03.01.2012 07:42 AM

The dog ate my election

The Harper Government™ “categorically” played no role in defrauding voters says, er, Harper.

Forget about the Conservative staffer they fired. Forget about the Conservative firm that was hit with an RCMP search warrant a few days ago. Forget about the Conservative firm facing Elections Canada questions next week. Forget about the 41 ridings now linked to Conservative electoral fraud. Forget about all that.

We didn’t do it, says the leader of the Conservative Party.

Well, I’d say that clears up the matter, wouldn’t you? Nothing to see here, move along.

Gotcha.

39 Comments

  1. Welby says:

    I love the fact that Senator Doug Finley, said his party “does not engage in dirty tricks.” this from the same guy who was convicted ot the in and out scandal and I know someone who was very close to that situation

    • Warren says:

      He wasn’t convicted personally. The party was, as I recall.

      • Ted B says:

        As part of the plea bargain, that’s right. But he was personally charged. An important difference that should always be made, indeed, but that doesn’t mean his hands are clean or that he never engages in dirty tricks.

  2. Marc L says:

    From Lawrence Martin — hardly a freind of the Conservatives — in this morning’s G&M.
    “The robo-call jury is still out. The story might be overblown. It’s not Robogate unless more evidence is forthcoming.” Exactly.
    I’m not defending the Conservatives. What some of them have done is nothing short of criminal and whoever is responsible should be proscecuted to the full extent of the law. Nor do I like Harper`s response, which is typical — deny that there is a potential problem and hope it will go away. But there is no evidence that this was orchestrated at the highest levels of the party, nor is there any evidence that this goes beyond a few ridings. Suspicion and hearsay “uncovered” by opposition parties is not what I would consider as reliable evidence. Bob Rae’s statement impliying that Elections Canada is not competent to conduct the investigation, and therefore, that it is up to the Liberal party to do so is just laughable. To listen to people posting here over the past few days, one would believe that the case is solved and closed: not only is this organized by the Conservative Party at the highest level but Harper-son-of-Satan himself was running the show. Liberals just whipping themselves into a frenzy, ecstatic that they may have finally found a scandal that will propel them back into power. Hey, why bother with an actual program with actual policies when you can find a good scandal.
    As Chrétien said during the sponsorship scandal, call in the police and throw those responsible in jail. Let the investigation by the RCMP and Elections Canada run its course. And judge on the basis of facts, not your power-hungry fantasies.

    • smelter rat says:

      The number of ridings affected is growing every day, anywhere from 42 – 61 depending on where you read. With the new RCMP Commissioner effectively in Harper’s back pocket I don’t expect much from them. Perhaps an independent commission of inquiry is the only way to go. After all, democracy is at stake.

      • Marc L says:

        The fact that the number of risings is growing means nothing because hearsay coming from the opposition parties does not constitute evidence. I would not put any more credibility in that than I would put in Harper’s insinuation that there is nothing worth investigating. Your comment on the RCMP is insulting to that police force. Blind obtuse partisanship…

    • sharonapple88 says:

      From Lawrence Martin — hardly a freind of the Conservatives — in this morning’s G&M.
      “The robo-call jury is still out. The story might be overblown. It’s not Robogate unless more evidence is forthcoming.” Exactly.

      Oh yes read that this morning. Martin starts out with that and then launches into:

      “What fuels suspicion, however, is the trend line of controversial actions and allegations of dirty tricks by this government. That’s why it’s not so easy to believe Conservative protests of innocence in the robo-calling scandal. In the House of Commons on Wednesday, Stephen Harper, a hands-on prime minister with a history of warring with Elections Canada, dismissed the affair as “a smear campaign” by sore losers.”

      And then it moves to the “curious case of Saanich-Gulf Islands.”

      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/lawrence-martin/the-curious-case-of-saanich-gulf-islands/article2354592/

      Ralph Klein once said about the mad cow controversy in Alberta that the rancher should have shot, shoveled and shut-up, and you’ve got the feeling the Conservatives would love to do the same with this. The problem is that they have a certain history that makes people not trust them. Plus, it doesn’t help that the apparent fall guy, Mike Sona, is declaring his innocence.

      • Marc L says:

        Yes, and I agree with that second paragraph as well. But that is not my point. My point is that the opposition parties are acting as if the conclusion is obvious. But it’s not.

        • smelter rat says:

          As are the Conservatives.

        • sharonapple88 says:

          The opposition might throw more heat than light on the situation, but I don’t think the Conservatives help themselves when they do things like this: quote the Election Commissioner, but leave out the slightly incriminating parts.

          http://www2.macleans.ca/2012/03/01/what-the-election-commissioner-said/

          • sharonapple88 says:

            Side note: I hope they decide to investigate those harassing fake Liberal calls. I say this for all of us. Because you know if they shrug this off, all the parties are going to be using this. We’re going to be getting harassing calls from the NDP, Conservative, Liberals, Bloc, and maybe even the Green Party. It’ll be a competition to see who could annoy us the most.

          • Warren says:

            But they have no legal basis for doing that. If there was a threat communicated, or an expression of hate, then the police can investigate. But calls that didn’t wilfully communicate misinformation designed to impede the democratic process are beyond the scope of what we’re talking about.

