03.07.2012 09:13 AM

March 7: your morning Robocon

  • The noose tightens: “The mysterious “Pierre Poutine” at the centre of the robocalls scandal used a real street address in Quebec when he set up an account to send out misleading election day messages and left a digital trail that could help investigators discover his true identity.”
  • What happened at the Manning Centre?:  Again, Preston Manning calls the spreading electoral fraud allegations “bad.” But a still-unrebutted shocker by a B.C. professor states that the Manning Centre taught courses in how to suppress the vote, seen here.  So which is it?
  • Follow the money: …and the follow the lists.  As BCL and others have noted, whomever has the central list – in the Reformatories’ case, CIMS – is ultimately in a position to execute a multi-jurisdictional vote suppression campaign.  This fool from Saskatchewan has now perhaps confirmed that the election fraud could not have happened without the knowledge, or involvement, of at least one person in the central CPC campaign.  A presentation I did about how they created that fabled database is here:



  1. catherine says:

    Given the lengths “Pierre Poutine” went to conceal his (or her) identity, including recent claims that he used an anonymous credit card for PayPal, it seems highly unlikely that the address he gave leads to him. If it were only that simple though.

    • Michael says:

      But in order to use PayPal you have to load the money from a credit card or your bank account. You can’t just walk down to your corner PayPal store and pay in cash.

      So the PayPal transaction will be traceable to a real person or organization.

      • catherine says:

        There are instructions on the web of how to use an anonymous credit card paid for in advance using cash to set up a PayPal account, which can then be used for internet transactions which allow PayPal, as if one had a credit card tied to a bank. Perhaps these instructions do not work or perhaps they do not work in Canada.

      • catherine says:

        Just to add to the above, the National Post reports:

        A source close to the investigation says the PayPal payment to RackNine was made using a prepaid gift credit card that could, like the “burner” cellphone, prove difficult to track down.

        Sounds like this “source” thinks it is possible.

      • Attack! says:

        Not in this case – the PayPal account was backed by a pre-paid “Gift” credit card, which I’m guessing was paid for in… cash.

        But it sure questions Meier’s integrity for accepting PayPal payments for Elections work, which is supposed to be fully declared and transparent.

        • smelter rat says:

          The Paypal card would have been validated where it was purchased, no? it might still be traceable.

          • Attack! says:

            PayPal doesn’t issue ‘cards’ but account numbers; as for the pre-paid gift credit card, well, if its like bestbuy cards or grocery store cards etc, then, no, if they’re paid in cash, there’d be no tie to the purchaser.

            What they’re on the trail of is the ISP used to set up the PayPal account.

        • catherine says:

          They can likely trace where the card was purchased, just as they apparently traced the burner phone to a convenience store in Guelph. Beyond that, though, it is not clear if all the transactions are cash.

          As to Meier’s integrity, I also wonder why use PayPal when his customers are official political party representatives? PayPal is usually used when you want to capture people with no official financial responsibilities, say your typical ebay purchaser. Who is making widespread robocalls and yet is just some guy off the street?

          Also, if Meier is above board, one has to wonder what he thought of someone who did not claim any political party association and whom he had never heard of, wanting to make so many robocalls during an election.

  2. Matthew says:

    It’s “whoever has the list”. The person is the subject – they’re “in a position to execute”, not be executed.

  3. MoeL says:

    In reference to this link: //www.hilltimes.com/news/politics/2012/03/06/voter-identification-massive-job-central-conservative-campaign-gives-voter/29964

    I know I’m essentially repeating a previous posts, but here’s my take on the CPC’s voter list database angle.

    Elector lists (by party affiliation) are produced by predefined “reports” in the DB.
    Only SOME (few?) accredited users can request such reports.
    These reports can be in an eyeball or machine readable format so that the data can be automatically uploaded into robocall servers.
    Whoever initiated the Guelph robocall campaign had access to one such report for the Guelph riding. He/she got it themselves or got someone to do it for them.
    The CPC certainly know who these “few” people are because access to these reports would automatically logged… user/date/options etc.
    EC should have asked for these logs on May 3rd after the fraud allegations first surfaced.
    They apparently haven’t asked for them yet ? I wonder how serious they took these fraud allegations to start with.

    • Geoffrey Laxton says:

      According to Garth Turner, when he was a Conservative, he was instructed to enter EVERYTHING into the CIMS. For example, if he knocked on a door and they said: “I vote Liberal”, it was noted in CIMS. All candidates had access to this system.

      • MoeL says:

        For sure canvas info gets into the DB, but the actual DB update is usually done by a few selected people. The point here though is not who inputs data into the system, but who can request lists. Of course a candidate/riding would have access to its own info. What I’m suggesting is that the system requests to produce these lists would be restricted to a few trusted people since the info it is just too valuable to be handled willy nilly. Like I said in my original post, these list requests (e.g. all Liberal voters in Guelph) would automatically be logged providing a trail for investigators.

