Sunday, August 02, 2015

Let The Voter Suppression Begin!


Here's the thing...

Robo-calling with a demonstrable nefarious purpose to pervert the Canadian democratic process did NOT begin in 2011.

Instead, it started in 2008.

In Lotusland:

...Like lots of other folks out here on the Western edge of Lotusland, I wrote extensively about the misdirection calls that were targetted at progressive types that would most likely have voted against the conservative, Gary Lunn, in the riding of 'Saanich and the Islands' during the federal election of 2008.

In fact, after following this forward through 2011 and beyond, I came to view this 2008 conning of the progressives in Saanich to be essentially 'ground zero' in the Robo-Real Call-based assault on Canada's democratic process.

And I never understood why, after complaints had been filed with the Saanich police, the RCMP and Elections-Canada, that the investigation was suddenly halted (which, of course, likely only served to embolden any and all future 'potential' perpetrators).


It turns out that, while Elections Canada determined that calls misdirecting progressives to a no-longer existent NDP candidate (and therefore, 'potentially', away from Mr. Lunn's closest challenger Liberal/Greeniac Briony Penn), they decided it wasn't worth pursuing because they they couldn't demonstrate that an actual voter was actually, for absolutely for absolute crystal-clear sure, misled.

Which, in my view at least, was an egregious dereliction of duty on the part of Elections Canada given the demonstrable fraud involved...


The real take home message, here?

They test-ran the thing seven years ago...They rolled it in earnest out four years ago...They spent the last three years making much of it legal...And now we're in the final 11 week backstretch.

Which means that if the other two parties won't make sure that 37% (or less) doesn't win, maybe it's going to be up to us.


And, yes, I am raising the spectre of 'Strategic Voting' once again...More on that later.



Norm Farrell said...

It's probably not widely known that sitting politicians, particularly members of Government, have an advantage when it comes to operations of Elections Canada. This statement relates to appointments of Deputy Returning Officers:

"Hiring priority will be given to suitable persons whose names were recommended by the candidate of the registered political party whose candidate finished first in the electoral district in the last election."

Many people may be surprised that voting and vote counting is managed by partisans.

Anonymous said...

At the provincial level, British Columbia:

A basic underlying principle of democratic elections is that there must be a ‘level playing field’ for all candidates. An incumbent should not have an advantage over other candidates because of access to public funds or because of the status associated with being a Member of the Legislative Assembly. In keeping with this principle, when the Legislature is dissolved Members cease to be Members.

Does the same hold true for Canada MP plural?

Grant G said...

Hello Ross...

Personally speaking, I like this early election call, yes I know Harper has a big war chest...But Stephen Harper`s team has been using partisan public advertising, using the press for staged photo-ops for the last two years, and the Cons have been handing out cheques country wide..

Yes, I know this early call affects third party election ads, groups like unions, public service, senior`s group, environmental groups will be very limited, ...I know all that..

However, ..Stephen Harper in calling an early and near record breaking 11 week campaign is admitting weakness...

I stephen Harper, with an overstuffed war chest, the power of Government, the bully pulpit, the hand-er-out-er-of-checks...I stephen Harper need more help, I must stop third party advertisers, I must outspend to win...blah blah blah..

So, Mr. Closet Boy scardycat is running scared...So, while the Nation is in recession, while we are in deficit...While we are sorta technically in a war against ISIS...A terrorist behind every bush here in Canada..

I Stephen Harper is shutting down Government for 11 weeks, putting all Government business on hold..Because after near 10 years in office as leader of Canada, I need lots of money and a bigger edge to have a chance to win....Sheesh.

Well...Mr K...Mike De Jong must be twisted, ...Petronas, remember Petronas, ...Mike De Jong was quoted as saying..."Petronas could have shovels in the ground by September"...(Malaysian Star...Not with a Federal Environmental certificate...Meaning the project needs Federal Cabinet to approve it...!!

Harper just guaranteed that Petronas can`t get any certificate until sometime well-past October 19th...

Ross....People don`t like Harper as it is...A TV..Radio..Print carperbombing of Conservative/Harper attack ads...

People will really get twisted hearing those for 11 weeks!..

Endless Harper ads while Canada`s economy is drifting, in deficit, nothing better to do than campaign for 11 weeks..What a weak desperate man Harper is.

Stephen Harper is done Ross K...

Election is literally over.


G West, Victoria said...

There was also some 'robocalling' of a sort in the Victoria constituency in the 2009 Provincial General Election. That was when the so-called scientist Andrew Weaver decided to lend his support to a UVic student running for the BC Liberals against then NDP leader Carole James.

I got one of those calls from Weaver - picked up by my answering machine at our home in James Bay - and I've been suspicious of Weaver's motives and trustworthyness ever since. Not least as he now claims to be a 'Green' pretending to oppose his former bedmates in the BC Liberal party.

Anonymous said...


Twitter search "Mulcair" shows Cons spamming twitter:

scotty on denman said...

Virtually anyone who's watched the news these last ten years would recognize a nonpartisan bulletin warning voters about robocalls as a fairly clear implication of Conservative dirty tricks. No party or person need be named---just mention robocalls, and try to NOT to think of Stephen Harper, the Conservative party, or some of the more infamous Cons convicted of electoral perfidy. Even a dyed-in-the-wool Con couldn't do it.

Is a variously-funded, an anonymously-funded, or even, for that matter, a partisan-funded publication plainly warning citizens of unattributed criminal activity subject to the same rules and restrictions as regular electoral campaign advertising? Is not any citizen or organization free to publicize such a warning at any time? Is not every citizen entitled to protection under the law, and therefore to specific information that enables recognition of these serious criminal scams so's to avoid becoming a victim, so's to be able to report to police, and to warn others? Police depend almost entirely on citizen reports to pursue these crimes, and, considering it's been getting worse over the last ten years, it's really everybody's duty not only to protect themselves, but to help stamp it out.

It's hardly the citizens' fault Cons earned themselves the reputation for perpetrating electoral crime, and it's hardly partisan bias Cons are the first thing to pop into citizens' heads when electoral fraud comes up: if the Cons don't like having a record of convictions, they shouldn't have done the crimes.

The Cons obviously want to silence third-party campaign advertising by gaming the rules to extend the writ period. But there's nothing wrong with warning people of electoral crime when it doesn't target any of the contestants---doesn't even have to mention there's an election going on. Too bad for the Cons everybody understands exactly who such warnings refer to, in not so may words, of course.

And there's nothing wrong with their rivals doing a bit of rule-gaming themselves: unlike the Cons, they do it to fight, not perpetrate, electoral crime. Nothing wrong either with enjoying a little Schadenfreude at the irony of the self-proclaimed tough-on-crime party turning out to have been tough on themselves.

But, hey! Nobody's saying non-partisan public service warnings are directed at Harper's crew---don't have to.