03.04.2012 01:00 AM

In today’s Sun: How RoboCon will unfold

When confronted by crisis and scandal, the Conservative government has a standard operating procedure.

Code Yellow: Claim average people don’t care, and say it’s time to move on to more important subjects, like the economy.

Code Orange: If that doesn’t work, toss a young Tory staffer under the proverbial bus, and say the matter’s closed.

Code Red:Blame the media, blame bureaucrats, and screech about Adscam, coalitions, the NEP and the perils of socialism. Rinse and repeat.

An important part of this process, usually, is to cite the words of commentators who defend the Harper regime. So, as the RoboCon scandal continues to spread, we can expect to see Conservative MPs getting up on their hind legs in the Commons, and quoting scrupulously neutral oracles like L. Ian MacDonald, who this week declared that “Harper won the election fair and square,” and that fraudulent phone calls about the location of polling stations wouldn’t have changed the outcome.

The problem, however, is that it increasingly looks like the Harper Cons didn’t win the election “fair and square.” It looks like they cheated. And, moreover, in ridings where Liberals were defeated by small margins — such as Nipissing-Timiskaming (18 votes) or Etobicoke Centre (26 votes) — the outcome could have been quite different, indeed.


  1. ottawacon says:

    Isn’t the actual impact in terms of electoral outcomes a red herring anyway? The Conservative majority is large enough that it probably would be intact without any tainted seats….but those seats are still tainted. The willingness to corrupt representative processes is rather more important than the mathematics.

    • Pat says:

      My thoughts exactly.

    • Philip says:

      I think so as well. That election fraud was even considered as a campaign tool, not to mention OKed, planned and funded by any Canadian political party is deeply disturbing. Both the RCMP and Elections Canada have a real opportunity here to send a powerful message about our democracy and our electoral process. I do hope they seize that opportunity.

    • Sean says:

      I don’t agree. Any riding in triple digits should be fair game. There are 31,000 complaints / contacts so far – that we know about. What happens if the Tory records come out and there is an average of 2,000 fraudulent contacts made in 50 swing ridings. My view is that this is highly possible. This scandal is bigger than it looks, not smaller.

      • ottawacon says:

        You are both missing my fundamental point, and backhandedly excusing a large portion of the complaints which have originated from ridings where there was a massive margin of victory.

  2. Lee says:

    Just remember Harper, if we can get Louis Riel, we can get you…

  3. DissenterDissenting says:

    Interestingly last week the man who whispered/whispers? in the ear of the king, ‘Tom Flanagan’, was expounding the fact that while he compiled the material for the database for the Refom/Conservative party, it in no way meant that any information was collected on anyone else… He said this on CBC Politics last week and also in a Newspaper article. He said the Cons had no interest in any other person other than Cons… White as the driven snow no doubt… The problem is that this issue was raised and refuted in the now defunct Telegram Newspaper in Toronto on October 20th 2007 and again July 1st 2010. It showed that if the facts were right, it was evident that they were in fact collecting data on all Political groups. It was apparently part of the mandate, as laid out by a former member of the Con. Party who claimed that they were expected to get as much info. as possible on other voters. This was slammed into the data base… …
    It strains credulity to believe that if someone collects info. re a specific party, then the remainder of the people, who are not Conservative, must be from other parties…two lists…so why was material collected on those who were not Conservative… I suppose to be charitable they could have been making up a Christmas card list… nah! today it was revealed that Dykstra is shown on a Republican website saying what swell people they are. This same website, actually bragged about helping 14 people in Canada get elected… maybe the Conservatives should do some serious soul searching re their morals, when they accuse the Liberals of being the only party to use American resources. a fact later disputed by the Dakota Firm, that Del Mastro said the Liberals were using in Dakota.
    This Firm, had nothing to do with the Canadian Firm of a similar name that the Liberals were using legitimately…the Rep of the Dakota Firm, phoned into the Power and Politics show while on air to refute the claims of the Cons… now Dean Del Mastro, is furiously back peddling. He was one of the 14 named who used the facilities of a Republican/ American site, used to elect George Bush among others. They only represent Conservatives and Republican candidates!…”people who live in glass houses should not throw stones”…

    • william smith says:

      1. So how do we know if this is true Gord? I for one have asked the Cons to take my name out of CIMS, but I don’t even expect an acknowledgement of the email.
      2. “To spend any time whatsoever on them is to waste ones time and money.” But if you didn’t have them in the db you would be wasting even more time!

      • Alison S says:

        The only way to get yourself removed from their pro-Con list is to be really, really rude and persistent. I had to send multiple emails using language I would prefer not to use, but finally I stoopped hearing from them.

      • william smith says:

        I want to know who gave them permission to steal my data I certainly did not give them access to any of my details willingly, hence they have stolen it – I want it back

      • william smith says:

        reply to reply below
        “They didn’t steal data they bought it or got it from the voters losts. Get with the modern times.”
        But Gord they may have the tombstone data but what about the important stuff —- the notes in the alleigance column, and do not call instructions they come from calls and data input at the Riding level – that’s what they stole or fabricated or obtained withour permissiondvvl

    • smelter rat says:

      Unless you want to prevent them from voting.

      • Philip says:

        Which is precisely why the RCMP is also investigating the matter, Mr. Tulk. Unless the RCMP is also anti-Conservative Party as well? Your victim card is getting quite a workout lately.

      • smelter rat says:

        Indeed. That’s why many many Canadians are so concerned about this scandal.

      • Herman Thind says:

        Exactly Smelter…

        Interestingly enough, I hold a BC Liberals (Prov) membership. That list seems to be be in the hands of a lot of Federal Cons who seemed to have put me on their mailing lists. Something I never asked for. I regularly get direct mail from a certain Con MP – who’s spouse was working with a particular BC MLA’s leadership bid. That info was not provided by anyone at my house. We know that BC Liberal campaigns (some MLAs who are avowed Federal Cons) shared the membership data during their leadership race. As a Clark supporter, I am concerned that a Fed Con/BC Lib MLA provided my info for CIMS.

    • ottawacon says:

      That is not that Flanagan said. He said the platform does not collect party identification, it collects data on level of support for Conservatives. It has no way of differentiating between NDP, Liberals, etc. That is true.

    • Cam Prymak says:

      How quaint.

      Reminds me of when you said the primary goal for business is accountability.

