Friday, August 15, 2014

Why Stephen Harper Won't Escape the Robocall Scandal

In my last post I said that Stephen Harper may have dodged the robocall scandal, so far. But he cannot escape the moral responsibility for what happened.

For having created a depraved culture where some of his fanatic young followers obviously thought it was OK to try to steal an election.

But of course there is also the question of CRIMINAL responsibility. Because two judges have now said that they believe there was a wider conspiracy. 

And Elections Canada needs to re-open the robocall investigation, and go after the other shadowy Con operatives who carried out this crime against democracy. 

Voter suppression is a grave crime, even if we don’t always treat it as such. It isn’t “playing the game” or “part of politics,” as it is sometimes referred to here and elsewhere. It’s a grave crime because it is an attack on us all, and on those who have fought for our right to cast a ballot.

Because it is a grave crime, and as Judge Gary Hearn himself pointed out, there are many unanswered questions.

While Hearn made it clear that Sona played a part, however, the detailed decision read in court left a number of disturbing, unanswered questions about who did what and when. It’s fairly obvious, Hearn suggested, that Sona wasn’t acting alone. 

We are left to wonder who, for example, actually purchased a “burner” phone registered to one Pierre Poutine, and then used it to set up the 7,000 misleading calls. And how did the list of non-supporters’ phone numbers from the Conservative Party’s voter-contact database wind up in that person’s hands?

And the guilty need to be caught and punished...

The end of Sona’s trial is no excuse for complacency. It should be the beginning of Elections Canada’s redoubled efforts to find out who else was involved in the robocalls scandal, and catalyze our country’s commitment to aggressively pursue those cynics who would treat one of our fundamental rights with such disdain.

For violating our democracy, our rights, AND our Canadian values.

And then of course there is the question of POLITICAL responsibility. Because if Harper and his Con gang think they can run away from this sordid scandal, they've got another thought coming. 

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s law-and-order Conservative party is working up a midsummer sweat trying to distance itself from the “Pierre Poutine” robocall scandal. But hard as they may run, the Tories can’t hide.

Still, Canadians are left wondering who in the Conservative party had access to the database during the election, and who might have quietly authorized its use for voter suppression. Try as the party may to pin the blame on one rogue worker in Guelph, that’s going to be a hard sell.

Because the scandals are piling up, until you almost can't tell one from the other...

And the robocall scandal will also haunt the Cons all the way to the next election:

Far from turning the page on the scandal, Sona’s conviction can only taint the Tory brand and haunt the party in the run-up to the 2015 election, confirming the perception that the party plays fast and loose with the rules.

As Liberal MP John McCallum put it, “there’s still unfinished business” for Parliament, election watchdogs or the police to sort out.

We'll make sure of that eh?

Yup. He created a culture of corruption.

And a small army of fanatical young monsters, who thought they could get away with ANYTHING.

Even stealing an election.

But eventually they went too far.

And their crimes came back to DESTROY him...

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  1. Anonymous10:12 AM

    Meanwhile, back in the real world, Elections Canada will put forth another les-than-spectacular effort (can you say kabuki? I knew you could!) and the whole thing will magiclally blow away on the gentle autumn breezes that continuously wash over our once-great country while we are once again told some doublespeak gibberish about how justice is being served and the culpable parties will be appropriately punished (probably another barbecue at ford's house with harpie playing toastmaster) and the unwashed masses will dutifully nod their heads in unison and "think" that once again, the great gawd harpie has appropriately taken care of his wards. How does the one thought morph into the other, you ask? Conflation, Simon. That's how the news is made these days, buddy. God forbid any of our "journalists" should follow any of the bullshit that we are now fed as "news" to the actual facts of the matter (just like the revised jobs report this morning -- what a doctored up piece of shit that is!) let alone a true source of facts. Ergo, no harm, no foul in the robo-call scandal. "Nothing to see here, folks. Move along!"

    Salam and Shalom,
    Mahmoud Steinbergman

    1. hi Mahmoud....look I realize that our chances of uncovering the truth are slim, especially since the Cons did not give Elections Canada the power it requested to compel witnesses to testify. So all kind of prime suspects are able to walk around unmolested, and the only way you can get anybody to say anything is to give them immunity, like they gave Andrew Prescott. But now that two judges have said that it was almost certainly a larger conspiracy, I'd like to know how they can justify NOT re-opening the case. But even if they don't we can keep a cloud over the Cons all the way to the election and it will hurt them...

  2. Anonymous3:11 PM

    Unfortunately this scandal won't resonate with regular politically apathetic Canadians. As much as people should be outraged it won't be a consideration come election time.

    1. hi anon...well I don't blame you for thinking that. This is without a doubt one of the most complacent countries in the world. But as I explained above, it's the political impact that counts, and anything that makes the Cons look like they can't be trusted will only compound all their other negatives, and can only help our side...

  3. e.a.f.4:19 AM

    The whole thing hasn't had that much play. Sona was convicted. It is doubtful there will be any further investigation. Do try to remember the investigators work for the government and harper and his herd control the government. This has come and gone and unless Sona and someothers start writing books, all will be forgotten and perhaps even forgiven and we could find ourselves with another 4 yrs. of harper and his herd.

    1. hi e.a.f...yes it does seem like a bit of an anti-climax. But the Crown did say it would not rule out other charges, and as I said above the politics of this scandal will damage the Con brand further....