Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Linda Frum, the Unfair Elections Act, and the Senate Farce

When I saw Linda Frum had caused a flap on Twitter by trying to defend the indefensible Unfair Elections Act, all kind of thoughts flew into my mind.

How could somebody so dumb be a Senator? Can I be one?

And lucky for her she only made a fool out of herself on Twitter. 

Where everyone forgets what anyone said the day before.

But sadly I see, she couldn't leave dumb alone.

Elections Canada is a bureaucracy with two missions: to ensure the integrity of the voting process and also to promote voter turnout. Those two missions are contradictory. You want the biggest vote total? Accept every ballot. You want to eliminate voter fraud? Eliminating improper ballots may reduce vote totals.

Because if it was bad in 140 characters now it REALLY sucks eh?

Her collection of Con talking points, which have been refuted by people MUCH smarter than her, leads absolutely nowhere.

And seems to indicate that either she is not in full command of her intellect, or in full control of her partisan instincts, as one Globe commenter suggests:

Sorry Ms Frum, competing interests are not the same as a conflict of interest. Both are goods to be pursued to reach the goal of democratic elections. When one danger is shown to be a fiction promoted by the conservatives, we have to really wonder what "voter integrity" goal you are really pursuing.

Or that she has fallen under the spell of the Wacky Witch of the Senate Marjory LeBreton, whose partisan spirit still haunts the place....

But then she isn't the only one to fall under that spell mixed and cooked up in the PMO. So are the Con senators who would have us believe that the Senate is morphing back into the chamber of sober almost sober second thought. 

Conservative senators are recommending that the government abandon plans to exempt certain fundraising calls from election spending limits, in one of nine changes to the controversial Fair Elections Act recommended unanimously by a Senate committee.

When in fact their recommendations, while making some good suggestions, do not touch the dark heart of the bill. They do not recommend that vouching be retained, even though it's a blatant attempt to suppress the vote. They do not call for the Election Commissioner to be responsible to Parliament instead of the government. 

They do not call for the Chief Electoral Officer to be given the powers to properly investigate the Cons who tried to steal the last election, or prevent them from stealing the next one.

And all those recommendations are, in my opinion, just a smokescreen to allow Pierre Poilievre to look like he's listening to others, and changing his bill...

When in fact it's all a farce. He could adopt all their recommendations, and not change the intent of the bill one iota.

And how serious are the Con senators about what the Globe calls putting a "brake" on the bill?

The changes are being recommended while the Fair Elections Act, Bill C-23, is still under consideration by a committee in the House of Commons and amount to a warning shot from the Senate. If the changes are not made by the House, it could lead to a tug-of-war between the institutions.

When they are rushing their recommendations out before the House of Commons has even finished studying the foul act. Which if Poilievre agrees to their changes, can only speed up the process.

And everything from Poilievre's distortions, to Frum's confusions, to Brad Butt's lies...

Are all part of an orchestrated Con campaign to distract and confuse Canadians.

While they rush the bill through to cover their asses before the robocall trial begins in June.

And of course, don't forget that old Tommy McInnis is on that senate committee...

The one who also claimed he PERSONALLY witnessed massive voter fraud. Only to admit the very next day that actually he didn't. He got his information from Elections Canada. The agency that has made it absolutely clear that voter fraud is NOT a major problem.

Which should tell you EVERYTHING you need to know about that Senate report eh?

And the good news?

The Cons are so desperate they're losing touch with reality, and they don't realize how obvious is their plan, to anyone but the desperately dumb. 

They can fool themselves, but they can't fool most Canadians because they know Con artists when they see them.

And so great is the resistance, that unless this bill is killed.

The anger could be so great.

It could end up killing THEM...

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  1. One would think that a McGill graduate would know that competing interests are not the same as conflicts of interest, but then the senator's university experience was different from most. From Linda Frum's Guide to Canadian Universities: "The best moments at McGill are spent munching on croissants and sipping cafés au lait, touring Montreal's beaux-arts palaces, getting drunk in the bistros of St-Denis, shopping for fresh groceries on St-Laurent, skiing on Mount Royal and going to hockey games at the Forum."

    Pull that one out next time a faux-Tory goes on about the "elites". How much do you want to bet she watched those games from corporate boxes.

    Yep, an entirely different experience. And I haven't even touched upon her BMO-supported McGill University Magazine .

    1. hi Brian...yes Senator Frum's McGill experience was certainly quite different from mine. I greatly enjoyed my years there, but I found her description of her best moments absolutely hilarious. My most faux bourgeois moment was playing pool one night at the Faculty Club on a magnificent pool table donated by the Molson family. But only after helping a friend who was paid a few dollars to polish the elaborate wooden panelling. Also despite knowing Mount Royal like the back of my hand, and having lived for a few years in the student residences on its slopes, I somehow missed out on the skiing opportunities. Surely she wasn't skiing down the tiny sled run at the corner of Parc and Mount Royal with the common people? But yes I did get drunk occasionally, and I did hang out a lot at the Union and the offices of the McGill Daily. So I had heard of her attempts to demonize that paper, and her unsuccessful attempts to turn us all into right-wingers. Now please try not to tell anyone else that she attended our Alma Mater we have a reputation to defend... ;)

  2. Anonymous9:42 AM

    One of the weapons Harper used to effect through the years is confusion. Contradictory stuff would come out about every issue and Canadians would be boggled. It worked for a while.

    1. hi anon...yes confusion is a much used weapon in the right-wing arsenal. They know if they throw enough slop out there, some of it will stick, and some will believe them. But as you point out, these days most Canadians don't believe anything they say, or trust them as far as they can spit. So we are making progress...

  3. Sometimes I wonder if Barbara Frum died out of disappointment in David (the creator of the phrase "Axis of Evil" when writing speeches for our previous almost illiterate Preznit Dubya) and Linda - Barbara seemed very open minded so I can only assume it was father Frum who poisoned the kids' minds

    And no Simon, you ain't dumb enough to be appointed to the Senate by Skeevy Steevy, you will have to wait until there is an NDP or Liberal PM..

    1. hi kootcoot...yes I too wonder what Barbara Frum would think of her charming right-wing spawn. I think you're right about Murray. But I also tell my friends with young children that they must pretend to be right-wingers in their presence, so when their kids grow up they will rebel against their parents and become good progressives. ;)
      Needless to say I am OUTRAGED at your suggestion that I am not dumb enough to join the Senate. And all I can say is that if I can't become a member of that exclusive club, I will have to revert to principle and demand that it be abolished...

  4. .

    Joel Parkes ‏@JoelParkes 6h

    @amiableCDN @farmboy1111 Don't count on it. The revisions are strategic. The vouching provisions remain. 3 steps forward 2 steps back.


    1. hi Nadine...of course they are strategic and all part of an orchestrated campaign. They stuffed the bill with provisions they can take out, to make it look like they are bending to reason, and confuse Canadians. Let's do what we can to make sure their rotten little plan fails miserably...

  5. Anonymous11:18 PM

    Wondering why no Senate Liberals are speaking out about this charade?