10.29.2013 08:19 AM

Robocalls: a whole lot of robo-nothing

Every morning, I go on National Newswatch, the best (and most ethical) news aggregator around.  Saw my column there, and saw a nothing story about the long-forgotten Robocall saga.

Being an Irish Catholic, and therefore always guilty, it got me thinking.  Here I am, today, saying in my Sun column that the Senate scandal could hasten the end of the Harper regime.  Haven’t I, you know, predicted their end before?

Well, yes, I have.  So did everyone else, too.

The Robocall “scandal” was the Mother Of All Scandals, me and others said.  It wasn’t, Conservatives said.  It was mainly just the work of one or two guys in one riding, they said.

Who was right? Well, it’s been a couple of years, and the robocall scandal still hasn’t toppled the Harper government. And, I note with reluctance, there have been no arrests of dozens of high-level Conservatives in ridings across Canada.

I plan to write more about this, for Sunday’s paper.  But, if I’m being honest with myself, I have to admit this much: the robocall scandal really wasn’t.

I will now go say a few Hail Marys and a Glory Be.  God bless.


  1. smelter rat says:

    Not sure the final chapter has been written on this one yet, but the Harper cuts to EC haven’t helped the process, that’s for sure.

  2. Matt says:

    The whole story was started by Glen McGregor. That should hve been a clue to people there wasn’t a lot to it.

    He should be writing for the National Enquirer.

  3. LouisePolland says:

    If I were you, I’d put the Mea Culpas aside for awhile.(The Hail Marys can always be put in a prayer bank for–you know–your next crime.) It took at least two-and-a-half years from the Watergate break-in to “what did you know and when did you know it” to start emanating from our teevees. And that was in a country where things moved fairly quickly–not the glacial pace of Elections Canada (soon we will know all of the malefactors of the 2008 election!!!)

    What Watergate had was a John Dean–someone high-up, credible, and who was willing to spill the beans. When our version of such comes forward, things will start moving a lot faster. (But fear has to smoke them out).

    Besides, this is Canada, not California. Everything is years behind here.

    Bernadine Hall

    • Ottawa Civil Servant says:

      Senator, not a cabinet officer, gets caught over-expensing, and when the PM orders “Pay it back” it becomes Watergate?

      I agree that everying is years behind, here: Gagliano never spent a day in jail and all that sponsorship money just evaporated.

      Sorry, but I am sick of the overuse of “scandal,” “-gate” and “threat to democracy” claims, when, admittedly, it isn’t perfect, but it’s a mile better than any other place (US, UK, France, ITALY) and any other time (going all the way back to Sir John A.)

      • Attack! says:

        this thread is about robocalls, not Duffy et al.; way to pay attention to the details, civil servant. Confidence inspiring.

  4. Francesca says:

    I’m Catholic and I don’t feel guilty. Why should you?

  5. J.W. says:

    I assume cheating in elections can become addictive and start to expand once you know you can get away with it.

  6. .. Not to worry .. With the incredible shrinking PM riding ass backwards on a donkey, into cowtown, backed by Arthur Hamiltons sagebrush council, there will be blood. I forgive your guilt and for your penance, consider all those bloodied Harper Party novitiates and evangels that may seek solace, blessing or stern leadership from Calgary’s practitioners of the worlds oldest profession.. There now..

  7. deb s says:

    Harper is good at covering his tracks….the robocalls scandal…should have toppled his govt. But lets all pray this senate coverup does the job, lol. I dont think catholic jesus would like harper very much, he doesnt feel guilt at all for any of his transgressions.

  8. Kaplan says:

    I look at it this way:

    The robocall issue, the in and out scandal, procurement and military spending, the census stuff – all the attention and outcry they (rightly) earned only served to galvanize the Harper base.

    I truly suspect this senate spending scandal may well do the opposite – and the consequences will not be favorable to Harper.

  9. MgS says:

    I think you may be forgetting the extent to which Harper has gone to cover this up. Not only has the party destroyed evidence (the access logs for CIMS), but Harper has subsequently turned around and hobbled the ability of Elections Canada to investigate this, among other, irregularities during the last election.

    Has Harper buried it? Sort of. He has managed to push it into the background, but it is far from dead. Yes, there are charges pending against one young campaign worker, but I don’t think anybody believes that he is the sole actor in this scheme.

    Ironically, as the dishonesty of the Harperites comes more apparent with the Duffy/Wallin/Brazeau mess, it will make the PMs claims about the robocalls issues all the more incredible.

  10. Kev says:

    Robocalls is just the tip of a very large win-at-any-cost law-be-damned scandal at the CPC.

    Penashue’s finances were another. He was by no means the only one. Del Mastro’s scam(s) are another. CPC candidates were openly “treating” as well, like 30s era Duplessis.

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