    • Michael says:

      Sounds to me like someone has stolen Guy Giourno’s talking points. 😉

    • bluegreenblogger says:

      Actually, the first two parts are correct, but what you (the CPC) do with those against is not ignore them. You filter them by riding, and for the close races, you suppress their vote. Doesn’t have to be done criminally. For example, Lunn’s team in SGI ran a nifty little GOTV on behalf of the Dipper candidate (Julian West I think it was) who quit the race, but whose name was still on the ballot. Kept those NDP voters out of the Liberal Camp. Much more efficient use of money than persuading undecideds. The pretense that this was not a Conservative sanctioned effort is obvious rubbish. 31,000 (at a minimum) voter contacts did not happen for free, and it certainly wasn’t some Frat house hijinks, because it costs folding money, and requires clean reliable data. This scandal deserves a judicial imnnquiry, because there were a whole lot of infractions here. Who paid for it? Answer that and you have either a fraudulent claim for election expense rebates, or you have illegal third party spending. Impersonation, plus the basic breaches of the elections act. the repercussions are gonna be wide and deep.

    • DG says:

      Oddly enough, many of the calls “spoofed” a number in North Dakota, where the Conservatives believed the American firm was located (it just shared a name with a Canadian firm hired by the Liberals, as we all know). One wonders if there is a connection – if the organizers intended to frame the Liberals beforehand.

      Del Mastro had an interesting expression on his face when Evan Solomon told him that the Liberals had actually hired a Canadian firm which shared the same name as a North Dakota company. Sort of looked like an “OMFG, crap!!!” sort of expression.

  4. Sam Gunsch says:

    Code red roll out…

    @ some winged monkey-like tweeter, claiming to be Nick Kouvalis…
    (i.e. possible ID: never been any complaint against us, Cotler, vital free speech).

    more: EC Voter Lists have errors, (possible budget cuts needed for bureaucrats at EC)

    see @ Kady O’Malley swat down a swarmer.

    Nick Kouvalis ‏ @NickKouvalis

    · Open

    @macdonaldfraser @guygiorno @kady EC Voter Lists have errors, databases have errors, call centres make mistakes & not just CPC GOTV programs

    kady o’malley kady o’malley ‏ @kady

    @NickKouvalis To be fair, I’m not sure if accidentally impersonating a rival campaign can be considered an honest mistake.
    Hide conversation

    10:19 PM – 3 Mar 12 via TweetDeck · Details

  5. Tim says:

    Smoke em out Warren. Run for office and make a difference, Punk rock will never die.

  6. Geoffrey Laxton says:

    Here is a message for the Harper fuck’n Cons…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RgY6-r5BO8

  7. Terry says:

    Dissenting dissenter:

    Toronto Telegram folded in 1971. Which paper did you mean to name? A current, operational newspaper would certainly put more wallop into your statements, by them providing verification of the citations included in your piece.

  8. frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

    I wonder if the fourth estate(much of which is in the ReformaTories back pocket, if Mr. MacDonald is any indication) will follow through on this…..if they dont, it will simply be another seven day wonder(which I am sure Mr. Tulk and co are down on their kneees in prayer for ).
    Unless the media smells blood…..this will be another flash in the pan, and the Harper cabal running roughshod over democracy will continue unabated…..
    Hopefully your prognostication is correct, Mr. Kinsella……

    • Bill says:

      Amazing that your head is in the sand about it.

      • frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

        Hows about L.Ian MacDonald?…..”the scrupulously neutral oracle” mentioned in Mr. Kinsella’s missive above…..

    • Ted H says:

      It appears to me that up until now anyway the MSM has given the CPC a pass more often than not since SH became PM. Maybe that will change.

      • frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

        I think the fear of being barred/blacklisted by the Harper cabal(and the resultant lack of access to his nibs) contributes to the puff pieces more than anything…..

    • GPAlta says:

      People might get the impression that the MSM is in the aggregate pro-CPC by the number of MSM “journalists” who Harper has welcomed into the cabinet and the Senate directly from their MSM jobs. People might wonder why the CPC loves the MSM so much?

  9. james says:

    “get up on their hind legs,”….love it!!

  10. james says:

    No apologists at the Wall Street Journal…
    March 3 2012
    “Canadian Conservatives Acknowledge Vote Suppression!!! ”


    • Graham says:

      The riding he is talikg about is Guelph.

      The information surrounding Guelph has been know since April 2011.

      By the way, the Liberals won Guelph by more than 5,000 votes.

      So, whatever the person responsible for the nonsense that occured there was trying to achieve, clearly didn’t work.

      • MCBellecourt says:

        IT DOES NOT MATTER whether they succeeded or not. If a person tries to commit armed robbery and botches the attempt, that person will STILL GET CHARGED.

        Same thing here. Voter Supression was attempted, and no matter if it succeeded or failed, it was STILL ATTEMPTED. If it is proven, then Criminal Charges Must Be Laid in accordance with the Law.


        • Gary says:

          This is true. No by-election will be called in Guelph because of this. But the perp, if caught, will be charged and can serve time.

        • Philip says:

          But the margin is absolutely irrelevant when it comes to a finding on whether or not election fraud was committed by your Conservative Party, Mr. Tulk.

      • Graham says:

        That should of course be talking about.

        Fat fingers. Small keyboard.

  11. Bill says:

    Shelly Glover made the Adscam comparison on Sun TV earlier this week.

    But why introduce facts, eh Gord?

    • Bill says:

      Exactly as Warren Mentioned.

      Her rhetoric was that this wasn’t as bad as Adsam. I guess she, and you, aren’t bright enough to know that it took an actual inquiry to discover what happened with Adscam.

      Shame your PM doesn’t have the stones to stand up to his pledge of open, accountable and transparent government.

  12. james says:

    Hey Warren;
    I’m trying to wrap my head around the reformites….In terms of who’s running the show over there.
    We know king Steve is at the top, but beyond that who else is involved in the decision making process. His MP’s seemingly have little say, the PMO) and privy council are there as fluffers……so who’s left…
    Over the past week I’ve realized that this party or regime, what ever you want to call it, is completely out of it’s league. We can see their depth of thought is minimal, their amateurish response to everything reflects either lunacy or that infact there are just a handful of people who run the whole thing… and are missing the point all together..
    I guess what I’m trying to figure out is… are these guys for real, do they genuinely think they’re doing the right thing or are they lunatics who landed on earth from outerspace…and don’t give a fuck…

  13. Walter Ego says:

    Warren, rumour has it you’re a lawyer (I’m not). What do you think of this idea?

