Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Robocalls: Is the Con Story Crumbling?
Ever since the robocall scandal began the Cons have always claimed that if there was a "problem" it was a small one.
It was limited to the Guelph area, the work of a rogue operative or operatives, and that people only complained AFTER the election was over.
Because you know the Lieberals made them do it eh?
But unfortunately for the Cons, we now know that's not true. The complaints started flooding in BEFORE the election.
Elections Canada officials scrambled to correct apparent misinformation going to voters through robocalls in the three days leading up to the May 2, 2011, federal election, newly released emails show.
They were coming in from all over the country, the Cons knew that because Elections Canada contacted them.
Within half an hour of hearing about the complaints, a lawyer for Elections Canada sent an email to a lawyer at Cassels Brock in Toronto who represented the Conservative Party. The name is blacked out in the documents released by the election agency, but party lawyer Arthur Hamilton works at Cassels Brock.
When Elections Canada called some of the numbers outraged voters had complained about, a funny thing happened.
"When these numbers are called, the voice message is recorded by the same person even though the numbers are different," Anita Hawdur, the election official in charge of the voting process wrote in an email to one of Election Canada's lawyers.
And let's not forget all those other online complaints
Online complaints posted during the last federal election campaign show that voters were getting incorrect poll-moving calls from the same numbers that sent Elections Canada workers scrambling in the final days before the 2011 election.
Which had the opposition in the House of Commons today accusing the government of voter suppression:
NDP MP Charlie Angus said “the defence of the Conservatives is starting to crumble because now we have the information to access documents that reveal that Elections Canada was so concerned about voter fraud, it believed the Conservative Party was ‘running a scam’ and its investigators traced the calls back to a 1-800 number that went to the Conservative Party headquarters.
Lawrence Martin wondering whether the Con narrative is crumbling.
Though nothing is conclusive, the revelations, which directly challenge the Conservatives’ version of events, can hardly be of comfort to Stephen Harper’s team. The story has become a whodunit with phenomenally high stakes. No democratic government found to have run a widespread vote-rigging operation is likely to survive.
And offering up this theory:
Anyone wishing to play devil’s advocate could try this theory: The Conservatives, no strangers to questionable political tactics (remember the in-and-out affair?) were aware that in every election there are late changes in polling station locations. They decided they could use this as a cover for a calling operation. If suspicions arose, they could say they were just phoning to get their supporters out and maybe a few mistakes were made along the way.
And the Council of Canadians setting up a hotline to report voter fraud.
All of which leaves me with just two questions eh?
Does Elections Canada have the resources to investigate this massive scandal? And if they don't will they please call in the police? NOW.
For no democracy can survive under this kind of cloud.
And if the Cons tried to steal an election.
They must pay a terrible price ...