02.27.2012 07:14 AM

So much for the lone rogue staffer theory

The CPC better come up with some new talking points; the ones they’ve been using have just been shown to be unadulterated bullshit.


  1. Windsurfer says:

    Let us see how toothless the RCMP is.

    The mantra should be ‘election fraud’ and then see what that sticks to:

    The wall…
    Elections Canada CEO…

  2. bigcitylib says:

    Note the company involved, Mike Davis their CEO, and then read this:


  3. Michael says:

    Interesting story in The Hills Times:


    Nik Nanos thinks this won’t stick unless there is a direct link to the PM. As if Harper would be that so stupid as to have his fingerprints all over it?

    And naturally Tim Powers thinks we should be talking about the economy instead.

    • George says:

      it won’t stick but not for the reasons you state Michael but also because neither opposition party is an alternative to do anything about it and who likely have dirty tricks in their closets that will turn this issue into one that the public see all parties participate in.

      • Jason King says:

        So you are saying that neither party is an alternative to the conservatives. Considering the spot the Reformatories are in, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Not being an alternative to voter suppression. Not sure how that is bad.

        ” who likely have dirty tricks in their closets”

        Hope you have proof to back this up (like a valid citation and not some flimsy Tulk proof) because that isnt what is happening right now and may never happen. Do you have proof of the other parties engaging in the same practice or are you talking out of your butt George?

        “that will turn this issue into one that the public see all parties participate in.”

        More conjecture and lacking proof. Yes if other parties are linked to such behaviour this will happen but right now this is just about the Conservatives potential links to voter supression. So you’re presentation of a fictional hypothesis to ensure that the other parties are viewed as guilty is merely fiction; and poorly written at that.

        Please use a bit of punctuation so your fictional points are a bit more coherent. Oh and proof or it isnt true

      • Michael says:

        That was Nik Nano’s take, that it won’t stick.

        I think that this may be some sort of tipping point. And I agree with others that have said this is an easy to understand story. The contempt of parliament, coalition scare mongering, the in and out charges were all too abstract for the average person to understand.

    • W.B. says:

      Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party.

  4. AP says:

    Something is rotten in the Conservative Party of Canada

  5. Ted B says:

    Harper and Nixon, playing from the same songbook, indeed.

    Culture of deceit, indeed.

  6. Ted B says:

    And this one too.


  7. GPAlta says:

    The opposition has to aim high with this. Stop calling it “dirty tricks” or “robocalls” and start calling it what it is, election fraud. Stop aiming for a couple of by-elections and start aiming for the penalty that the rule of law demands-Stephen Harper in jail. This could destroy the CPC for a generation, so don’t let them off the hook.

    • Philip says:

      Agreed. Call this exactly what it is, fraud. Voter suppression has the same resonance as well. The phrase “dirty tricks” diminshes what actually happened. Also Nanos is wrong, Harper doesn’t have to be touched for this to stick. All that cash spent re-branding the Canadian government as the Harper government will come back to bite them in the ass. Every arrest, every conviction will stick to Harper. He may not have known the details but Harper set the tone and the culture of this version of the Conservative Party.

  8. Brad Young says:

    I hope the RCMP or Elections Canada have already been to RMG, why does a newspaper have to investigate in order to find any wrong doings?

    On the bright side, I bet Harper is freaking out right now. Have a nice day Steve!

  9. Jason King says:

    So are we here?

    4. Rinse and repeat.

    or are we back here now

    1. Nothing to see here, move along. The Tim Horton’s crowd don’t care.

    As for CIMS, is this a standardized abbreviation or some Tulk shortener?

    Okay bring on the Kennedy questions (unless you’re driving with a burrito).

    • Ted B says:

      CIMS is the Conservative voter database.

    • Jason King says:

      “Those in the political know are familiar with the term.”

      Back to the insults and name calling again eh Tulk? Guess that means you dont have a viable defense again.

      Then again I forgot you are Iron Chef Tulk; expert on software, the law, molecular gastronomy, astrophysics and shovelling it.

  10. Ted B says:

    “the first lie and cover-up attempt”

    The first?

    What about the in-and-out convictions?

    What about the “financial considerations” offered to Chuck Cadman?

    What about detainee documents?


    The reason this has immediate resonance is because there is a documented culture of this kind of thing with this kind of party. Whatever it takes mentality.

    Culture of deceit, indeed.

  11. Lance says:

    Ladies and Gentlmen, another perspective. This story broke back in May during the election:

    The CBC also reported that one of its journalists had talked to NDP and Conservative supporters who had experienced the same kinds of phone calls.


    Be careful what you wish for………….

