.
Posted 04 March 2012 - 01:49 AM
since then there have been a multitude of complaints that voters were sent to the wrong voting locations via robocalls
the ruling Tories are having a hard time deflecting blame and seem to be the ones responsible
this would cast doubt on the last federal election and the majority they claim to have
popular vote didn't favour them and it is looking like dirty tricks maybe the only way they were able to seal the deal
they have been guilty of contempt of parliament and were guilty of moving election money around in the prior federal election
major legitimacy issues
Posted 04 March 2012 - 02:16 PM
these guys make it difficult for me to stay issue based rather than join a team
Commons no help in robo-call affair
MONTREAL — In the matter of the so-called voter suppression scandal, the modest thread that has come to Elections Canada and the RCMP’s attention is ultimately more important than the tapestry of alleged Conservative wrongdoing that the opposition has been weaving in the House of Commons.
If there is a maze of Conservative dirty tricks leading to the party’s winning election showing, the best and perhaps only hope to navigate through it may rest with finding the person that is hiding behind the bogus identity of Pierre Poutine (and/or more people like him or her).
That this individual went to great lengths to covertly mislead voters into showing up at non-existent polling stations in the Ontario riding of Guelph is so far one of the few solid elements on offer in this affair.
The fact that he or she used the services of a company that handled some of the phone outreach activities of the Conservative party is the main link between the fraudulent calls and Stephen Harper’s campaign.
But without first-hand testimony, it will be virtually impossible to ascertain whether this link is circumstantial or part of a larger network set up to suppress opposition votes in the last election.
In the absence of such evidence, the picture of a massive electoral fraud that the opposition parties have been drawing amounts more to a creative leap of faith in the Conservatives’ inclination to partisan mischief than to a tightly-knit factual narrative.
So far, the Liberals and the New Democrats have contributed more smoke than fire to the evolving voter suppression saga. In the process, they have done more to cloud the issue than to highlight it.
By indiscriminately throwing as many ridings as possible into the mix of the story for instance, the opposition parties have constructed a pattern that quickly lost any tactical sense.
The fact that ultra-safe Conservative ridings have ended up on the list of allegedly abused ridings is not conclusive proof that an orchestrated campaign of dirty tricks was not at play in the last election.
But the fact that ridings the opposition narrowly lost to the Conservatives on May 2 are on the list is also not proof that fraud was at play in the result.
As in the case of the ruling Liberals at the time of the sponsorship scandal, the Conservative case rests on the notion that unknown rogue players were at work behind the ruling party’s back.
But given how close the Conservatives kept their ear to the ground during the election and in light of the current high volume of complaints, it is hard to fathom that they would not have picked up on the covert activity especially if it originated from sources friendly to them.
The opposition case makes no allowances for human errors. Yet, over the past week, the information that some call centre employees took shortcuts with the message that they were contracted to deliver by the Conservatives has also surfaced.
Rather than introduce themselves as party callers, they sometimes misrepresented themselves as Elections Canada workers.
It is not the first time that the adversarial parliamentary dynamics — featuring an opposition only too willing to shoot at anything that moves and a government determined to stonewall queries as a matter of course — fail to shed light on a purported scandal.
The House of Commons was just as unhelpful a venue for fact-finding at the time of the sponsorship affair.
Without the work of the auditor general, the Gomery commission would have been without a roadmap.
The same would be true — as things stand today — of any public inquiry into the robo-call matter.
Canadians may never know all that they should about what took place in the muddy trenches of the last federal campaign. But if they ever get the beginning of a definitive answer, it will come from Elections Canada or the RCMP or even the media, and not from the warring parties in the Commons.
Chantal Hebert is a national affairs columnist for the Toronto Star.
Posted 04 March 2012 - 04:41 PM
1. Cooking the Books
The duplicity began in the election that brought the Conservatives to power – the 2006 campaign in which they were promising a new era of transparency and accountability. Via some peculiar accounting practices, the Tories exceeded spending limits in the campaign, providing themselves with an advertising advantage in key ridings. They were later caught, had their offices raided by police and ultimately pled guilty last year to reduced charges of violating financing provisions of the Elections Act.
2. The Hidden Slush Fund
More than $40-million slated for border-infrastructure improvements instead went into enhancement projects in Tony Clement’s riding in preparation for the G-8 summit. To conceal the intent of the spending from legislators, John Baird used the border fund as a “delivery mechanism” for the money.
3. Falsifying Documents
The document-altering scam involving Bev Oda’s office and the aid group Kairos is only one of several instances in which the Tories have been caught document-tampering. They went so far as to alter a report by Auditor General Sheila Fraser to make it look like she was crediting them with prudent financial management when, in fact, it was the Liberals to whom she was referring.
4. Shutting Down Detainees’ Probes
The Conservatives employed a number of authoritarian tactics to avoid culpability on the Afghan detainees’ file. They included an attack on the reputation of diplomat Richard Colvin, the shutting down of Parliament and the disabling of Peter Tinsley’s Military Police Complaints Commission. The Tories denied Tinsley’s commission documents for reasons of national security – even though commission members had national security clearance.