          • sharonapple88 says:

            All right. (Putting down my tin foil hat.)

    • Ottawacon says:

      The very likely scenario here is that the national campaign leadership did not know anything about it (hence the odd targeting) but that CIMS data from above the riding level was used, implying some level of collaboration from regional-national campaign staff. It is already pretty clear that the designated fall guy is not going to wash, despite MacKay’s efforts to push back under the bus. At some point it will be a question of how many middle level guys need to get thrown under before that won’t wash either – at some point up the hierarchy, senior figures have to take full responsibility for the illegal actions of their subordinates.

      • Marc L says:

        Agree. I frankly do not believe that the national campaign leadership is involved in this either, but that doesn’t mean senior officials in the party shopuld not be held to account.

        • dave says:

          …or, it was organized so that there is no evidence of links with higher ups. (sort of like Henry II and those knights he sent after Becket…)

          • Marc L says:

            I find that unlikely, because it looks like a mess. Ok, so you can answer that it was made to look like a mess so higher-ups would not be implicated. But that’s just way beyond my wild conspiracy theory threshold.

          • Ottawacon says:

            dave, I think if that had been done, we may or may not have seen the same targeting of ridings (misdirection), but we definitely would not have seen an Edmonton Conservative-linked call centre that was also doing legitimate work for the Conservative campaign used. One of those North Dakota shops would have been out of reach for Election Canada, and we would never even have known about Pierre Poutine. That error is going to drive this entire story in the end.

  3. que sera sera says:

    On Planet Conservative, Harper’s reality check just bounced.

  4. Michel says:

    Between the misleading robocalls, the deceptive live calls and the newly revealed in-and-out part deux (as reported in Le Devoir), there’s more than ample reason for a commission to look into the matter. If there’s no scandal here and it’s all a big smearing campaign by the opposition, the CPC should look forward to clearing its name.

    Right?

  5. Yold Badger says:

    Stephen Harper is starting to sound like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:

    “In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your country,”

    Next week, we start building our own nuclear weapons to defend against unreported terrorists

  6. Ted B says:

    So now we have a party that claims everythign is all and completely alright as long as it isn’t fully illegal.

    Such a long way from the party that once claimed “Bend the rules, you will be punished; break the law, you will be charged; abuse the public trust, you will go to prison.”

    Still waiting for the punishment for the election fraud with this “Robocon” scandal, the Cadman “financial consideration”, the in-and-out convictions, the falsification of campaign expense returns and receipts, the illegal claim for campaign expense refunds, the Irwin Cotler dirty tricks, the “bending” of prorogation rules to avoid accountability, the ignoring of subpoenas, the misuse of border security funds for a slush fund in Clement’s riding, etc etc etc

  7. Kim Leaman says:

    Besides I think that there are 34,000,000 concerned parties here. Good to see you digging so deep. lol!

  8. GPAlta says:

    The Conservatives could try to be a little more discreet when testing messages on this site, as the parties reading them here are not always uninvolved in the response from the Liberals. Instead of posting here so much, they might as well just put out a press release “we’re thinking of shifting the message to ‘let the courts do their jobs’, what do you think?”

    If the Conservatives really believe that no one would be so gullible as to believe paid liars impersonating someone else over the phone, why would they have so many paid liars impersonating someone else in every comments section in Canada.

    It is no stretch whatsoever for anyone who has ever done a project in any not-for-profit context to believe that the level of collaboration, and the approvals of management for use of funds required to pull off this violation must go very high up. How do rogue staffers get tens of thousands of dollars or more without telling anyone what it is for? Why do rogue staffers care to risk their own freedom for the party’s sole interest? If rogue staffers are so immoral and have such unfettered access to money, why wouldn’t they just steal it?

    It is not hysterical at all to point out the obvious. There were meetings about this. Someone made a decision to go ahead. Everyone else in the room said “it’s his decision.” It simply wouldn’t have happened without someone’s authority. That someone had to be in the national campaign because this is a national phenomenon with the bills (according reports of one campaign) going to the national campaign. Someone there saw the invoice, someone there received authorization to pay it. It is not hysteria to see this as obvious, only someone who is paid not to see it as obvious would see it any other way.

  9. T Sullivan says:

    If you are familiar with the scene from Steve Martin’s *The Jerk*, he was a carnival barker. He announced to all who could hear that any prize could be won, then narrowed the possible selection to a very tiny prize.

    Picture Harper saying that none of the Conservative campaing was involved in dirty tricks / voter supression, then consider that he narrows down the options to include only the “National campaign workers … in Ottawa … in the war room … on Lancaster.”

  10. Philippe says:

    Isn’t that a risky statement from the PM? If an investigation concludes that his party was indeed behind this, doesn’t that statement ensure he’s 100% toast?

    • Ted B says:

      That is his MO though, from the beggining: the bigger the lie, the more likely the people will believe it.

      And for precisely the reason you state. Reasonable, non-partisan people who do not pay much attention to Ottawa will reasonably say: no one would say that unless they really had no shadow of a doubt about its veracity.

      Frankly, that’s how Bush hoodwinked us all on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Surely, he would not put his own political neck out that far unless it was true!

      To understand these people, you need to be able to think as they do.

      And then take a long long hot shower.

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