    I suggest the NDP and Liberals jointly launch a civil suit against the Conservatives for a to-be-established-amount of real damages plus $20million punitive damages. The real damages are the subsidies lost by the voters that were deterred from voting by the phony and illegal “robocon” messages. It seems to me the SupposiTorys are just as responsible for the consequences of the calls fraudulently pretending to come from Elections Canada as, for example, VIA Rail is for the consequences of that recent crash in Burlington. Whoever specifically did it they had access to and used the resources of the party to perpetrate the fraud, so the real damages are pretty much a slam dunk, but probably not of any real significance. The punitive damages would have to be based on establishing a statistical probability that the culture of the party actually encouraged this behaviour. Undoubtedly a challenge, but hardly hopeless given the In-and-out conviction and the probable attempt to bribe Chuck Cadman. This would get the matter before the court within a month or two (?), while a decision from Elections Canada is probably years away and will be too late to have any meaningful consequence. Further, the decision would rest on a balance of probabilities rather than having to meet the “beyond reasonable doubt” test.

    What would be the political impact? Well, I guess it should be tested on focus groups or something, but I can’t see it being anything but small risk huge reward. My sense is that the wind of public opinion is definitely shifting against the SupposiTories, and keeping the issue alive plus getting the aforementioned Cadman and In-and-Out affairs the attention and analysis they should have received but didn’t can’t help but keep those winds blowing stronger. And who knows, you might even win and compel them to literally pay for it!

    • VH says:


      I know civil suits and large fines are tempting but if you want a certain activity to stop and you believe said activity is illegal then ….you need to put the people in charge of those activities in jail. Not little guys. The people in charge.

      Civil suits for criminal acts is American justice. (For example, the $1.2B in customer funds “lost” (stolen) by MF Global or the MERS mortgage scam robo-signing).

      Civil suits aren’t actual justice; they’re checkbook justice for billionaires and other politically connected people. For a party serving the non-billionaire class of people, checkbook justice is a long term losing strategy.

      You can take a million dollars away from a billionaire but they can always make it back, but time spent in the slammer isn’t something they can just wave a magic wand and it reappears. The time is lost forever.

      If this RoboCon stuff doesn’t result in anybody important doing real time in jail then all we’re saying is that this the Cons are going to be doing this stuff again in future elections and all this effort spent on it will be time squandered.

    • Steve T says:

      One small problem – even under the civil standard of proof (rather than reasonable doubt), you still need PROOF. Thousands of people alleging they received calls that allegedly told them something about an alleged voting location equals zero proof. Someone needs to have recorded a call, or someone needs to find a smoking gun of a script for these robo-callers. Absent that, you are going to have a tough time in court.

      As for liability for alleged damages, you might want to see how that plays out for the Canadian Wheat Board before you pursue it. Random monetary figures, thrown out to make a political point, rarely play well in front of a judge.

      • Derek F.P. says:

        Steve T: Firstly, there has been a call recorded, and I believe it was linked to on this site earlier this week. As for a smoking gun of a script, I would allege that CPC operatives showing up at RMG’s Thunder Bay office before Elections Canada staff arrive this coming week was likely not just to “review tapes” as that would take days, weeks to review but to alter the wording on the original script as it appeared on the day the alleged crime was thought to have occurred. RMG’s executive has made contributions to the CPC and they’re documented, so I doubt somebody who has his fingers in the cookie jar would find anything reprehensible with doctoring the original script and chaulking up the whole argument presented by the call-workers that the script they were using indicating false and misleading information about polling locations. This stuff is probably all automated, paper records probably minimal but live-recordings of all calls placed by the callers might be available. Change the script, hang the callers out to dry, get off scot-free.

        Course I am inferring this behaviour occured though the burden of proof has not been established, simply looking at the accused’s aggressive response would however suggest that they’re hoping to cover their tracks (with some assistance) rather than expose their neat little tricks to wider scrutiny. By the end of the month we’ll be hearing calls from the government about how call-center workers were going off script and that they should face the repercussions for slandering the party and the electoral process.

        I almost feel like the CRTC will have a better attempt at investigating this affair then Elections Canada. EC seems to lack the sophistication to even protect the source material much less investigate the issue thoroughly and efficiently.

        • Derek F.P. says:

          Would assume that most people who bring it to the courts would be willing to have signed and sworn affidavits presented to the courts for consideration, as for recorded calls you may be right, though it would depend on the telemarketing companies quality control policies, maybe they’ve done some recording.

  14. MoeL says:

    I worked on both federal and provincial campaigns. Live calls are made from lists/reports provided from the central party DB that identify each voter, by name, address, pole and phone #. Your objective when calling is simply to identify if the voter supports your candidate, is undecided or supports another party if he/she volunteers that info. The same info is gathered when door knocking. The central DB is then updated with the party preference info. To my knowledge, no one other than the parties have this data. My guess is that access to the DB is closely guarded.

    It would be trivial to retrieve a list of the supporters of any party in a particular riding from the DB . The report could be formatted as a user report or in any format required by a calling center (e.g. like the CSV file one can download to import banking info into a spreadsheet). It is almost certain that the DB keeps a log of who requested each report and what the format was. Whoever requested the list of Liberals in Guelph in a format that was required by Rack9 would seem to be the an obvious person of interest. If one wanted to obscure his/her tracks, it would be easy to get a competent computer programmer to write a program that parses a user report of all Guelph candidates and produces a report containing only Liberal supporters in the Rack9 format. These individuals would be my next persons of interest.

    My point here is that if the logs exist (and they should) and were kept intact (?????) the CPC probably has access to the required info to easily get to the bottom of this. Does EC have a copy of these logs, and if not, why not? It’s been 10 months now… why is it taking so long?

  15. GPAlta says:

    I think that you must mean:
    Switch the topic – from proven election tampering to conspiracy/the economy/smear campaigns/bias at elections canada/more important things/liberal telemarketing

    Ignore the facts- that there is tangible evidence that on the face of it shows that someone used tools and vendors usually used by conservatives to make 10s of thousands or more calls with the sole and deliberate purpose of disenfranchising canadians, and that the Conservatives don’t seem to care that this happened.

