Friday, April 04, 2014

The Fair Elections Act and the Robocall Conspiracy

As I've mentioned before, one of the reasons Stephen Harper's Cons are rushing their Unfair Elections Act through Parliament, is that they want it to become law before Michael Sona's robocall trial begins in June.

And with good reason. Because the bill would make it harder to go after those who would try to steal an election.

And that robocall scandal just got a whole lot more interesting.

Former Guelph Conservative campaign worker Andrew Prescott has given evidence related to the alleged involvement of two other campaign staff in the “Pierre Poutine” robocalls case, sources say. 

With an immunity agreement in place, Prescott gave evidence to prosecutors regarding the only person accused in the case, Michael Sona, as expected, but also provided information about Ken Morgan, who was the manager of the Guelph Conservative campaign.

Because now it's starting to sound less like the work of a rogue operative, like the PMO would have us believe. 

And more, as the shadowy Andrew Prescott would apparently have us believe, like a larger conspiracy.

Sources say Prescott gave evidence that Morgan, the campaign manager, asked him to log into a robocall account on his computer. Prescott also told investigators he later destroyed that computer. 

Prescott also told them that after the call went out to opposition supporters, Sona ran into the campaign office, laughing, and shouted, “It’s working, it’s working!”

With more Cons involved than we had previously known. And a trail that seems to lead all the way to the dark heart of the Harper regime.

Computer records show campaign volunteer John White downloaded the lists of opposition supporters that may have been used to make the call. White told investigators in 2012 he could not recall why he downloaded them. 

White, whose software company does work for the national party, told investigators that he directed Sona to talk to party headquarters when Sona talked about setting up a call that could not be traced back to the campaign.

But of course the main problem is that Elections Canada can't demand that people like Ken Morgan, the manager of the Guelph campaign, tell them what they know. 

Morgan moved to Kuwait in 2012 and is still believed to be living there. To date, he has never spoken to Elections Canada investigators about his role in the campaign at the centre of the robocalls scandal.

Because Elections Canada doesn't have the power to compel him or anyone else to testify. 

And when they asked for those powers to be included in the Fair Election Act, the Cons refused to do that. And instead made the Election Commissioner responsible to them instead of Parliament. 

Which can only make it easier to get away with stealing the next election...

While thanks to the so-called Fair Elections Act, we won't even know what really happened in the last one. 

A national investigation into allegations of dirty political calls has been under way for more than a year. Elections Canada had planned to wrap up that investigation by March 31. On Thursday, spokeswoman Diane Benson declined to say whether it is ongoing. 

That report has been postponed until after the 2015 election because of the introduction of the Conservatives’ election bill.

Can you believe that?

So the next election could be fatally tainted.

Canadians are hurtling toward an ugly collision with democracy in 2015. Condemnation of the government’s election bill is now so widespread, the perception that this is an exercise in voter suppression and loaded with Conservative advantage so pervasive, that anything short of a sweeping Tory majority in the next federal election will face charges of taint.

And leave our democracy even more damaged than it is now, and our country in state of chaos.

Which is of course yet another reason that foul bill must be changed or KILLED.

So please join Canadians all over the country who are speaking out and saying enough is ENOUGH....

Write to the politicians, talk to your neighbours and friends, sign petitions like this one or this one from our sister blogger Fern Hill.  Or send letters to all the politicians.

Or create your own petitions and campaigns, or videos, or street signs, or whatever. The important thing is to do SOMETHING.

Because we haven't had a better opportunity in years to turn resistance to the Harper regime into a movement. 

The robocall monster has just come back to life...

And we must seize the moment, and use it to help finish them off.

Demand that the guilty be prosecuted and punished.

Tell the Cons to keep their grubby paws off our Canadian democracy.

And tell the sinister tyrant to take a hike...

Please click here to recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers.


  1. Anonymous5:02 AM

    It's time for everyone to call for Pollievre's resignation. His incompetency knows no bounds but his partisanship is flourishing by the day.


    1. hi islandcynic...if there was any justice he would be forced to resign, and if he had any decency he would resign before he was pushed. But there is neither justice nor decency in Harperland. So think of it this way: he has failed to sell his foul bill, he is making the Cons look bad or worse, so I like to think of him as a useful idiot. And I don't really think he can win. If he's forced to back down he'll look totally absurd for having declared that the bill was "terrific." And if he rams it through it will put a spike in his career, and really make the Cons look bad. After a certain point the rot can't be stopped...

  2. .. it begins to feel like desperation, obstruction and unconstitutional attempts from The Harper Party/Government to bury Election Fraud report out of sight of Canadians. Its as if its all or nothing gambling by Harper and PMO to cover up. How does an introduced Fair Elections Act that is not law yet, trigger this from Elections Canada ? ?

    A national investigation into allegations of dirty political calls has been under way for more than a year. Elections Canada had planned to wrap up that investigation by March 31. On Thursday, spokeswoman Diane Benson declined to say whether it is ongoing.
    The agency was expected to include information about that investigation in a “compliance and enforcement mechanisms” report to Parliament this spring.
    Benson said the agency has decided not to report until after the next election.
    “In light of the government’s announcement in the fall that it would introduce comprehensive legislative reform, Elections Canada decided to postpone the general enforcement report until after the next general election,” she said. “This was necessary not only to focus our attention and resources on the announced reform, but also of the difficulty of engaging stakeholders simultaneously on a parallel initiative.”

    1. hi is the product of desperation, and Election Canada's arguments for delaying the enforcement report are flimsy to say the least. While it's true that the Unfair Elections Act will force them to change things in a hurry to be ready for an election, not releasing the report can only taint that election. So I wonder if holding back that report has something to do with not interfering with the evidence they will present at the robocall trial that starts in June. That would make sense, anything else does not...

