11.19.2012 09:21 PM

In Tuesday’s Sun: robocalls redux

Robocalls, the controversy thought forgotten by many hopeful Conservatives, is back.

With the ruling party preoccupied with byelections in Durham, Victoria and Calgary, the timing could be deadly. As electors in Ontario, B.C. and Alberta reflect on their choices in the Nov. 26 vote, headlines about the scandal — carrying with them squalid allegations about how Cons conned their way to majority control — may have seriously unhelpful consequences for Stephen Harper’s party.

In Calgary, in particular, the latest developments have left unhappy Conservatives even unhappier. Calgary Centre is ground zero for modern Canadian conservativism.

There, a gormless Conservative candidate — who has dodged debates and the media, while actually calling our largest trading partner “a basket case” — is teetering on the edge of a humiliating defeat.

The news about the robocalls controversy, long dormant, is happening on multiple fronts. Elections Canada has now announced its intention to probe the practice.

The federal elections body plans to develop a discussion paper on robocalling, as well as a national survey “to gather insights into Canadians’ opinions and attitudes regarding political parties’ and candidates’ practice in communicating with electors.” (We’ll save them some money: Voters don’t like it.)


  1. Cynical says:

    Actually, I am saying robocalls should be illegal. They’re a plague on us all. I don’t give a rat’s ass whether it is our guys, their guys, legit or not. Outlaw them and hunt down and kill anyone who contracts for them.

  2. J.A. says:

    I agree with WK that robocalls are a plague in general. The CRTC has already far too many loopholes (if a business can claim you have done business with them previously) and exceptions (political parties, polling) to the Do Not Call Registry. if a consumer wants no marketing phone calls, there should be NO exceptions.
    On May first 2011 I got a robocall, unidentified as to source, that made a false statement about the Liberal candidate in my riding and about Liberal policy. I filed a complaint a few days later with EC, but should have filed it with CRTC I think. EC is only investigating calls sending voters to the wrong polling station. Many other dirty tricks type of robocalls were made, by all political parties it seems.

    • Graham says:

      And that is different from the Liberals lying about CPC policy for the last 8 years how?

      Remember the “hidden agenda”?

      Remember the “tanks in out streets” Liberal campaign ad?

      Remember Harper will ban abortion and gay marriage?

      ALL parties do it.

      PS – EC is investigating ALL complaints including alleged polling station misdirection and things like people complaining they were called late at night, early in the morning, on the Sabbath ect.

      • Tim Sullivan says:

        Disputes over policy is a democratic institution. The Liberals were correct about the military buildup, if only metaphorically. I’ve had enough of the War of 1812 BULLSHIT at an expense I would have rather gone to people, the deficit or Kevin Page.

        Maybe scarring up the people about abortion and gay marriage was a good move for the Liberals, from a policy front but not on a political front. I know there are Conservative MPs running around Canada, and some speaking in Knights of Columbus halls espousing the merits of a CPC government, stating baby-steps, just wait, we’ll get there, GIVE US MONEY. So, they have it both ways. They’ve fooled the pro-abortion group into thinking they are not going to legislate it, and they’ve fooled the pro-life set into thinking it is just a matter of time.

        A winner politically.

        Those of us how prefer honesty, however, are left wanting.

        • Tim Sullivan says:

          Tulk disappears, we get JamesHalifax. He disappears, we get Poitras or whatever for a posting or 2. Now we have a Graham.

          I never see Clark Kent and Superman in the same room, either.

          • Jason King says:

            “I never see Clark Kent and Superman in the same room, either.”

            Funny I was thinking the same thing about Polkaroo and the male host of Polka Dot Door

  3. DJ says:

    I have an inkling that the federal Conservatives are gathering baggage that is finally going to start leaving a very bad taste in Canadians’ mouths–even among their base. Honestly, some of them just don’t seem like very nice people.

  4. Michael says:

    Interesting conflation. Take a story about about an illegal act, misdirecting voters to the wrong polling station, done through the use of robocall, throw in a line about your opponents. They also use robocalls, but for a legal purpose, to get information out. Hopefully your reader won’t notice your slight of hand, but will instead link in his moind your opponents with the illegal act.

    • Cynical says:

      Already done. Didn’t need Warren for that,
      Voter suppression = Conservatives.
      They always follow the Republicans, just a little late.

      end of story

  5. Graham says:

    Warren, you leave out some important facts from your story:

    1) You say 1,400 complaints (according to other sources, it’s “around 1,000 from 234 ridings”) were received by EC. What you fail to mention is that EC received more than 34,000 after this story “broke”. Of course, over 32,500 of them were FAKE complaints, ironically sent in via AUTOMATED emails from ultra left leaning groups like Avaaz.org and leadnow.ca, aided by their left leaning media friends.

    2) We have NO IDEA how many of those 1,400 “complaints” received by Elections Canada are actually about polling station changes or things like people received the calls at dinner time.

    3) The ONLY person found guilty of placing misleading robocalls is in fact the Liberal MP from Guelph.

    WHOEVER placed a misleading polling station change call must be held responsible, no doubt, but let’s let EC finish their investigation.

    • Tim Sullivan says:

      Libs were not punished for misleading robocalls. It was due to the lack of attribution. It was a violation of CRTC rules, not election rules.

      So, Graham, WRONG you are about the Liberals.

      What’s your view about election overspending and convictions against the CPC, which is an actual offense in law and related to illegal election activities?

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