    Name call- Link Liberals to American call centres, pretend vikileaks was illegal/call for investigation, call a loyal young staffer the mastermind, insult EC, insult Canadians who complain, insult media who report the facts, insult the intelligence of all.

    • GPAlta says:

      If only the PM were as committed to staying on the topic, acknowledging the facts, and not name calling as you are, there would have been 4 or 5 fewer stories of his incompetence in the last week.

  16. Steve says:

    I saw the absolute hapless Dean D Mastro on QP. Why does Harper keep sending him out? It seem ridiculous.

    • Chris Prowse says:

      I, for one Peterboroughite, would love to see him as another fall guy. This man should not be in charge of anything but a used car lot.

  17. Ted H says:

    Don’t forget to add to the code Red stage of Conservative operating procedure, claim that the Liberals did it too!

    • Steve says:

      The Dean was on QP saying not only that, but calling on the Liberals to release there records because: It would prove the Conservative position, that it was the liberals who made the calls to liberals. How can anyone take this defense seriously? Does it not reveal volumes about the true Conservative view.

  18. Graham says:

    Good morning Mr. Kinsella:

    With due respect, the only actual evidence that exists today is something fishy went on in one riding: Guelph. And don’t take that as me trying to brush it under the rug. It is a sreious thing and whomever is responsible needs to be found and charged.

    Other than that, all we have is rampant speculation and allegations flamed mainly by the CBC.

    We have Elections Canada say they have received 31,000 CONTACTS. The opposition, specifically Bob Rae have turned that into there being 31,000 COMPLAINTS sent in. That is not what Elections Canada said. Add to this, left leaning groups like Avaaz, Lead Now and the Council of Canadians are sending emails to their supporters asking them ALL to CONTACT the RCMP and Elections Canada. Lead Now, as of Thursday was even providing a template on their web site they wanted their members to use to email Elections Canada.

    This, in my opinion is a blatant attempt to make this “scandal” seem bigger than it is.

    You have, again, Bob Rae essentially throwing every riding he can into the allegations, even ones where the Liberals won by 7,000, 8,000 or more votes, and ones won by the Coservatives by in some cases as many as 26,000 votes.

    Chantal Hebert of the Star said it best: What could the Conservatives have possibly gained by doing this not only in ridings the had no chance of winning like St. Pauls in Toronto, but also in ridings like Niagra Falls, and Simcoe-Grey that they had no chance of losing? They would have taken incredible risk for zero reward.

    Why would the Conservatives have made call from their OFFICIAL call centre in Thunder Bay to people, indetify themselves as representitives of the Conservative party or as is alleged Elections Canada and tell people their polling station had been changed when it could easily be traced back to their call centre?

    Look at the “evidence” the Liberals provided to the Ottawa Citizen that the Conseratives were impersonating the Liberals in phone calls:

    From the Citizen on Feb. 24 and reprinted in a MacLeans article Feb 27.

    “Then, on the afternoon of April 11, a phone in Volpe’s own campaign phone bank rang. Volunteer Marsha Sands described the call in an affidavit.

    “I picked it up and said hello several times. No voice responded but I could hear voices in the background. I then said, ‘Hello, speak please. You’ve called me.’

    “A female voice, soft and young-sounding, said, ‘Are you going to vote for Joe Volpe in the up and coming election?’ I responded, ‘Who are you? Where are you calling from?’ several times.

    “The caller said, ‘The Conservatives.’ I said ‘What? Who are you?’ Response: ‘Um, we are conducting a survey.’ “

    So, the Liberals proof that the CPC were calling Liberals claiming to be the Liberal party, is one where the caller identifies herself as being from the Conservatives?

    • Attack! says:

      It’s not just the CBC fueling the story, it’s all media, incl. PostMedia (which includes the National Post) BECAUSE SOMETHING SCREWY HAPPENED IN SO MANY PLACES.

      And while it remains to be seen whether ElxnsCDA included the LeadNow letters in the 31,000 (which is doubtful, because it would & is being perceived as irresponsible), the ones like Avaaz definitely aren’t since they are still collecting them & have not submitted them, yet.

      As for why suppress in safe ridings: for several reasons:
      – to cost the national party the $2/yr (& fading) for the vote subsidy to hurt their chances next elxn;
      – to possibly cripple the local riding if they fall below the 15% of votes threshold & can’t get any expense or GST rebates; and,
      – to muddy the waters by creating reasonable doubt that it was just a bunch of SNAFU’s or something.

      • Graham says:

        Research the “journalist” who broke this story.

        Glen McGregor of the Ottawa Citizen.

        He made his name writing for scandal rag Frank Magazine.

        He broke the in and out “scandal” calling it the biggest case of criminal conspiracy in Canadian history. What was the end result? Exactly what the Conservatives said it was. An administrative issue. The COURTS agreed. Those involved pled to ADMINISTRATIVE charges and paid fines totaling $52,000.

        Not quite criminal conspiracy McGregor claimed it was.

        Bill C-19. He CLAIMED he had the entire long gun registry database on a thumb drive and would release the data publicly once C-19 became law. To prove it, he released a few pages. When it became clear all he had was something the Ottawa Citizen had released years earlier and was publicly called on it through his blog, he, not suprisingly went silent on the issue.

        Now the robocall “scandal”. He cliams he used a report by elections canada as the basis for the story. Mr. Kinsella’s friend with Sun Media’s Brian Lilley requested and recieved the EXACT same document McGregor claims he used. It was a 190 page report about the 2011 election. The robocall issue took up 3 pages.

        What Mr. Mcgregor failed to mention in his story was the fact Elections Canada had already investigated and found there was NO affect on the election either nationally or at the riding level.

        If you have a minute go to his blog. It is full of anti-Harper, anti-Jewish vitoral. Quite disgusting actually.

        • Attack! says:

          so Lilley’s jealous that someone could get such a boost to his career by recognizing the news value of so little info? Hah; sucks to be him. And so what if the Sun took it upon themselves to smear & attempt to kill the messenger… the story was going to emerge sooner or later from some source or another as soon as Elections Canada started getting the RCMP involved and the Public Prosecution Service of Canada lays charges… which they will.

          Will your overactive self be on the CPC-paid ‘Hit Squad on Journalists’ iin various personae until then, then?