  3. Anonymous9:42 AM

    The only way to get rid of Pierre would be with a "recall campaign" started in his riding.

    Does anyone know how to get that rolling?

    Anonymous A

    1. hi anon..I don't think there is a recall mechanism that can be used in Canada. I think the only way to evict him would be to defeat him in a nomination process, and I don't see much chance of that happening either. So we;re just going to have to wait until the next election and throw the whole lot of them out of office...

    2. e.a.f.12:10 AM

      Hi Simon, we do have a "recall mechanism" in B.C. for M.L.A.s. Unfortunately the requirements of the act are such, no one has been able to "recall" anyone, regardless of what they have done. Sometimes it might be best to place some of these political citizens under citizen's arrest. Might be fun to watch.

  4. John B.10:29 AM

    So what is the rationale for postponing a report on the results of the investigation until after the 2015 election? For that matter, what difference should it make to an ongoing investigation that the government is legislating changes to the Elections Act? Are we just seeking an excuse to abandon the case? Does the agency have insufficient resources to pay attention to any other question while it is contemplating possible reforms to its procedures? If the city announced that it was going to change its waste-disposal procedures, would the staff feel compelled to tell us to save up our garbage under the kitchen counter until the changes were instituted? Give us a break, Diane; your bullshit generator is about to blow its fuses.

    This investigation should have been concluded months if not a couple of years ago. Our governments were able to find thousands of policemen to send as supplementary security to the G20 meetings but we only have sufficient resources to assign one police constable to sort out a mess that threatens the ability of the democratic process to function? And now that 31 March has passed there has been not a word from the broadcast media about agency spokesperson Diane Benson’s most current statement.

    I’ll take the gas pipe. There is no will to determine the truth on the part of anyone who has the responsibility or the ability to assist the process. That includes the Prime Minister. How can a citizen with even the least political interest or awareness not now understand that both the commission of the offences and the cover-up now taking place are just two more examples of the permanent costs of his legacy?

    1. hi I told Salamander there must be something else we don't know about, and I suspect it may have to do with the upcoming robocall trial. Prosecutors don't like to have people making evidence public before they have laid out their case. At least I hope that's the real reason, because as you point out, anything else sounds like bullshit. But then as you also point out, this investigation should have been concluded long ago. And the reason it has taken so long is that the Cons have dragged their heels, and tried to obstruct it from the moment it began. Which is of course the main reason I think they're guilty. For if they weren't trying to hide something why would they do that? Stay tuned that trial could be really interesting...

  5. Anonymous10:53 AM

    Thanks for the link, Simon. Just signed the petition. :)

    1. hi're welcome, and good for you. Every signature and every little act of protest counts, and will help build a movement that will eventually defeat the Cons....

  6. Time for a close look at Diane Benson and what her dots connect to.

    She(?) sounds a lot like those two raggedly old senators with double hypenated last names that blindly follow. harper.

    Throw her into the mix and you have the main ingredients for a good Shakesperian history.

    When shall we three meet again, in thunder, lightening or in rain?
    When the hurly burly's done, when the battles lost and won.

    1. hi Ron...well she's just the spokeswoman so she's only saying what she's been told to say. As I told the others I suspect that with the robocall trial about to begin, and the obvious political implications, the people at Elections Canada are trying to give away as little as possible, and keep their cards in their vests...

  7. It makes sense in context.

    Every fan except Philadelphia, Boston and Toronto fears for the worst every game. Maybe the team will be flat, as lost on the ice as Stephen Harper's agenda. Assume Montreal is the people and the Government is the League. The team from Fort McMurry is beating up the environment, taking all the subsidies, the dirtiest team ever assembled. This is the kind of epic battle that could take place. Justin vs Dear Leader.

    1. hi Steve...well I see your getting ready for the playoffs. ;) Let me know if the hans make it past the first round, and then I might watch them. There was a time when the playoffs and the Canadiens meant a lot to me, but that was long ago...

  8. Anonymous3:19 PM

    When other countries see the *Fair* Election Plan as we do? Harper is indeed a fascist dictator, totally against our democratic Canada. Herr Harper even said? By the time I get through with this country, you won't recognize it. Those are the only true words, Harper has ever uttered. Harper wants Canada as, his Thousand Year Fourth Reich. When even Putin called Harper a fascist, I wonder how many other countries see the same thing?

    We all know? The trial of Sona and the robo-call fraud will be delayed until after the sham, of this next election fraud is cheated and won. Harper stonewalled and blocked the investigation of, the robo-call election fraud. Sona says he has proof he wasn't even in the country when he said? It's working, it's working.

    1. hi anon... well the Sona trial is due to begin in June, and from what I hear Sona is eager to get on with it. I was reading his twitter feed, from which I plucked that monster video I used in this post. And if he isn't bullshitting I think this trail could be VERY interesting...

  9. The whole idea that the report waits until after 2015 is criminal in itself, or it should be. I mean jesus this is a glaring attack on democracy right there. The audacity again stuns me. We need Canadian people to be informed of how this govt operates and now they have the means to stop even the reports of their illegal activities from seeing the light of day. This is insane, and anyone who follows this must realize that the cons are guilty just by their wanting to cover up all their nefarious activities, past, present and scary to think... future.
    This has to be the darkest and most corrupt govt Canada has ever had!
    and thanks to apathy and coporate monies the cons are likely to rule again for another bloody 4 yrs.

    1. hi I told the others I think the real reason they are delaying the report is so that it doesn't interfere with the start of the robocall trial. So some good may come of it. But if it isn't for that reason then we have a problem, because any other reason simply won't cut it. I can understand delaying the report, but it must come out before the next election. And if it comes out just a few months before the election it could really put a spike in their campaign. But then of course I am an optimist... ;)