Monday, May 12, 2014

Robocall Scandal: Did the Harper PMO Lie to Elections Canada?

He has been lucky so far. The robocall scandal hasn't yet penetrated the darkness of his foul PMO.

But now the robocall trial of Michael Sona is about to begin. Who knows who he might call upon to testify?

And this can't be good news.

The lawyer for the Conservative party twice gave Elections Canada incorrect information about telephone calls that directed voters to the wrong polling station in the last days of the 2011 federal election. 

In an email May 1, party lawyer Arthur Hamilton told Elections Canada that Conservative call centre workers were not advising voters that Elections Canada had changed the location of polling stations, and that the party had not advised voters to go to a polling station an hour and a half from their home. 

But a report released by Elections Canada last month includes a script that shows the party’s callers were telling voters that Elections Canada had changed the location of polling stations, and investigators found one voter who was directed to a polling station 740 kilometres away.

For it not only suggests that the PMO lawyer Arthur Hamilton provided Elections Canada with the wrong information. Or lied about what he knew...

It also suggests that the scandal was bigger than the Cons would have us believe.

As the day went on, officials became more concerned at “some mischief purportedly done (by) representatives of the Conservative Party,” as one email put it. Another email said the reports were coming from “right across the country except Saskatchewan.” 

As the volume of calls increased, on the afternoon of May 1, Elections Canada’s legal counsel Karen McNeil again emailed Hamilton, listing 10 ridings where voters were being misdirected and Conservative party phone numbers were linked to the calls.

Not just the work of a rogue operative.

And it can only remind Canadians that the Cons did all they could to delay and obstruct the investigation.

“There were a few instances where it took several months or longer for investigators to receive the information they had requested, or for interviews they had asked for to be arranged,” the report says. In one instance, a person whom investigators believed could have provided very relevant information declined to be interviewed.”

Which in turn can only remind them that the foul so-called Fair Elections Act will make it even harder to investigate a similar scandal.

And make them wonder what Stephen Harper and his little monsters in the PMO might know, but aren't telling.

And of course this isn't going to help.

An MP who once served as a Parliamentary aide to Stephen Harper is asking the RCMP to investigate Elections Canada, accusing the agency of leaking details of its investigation into him to the media. 

Dean Del Mastro, who was elected as a Conservative but quit the governing caucus to sit as an Independent after being charged under the Canada Elections Act, wrote RCMP commissioner Bob Paulson in late April to press his case.

Not when it can only remind people that the Deaner was Harper's parliamentary secretary...

Which can only do his tattered credibility even more damage.

At a time when police are deciding whether to lay charges against Mike Duffy, and most Canadians don't believe that Harper didn't know what was going on in his own office.

And so soon after Tom Flanagan described Harper's Nixonian character flaws. 

“He can be suspicious, secretive, and vindictive, prone to sudden eruptions of white-hot rage over meaningless trivia, at other times falling into week-long depressions in which he is incapable of making decisions,” Mr. Flanagan writes. “I feared, as I still do, that he might some day bring himself down Nixon-style by pushing too hard against the network of rules constraining authority in a constitutional government.”

Yup. It looks as if the season of scandal is back.

Harper's inner Nixon could finally be revealed.

And if we are lucky.

It could end the same way....

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the salamander said...

.. it appears you are on the mend .. more fierce than ever.. good news for Canada, Simon de Montreal ! !

.. its frightening to realize that without access to facts & documents via Freedom of Information, we might have little understanding of what the secretive, obstructive, deceitful & shallow cowardly values of The Harper Party truly are.
Instead, some Canadians might believe the fairy tale that Harper values are Canada's Values..

.. well, its going to take some time to unravel the twisted, convoluted & polluted farce that has been perpetrated under the Royal Harper flag. To believe that twisted ideological losers or partisan liars can best glowing heart Canadians.. makes no sense.. and I will never believe it possible. So let's support courageous, accurate investigation. Promote and reward honesty and intelligence. Stand up for honest elections and exemplary representation.

John B. said...

Harper, or whatever party has the authority to do so, must release Arthur Hamilton from his legal obligations to the CPC under the attorney-client relationship. Then he should be interviewed by both EC investigators and independent questioners.

gingersnap said...

Harper put his boy Yves Cote into EC. Cote didn't even bother to have a complete investigation of Harper's robo-call cheat.That should have told everyone, Harper cheated to win with his robo-call scam. Arthur Hamilton went along to intimidate the witnesses.

This is only the tip of the iceberg what, Harper's evil plans for this country are.going to be. Harper is working very hard to control the Supreme Court. Harper thought the Judges he appointed, would side with him. If Harper has control of the Supreme Court he would be, Supreme Dictator for all of Canada. He is giving Canadian jobs to foreigners for, his corporations to exploit.

Simon said...

hi salamander...yes I'm on the mend thank you. I think my body recognizes that one can't spend too long on crutches, not in Harperland. ;) But yes, what a ghastly web the Cons have spun. It's almost unbelievable that any government in a so-called modern democracy would act in such a way. There was an interesting article the other day that solicited opinions from electoral experts in other countries. And their verdict was unanimous: they've never seen anything like it. If only more Canadians would understand that what's happening here is not normal, it's an absolute abomination. But as you point out, it has forced many Canadians to stop taking their democracy for granted, and stand up for the values of this country. And sooner or later we WILL defeat them....

Simon said...

hi John...I believe Hamilton has been at least temporarily separated from his PMO duties. But his role in the robocall scandal definitely deserves to come under closer investigation. He was handling complaints about the robocalls from the very beginning, he was allowed to present and coach witnesses during the Elections Canada investigation, he did his best to obstruct proceedings, and I can't help feeling that he knows a lot more than he has so far revealed. The good news is that he will almost surely be called to explain his role when the Sona trial begins, so he's not out of the woods yet...

Simon said...

hi gingersnap...I share your frustration with Elections Canada, but the truth is that they simply don't have the proper tools to conduct an investigation. And as you know the Harperites have turned down all requests to give them more powers. And the good news is that he has failed to turn the Supreme Court into his instrument. Even his appointees have defied him, so there is still hope. However, he absolutely must be defeated for if he gets another term he will probably try to stack the court with the most partisan judges he can dredge up, and then we'll really be in trouble...

e.a.f. said...

the end, by the skull, very cute. Of course the Cons are going to use every delay tactic known to humanity. Do we expect anything less. It still will be amazing if the RCMP ever do press charges against any Con, beyond a few on the outside rings.

Its just too bad the MSM doesn't really report on any of this.

Simon said...

hi e.a.f...yes Harper and his Cons are going to use every dirty trick in the book to try to win the next election. But the good news is that they are now so desperate, they can only win by suppressing the vote, and we are going to use every trick in the book to make sure that more Canadians than ever turn out to vote...