    • MoeL says:

      Note from this CBC article “Last Updated: May 2, 2011 8:44 PM ET” (yes election day) that this problem was not only evident in Guelph.


      • Graham says:

        It should also be know that Elections Canada investigated the more than 1,000 cpmplaints they recieved druring and after the May election and came to the conclusion that nothing that was alleged affected the integrity of the election at either the national or riding level.

        • Philip says:

          Graham has mentioned a couple of times that Elections Canada had investigated “more than 1,000” complaints they had received during the 2011 election and had already reached the conclusion nothing had affected theat election. Not so fast. Elections Canada received 1,003 complaints during the election. As of Friday, Elections Canada noted that several investigations were still underway, including the obvious example of the Guelph voter suppression phone calls. Is the Thunder Bay investigation another one of those 1,003 complaints or was it a fresh complaint. Pending the outcome of these investigations I would suggest it is a little premature to call the matter closed.

          Let’s also look at complaints initially lodged at Elections Canada but referred to other agencies, the CRTC for example?

      • patrick deberg says:

        Hey Graham, I have news for you. This is just starting buddy. Last nigt I signed a petition asking for 50,000 names in an international group here:


        The petition was 700 short to enough signatures at ten last night. As of now it’s 52000 and they want to see if we can get it to 75000.

        This is going around the world. And would you like to know why? With due respect let me tell you. Canada has been seen as a shining light for democracy throughout the whole world and now that reputation is in Jeopardy. Everyone trying to set up fair elections anywhere in the world called Canada to monitor the outcome and in spite of the liberties taken we were willing to stand behind our country and it’s immaculate record. Until now. You do a great disservice to our country by pretending this is a tiny thing. This is a shot heard around the world my learned friend. It could not come at a worse time when so many around the world are dying to try to bring democracy including our own boys. We never had the farce of USA elections, nor the Rupert Murdoch sleaze as briton or sectarian violence like northern Ireland . We were the shining example to the world. That’s why even the WSJ turned it’s head. Because you have in one fell swoop destroyed something precious beyond words
        that the whole world looked up to. People are reporting fraud in almost every riding in contest in Canada. That means you are willing to cheat to win. I ask you Graham as I have asked the paid informer Gord. What have you won now? You have sullied our good name, spit in the face of the troops lost and look at what the world thinks of our integrity now. I want my country back you son of a bitch I’m going to take it back from you!


        look what Rob Anders has been up to.


        • Graham says:


          You just defeated your own argument with one simple, possibly unintentional admission.

          Avaaz is in fact an INTERNATIONAL organization and they launch petitions against EVERYTHING the Harper government does.

          How many of those signing the petition are NOT CANADIAN.

          There is a very good reason online petitions are given no credibility in the courts. They are so easy to manipulate.

          Remember this is the same group that had an article in the Guardian Newspaper in England claiming their petition against the CRTC giving Sun News Network a licence was a massive success and the because of them, the CRTC had denied the licence??

          Odd. Because I get Sun News Network. Rogers channel 142

        • que sera sera says:

          Brilliant post patrick. I couldn’t agree more.

          My father & three uncles enlisted in WWII to fight fascists in support of democracy. My mother joined CWACs and did what she could at home to support their efforts. It is inconceivable to me that after two world wars and millions of Canadians military efforts around the world, that we are now fighting for democracy here in Canada.

          Rob Anders is a puerile fool who I suspect must have photos of Senior Conservative Politicians and/or Senators in compromising positions with barnyard animals. Why else would the Conservatives claim him as their own?

          • patrick deberg says:

            Graham and Steve,

            The two of you are what’s referred to in Ireland as “thick.” Trust me this is not an endearing term. Yes they are an INTERNATIONAL group. I believe I said the world was paying attention. Did you miss that? They are signing the petition because the whole world is paying attention to YOUR STUPIDITY! Do you not understand? Don’t try to compartmentalize this atrocity! Canadians have signed, Britons have signed, for God’s sake probably people from Antarctica have signed because they wish to say; WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU DONE?. I notice a very slim response to the fact that you have destroyed the reputation of Canada as a country dedicated to democracy. I guess you really don’t mind if you drag my country into the gutter do you? Go ahead Graham tell the troops it’s fine to die for Democracy in some shithole but we have our own new Conservative democracy here in Steven Harper’s Canada. May as well call it Steven Harpers Canada right? That’s the next logical step, it’s his Government now anyway right? My argument was not defeated Graham, you however lack the ability to string any cohesive thought together. Come back for more when you grow a pair. When my father was angry at someone who could not understand what end of a shovel to stick into the ground he would say, “there’s no sin on a fools mother.” Obviously your mother was a saint.

        • frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

          Thanks for the link, Patrick….I gladly signed the petition…..the overwhelmingly majority that I saw signing were from Canada….seemed to signing at about one every ten seconds or so…
          Hopefully this is a portent of things to come…..

    • Steve T says:

      Exactly – well said, Graham.

    • Cam says:

      “Why would the Conservatives have made call from their OFFICIAL call centre in Thunder Bay to people, indetify themselves as representitives of the Conservative party or as is alleged Elections Canada and tell people their polling station had been changed when it could easily be traced back to their call centre?”

      Because the conservatives thought it was an acceptable practice and they thought they could get away with it?

  19. Shaun says:

    While Gord is concerned with the name-calling going around, the rest of us are focused on what’s criminal, namely Conservative Party operatives suppressing votes.

  20. Joe says:

    The problem with your plan is that there is no actual HARD EVIDENCE that the misdirecting robocalls were from the Conservatives. From what I have been able to glean is that there were some bored employees in a call centre that gave out the wrong information on a lark. Then there was the ‘burner cell phone’ calls but again that doesn’t prove or even indicate party affiliation of the person with the phone. Yes there were rouge calls. Those calls went to people of all party affiliations including a Conservative candidate/MP. What does it prove? It proves that any ninny with a cheap phone can get the national media all in lather over some ninny with a cell phone. Well except that the national media will ignore the ninny with the cell phone and blame their favourite bogey men.

    • GPAlta says:

      There is hard evidence that the law was broken, that is enough to make me want an exhaustive search to be carried out in order to find out who broke the law, so that they can be punished. You can predict that the investigation will find nothing but rogues and bored employees, but when they go to jail, they will still be conservatives in jail. Warren can predict that it will be higher ups who go to jail. Either way, conservatives will be in jail. Where they belong for breaking the law.