5. The Cotler Misinformation Campaign
In an act described by the Speaker of the Commons, himself a Tory, as reprehensible, Conservatives systematically spread rumours in Irwin Cotler’s Montreal riding that he was stepping down.
6. The Suppression of Damaging Reports
A report of the Commissioner of Firearms that showed the gun registry in a good light was kept hidden by Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan beyond its statutory release deadline. As a consequence, the report escaped the eyes of opposition members before a vote on the registry was taken. It is one of many instances in which the government has suppressed research that runs counter to its ideology.
7. Attempt to Frame the Opposition Leader.
Late in the 2011 election camapign, a senior Conservative operative leaked bogus photos to Sun Media in an attempt to frame Michael Ignatieff as an Iraqi war planner.
8. Communications Lockdown.
The government went to unprecedented lengths to vet, censor and withhold information. After denying legislators information on costs of programs, Harper became the first prime minister in history to be found in contempt of Parliament. The public service has muzzled like never before. Last week, several groups wrote Harper urging him to stop gagging the science community on the question of climate change and other issues. The Tories denied an opposition member accreditation to attend the Durban summit on climate change then lambasted the member for not being there. Journalists have faced myriad restrictions. At one point in the in-and-out affair, PMO officials fled down a hotel fire-escape stairwell, Keystone-Kops style, to avoid the media. On another, the governing party had the police clear a Charlottetown hotel lobby of scribes wishing to cover a Tory caucus meeting.
9. Intimidation and Bullying of Adversaries
The list of smear campaigns against opponents is long. Some that come to mind are Harper’s trying to link Liberal Navdeep Bains to terrorism; Vic Toews’ labelling of distinguished jurist Louise Arbour a “disgrace to Canada” for her views on the Middle East; seeking reprisals against University of Ottawa academic Michael Behiels for being critical of the government; and the dismissal of Nuclear Safety Commission boss Linda Keen who the PM decried as having a Liberal background.
10. The “Citizenship” Dog and Pony Show
As well as being muzzled, civil servants have been put to use for the government’s political benefit. In one such case, the immigration department ordered bureaucrats to act as stand-ins at a fake citizenship reaffirmation ceremony broadcast by Sun TV.
11. Writing the Book on Disrupting Committees
The Tories quietly issued their committee chairpersons a 200-page handbook on how to obstruct the opposition. The handbook recommended barring witnesses who might have embarrassing information. It went so far as to instruct chairpersons to shut down the committees if the going got really tough. The Tories have also issued an order that frees cabinet staffers from ever having to testify before committees. They are resorting more frequently to in-camera committee sessions, away from the public and media eye.
12. Leaking Veterans’ Medical Files
Colonel Pat Stogran, who was dropped as Veterans’ ombudsman after making waves, says he became the target of anonymous defamatory emails and other dirty tricks after criticizing the government. Other veterans, Sean Bruyea and Dennis Manuge, say their medical files have been leaked, going all the way back to 2002, in an attempt to embarrass them.
13. Unfixing The Fixed-Date Election Law
The prime minister brought in a fixed date election law which, he said, would remove the governing party’s timing advantage in dropping the writ. He promptly turned around and, earning Jack Layton’s lasting disdain, ignored his own law and issued a surprise election call in 2008.
14. Declaring Brian Mulroney Persona Non Grata
In the wake of the Karlheinz Schreiber cash hand-out controversy, Harper’s team, in its zest to disassociate itself, went so far as to put out the false rumour that Mulroney, who won two majorities for the party, was no longer a card-carrying member.
15. Unreleasing Released Documents
The Conservatives have resorted to the use of shady tactics to de-access the Access to Information system. In one notable instance cabinet staffer Sebastien Togneri ordered officials to unrelease documents that were on their way to the media. Freedom of information specialist Stanley Tromp has catalogued some 46 examples of the government’s shielding and stonewalling.
16. Ejecting Citizens From Rallies
Operatives hauled voters out of Harper rallies in last year’s campaign for the simple reason that they had marginal ties to other parties. The PM was compelled to apologize.
17. Hit Squad On Journalists
Operating under phony email IDs, Conservative staffers have attacked journalists in thousands of online posts in an attempt to discredit them and their work.
18. Dirty Work on Dion
The Conservatives have set records for the use of personal attack ads. In the 2008 campaign they ran an on-line ad which depicted a bird defecating on Stephane Dion’s head. Protests compelled them to withdraw it.
19. Tory Logos on Taxpayer Cheques
The economic recovery program was paid for by taxpayer dollars but the Tories tried to make political gains by putting their party logo – until they were called on it – on billboard-sized cheques. Surveys by journalists showed the money was distributed disproportionately to Conservative ridings and partisans.
