02.24.2012 07:55 PM

Strong column

…the author now needs to withdraw from the Manning Centre conference, I think. You can’t condemn people this strongly one week, then appear at their conference the next.


  1. william smith says:

    finally I can agree with something that Coyne has written or said. But will this story have legs and who will do the investigation?

  2. kitte says:

    Wow Andrew…. not afraid of being the next con victim?

  3. Rotterdam says:

    It was a good column. Why withdraw from the Manning conference? Its not a conference organized by the Conservative party, even if it was, so what. Let Andrew speak his mind to those who need to hear.

  4. Wayne says:

    His withdrawal will likely be done for him. Either way, good column.

    • Jan says:

      That would really make the Manning Centre look small wouldn’t it? I thought it at least pretended to be above the fray. Or is it frey?

  5. I'mBLUE says:

    When will Canadians learn. It’s like they are a bunch of drones. I mean several of the Ontario members of the party are Harris rejects that were run out of gov’t after that disastrous experiment.

    First we had “in and out scandals”, then we had “parliament proroging”, then we had “contempt of parliament”, now we have full blown “election fraud”. I mean are Canadians asleep at the switch. They passed over a sensible and kind hearted worldly intellectual for these bunch of buffoons. Then Canada is called upon to supervise elections in developing Countries, as if we are some source of experts on the topic. Sounds like Canada is becoming a banana republic to me. It makes the whole Florida chad fiasco seem amateur.

    The sad fact is.. nothing will change until it’s too late and until the damage is done. Then and only then will the LPC be asked once again to clean up the mess.

    How very sad it is

  6. Bill says:

    Prove it. You libs are grasping at straws. You will do anything to become relevant again, not going to happen in the near term.
    I can hardly wait till the budget is released. Libs are going to blow a gasket.

    • Sean says:

      I can hardly wait until the budget is released either… Tories who foolishly thought that they bought memberships because they thought the CPC was fiscally responsible are going to start wondering why they supported a party packed full of liars and cheating scumbags.

    • Philippe says:

      We don’t need to do anything, Bill. You guys are imploding. You’ll be back to doodling on Tim Horton napkins after the next election.

      • Bill says:

        Philippe, don’t count your chickens before they hatch. Extremely tough year coming ahead. It’s going to be all about the economy. If Harper can
        reduce spending and reset the public sector pensions/salaries people will be loving him and he will be winning 200+ seats next time around.
        Doctors, police, firefighters, busedrivers all make way to much money. 5 – 7 year pay freeze is required + pension reform.

  7. Jan says:

    Bill, that is not helping your side. Budgets are not supposed to be about sticking it to the opposition.

    • Bill says:

      I didn’t say we were sticking it to the opposition. The cuts it will contain will most likely have the libs all fired up. That makes me happy.

      • que sera sera says:

        Yes, of course, the CPC is all about making the simple minded “happy”. Big pharma must begrudge the competition.

        • Bill says:

          I hate big pharma and how the health care system currently operates. Hoping for it to privatize so the country doesn’t go broke trying to pay for it.

  8. Sean says:

    Don’t forget, this is a CPC convention… There is an official registration table for “Hypocrites”. It is conveniently placed between the registration tables for “Naive douchebags” and “lying, money grubbing thieves”.

  9. CA says:

    Warren, sorry for the long comment.

    A couple of issues came up in the commentary on this Robocon or whatever it’s being called.

    First, there’s no way to prove this was a conspiracy to commit election/voter fraud by the Conservative Party because there was no proof/smoking gun directly linking these people and groups together.

    Andrew Coyne’s column at minimum pulls together a lot of different threads, which I believe warrant a police investigation and stops cold the notion that there was no agreement/conspiracy to thwart voters from going to the polls.

    Second this was the work of a rogue campaign worker and now that he’s resigned its all done. You know, move on folks there’s nothing left to see here. That’s not going to happen.

    The third issue that came up over and over in the comments was the word “conspiracy”. Pat Martin used that word the other day and people thought he was engaging in his typical hyperbole. On this point I believe that the law of conspiracy in Canada backs up Mr. Martin’s use of the word.

    What is a conspiracy?

    A conspiracy is an “agreement” between two more parties to commit an unlawful act or a lawful act through unlawful means

    What kinds of evidence would you expect to be used to prove the existence of the agreement? In most cases the evidence will be circumstantial. There are very few cases where the police seize a copy of a written agreement setting out who the conspirators are.

    The fact remains that most conspiracies are proved through inference. In this case, a trier of fact would have to find that the only reasonable inference was that the individuals conspired to thwart the ability of citizens to cast their votes using fraudulent means.

    When there are a number of co-conspirators must there be evidence that they knew about the existence of one another and they actually agreed as a group to do the crime? The answer is no.

    The law is pretty much settled on this point. Proof of the agreement does not require direct evidence of a formal agreement. The agreement may be inferred from isolated overt acts and declarations of the participants, which have little or no value when viewed in isolation.

    There must be evidence that they agreed to commit the crime but that doesn’t mean that the agreement was entered into at a group meeting with a person taking detailed notes and keeping minutes. The group may never have met. In fact the conspiracy may have been deliberately set up so that members did not know the other’s identity.

    Again in the Robocon case, the prosecution would have to demonstrate that it is a reasonable interpretation that the people involved and the actions taken were as a result of all conspiring to impede the ability of voters to cast their votes – even though the conspirators didn’t each know all of the members of the conspiracy. They’ve all agreed to act in concert to further the thwarting of people to exercise their right to vote

    Can people enter and leave the conspiracy at different times? Yes. In the case of Cotroni the Supreme Court held that, “to conspire is to agree. The essence of the criminal conspiracy is proof of agreement. On a charge of conspiracy the agreement itself is the gist of the offence.” The SCC also held that, the agreement reached by the co-conspirators might contemplate a number of acts or offences. Any number of persons may be privy to it. Additional persons may join while others may drop out. So long as there is a continuing overall, dominant plan there may be changes in the method of operation, personnel, or victims without bringing the conspiracy to an end.

    What does all this mean? This is just the beginning. An independent investigation is the only way forward.

    I think the Stephen Harper and the CPC better hold on tight because I think the ride is going to get a lot bumpier.

  10. W.B. says:

    How about trying to control the RCMP Commissioners’ communications and appearances; sending civil servants off to dig dirt on opposition politicians; holding mock parliamentary show trials to get rid of a civil servant (Kean); threatening a GG with mobs in the streets. And so on.

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