Conservative election subversion #9 (robofraud robocalls)

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gzap
Conservative election subversion #9 (robofraud robocalls)
Issues Pages: 
gzap

We've been following three ongoing actions, and here are the latest updates:

Etobicoke Centre:

CBC is reporting that Elections Canada has finally found reports on 44 of the disputed votes, which may substantially effect Borys Wrzesnewskyj's case.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/07/05/pol-etobicoke-centre-op...

Council of Canadians case:

The prothonotary is expected to rule on whether the case goes to court on Monday, July 9th.

 

Dean Del Mastro:

Still in office, now with allegations of cheating on financing, using his cousin to funnel funds and publicly lying about knowing about the investigation. Though the only reports in major media seem to be that the investigation is upsetting his family.

 

contrarianna

Del Mastro the Victim.

Quote:
Elections Canada proper to caution Del Mastro that everything he says to them might be used in court

Glen McGregor, Postmedia News  Jul 6, 2012 – 9:36 AM ET

OTTAWA — Despite Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro’s claim that Elections Canada won’t meet to discuss allegations about his 2008 election finances, investigators are following procedure by insisting on interviewing him only under a legal “caution.”
....
A cautioned statement is one given with a suspect‘s consent and with the warning that anything said could be used in court.

“It’s not a dialogue,” Del Mastro told columnist Kennedy Gordon. “It’s questions without a back-and-forth dialogue. I have to have a process.”

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/07/06/elections-canada-proper-to-cauti...

So, in Del Mastro's mind it is completely unfair that EC be allowed to use what he says.

He believes he should be able to say, as he has in the past, any damn thing he wants along with a guarantee he can't be called on it.
And then, if he happens tells the truth, it can't be used in court.
That would satisfy Del Mastro's definition of "dialogue".

I can hardly wait for the "law and order" Harper government to make The Del Mastro Principle the law for all suspected crimes.
I can just see the discussion in the police station now (cartoon anyone?):
"We picked up a suspect but he says he'd rather not have a cautioned statement, but says he will provide us with all the details of what he did in a "dialogue"."

So why is the press not jumping long and hard all over this absurdity?
Oh yeah:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newspaper_endorsements_in_the_Canadian_federal_election,_2011

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newspaper_endorsements_in_the_Canadian_federal_election,_2008

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newspaper_endorsements_in_the_Canadian_federal_election,_2006

gzap

And the Citizen is reporting that EC is just following proper protocol in allowing only cautioned meetings.

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Elections+Canada+following+proper+proc...

contrarianna

Re: the Etobicoke Centre post.

Elections Canada files last minute motion which appears to aid Con MP Opitz's appeal to stop the overturn of the election results.
EC with its newly reminted former Harper appointee Commissioner has presented new evidence.

From the CBC:

Quote:
Elections Canada has filed a chart with the Supreme Court, showing that 44 of the 52 people whose ballots were discarded due to missing registration certificates are on the National Register of Electors, which means they are Canadian citizens and qualified to vote.
...
But there is a problem. [bold mine]

Although the names and addresses of those 44 voters are redacted in the court document, a code shows that almost half of them did not live in Etobicoke Centre in the month before the election.

It is possible that these voters could have moved into the riding during the election period, but since their registration certificates are missing, there's no proof that they were residents of Etobicoke Centre when they voted.
...
But the motion raises a question about why Elections Canada didn't do this research when Wrzesnewskyj first raised the issue of missing registration certificates....

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2012/07/05/pol-etobicoke-centre-opitz-wzresnewskyj-elections-canada.html

Did EC's last minute intervention draw attention to the latter information, or would that just "complicate" things?

gzap

In further news with Dean Del Mastro, he is now saying he will meet with Elections Canada under a cautioned meeting.

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Liberals+seek+reconvene+committee+Mast...

contrarianna

How much longer are people going to put childish faith in Dereliction Canada (aka Elections Canada) as it blusters and puts on its pacifying show of phony "process"?