    • Attack! says:

      ok, it does say that _a_ CBC reporter heard from _some_ CPC supporters that they rcvd alleged Elxn Canada misdirection calls, too.

      But here’s the thing: if I was CPC’s Loki devising the plan for this thing, I’d be sure to sprinkle in a few known CPC partisans like ‘Sandy, Crux of the Matter’ in the lists to be robo-called with the misinfo, so they could come forward if/when the stories broke, to give (im)plausible deniability that either some evil third party was doing it just for the Hell of it (‘cha!) or ‘everyone was doing it’

      I.e., a few red herrings should hardly satisfy anyone that it wasn’t just the CPC doing it, since they’d be foolish _not_ to include a couple of their own supporters for someone like Del Mastro to be able to use to try to deflect criticism.

      • Lance says:

        Mhhhhmmmmmmmm……..*nodding my head indulgently*. Setting up Tory supporting bloggers to unwittingly do their dirty work for them. What is that X-Files theme again? Do do do do do doooooooooooooooo.

    • Philip says:

      Lance, perhaps your Mr. Harper could open a public inquiry into these and other examples of fraud during the 2011 election? Because election fraud, regardless of party, is still illegal in this country. I assume Harper is going to launch a public inquiry?

  12. rytech says:

    This is my first time posting, but I was a campaign volunteer coordinating one of the national phone banks described in the TorStar article (not in Thunder Bay.)

    We were considered an important enough resource that we came under the direct control of the national campaign – we got ridings to target and sent our results to them using CIMS.

    I can personally attest to two things – firstly, that in the last week of the campaign, we only called people we had previously identified as Conservative supporters. The option of earlier selecting non-Conservative supporters was not to create a parallel list that we could conduct voter suppression with later – it was solely to purge our databases of non-Conservative supporters so we wouldn’t waste our time during GOTV.

    Secondly, at no time did we ever engage in voter suppression, of any kind. We were always told to identify ourselves as working for the Conservative party – and our supervisors were militant in ensuring we followed the script. Anyone engaging in such activity would have been immediately removed and likely told not to come back.

    We called into many – if not most- of the ridings noted as having recieved “fake” calls – if there was an orchestrated party campaign of voter suppression, I would have been part of it. And there wasn’t.

    • Warren says:

      No one is saying that volunteers were involved in the fraud. Not yet, anyway.

      They’re saying professionals coordinated the fraud. Which, believe me, is far worse.

      By the time this fetid mess is over, you’ll be hoping it was rogue volunteers, I’ll wager.

      • MoeL says:

        Could the PM or a member of his staff be charged with obstruction of justice if their investigation uncovered some illegal activity and they failed to inform the proper law enforcement authorities?

        • Ted B says:

          No. Not unless they were specifically asked for something by the police, to which the police are entitled, and they lied about it.

          • Blackhawskfan says:

            Just so I understand this story:

            1. The Conservative Party of Canada hired a company to make calls. The company gave (some? many?) voters the wrong address.

            2. The only information we currently have suggests that the calls were directed mainly to conservative voters.

            If information comes to light that changes either of the above two points, then we have a story about professionally coordinated fraud. Until then, would it be possible to stop all the wild speculation? Fraud happens when someone deceives another person for the first person’s benefit, not when it is to his/her detriment.

            I personally find it hilarious that someone in the CPC was responsible for sending their voters to the wrong location. However, with the information we currently have, any suggestion that this particular action actually hurt the Liberals, NDP, Bloc or Green Party is ludicrous.

    • MississaugaLibPeter says:

      Congratulations rytech in being one of the folks who were not involved in the voter suppression.

      Are you suggesting that since you did nothing wrong that none of your peers are guilty? If so, that is a stretch.

      • rytech says:

        No – I’m suggesting that the idea of a party-organized campaign to do this is implausible, since we would have been part of it if there was.

        I’m not denying the possibility that someone, or a small group of people, could have launched a rogue campaign to do this. And given the set-up of the phone banks we had, it would only take two or three people and one bank to do something like what has been described – no massive right-wing conspiracy here.

        Do you really think a national campaign paranoid about perceived media hostility would have engaged in an easily-trackable, criminal campaign with dubious expectations of success?

        And Kinsella – the example outlined in the article with the woman giving the wrong polling stations could easily have happened by accident. The numbers we had were frequently out of date – in my experience there, many people had moved around, and the party would give them polling stations based on their old addresses or telephone numbers, often leading to confusion. Did the woman think to ask if the people had MOVED recently?

        • Ted B says:

          Absolutely I believe they would.

          They offered Cadman “financial considerations”. Harper and Finley and other most senior Conservatives were directly involved in that.

