Friday, August 10, 2012

Robo/Real/ConCall Update...Has The Next Limited Hangout Begun?


Remember this, from last spring:

OTTAWA - A former employee of a call centre that did work for the Conservative party in the last election says she was instructed to tell people Elections Canada had changed their polling locations.
In a sworn affidavit, Annette Desgagne says she and other workers at Responsive Marketing Group's call centre in Thunder Bay, Ont., became suspicious when people questioned them about the new polling locations...
{snippety doo-dah}
...Desgagne says her co-workers had similar experiences. She says her supervisors told her to "just stick to the scripts" when she told them of her concerns.
"Our concerns were ignored and we had to keep reading and repeating the same scripts about changes of address for polling stations made by elections Canada," says Desgagne's affidavit.

Desgagne's affidavit, filed as part of a court action launched by the Council of Canadians, repeats most of the claims first reported by the Toronto Star in February.
She says she went to work for RMG three weeks before election day.
She says she started out making calls in which she identified herself as calling on behalf of the Conservative party. She recorded people's voting preferences and asked Conservative supporters if they would put up yard signs.
Desgagne says the script changed about three days before the May 2 vote, dropping all mention of the Conservatives. The new scripts said Elections Canada had changed some polling stations, and directed voters to the new locations...


McMaher, in the OCitizen, are now reporting that the Chief Operating Officer for Response Marketing Group has filed an affadavit in federal court which it claims that allegations that there was any attempt to commit voter suppression by phone are 'categorically' false:

OTTAWA — The Conservatives have for the first time responded in detail to allegations that they engaged in fraudulent phone calls aimed at suppressing the votes of opposition voters during the last election.

Such charges are “categorically false,” says a detailed affidavit filed in federal court on Wednesday by Andrew Langhorne, chief operating officer of Responsive Marketing Group, the Conservative party’s main voter contact firm...

But then comes the part that looks like a wee bit of a 'hangout'.

And, guess what....

It involves 'scripts':

...Langhorne’s affidavit contradicts her (Desgagne) on key points. It asserts that neither the party nor the company even discussed calling non-supporters; it asserts that callers were told to identify themselves as calling for the Conservatives; and it provides a get-out-the-vote script used by callers.

“Hi, I’m calling for (name from list),” the script begins. “This is (first name) with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives. Your candidate (Candidate name) asked me to call you.”

The script goes on to say that “Elections Canada has changed some voting locations at the last moment,” and asks them to provide their polling station to the caller.

Langhorne says the callers would check that against their list.

“If the address provided by the voter for their polling station did not match the address in front of the RMG agent, the RMG agent was directed to provide the voter with the polling station address displayed from the (get-out-the-vote) data.”

Langhorne says that RMG records show that Desgagnes made only 20 get-out-the-vote calls to voters in the seven ridings at issue, and identified herself as calling on behalf of the Conservatives, as the script states. The records show she gave voters correct addresses, Langhorne says.

Langhorne says that voters and callers may have different addresses because of errors in the database callers use, or errors in the lists provided by Elections Canada.

During the campaign, Elections Canada asked all the parties to not give voters the addresses of polling stations, to avoid confusion... 


Why consider this a potential 'limited' hangout?

Well, because Mr. Langhorne's statement does appear to include a small, 'limited' admission of RMG doing something E-Canada told them NOT to do (i.e. give voters addresses of polling stations).

But here's the thing - If it were to turn out that there are some scripts floating around out there...

...Wouldn't any and all dates on them, given Ms. Desgagne's original claim of the changing nature of said 'scripts' as election day loomed, turn out to be pretty important?

And while we're at it - Here's another question that comes to mind...

...Do RMG's records show that Ms. Desgagne made other calls that were in a different 'category' than those labelled 'Get-Out-The-Vote? in the seven ridings 'at issue?

Want more?.... Saskboy and pogge (who also has more on the 'Cheques for Dean-O affair', and the CPC's monetary pushback against the Council of Canadians) offer their opinions here and here....



Anonymous said...

The claims by RMG would be more believable if they were made more promptly. It sounds like they spent a few months making sure no hard evidence of wrongdoing would ever be found before filing an affidavit with the courts.

RossK said...

Interesting POV Anon.

Of course, it might be pretty hard to determine if they have recovered all the 'scripts' that workers just might have taken home with them back in those heady pre-election days.

I wonder if somebody should ask folks who work or worked for RMG if anybody came calling about stray scripts over the last 6 months or so?

Anonymous said...

Even the U.S. said. The robo-call election fraud robo-calls, were very sophisticated and involved.

I have often wondered about Bruce Carson. Harper hired him, even though he knew Carson was a criminal. Carson has been arrested by the RCMP, for influence peddling.

This isn't the first time Harper has used, dirty tactics, dirty politics. Just ask Gordon Campbell. Harper and Campbell have the same typo personalities. They will steal your eyes, and then come back, for the sockets.

Harper is using every dirty tactic in the book, to quash the robo-call cheat investigation William Corbett of Elections Canada was a little too honest for Harper. He then installed one of his own boys Yves Corte, into Elections Canada. I'm sure we all know why.

Same as the election riding disputes. Harper has appointed, two new Conservative judges. What are the odds, one of Harper's new judges, will throw this out of court???

Heads up people. There is dirty work afoot.

Saskboy said...

The script was probably only on computer screen, and unless RMG's backups (probably destroyed or altered now) are searched by the RCMP, we'll never know for sure.