03.21.2012 06:47 AM

Your March 21 Robocon

The Speaker of the House of Commons, who was in a conflict of interest in the robocall scandal that targeted Irwin Cotler, is now in a conflict of interest in Robocon. He should resign.


  1. Pomojen says:

    Would love to see him do something ethical, like resign.

    Found this while procrastinating this morning: http://worthwhile.typepad.com/robocalls.pdf
    Her cv says she is pretty smart too.

    Found it here: tumblr.co/Z6NsbylJ_yjE
    Gives my imagination something to chew on today!

  2. Philippe says:

    That scumbag shouldn’t be in that position.

  3. Tdotlib says:

    My letter to Mr. Scheer:

    Mr. Scheer,

    It is with great urgency that I write you today to express my deep concern that you do not understand the gravity of you current conflict of interest as Speaker of the House in ruling on various issues associated with the Elections Canada investigation in to the alleged misinformation campaign that took place during the 2011 general election.

    I can understand that in your short time as Speaker you may not yet have come to terms with the fact that your partisan life is over as long as you occupy that seat. Your role as the Speaker is to ensure the proper functioning of the House of Commons for all parties and hence, all Canadians, including me. Your recent rulings on the Irwin Cotler robocall issue and the out-of-order rulings on questions posed by non-governmental MPs regarding the Elections Canada investigation are clearly areas where you should have recused yourself and referred the matter to one of your Deputy Speakers.

    I would also request that as Speaker you hold the government to account during Question Period to provide direct answers to direct questions. It is not becoming of your position to allow for the government to obfuscate and misdirect without so much as a cursory rebuke from your Chair.

    I believe that you are not fit to occupy the role of Speaker of the House and I request your immediate resignation. You have brought dishonor to the most honorable role that we have in our parliamentary system.

    Shame on you sir.

  4. Jim Cressman says:

    The Speaker fits right in with the rest of the Harper government. It’s onebig total conflct of interest — conflict with the best interestsif Canadians.

  5. bluegreenblogger says:

    I must say I do not like the flimsy implications implicit in this post. I call myself a `blue`green in part because I have a healthy respect for the Institutions and traditions of our Parliament. The transfer of a piddling amount of money to Guelph has nothing to do with the impartiality of the speaker, and imho constitutes no conflict of interest. I detest the CPC for their utter disregard for the traditions of Parliament, and for their reckless spending habits. You simply cannot disparge the CPC for prorogation, contempt of parliament, and their numerous breaches from one side of your mouth, whilst from the other you make a poorly supported claim of bias against the speaker. It is an unwritten tradition that the Speaker is impartial, but it is part of the glue that might one day allow Parliament to become a functional deliberative body again.

    By all means, come back with any real evidence that the speaker is exhibiting bias or a conflict of interest, and I shall howl for his scalp in chorus with you, but not this time.

    • The Doctor says:

      I agree. This does not scream out conflict of interest to me.

    • Attack! says:

      Hmm… Scheer’s own campaign hired two of the three main companies that have been mentioned in association with the two types of misleading and abusive calls (Campaign Research & RMG; though no apparent connection to Rack9).*

      He has a personal connection to the candidate at the centre of it all,

      and made an unrestricted loan to his campaign**…

      ..and thus may have actually unwittingly funded the Pierre Poutine calls emanating from Guelph himself!

      if they were furtively embedded in that campaign’s expenses somehow (they did not declare the ones they ADMIT to having made, which were channeled via a stipend to their volunteer Andrew Prescott***).

      And now he’s increasingly following the CPC House Leader Peter Van Loan’s ‘advice’ that he rule robo-related q’s out of order as ‘not related to the administration of government business’****

      – even though the logical conclusion of them may be that this particular government has no business being the administrators now, if they cheated to get there.

      And you don’t see any conflict of interest in his continuing to make any rulings on this issue?!

      * http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2011/12/14/andrew-scheer-campaign-research-firm-cotler-phone_n_1149449.html


      & see Kady’s ‘RMG (Responsive Marketing Group) clients – 2011 election : Sheet1’ table at http://bit.ly/wVS8x6

      ** (“The Speaker’s spokeswoman said Mr. Scheer, who sits on the board of his Saskatchewan riding association, wanted to help out Mr. Burke. “He says that the candidate [Burke] was originally from Regina. His mother still lives in the riding. He has volunteered for Scheer before,” Heather Bradley said.”)

      *** ‘Top aide on Guelph Tory campaign defends use of RackNine to make robocalls’ http://bit.ly/zubs6w & http://bit.ly/xA7JdK

      **** http://thechronicleherald.ca/canada/71659-speakers-rulings-puzzle-liberals

      • bluegreenblogger says:

        @Attack! Put all your critiques together and they do not add up to much. I had occasion last week to go through the campaign returns for about 108 CPC Campaigns. I only saw expenses for perhaps 4 different voter contact companies, and either Campaign Research, and RMG figured prominently in most of them. You might as well say that both Scheer and Burke use Bell Canada for their cell phones, therefore they are linked. His unlimited loan was actually for $3000. So far, I haven;`t seen anything here to justify poisoning the well further with.

        • Attack! says:

          This defending too much does not serve you well.

          It’s now well-known that the vote suppression MO was to:

          1) use one of the few CPC-approved (and so common to most, so your discounting that is hardly exculpatory) vendors for live calls to ID voter intention,

          2) enter that into CIMS with the smiley or frowny face code, then — it is strongly suspected —

          3) draw from a selection of the non-CPC supporter lists from CIMS (sometimes narrowing that further to those just between 63 and 65, who may’ve been deemed to be very likely to vote but unlikely to be using the internet at home to look up Elections Canada’s number to double check, or to Google if there were any other suspicious calls being reported in the news at the time [there were])… to make either live harassment calls or robo or even live misdirect calls.

          And as you DO know full well, the robo calls are quite cheap – on the order of $300 to $500 to do a batch of about 5,000 numbers.

          The phone records they released to Ivison for Pierre Poutine’s records were for just over 5,000 numbers.

          And you should have known that I knew that, and that it was a $3,000 loan and thus that my point – which I did state explicitly – was…

          it literally could have been Scheer’s money which paid for the rogue robo calls that someone in this financially struggling Guelph campaign may have made in the last hours of the election — which suggests he may have unwittingly aided and abetted it, or at least enabled it, does it not?

          That certainly APPEARS to be a very real possibility, and even the appearance of a conflict of interest should suffice to recuse oneself from cases where one’s own reputation is at play depending on the full facts and outcome of the case.

          In sum:

          If the misdirect robocalls WERE charged to the Guelph campaign (and as you know, even the legitimate ones they admit to making were not) and they would not have been able to afford them without the timely intervention of Scheer’s unrestricted loan, then: Scheer paid for the robocalls.

          How / why can you slough that off so easily & readily!?

  6. Harith says:

    He’s also a terrible speaker with no sense of decorum. I cringed whenever I saw him during question periods on CPAC.

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