From Democracy Watch (includes links to ruling in question and others) :

Quote:
Thursday, July 12, 2012

OTTAWA - Today, Democracy Watch made public what it believes is a legally incorrect ruling by the Commissioner of Canada Elections on a recent complaint.  Democracy Watch received the ruling from the person who filed the complaint.  In the ruling, the Commissioner refused to investigate the complaint based upon a much too narrow and restrictive interpretation of a key measure in the Canada Elections Act that prohibits influence of voters by foreigners.

Given this very flawed recent ruling, Democracy Watch called for a public inquiry into the Commissioner’s enforcement standards and practices from the past 15 years.

The Commissioner also refused to investigate the complaint because “some of the relevant information or persons are not within Canada.”  These were the same excuses that the Commissioner used in 2008 after failing to investigate fully the complaints about a fraudulent election robocall scheme filed by voters in the B.C. riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands.  That failure likely encouraged the people behind the massive fraudulent robocall scheme during the 2011 federal election.

The Commissioner also says in the ruling that “the activity complained of was of very limited duration” – essentially setting a ridiculous enforcement standard that means if what you do to illegally influence voters doesn’t last very long, you will not be prosecuted....

http://dwatch.ca/camp/RelsJuly1212.html

KenS

I dont put any faith in Elections Canada.

I'm open to concrete proposals on alternatives to relying on them to do their job. 'Relying' includes pressuring them. But being as this is a bureaucracy, concrete proposals even for pressure are in order.

Notably, Democracy Watch doesnt rail at them as people are prone to here.

 

Brachina

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2012/07/12/nl-...

More Tory corruption, will it ever end? At what point does the damage the Tories deal to themselves become irrepairable under Harper?

contrarianna

KenS wrote:

I dont put any faith in Elections Canada.

I'm open to concrete proposals on alternatives to relying on them to do their job. 'Relying' includes pressuring them. But being as this is a bureaucracy, concrete proposals even for pressure are in order.

Notably, Democracy Watch doesnt rail at them as people are prone to here.

What? Democracy Watch gives a legally informed assessment of the behaviour of Elections Canada; as Babble is a board of opinions, opinion is what I have given--yet there is no substantial difference in my analysis of EC's actions which precipitate my "railing".

So when you hold up Democracy Watch a figure of sobriety as opposed to my "railing", it obscures the fact that you have been a persistent apologist for EC's behaviour in previous threads--in refutation of the analysis I share with Democracy Watch. I will cite just one example for now:  

KenS wrote:
My read is that EC is very commited to getting to the bottom of this.

Without dredging through all the esoteria of the complex process EC must put into play if they are to pursue a truly adverserial investigation and prosectution, suffice to say they have to be very sure they can win it.

The 'In and Out' scandal was not an easy thing for them to pursue, and they went at it all out until the end.

They obviously decided that there was not enough to go on in the SGI [Saanich-Gulf Islands] case for them to have a crack at winning. The already deep into it In and Out case may even had a lot to do with that. Like, they could only do one vigorous investigation and prosecution right. If they are not going to prosecutorialy investigate than they have to make the final pronouncements they did. Do not assume that means they saw nothing fishy, let alone wanted to sweep it under the rug.

Decidong not to vigorously pursue the SGI case says nothing about EC and this case.

http://rabble.ca/comment/1324526

KenS

I beg to differ that your 'opinion' is just like Democracy Watch's.

And the difference gets back to the question above you didnt answer more than once:

Democracy Watch pressures Democracy Watch to do its job. Where you quoted me, I was talking about the case we had been discussing- and said that in that case, EC is commited to getting to the bottom of it. Show us where Democracy Watch says different.

There is a big difference between pressuring EC, and burning down the house. DW is very clear about what to do instead of waiting around for EC. What you have in mind other than venting your opinion as you seem to put it, I have no idea.