      • Philip says:

        It’s funny, you can almost pinpoint the exact moment when the Conservative Party suddenly became soft on crime.

      • Joe says:

        Did anyone say that no law was broken? Not me. I didn’t comment on the legal aspects because I am not a lawyer. I am simply pointing out that the perpetrators of such illegal activities can not be traced back to members or supporters of the Conservative, Liberal, NDP or Bloc party. Yes there were calls. Which party if any was behind such calls? No one knows apart from the ones who made the calls! There is no hard evidence linking any party to said calls. The media and the opposition want everyone to believe it was the Conservatives. That does not make it a fact. Get some hard evidence that proves these allegations and I will join you in calling for a by-election. Until that hard evidence is shown this is simply a bunch of partisans beaking off to each other.

    • smelter rat says:

      You’re going to have to do a lot better than that to gain any credibility around here, Joe.

    • Philip says:

      Code Red…….. Code Red!!

      “From what I have been able to glean is that there were some bored employees in a call centre that gave out the wrong information on a lark. ”

      Is that why those same “bored” employees notified their supervisors about those calls, which they felt were wrong?
      Is that why one of those “bored” employees contacted Elections Canada?
      What an amusing “lark” indeed.

      Keep playing the victim card, Joe. It’s not like you have anything else is it?

  21. Graham says:

    I find it strange that the Conservatives are being accused of being so brilliant and sophisticated they were able to pull off a of scheme of nation wide electoral fraud, at the same time being so stupid as to to use an easily traceable “burner” cellphone, paid for with a credit card and registered under such an obviously fake name to execute the whole thing.

    • Attack! says:

      Not sure anyone claimed it was “brilliant & sophisticated”:

      just too widespread, resource-intensive & infused with detailed local knowledge to be confined to a single rogue operator.

      But never mind the Pierre Poutine rogue: the very top of the CPC’s brain trust has shown its stunning lack of brilliance in falsely accusing the LPC of being the only ones to use US-based calls to try to explain away the abusive live calls showing US numbers, when:

      1) neither of the two LPC vendors they named – Prime Contact & First Contact – actually make live calls from the US.

      – The first, which has a North Dakota company of that name which they mistakenly believed was a US-affiliate of the CDN co. of the same name, was an entirely different company which does not even do campaign research, in either country.

      – The second only uses US numbers and technology to coordinate & host Telephone Town Halls, which, um,

      2) the CPC is obliged to use, too, since that is patented, proprietary software & technology which is only available in the US, and Jason Kenney (his was subcontracted via Racknine), Del Mastro himself, and many, many other CPC MPs use US-based Tel.Town Hall calls (although they often ‘spoof’ themselves to show them as emanating from the campaign’s local no’s); and

      3) at least 14 candidates in the CPC campaign uses the US-based Front Porch service (which may have been confined to Telephone Town Halls, as well – this hasn’t been made clear.

      So, more likely, it was a big operation by a gang that can barely shoot straight that may’ve been banking on Elections Canada being too under-resourced and gun shy after the last long drawn out battle to follow up on the few hundred calls that they did get at the start.

      • Graham says:

        A Liberal candidate said last April that she hired First Contact to make calls on her behalf, and in FACT calls were routed through the US. Calls appeared on peoples caller ID with an American area code.


        A Liberal Party candidate from British Columbia has publicly acknowledged hiring First Contact and that calls her campaign arranged to solicit voter support showed up on call display as coming from the United States.

        Former Liberal candidate Diane Janzen told The Chilliwack Times last April that this occurred because calls arranged with the aid of First Contact relied on a computer “based in the U.S., similar to other patented software for computers.”

        • Attack! says:

          Foolish man: yes, those are the same calls I’m talking about — ALL Telephone Town Halls the CDN political parties have been using are done via US companies, whether or not that’s what appears on the call display, since they’re the only ones with that patented technology.

          And, yes, those Liberal town halls were from US numbers: this is the actual letter Del Mastro was reading from:


          Which is entirely different from & irrelevant to the abusive live voter ID calls which showed North Dakota or Colorado numbers, which the CPC was trying to tie this too.

          A sub-contracted, US hosted telephone town hall contract – which Kenney & Del Mastro & tons of other CPC candidates had as well – has NO BEARING on who was doing those abusive calls & why.

        • Attack! says:

          Apart from the Town Halls (which are robo calls to live people who then do all the talking amongst themselves, mostly the candidates or leaders, w. no one from the company saying anything), that company, First Contact, only makes live calls from Canada;

          part of the statement they issued to the media (including Evan Solomon, live on Power & Politics, in time to totally debunk Del Mastro’s disinformation) is here:


          and the full statement is:

          “First Contact is a Canadian provider of call centre services to political
          candidates and sitting politicians across Canada. We have been in business
          since 1997. We have worked with more than 1,300 candidates at the federal,
          provincial and municipal levels. In the 2011 Federal General Election we
          provided services to the Liberal Party of Canada and to more than 80 Liberal

          All of our live calls are made from centres in Canada under our direct
          supervision. All of our data and servers are hosted in Canada. We have never
          engaged a US-based call centre and we have no links to any businesses
          operating in North Dakota.

          With respect to telephone town halls and the April 2011 newspaper article,
          all Canadian providers and political parties are limited to a handful of
          telephone town hall providers and their proprietary technology, and all are
          US-based. All of our program moderators, guests and the hosts who greet
          audience members who want to ask a question are located in Canada.”

  22. Matt says:

    After two weeks of none stop media attention to this story, an anti-Harper rally in Vancouver yesterday drew (going by the picture printed along with the story) under 100 people.

    Most of them, as stated by the CBC story were opposition MP’s and Union members.

    You know the crowd was tiny when CBC didn’t even bother to print an estimate of the crowd size.

    Just “a modest number”

  23. JohnB says:

    All the polls conducted on the eve of the election put the Conservatives in minority government territory. None of them had them anywhere near 40 percent.

    Polling average (all polls within 2 days of election):

    Conservative — 35.6% (real result 39.6%)
    Liberals — 20.5% (real result 18.9%)
    NDP — 31.3% (real result 30.6%)

    It seems that all of the undecided vote went to the Conservatives and both the Liberals and NDP underperformed the polls. Is it possible that the real results diverged a few percentage points from the polls due to fraud and dirty tricks during the elections? It’s definitely not certain but it’s not impossible. I didn’t receive a robocall. My parents (lifelong Liberal supports) received a late-night call from the “Liberals” that annoyed them. Many of their friends also received suspicious calls.

