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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