KenS

By the way, it has been all quiet on the Del Mastro front for a week or so. So, maybe there is a resignation coming up?

Or...

He has [or had] that interview with the investigator. The party's lawyer would be there and collecting as much hard information as he can on what the investigators actually have. That may have been a big part of why Del Mastro did the about face about not talking under the 'legal caution': the party is tired of working blind on scraps they can get from the media and what the idiot Del Mastro decides to remember and tell them.

So they will be doing their assessing after that interview... not seriously thinking of cutting Del Mastro loose to limit their losses until after they have all the information thay can get. Looks pretty cut and dried from out here, but they'll be looking for feasible loopholes.

Del Masto would of course be willing to 'stand his ground' on the thinnest of legal cases, but I dont think the party will want to drag this out in court until the next election if there is little chance of them winning.

contrarianna

KenS wrote:

I beg to differ that your 'opinion' is just like Democracy Watch's.

And the difference gets back to the question above you didnt answer more than once:

Democracy Watch pressures Democracy Watch [sic] to do its job. Where you quoted me, I was talking about the case we had been discussing- and said that in that case, EC is commited to getting to the bottom of it. Show us where Democracy Watch says different.

There is a big difference between pressuring EC, and burning down the house. DW is very clear about what to do instead of waiting around for EC. What you have in mind other than venting your opinion as you seem to put it, I have no idea.

Try reading before typing.

Your repeated fabrication that Democracy Watch is trying to "pressure" Elections Canada is not born out by anything.
Democracy Watch clearly has no more faith in Elections Canada being influenced by the logic of justice than I have.

Part of Democracy Watch's repeated commentaries on EC is that the [my particular "railing" words here] arbitrary, imperious and non-transparent operation can only be amended through an outside "Public Inquiry".
Democracy Watch makes this absolutely explicit in its subheading to article I just linked which you supposedly commented on:

Quote:

Ruling means no foreigner will likely ever be prosecuted, and raises questions about enforcement standard being applied in robocall and many other cases

Public inquiry is clearly now needed to disclose and audit rulings on more than 3,000 complaints filed with the Commissioner since 1997 to ensure past enforcement has been proper and effective, and will be in the future 

Contrast that with your comment on my and others suggestion for a public inquiry:

KenS wrote:
...And its an absolutely bone headed idea to explictly throw investigating whether EC is up to the job into the mandate of an enquiry. Let's see, we need them for investigating, but let's alienate them.

Post #31, here:
http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/harpers-black-ops-scandal-robo...

As for the Saanich-Gulf Islands which it closed, not because its resources were stretched thin but because it gave specious reasons for it not being serious that have clearly been used as an internal precedent by EC--as well as a green light for latter robofrauds --as was warned as outcomes by myself, Democracy Watch, and many others. Again, made explicit in the DW post I linked.
 
=====
Now, to the question of what to do.
Whether the Public Inquiry called for by Democracy Watch, myself, and many others, actually will be allowed by the Harper regime is another question. The obvious answer to that question is "NO", but it DOES highlight the pervasive lack of credibility of Elections Canada as it stands. And the knowledge of this is itself mandatory.
Public acceptance of this unpleasant reality has two, limited but necessary, benefits:

1) As EC makes determinations which follow its Saanich-Gulf Islands model (as described by Dem. Watch) , people will be less likely to be placated by the mere dog and pony show that "process has be done". It is absolutely necessary that people not be placated into thinking this lapdog watchdog's determinations represent the checks and balances of a democracy.

2)As the lesson of #1) sinks in, people must realize they cannot "be patient" as EC's subteranean machinations work there way to the surface in an ineffectual fart. Other means, however limited in effect, must be pursued, such as demonstrations and possible legal challenges. Additionally, when elections are held it must be highly publicized by parties and others that there is  no real protection from fraud to be had by this compromized watchdog. Election time warnings given to voters with specifics of the lack of protection and the types of fraud to watch out for must be pervasive. Ideally, the opposition" parties could make a joint news conference explaining the lack of protection and what kinds of fraudulent action to watch for (though getting the multiple parties to agree on anything, even when democracy is at stake, is problematic).