    • Graham says:

      Not entirely true.

      The poll done on Sunday May 1st by Nanos Research showed results almost identical to the election day results. The FINAL poll by Nanos doesn’t show it because it was done over April 30 and May 1. BUT when you take only the May 1st data, which had the much larger sample size (IIRC april 30 had 300 and May 1 had 800) as i said it was pretty much bang on.

      Look back at ALL the election polling over the past 8 years. the Conservatives ALWAYS poll 3 to 5 percent lower than where they end up on election day. It is an historical fact.


      Polling can be made to say whatever the people paying for it want it to say. I’m sure Mr. Kinsella can confirm that.

      A couple of examples:

      1) In the federal election, polling was done in specific Toronto ridings that showed the NDP walking away with almost every riding. The Liberals paid for the polling to be redone, asking the same questions, in the same ridings, and that new data showed the Liberals were ahead.

      2) Forum research did a poll that said Rob Ford’s support had fallen to 35% support from 65% in Toronto. Then we find out that CUPE local 79, one of the largest unions dealing with the City of Toronto and entering a contract year, and whos president called Ford “The worst human being I have ever dealt with” PAID for the poll.

      Also remember the polling companies THEMSELVES have become very vocal about what their industry has turned into with all kinds of, shall we say questionable practises and methodologies.

      • JohnB says:

        Conservative ALWAYS poll 3 to 5 percent lower than where they are on election day? That’s not true at all. They underpolled by 2-3% in 2008 but the Liberals actually underpolled in 2006 and 2004 and the Conservatives overpolled. The Liberals tend to underpoll because Liberal supporters that says they are going to vote for the NDP or Green Party in polls tends to come home on election day.

        The final Nanos poll was the most favourite to the Conservatives and still had them in minority government territory (even though it was close to the final result). It still showed the Liberals above 20%. The other polls showed the Conservatives nowhere near 40%.

        I think the 4% polling error isn’t too large to be outside the realm of possibility. I didn’t say that robocalling IS the reason that the Conservatives outperformed the polls. I’m just saying that it’s not impossible. There is no justification to claim that Nanos, Ekos or any of the other pollsters had a pro-Liberal or pro-NDP bias when they were polling.

        The problem was not just confined to Guelph like the Conservatives claim. On election day, Elections Canada warned that the calls were occurring in Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia and this was reported by all mainstream media in Canada. I also wonder how much support the Liberals bled in the week before the election that was captured by the polls due to late-night calls claiming to be the “Liberal Party of Canada”.

  24. Steve says:

    Very clearly the legitimacy of the last election is in doubt.
    Harper got his majority by 5000 votes in ridings split by NDP and Liberal
    If the election was held today it would be and NDP minority government.

    • Graham says:

      Frank Graves? Really?

      He is looking for any excuse to explain how he butchered his election result predictions last election so badly.

      • Shaun says:

        There’s actually an excellent explanation for Graves’ poor predictions from the last election: voter suppression.

        • Graham says:

          Then explain who he got the NDP, Liberals, Greens and Bloc numbers within a percent or two of their actual results but was almost 6% off on the Conservatives total?

          Seems the admitted Liberal schill (remeber him giving the Libs advice to start a culture war?) was intentionally supressing the Conservatives actual totals.

          Graves was the worst of the bunch.

          By the way:

          The polling Nanos did on Sunday May 1st pretty much NAILED the results seen on election day.

          Forum, Ipsos, Angus Ried, Abacus all were within a percentag point or two of the Conservatives election day total.


          • Graham says:


            He was OVER 6% off on the Conservatives.

          • Robin says:

            Maybe Frank Graves just said, “Fuck it, man. I hate this line of business. I’m totally gonna fuck this up because everything hinges on me and my firm. And I’m taking down the Conservatives with me. To do just that, I’ll just underestimate the CPC predicted election results. I’ll underestimate the CPC results by 5.7 points. Fuckin eh, those Conservatives are so fucked now!”

            Focus on the real enemy: those suppressing the votes; committing election fraud; what your man, Guy Giorno, said today is “a despicable, reprehensible practice.”

            And brush up on your math because your ‘correction’ post below isn’t altogether accurate. It’s simple arithmetic, not Riemannian geometry.

  25. Graham says:

    Media retractions on allegations made have begun:


    Retraction and apology
    TwitterEmailinShare6National Post · Mar. 3, 2012 | Last Updated: Mar. 3, 2012 3:11 AM ET

    An article published in the National Post on March 2, 2012, referred to Responsive Marketing Group Inc. and stated that former employees of RMG have alleged that they were asked by RMG to direct voters to the wrong polling stations. That report was incorrect. No allegation has been made that RMG asked its employees to direct voters to the wrong polling stations. The National Post apologizes to Responsive Marketing Group Inc. for the error.

    RMG is the Conservatives official call centre used in the 2011 election.

    The Toronto Star printed an article that made direct allegations against RMG by a former employee stating RMG TOLD their workers to intentionally mislead the people they were calling.

    • Attack! says:

      It’s just semantics over the carelessly/quickly written article, as to whether RMG was in on / aware of the fact that it was erroneous information that its employees were disseminating.

      The latter – the most important fact – is NOT at issue:

      those Thunder Bay calls _were_ RMG call centre calls commissioned by the CPC, directing people (presumably mostly if not exclusively CPC supporters) to the wrong locations.

      It remains to be seen _why_ that happened — whether over some sort of inexplicable SNAFU (there weren’t even ANY polling station relocations in most of the misinfo’d ridings, much less, of course, to places that weren’t even hosting polling stations at all) or to deliberately cloud the issue when & if it all hit the fan & pass it off as errors.

  26. fred says:

    “”The CBC reported Thursday night that the Conservative Party is reviewing tapes of every call made by the RMG before Elections Canada investigators arrive next week…”

    So why didn’t the local RCMP lock down all the tapes, and how can the cons be looking at these tapes if Elections Canada says they are
    important? It’s been 10 months for everything to be altered. The cons were just double-checking.

    Cue the Tulkbot.

  27. DissenterDissenting says:

    To be more specific the article referred to was under http://www.the telegram.com/editorial/2007-10-20/article-1457492/Someone-is-watching-you/1 The Peoples Paper The weekend Telegram. Opinion. Editorial Oct 20 2007 Staff at The Telegram.
    The article starts :
    “Maybe big brother now has a name. Maybe it’s Stephen, as in Stephen Harper. Or maybe it’s CIMS.

    The article ends with this observation:

    “The Federal Conservatives have no more right to trade on details about your age, religion, personal sexual preference, than anyone else does. Govts. collect massive amounts of statistical information, and have a duty to keep that information private. CIMS is blurring the line between the use and the abuse of personal, private information. It’s about time this tracking system was stopped in it’s tracks.

  28. Patricia Morfee says:

    We used to have people enumerate door to door to get proper names, addresses and phone numbers paid by Elections Canada. My husband has done so in the past. We used to have volunteers call people on a list in ridings for their person running for election. I have done this several times for our MPP and municipal politicians in the past. If someone was not a supporter for our candidate the name was ruled out with a revised list given for supporters only. Then they were concentrated on for their vote. For the last few elections, it has been from paid companies. This past election, we received numerous calls from Conservative callers. We are not Conservatives and when told so, they still persisted in calling. In the past Ontario election alone, we received calls from Conservatives every other day from the end of August until the election in October. I wrote the numbers down, looked on the internet and they all led back to Conservative headquarters which on one of the calls, I was tole where they were when asked. They were located in Toronto. When I told them they should be local callers for the candidate, I was told this is the way it is. The numbers, I recorded were different almost every time. When I received the final call, it was a robocall from the Federal Conservative for the Provincial candidate. Only when I called the local candidate office complaining we did not receive any further calls.If the conservatives wanted my vote, this was not a great plan on their part. Perhaps, we should go back to the old way of doing things.

    • student501 says:


      Patricia is correct.

      Door to Door was abandoned in federal elections in 1997, Elections Canada issued a Press Release to that effect:


      (OTTAWA, April 9, 1997) — The Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, Jean-Pierre Kingsley, today announced that over 96,000 enumerators will begin knocking on doors to conduct the final federal door-to-door enumeration tomorrow. The information gathered during this enumeration will be used to build a new permanent voters list – a national Register of Electors.

      Once completed, the Register will be used to produce preliminary lists for each future federal general election, by-election or referendum.

      “I urge Canadians to open their doors to the federal enumerators. They will be wearing their bright yellow badges bearing the Elections Canada logo, clearly identifying them as enumerators,” said Mr. Kingsley.

      From tomorrow, Thursday, April 10 until Wednesday, April 16, 1997, enumerators will be knocking on doors across the country, except in Alberta and Prince Edward Island where voters lists from recent provincial elections will be used. Everywhere else in Canada, enumerators will be gathering in each household the full name, address and gender of all Canadian citizens who are
      18 years of age and older on the last day of enumeration. To maintain the Register, electors will also be asked to provide their date of birth.

      If after two visits enumerators find no one at home, they will leave a postage-paid registration form. To ensure that their names are added to the new Register, all eligible Canadians are urged to fill out this form and send it to Elections Canada. When enumerators call, or when mailing these forms, it will be important that the names of all qualified voters in each household are listed.

      Elections Canada has taken the necessary steps to ensure that privacy rights and confidentiality of personal information is maintained. In accordance with the statute, data in the national Register of Electors can be used for electoral purposes only; improper use of this information is an offence, punishable by law.

      Elections Canada is the non-partisan agency responsible for the conduct of federal elections and referendums.

      Source: http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=med&document=apr0997&dir=pre&lang=e

      More here: http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=med&document=apr0297&dir=spe&lang=e

      It’s still done in some Provinces, Manitoba and Alberta still do:


  29. DissenterDissenting says:

    You may also want to read one of the articles from the Walrus magazine,
    maybe not…

    ” The man behind Stephen Harper” by Marci McDonald
    May 09 2005.

  30. frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

    Gadzooks!…..they even hit my own riding…..dont know why….its an extremely safe seat for the Cons(though it has been a swing riding in the past)….

  31. The Conservatives have proven they will happily break the law to win power

  32. The Conservatives have proven they will happily break the law to win power

    The Conservatives pleaded guilty to breaking campaign spending laws in 2006 in the election that brought Harper to power. The Conservative party violated election spending limits, exceeding the amount the party was allowed to spend by $1.3 million — through an “in-and-out” scheme.

    In the end the Conservatives pled guilty and got a $52,000 fine.

    There was no appropriate consequence for the Conservatives breaking Canada’s election law. The fine is a joke. The Conservatives spent $1.3 million more than allowed to by law, “won” the election, and paid a penalty of $52,000. The reward: gaining access to the levers of power and deciding how to spend the Government of Canada’s $270.5 billion budget.

    The case took five years to be resolved. By this time the Conservatives had been in power for five years and had appointed 48 Conservatives to the Senate.

    The Conservatives strategy is clear: break the law, deny any wrong doing, frustrate and stall any investigation — whether by Elections Canada or House of Commons committee — and when the final decision is about to be rendered, plea bargain and pay a fine.

    But here’s the realpolitik of it: It’s five years after the fact, the media isn’t paying attention. It’s been covered already. Meanwhile the Conservatives have been enjoying power for five years. The consequences are, well, inconsequential.


  33. DissenterDissenting says:

    My University Proffesor in Statistics, maintained that there are lies, damn lies and then there’s statistics! In fact unless one knows who was polled (what population) How many were polled, and which questions were asked, one has nothing to go on, as to the veracity of the same. The poll mentioned this morning ‘Nano’s for instance had the Liberals rising in the polls to 29.5% the Conservatives staying the same at 35.7% and The NDP essentially unchanged at 29.5% fdrom 27.5% So.. my question is if two parties stayed the same and one advanced, then where did the discrepency come in! now that’s creative accounting mais non? It is also to be remembered that to be pertinent the number polled has to be quite high… as the number polled was not given. I give no credence to any poll such as this.

    • DissenterDissenting says:

      should have read for statistics:
      Meanwhile a new Poll by Nanos Research shows that support for
      Tories have remained exactly the same at 35.7 %
      Liberals climbed from 27.6% to 29.5%
      NDP essentially unchanged at 25% sorry for the error. Dissenter…
      shouldn’t this have changed the figures?

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