    • !o! says:

      Right, it should be emphasized too that, despite the cons numerous and broad assertions that they only target supporters, whoever was managing the database needed to authorize the transmission of non-supporter data, including telephone numbers to all the affected ridings. Why would they be giving out non-supporter data to individual ridings on such a wide scale?

      When this question gets asked, I can’t even imagine how DDM responds. (nah, I can imagine, anything other than talking points gives the cyborg too much credit)

  4. Brad Young says:

    The CIMS “data banks” referred to in the article could easily fit on any modern laptop, the issue of matching the CIMS data to election Canada’s data would be easily done in under and hour.

    So in no time at all they would be able to query their data base and get lists of people who are not associated with the conservative party.

    • Philip says:

      The interesting point would be who accessed the CMIS and which records were requested. As discussed in depth above, a database such as CMIS would have multiple access levels each requiring the username/password combo to log in. All log ins would be recorded as would all search queries. Retrieving that information for Elections Canada would be the work of minutes. A party with nothing to hide would have handed over that information by now. The Con Party feels that it is entitled to drag it’s heels on matters such as voter suppression and electoral fraud.

  5. Sam Gunsch says:

    Conservatives asking EC for the location of polling sites…

    …appears to be another ‘first’ to add to the list of Conservatives ‘managing democracy’ firsts:

    “Elections Canada confirmed to The Hill Times on Tuesday that for the first time in a federal election a representative of one of the recognized parties, the Conservative Party, had before the election requested that the initial voter list given to the parties at the beginning of the campaign include the location of polling sites.”

    …at the bottom of the WK link to Follow the Money/lists:


  6. SteveM says:

    What if it’s determined that the robocalls was instigated by the Liberals or NDP, what would happen then?

    It’s possible, but not probable.

    • Geoffrey Laxton says:

      Anonymous did it. For sure.

      • SteveM says:

        I’m betting it’s the Conservatives who did the misleading robocalls, and now we wait for the EC to pin the tail on the donkey.

        I was just making a “devil’s advocate” suggestion because I was curious what the outfall would be, lol.

        Oh, we live in such interesting times!

  7. Cam says:

    While one could argue the MP is a fool, I would opinion that the MP has shown some integrity by speaking the truth as the MP reportedly understands the system. Good on him.

    • Jason King says:

      You’d think but it seemed more like a lead in to a Tulk rant about Elections Canada and other Tulk Foil Hat® topics

  8. smelter rat says:

    So he said voter suppression was OK?

    • Ted H says:

      Manning is a Conservative saint, say anything against him, even if it is the truth and Conservatives will go caveman on you. However, despite that, he is a much more honorable man than any of this lying bunch currently controlling the sand box in Ottawa.

  9. Geoffrey Laxton says:

    Who would have thought the National Post would be publishing such articles?

    Harper slammed for denying elections boss new powers to probe party expenses

    • smelter rat says:

      I smell teflon burning.

    • catherine says:

      Actually, the National Post has been a great source of news, information and opinions during Robocon so far. I’m quite impressed with their coverage. Maybe it’s Andrew Coyne. By contrast, the Globe and Mail is a huge disappointment.

      • dave says:

        Oh, man, – intriguing…a Progressive Conservative conspiracy to seize the Conservative Party of Canada from the Reform party of Canada!

  10. !o! says:

    He’s a ‘fool’ in the sense that the truth hurts his party. He isn’t a fool in the more objective sense of just saying what happens to be the case, unless you assume he has malicious motives, i.e. vote suppression, and inadvertently worked against them in making an admission of how the database is tightly and centrally controlled.

    I can’t seem to parse your assertion that this doesn’t imply someone at the top was involved, unless the MP was lying, though you also assert that he was telling the truth. Another semantic morass perhaps.

  11. John Baglow says:

    “One of RMG’s directors, Stewart Braddick, has a long history with the Conservatives, having worked with former prime minister Brian Mulroney, and former premier and leader of the Ontario PC Party.

    “He eventually moved to the private sector and co-founded the political consulting group Navigator, Inc. before moving on to RMG a few years later.”


    Navigator, hmm? Small world.

    • Warren says:

      My world is.

      He’s a friend and a good guy. I recall during Bingogate an Hydrogate us discussing how NDP staff we knew were entitled to the presumption of innocence.

  12. Anne Peterson says:

    At last, the great Preston unmasked. This is an Albertan who grew up watching our oil and its wealth flowing away to big foreign oil companies while dodging on the radio the whiney voice of Ernest C. on the Back to the Bible Hour. They would drill a hole, those companies, tap it for a year (the royalty free time) then cap it and dig a hole right next to it and get another free years worth of Alberta oil) The Mannings have always been associated in my mind with corporate rip offs. Interesting article about the course in the Vancouver Observer.

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