KenS

In terms of what to do and solutions, the issue is much bigger than how ineffectual EC is or is not. As well as a new watchdog, need one with several times greater resources.

Even an elections junkie and someone keen on the principles of democracy like me, that is never going to come to the top of my list of things that get me motivated to work on, given the alternative issues I devote my time to.

It might be different when there is leadership instead of sermons.

Meanwhile, I'll continue to foolishly hope for the best out of what we have got.

gzap

The council of canadians case will proceed. That will move much faster then Elections Canada, but I wonder if they would be called as witnesses.

 

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/07/19/conservatives-lose-bid-to-block-...

gzap

I think Brian-Michel Larue, or unfuckwithable, is about to release his ebook.

Can he have what he says he has?

 

http://unfuckwithable.ca/

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

I just read that page, and it would appear to me that the guy is a total loon. He needs medical attention.

 

contrarianna

LaRue has now been talking this stuff for a long time with little or no product.
That in itself is neither encouraging nor (if he actually had anything) prudent.
The words "put up or shut up come to mind" also, "don't hold your breath".

contrarianna

doublepost

gzap

I've been watching his posts and think there is a reasonable chance he's got what he says he's got. He stopped blogging for about a month since he blogged pictures of boxes of printed material, when he said he'd disappear and write an ebook with all the material. He claims he's tried to send material to the media but nobody would take him seriously or work out a way for him to get credit so he decided to write an ebook. As for the emails and info, I suspec that its quite possible that some pissed of conservative insider leaked him some way into the conservative network. I have no idea about the banking info, it doesn't sound likely unless they were foolish enough to pass that info through emails, which I suppose is possible. 

Del Mastro screwed himself over by pissing off someone he hired to do work he didn't report, I'm sure its possible someone high up was pissed off enough to leak this info. 

And as for what he says he's got, it sounds to me like its very possible that the last election was stolen. We know about the robocalls, calls in  200 ridings don't happen by chance or by some overkeen assistant. You've got to have a program.

madmax

gzap wrote:

I think Brian-Michel Larue, or unfuckwithable, is about to release his ebook.

Can he have what he says he has?

 

http://unfuckwithable.ca/

When it does arrive you will be dissapointed... so until then, be a fish on a hook.

gzap

You might be right, madmax, but I a believe you may not be. There is enough history with this government to make me believe the charges Larue is talking of could be quite legit. As for his knowledge, I admit its a stretch but possible if an insider got as pissed or more pissed as in Del Mastro's trouble.

 

But now I'm having serious worries and doubts about the impartiality of Elections Canada. CBC just posted an article detailing issues with EC's 'additional new information' they found in the Etobicoke Centre case. According to Wrzesnewskyj, a number of the cases of found information on voters was fudged. Voters were found on the elections list and sent to the Supreme Court without telling the Supreme Court that those voters were on the lists but in different ridings, making them illegible to vote in Etobicoke. Also he found that they used similar spellings of handwritten names with the excuse that the writing was hard to read but came up with names that were quite different, straining their credibility.

If Wrzesnewskyj's charges are correct, EC cannot be considered impartial anymore, which makes the work of the Council of Canadians and unfuckwithable much more important.

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/07/24/pol-wrzesnewskyj-opitz-...

 

gzap

And now the post and citizen are reporting that a lawyer representing disgruntled workers for Del Mastro's cousin, who reported that $1000 donations were illegally funnelled through them, tried to call Elections Canada to offer to testify in exchange for immunity from Revenue Canada but that EC was not interested.

I would say that's the correct behaviour, but its only correct if you are not planning on giving the case to the RCMP or relevant authority. If you were, you'd say, 'we can't do that, but these are the people who will be prosecuting'.....