20. The Rob Anders Nomination Crackdown
The prime minister has been accused of turning his own party into an echo chamber. When someone tried to exercise her democratic right to challenge Harper loyalist Rob Anders for the nomination in his Calgary riding, Harper’s men descended like a black ops commando unit, seized control of the office, seized control of the riding executive and crushed the bid.
21. The Rights and Democracy Takeover
Groups like Rights and Democracy supposedly operate at arm’s length from the government. But the Harperites, in what journalists described as boardroom terror, removed or suspended board members and stacked the board with pro-Israeli hardliners. As part of the ethical anarchy, a break-in occurred at headquarters.
22. Vote Suppression Tactics
Along with the accusation of pre-recorded robocalls sending voters astray in last election, reports of several other Tory vote suppression tactics have surfaced. They include a systematic live-caller operation in which Liberal supporters were peppered with bogus information.
The list does not include such controversies as the Cadman affair in which the Conservatives allegedly tried to bribe independent MP Chuck Cadman for his vote; the whitewashing by Integrity Commissioner Christiane Ouimet of 227 whistleblower complaints against the government; the allegation by eyewitness Elizabeth May that Harper cheated in the 2008 election’s televised debates by bringing in notes; and many others.
Off the top of my head, here's a couple other examples of our current gov't, there is more, but I'm still waking up.
- Environmental groups, or opposition to the current proposed pipeline plans (via Kitmat, BC) are considered "enemy's of Canada" or "foreign funded radicals" according to Harper.
- Environmental groups like Greenpeace, or animal rights activists like PETA will soon be grouped along with al-Qaeda and other terrorist/extremist groups.
- The "lawful access act" (Bill C-30 - online surveillance) notoriously re-named after public back-lash to the "Protecting children from internet predators act" and yet mentions children in the name only. Opposition to this bill (gov't or public) in it's current state have been accused of "siding with pedophiles" by the current Minister of Public Safety (Vic Toews).
- On his recent visit to China, when questioned about bringing up human rights concerns by Canadian's and media, as well, the situation regarding jailed Chinese Noble Peace Prize winner - Liu Xiaobo - Harper wouldn't comment, nor mention Liu Xiaobo's name ot loud for fear of upsetting his 10 million dollar panda exchange - in fact, Harper wouldn't talk about human rights at all, publicly - instead he wants Canadian's to trust he did in private.
- Conservative MP Rob Anders (vice-chairman of Veteran Affairs) shows up late, texts for a few minutes and then falls asleep at a Veterans Affairs committee regarding homeless veterans. Later he denies it and then accuses the two card carrying conservative veterans who complained about him, of being "NDP hacks" and further accused them of praising Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
- Conservative MPs, and PM Harper in HoC make accusations that the liberal party is behind the robocalls to liberal voters that misdirected them to bogus polling stations (makes sense eh?) . As well, They try to deflect and demonize the liberals - "We've done some checking," Harper said. "We've only found that, in fact, it was the Liberal party that did source its phone calls from the United States." - Fact is, the company the liberals used is Canadian and the only company they appear to have used. It was later revealed that over a dozen Conservative MPs, including PM Harper sourced their calls from the US based companies.
- (Conservative) Peter McKay, Minister of National Defence - uses search and rescue helicopter for his personal taxi from fly-in fishing trip holiday. A day after being questioned about his reasons for using emergency services as a taxi and also accused of abusing such services by opposition MPs - his office employed military personnel to research NFLD Liberal MP Scott Simms use of the same helicopter. In the HoC Simms was grated & questioned by the conservatives for a 5hr flight he had taken. It was later brought to light that the conservative gov't had actually invited him to take the 5hr training flight to get familiar with their operations and report back.
more to come...
Probably one of the more concerning issues for me is the total lack of interest shown by Harper, and the conservatives regarding the fact that someone did in fact intentionally disrupt elections. Harper and his party have only gone on the defensive about the issue demanding the opposition provide proof connecting the PMO to this election fraud. Personally, I want the elected leader of my country to be one of, if not, the loudest voices demanding an inquiry into finding out who was behind this shit. Instead, he is remaining silent and sending his own investigators to check on reports prior to RCMP and Elections Canada investigating. (eg: Thunder Bay)
Posted 05 March 2012 - 12:16 AM
I haven't voted for any of the three "big" parties in years (last was lib) and have voted grassroots instead. But like you freerange, I'm finding it harder and harder not to take up a side. Layton was impressing before he passed away, although the NDP don't really impress me over-all and I'm still not over my issues with the liberals. All I know is, our current gov't has to go.
Edited by Esau, 05 March 2012 - 01:56 AM.
Removed needless rant.
Posted 05 March 2012 - 01:23 PM
Esau, good to know we are out there as my voting profile looks fairly similar to yours.
we have a good guy for our riding in Paul Dewar and i liked Layton's leadership and principles oh well.
now that i am out of Dewar's riding i'll probably end up voting Communist again.
anything i can do to keep the god damned Marxist/Lenninists out of office
the last Liberal i voted for was Turner
provincially we now live in mcguinty's riding:lmao: