03.04.2012 10:02 PM

Robocon excuses round-up

We didn’t do it. The Liberals did it. It happened, but it’s exaggerated. It was a rogue staffer. It can’t be us, because it happened in Calgary. It’s taken nine months, so it has to be made-up. Elections Canada is biased against us. We didn’t need to do it, we were going to win. It’s all hysteria. It’s all media bias.

And so on and so on.

Those are just a few of the excuses that Conservatives – looking worried, sounding frenzied – have offered up in the growing electoral fraud scandal. There are more.

I need your help: I want to do a round-up in the Sun on Tuesday about the various Con excuses in Robocon – and, if possible, what noteworthies are making them.

Fill comments with your picks – and thank you!


  1. Jay says:

    “‎@Kelly – What? Have you noticed what’s going on in Ontario with McLiar. And how about Chretien’s dabbling with the devil?”
    “Yea, and the lyin’ Liberals don’t have a system for deflecting bullshit. They’re the worst.”
    “It doesn’t matter”

    The astroturfers are everywhere on twitter. Their support for the CPC is almost masturbatory at this point.

    • Michael Bussiere says:

      Not quite, Jay. Masturbation requires that the right hand knows what the left hand is doing, as is my understanding anyway.

  2. JohnB says:

    I don’t know how much people are going to care right away. The economy is still in decent shape and the housing bubble hasn’t burst yet. People generally vote on selfish interests. Nobody cared that George Bush lied about the WMDs in Iraq in the 2004 election because the economy was good. In 2008, when the economy declined, the Republicans got destroyed.

    Stephen Harper will be the most hated man in Canadian history at the end of it all. I have very little doubt about that. I just hope that end comes sooner rather than later and that he doesn’t bring the country down with him like George W. Bush did. Stephen Harper has an extreme hidden agenda and hopefully this scandal helps us get rid of him before he gets to implement most of it.

  3. kenzo's says:

    Just read John Ibbitson who offers up a stunningly lame-o anti-conspiracy theory: there wasn’t a conspiracy to do it from on high because it would be a stupid thing to do and they (ie, Guy Giorno and PMSH), are not stupid. And they wouldn’t now lie about it because politicians get caught when they lie. “Neither of these men would take that risk”. A very stupid statement from a guy (Ibbitson) who is likely not stupid. He does go on to qualify himself for the rest of the article (how terrible and serious what happened, blah blah).

    Of course, smart people (if indeed they are,) do mind bogglingly stupid things on a extremely frequent basis. Seems there are other things at play in life: greed, fear, blind ambition, arrogance, ruthlessness, amorality, immorality, hubris, pathos, addictions, etc. They all trump smart with great regularity. Read a little history or better, look in the mirror.

    I predict senior CPC hacks (ie Giorno today on CTV) are going to float this canard around town- “Nobody in his right mind running a campaign would have done that,” he said. His variation on the -‘we couldn’t have done this because we ain’t that stupid’- theme.

    Yeah, right.

  4. kitte says:

    One, there is no evidence that the Conservative party took part in the Robo-call affair. Two, there are few ridings in which Conservative victory is in doubt. Three, in any event, the overall federal election result is beyond question. – Gus Van Harten

    It was Liberals calling Conservatives. Del Mastro

    Stephen Harper: “This is a typical Liberal tactic. Where is the beef? Where is the proof?”

    Peter Van Loan said those making the calls in the Mount Royal riding were “exercising their freedom of speech.”

    The Conservative party can say “it has no role in this” -Harper

    Misleading robocalls in an Ontario town are an isolated case -Doug Finley

    Doug Finley, says the case of the strange calls has been blown out of proportion.

    A former employee of the RMG call centre in Thunder Bay told CBC earlier this week that some staff were poorly trained and that could be one reason voters may have been given false information about polling station locations.

    Conservatives accused the Liberals and NDP of being sore losers.

  5. J.A. says:

    Even some political journalists e.g. On CTV Question Period show, where Guy Giorno got top billing, were casting doubt on the quality of the “proof” offered that there were misdirecting phone calls.
    There will be sworn affidavits….what kind of proofy proof do they want? Why all this talk of proof?
    Guy Giorno said his hands are clean. If that’s supposed to be proof of anything, why isn’t my word equally valid?

  6. ritalin boy says:


    It’s going to be hard to top your own offering: the dog ate my election.

  7. GPAlta says:

    I know you’ve already got this, and that someone else’s posting of it is probably already pending, but http://www.ipolitics.ca/2012/02/29/papers-pundits-a-growing-file-on-the-robocalls/
    has lots of perspectives including misguided cons

  8. Cowtown Kid says:


    Blame the young political staffers.

    “He (Harper) would not have wanted to attain power by anything but legitimate and appropriate means. His (Harper’s) morality – as well as his love of fair competition – would demand no less.
    … On the Hill, they are referred to as “the kids.” Good government needs not just youthful exuberance, but the sound political prudence that only a sufficient level of maturity can bring. The robocall controversy bears all the symptoms of poor or non-existent political judgment.”
    David Krayden is the executive director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Studies

  9. Let me be perfectly clear…

    repost from Kristen–T – 10:36 AM on March 10, 2011 – I want to be kind this morning and give out the Conservative response for them.

    1. These are all lies.

    2. Kevin Page has no credibility.

    3. Stephen Harper and Peter Mackay are the only ones who ever tell the truth.

    4. If you question the Government you are a Taliban supporter.

    5. If you question this jet purchase you hate the military.

    6. These fighter jets are needed to stop the Russians from invading Canada.

    7. It’s all the Liberals fault.

    8. Wash, rinse and repet ad nauseam.


  10. Success == ABOH (All Because of Harper)

    Failure == TLDI (The Liberals Did It)
    WNWTTL (We’re No Worse Than The Liberals)
    IDH (It Didn’t Happen)
    WDKAI (We Didn’t Know About It)
    ACSDI (A Civil Servant Did It)
    SAWFTMTGA (Stonewall And Wait For The Media To Go Away)

    And the choice is just in … (Drum Roll please)

    The Government has selected ACSDI!

    Wonderful choice. I’m sure the billionaire owned mass media will now run with it.


  11. frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

    Probably have this already……http://ezralevant.com/2012/02/robocalls-not-robocop.html…..around 10:20 Ezra get more smarmy than usual(if thats possible)……..

  12. Judy Kendle says:

    Check out CBC Manitoba: video clip of Shelley Glover suggesting that all parties use robocalls – it’s the way politics is done these days, everybody’s doing it, etc, etc.

  13. que sera sera says:

    “If robo-calls were meant to keep voters away, they failed miserably”

    Globe & Mail – http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/if-robo-calls-were-meant-to-keep-voters-away-they-failed-miserably/article2358726/

    • T Sullivan says:

      Voter suppression is only one side of a coin. The “get out the vote” (GOTV) campaign has one side of increasing one’s supporters at the polls but identifying supporters, tracking if they vote, and encouraging them to vote on election day by offering rides, baby sitters, etc.

      The other side of the coin, seldom used in my experience during campaigns, and I’ve not seen illegal it done illegally, is suppression. Keep on Liberal away from the polls is like getting one Conservative to the polls.

      So vote count is not necessarily measure of failure of suppression. It is one side of a two-sided coin. Conservative GOTV might have been wonderfully sucessful. At issue is who, if anyone, conducted the other side of the campaign, and if so, how successful was that. We don’t know that the turnout would not have been even HIGHER had the robocalls not been made.

      The 2011 turnout is still lowe than traditional turnout.

  14. Warren says:

    That’s what you do, Gord. Fill your boots.

    • que sera sera says:

      Or how about including a list of the unfounded/unproven accusations that have been made about Canadians by Conservative Cabinet Ministers?

  15. Ted B says:

    No one has listed the other biggie: Harper-style SLAPP lawsuits against politicians in an effort to silence them, as being done by RackNine against Martin.

    • Warren says:

      For sure. But I’m looking at excuses, not tactics. I’ll write about tactics this weekend!

      • Ted B says:

        As noted in my second comment (posted at the same time), I agree. But underneath the tactic is a claim, backed by the potential financial punishment, that all allogations are false, nothing to see here.

    • Ted B says:

      More of a tactic than an excuse, of course, but still, Harper used the same tactic very effectively against the Liberals when the Cadman “financial consideration” scandal came out. The scandal quickly died.

  16. T Sullivan says:

    Tom Flannigan said the CIMS cannot be used for bad, only for good.

    But former Conservative campaign manager Tom Flanagan, described by a Tory campaign veteran as “the godfather of CIMS,” says his cherished database is getting a bad rap.

    “It’s completely non-sinister,” said Mr. Flanagan, who explained the uses and limits of a database that is now nearly 10 years old.

    I found a link from late Feb but I thought I read this more recently, like on the weekend. Anyhoo, it turns out the Cons CANNOT have done it because their data base does only good and tracks only Conservatives.


  17. MikeM says:

    One contradiction struck me:

    Pat Davidson’s campaign manager, Mike Hanki said:

    “As far as (identifying) polling (locations), we don’t do that because to me, that would be a waste of our funds because that’s always provided by Elections Canada in the paper.”

    ( http://www.theobserver.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3484340 )

    But … Del Mastro said “we told out voters about polling changes and the Liberals should have been doing that too.” ( David Akin’s Dailybrief feb 27/12 )

  18. Attack! says:

    Here’s latest c/o your colleague David Akin: it’s Election Canada’s fault (acc. to CPC MP Maurice Vellacott):


  19. Attack! says:

    And the _very_ latest, c/o faithful servant Ivison: for the misleading robocalls:

    “rogue telemarketing firms” the CPC have contracted – but not RMG – and not at the CPC’s behest, with the unstated suggestion being that they were bought off by some other party (s) to betray their biggest customer?!


  20. DG says:

    Well, let’s not forget the whole “look over here!” tactic, trying to distract attention from everything else with minor nonsense like Vikileaks etc.

    Not to mention the whole “let Elections Canada do its job”, as if, a public debate has no place in a democracy and it would be some sort of obstruction to appointed bureaucrats if the people started talking about it. Really, let’s have Gomery do *his* job. Or better yet, a full on judicial inquiry. I can’t think of a better reason to have one, can you?

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