          They were convicted of breaking the law with the in-and-out scandal. Finley and other most senior Conservatives were directly involved in that.

          They deliberately diverted border security funds to a slush fund in Clement’s riding, lying to Parliament in the process. Harper and other most senior Conservatives were directly involved in that.

          They have deliberately falsified documents, then lied about the falsification afterwards, such as with the Bev Oda “not” documents and the GST rebate submissions. Again, the most senior Conservatives were directly involved in the original falsification or the cover-up.

          They deliberately lied to voters in smearing Irwin Cotler. Again, the most senior Conservatives were directly involved in the original falsification or the cover-up.

          In the last election, the Conservative national campaign office circulated falsified photos of Michael Ignatieff, and falsely claimed documents and photos showed he was involved in the planning of the Iraq War. Once again, the most senior Conservatives were directly involved in this.

          Personal, private medical information of a Canadian veteran and vocal critic of the government’s treatment of veterans somehow ends up in the hands of PMO staffers.

          Several Conservatives are subpoenaed but they just ignore the subpoena, with the full on protection of Harper and the most senior Conservatives.

          And the list goes on and on and on.

          This election fraud was national, involving at least 34 ridings so far, involved thousands and thousands of calls (live and robo), costing millions, involving millions of data bits. It stretches the imagination that just one kid of 24 years could have orchestrated the whole thing across the whole country.

          So yes, absolutely, I have absolutely no trouble believing this was coordinated and involved the most senior Conservatives.

        • Philip says:

          Yes I believe the Conservative Party is utterly capable of orchestrating election fraud. The problem for your party isn’t what I believe, it’s the fact that most Canadians will believe also. Your Conservative Party, under Harper doesn’t exactly have a stock of credibility they can draw on from the Canadian public. Mr. Clement saw to that.

    • dave says:

      Makes sense to me that volunteers would be used to shore up the calling to identified Conserv voters on voting day. I ‘ve done that sort of thing as a volunteer. that’s on the up and up.
      Also makes sense to me that a party would hire pros to mess up the identified supporters of other parties, and try to cover any connection with that part of the campaign.
      I don’t imagine the party would want their volunteers to know that they are the other side of shady democracy subversion phone campaign. YOu want volunteers to think that they are on the side of angels. (I sure liked that feeling when I was phoning.)

      • rytech says:

        The system being described in the Star article WAS used by volunteers – and we had plenty of incidents like the one described in the article happen because of outdated voter information.

        • sharonapple88 says:

          What was the percentage of outdated numbers from the whole. Did they make a noticeable percentage for the volunteers?

          I remember doing a phone poll as a volunteer… there was some outdated information — possibly two or three number — but most of the information was accurate.

          The list they gave Responsive Marketing Group, a professional call centre, appears to have a significant number of “outdated” calls — enough to get Annette Desgagné, one of the women doing the calls, disturbed enough to call the RCMP or Elections Canada over what happened.

          • sharonapple88 says:

            Another point is — if these calls were happening just days before the final election — why weren’t the lists updated if there were a significant number of “outdated” numbers on it? During a campaign numerous calls are made. How could a list for the final GOTV push — one some have argued were made to the party’s own supporters — have so many “outdated” numbers on it?

    • Attack! says:

      Sorry, rytech, but it’s a bit laughable for a foot-soldier to say, ‘I was part of the campaign, so believe me, if anything else was going on, I’d have been used for that, too.’

      Your own account shows your team would _not_ be part of the dirty tricks calls:

      you were one of the normal GOTV positive teams, assigned just the pro-Conservative numbers, presumably tasked with encouraging them to vote, to remind them of when & their location, & to see if they needed a ride.

      The ones at issue are those assigned the NON-Cons. supporters no’s who were allegedly tasked with: misrepresenting themselves as representing the voters’ favoured other party, to annoy them, with the time (v. late or early) or frequency or tone of the call, or promising to send a sign but not delivering, or… mis-stating where they were supposed to vote: sometimes as much as an hour out of someone’s way. All to annoy people out of or to deter them from voting.

      • Attack! says:

        oops, the other time factor for the rogue calls I Meant to mention: deliberately calling Jewish Liberal supporters on Sabbath day

        • rytech says:

          And again, answer me this question – Do you really think a national campaign paranoid about perceived media hostility would have engaged in an easily-trackable, criminal campaign with dubious expectations of success?

          • Warren says:

            “Never underestimate the allure of stupidity in political matters.”

            Warren Kinsella’s Book of Wisdom

          • Jan says:

            You might want to google Watergate.

          • sharonapple88 says:

            Yes. Anyone remember back in 2008, when fake NDP calls were made to people in the riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands. The Conservatives won the riding, and Elections Canada weren’t able to identify a source and the investigation sort of fizzled. If the Conservatives were behind it, as everyone suspects they were, I could see them learning a number of things from it:

            1. It can be effective in close races.
            2. Elections Canada won’t do a through investigation.

            In the current robocall case, it was jut with the help of the RCMP that they tracked down the calls. And it’s not as though the source of the robocalls took no care to hide his/her identity. They used a burner cell phone with a number registered to outside of Montreal.

          • Attack! says:

            But it _wasn’t_ easily trackable: they used a prepaid burner cellphone to upload the misleading msgs; & EC dropped their investigations for a number of complaints when they got nowhere. & EC only has a couple dozen investigators. It’s been nearly a year and no charges have come of it, yet.

  13. Heric says:

    My though is wait a little before jumping over this.

    There could be something here, however if the conservatives were handed falsely changed listed from elections Canada or someone claiming to be acting for them, then this could be potentially devastating for everyone.

    In an email sent Sunday evening, Conservative Party of Canada spokesman Fred Delorey said: “Elections Canada changed some poll locations during the election, which is their prerogative. Our job is to get votes out and wrong locations would hurt us, so to ensure our supporters knew where to go, we would ask them if they knew where their poll was. When they told us their poll was in a different location than was in our system, we would tell them that Elections Canada may have changed it, and give what we thought was the right address.

    The Conservative Party of Canada, in response to Star queries Sunday, did not deny its calls may have misdirected voters but portrayed these as inadvertent mistakes. It said that, in the final five days of the 2011 campaign, calls were made only to identified Conservative supporters.

    This would have suppressed their own votes.

  14. AP says:

    From the Home Office in Thunder Bay Ontario here are the Top Ten talking points to be used by the Harper Government™ for the Robocall scandal:

    10. Can we talk about Peter MacKay and those helicopters instead?
    9. Can someone please stop and think of the children?
    8. Did you read how the prime minister adopted some stray panda bears?
    7. Jean Chretien and the LIEberals were the motherfuckin’ masters at Robocalling!!
    6. Let’s talk about how we’re kick-ass stewards of the economy
    5. Hey did you hear that our deficit is not going to be as enormously huge as we thought it would be?
    4. Liberal dominated elite media has always had it out for the Conservatives. Lather. Rinse. Repeat
    3. Have you stopped to think how screaming “election fraud” will embolden criminals/child pornographers/pedophiles/terrorists and the Taliban?
    2. Stephen Harper will announce that he is proroguing Parliament
    1. From now on the Harper Government™ asks that the scandal be referred to as the Royal Canadian Robocall Scandal.

  15. rytech says:

    The system being described in the Star article WAS used by volunteers – and we had plenty of incidents like the one described in the article happen because of outdated voter information.

    • GPAlta says:

      The Star is talking about employees of RMG, not volunteers. I don’t have any difficulty believing that employees do different tasks from volunteers. Nor do I have any difficulty believing that there could be both a positive GOTV campaign and a negative voter suppression campaign happening at the same time, because there are tapes proving that to be the case.

      I don’t understand why no one is calling out the obvious smoke screen in the star article “Desgagné, alone, said some workers shortened their script — although they weren’t supposed to — and said “… I’m calling from Elections Canada …”” I do have a great deal of difficulty believing that low paid workers who were being monitored would do this, it makes no sense, and this nonsense is fooling the media into believing the narrative of – the weakest in the system are to blame.

  16. fred says:

    This is my first time posting, but I was a campaign volunteer and it’s all a big accident. Yes, outdated voter information, that’s the ticket.


  17. Derek F.P. says:

    Rytech – you’ve already identified yourself as employed for a company other than RMG (not identified). To make the claim that you’re specific activities with your employer is akin to the specific activities of an employee or employees with a separate company is too tacitly ignore the issue of possible wrongdoing. Your activities with your employer are not (currently) being scrutinized, however, the activities of RMG are coming under scrutiny. Therefore, your position, though credible is not something that is entirely valid across the board.

  18. rytech says:

    Fair enough. But the article says that the script she was given told her to identify herself as working for the Conservatives – which dosen’t support the idea of deliberate criminal activity. Certainly I wouldn’t openly identify myself if I was committing electoral fraud.

  19. patrick deberg says:


    I find you working very hard to make us believe that the call centre you were part of had no truck with this activity while claiming the possibility there were rogue elements floating about. HYou seem to be very good at this game deflection. Will you tell us if you are a paid media consultant for the CPC cause. You are very good at deflection and I want to know if you do this for a living as well as answering phones. Since it seems I’ve been kicked off the Nat post boards I’ll hang around here for a while….

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