This article gives me the impression that EC may not press charges at all with Del Mastro's cousin, which you'd think they'd be interested in at least checking out if they were passing the Del Mastro case on.

 

That's what it looks like to me, but I'm a political outsider, please correct me if there is a better interpretation.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/07/24/elections-canada-rejects-offer-f...

contrarianna

When the watchdog of Canadian democracy is a toothless lapdog, there is a temptation to believe in the tooth fairy.

And the lapdog-watchdog is behaving true to form as your link indicates:

Quote:

Elections Canada refuses immunity request for donors to Dean Del Mastro
 By Glen McGregor and Stephen Maher, Postmedia News and Ottawa Citizen
....
[Toronto lawyer Allan Kaufman] said he understands investigators can't directly offer immunity but sees no reason why they can't work with federal prosecutors so the witnesses can speak freely.

He spoke to [EC lawyer]Nowack on the phone on Monday and was surprised by her apparent lack of interest in following up the allegations with him.

"I see no indication they're going to do anything," he said. "They're going to do nothing. No immunity. No bringing in the Crown. No interest in anything I have to say."
....
"This woman would do nothing for me. She wouldn't put a toe in the water. She wouldn't even try to talk to me, to elicit more information. There was no interest."

http://www.canada.com/news/Elections+Canada+refuses+immunity+request+don...

Although EC isn't much intersted in talking to the donors themselves, they seem VERY concerned that the donors shouldn't talk to the media. Curious, that.

contrarianna

My question in post #4 as to whether EC's last minute intervention in Etobicoke Centre challenge on behalf of the Cons contained all the relevant information appears to be answered:

Quote:
Did Elections Canada mislead the Supreme Court?
Wrzesnewskyj claims problems with 'new evidence' presented to top court not disclosed
By Terry Milewski, CBC News
Posted: Jul 24, 2012 7:42 PM ET

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/07/24/pol-wrzesnewskyj-opitz-el...

 

 

Brachina

Another Tory scandal

http://m.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/harpers-forme...

I just can't keep up with all of them. We just had one invovling an MP having to return donations. Madness, this is beyond idealogical differences, these people have lost thier marbles.

jerrym

And the list of Harper appointees in trouble just keeps growing. Charlie Angus noted that the Cons only acknowledge their ethical problems after they are caught (and then offer some lame excuse). To appoint a fraudster like Bruce Carson, who Harper admits that he knew had a criminal record, says everything you need to know about his ethics. Here's a list of recent culprits.

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/RCMP+charges+former+Tory+adviser+Bruce+...

"Carson, 66, is charged with one count of fraud on the government, also known as influence peddling, contrary to the Criminal Code...

It subsequently came to light that Carson was hired by the Prime Minister's Office in 2006 despite having a criminal record, which he disclosed at the time. That revelation prompted opposition questions about screening processes inside the PMO. ...

Dean Del Mastro, Harper's parliamentary secretary, has denied allegations by Elections Canada that he exceeded spending limits in the 2008 election campaign and then took steps to cover it up.

Earlier this week, the former campaign manager for federal Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Peter Penashue apologized for mistakes and omissions in paperwork after a review found Penashue's team overspent the legal limit by $4,000.

And Industry Minister Christian Paradis, formerly Canada's minister of public works, was cautioned by the ethics commissioner after he directed bureaucrats in his department to set up meetings in 2009 with two firms in his Quebec riding.

Paradis subsequently acknowledged the commissioner's comments and insisted there was nothing untoward about the meetings.

In all three cases, none of the allegations has been proven in court and no charges have been laid."

Brachina
Brachina

http://m.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/liberal-riding-association-in...

The Tories robocall fraud in countless ridings gets a coverup and protect, yet these guys get nailed and didn't even defraud anyones votes.

When the NDP wins in 2015 we really need to clean out the Tories patronage appointments,,remove the Tory lackeys from offices where they can hurt people and swing things in the Tories favour.

contrarianna

Elections Canada: shill in the Con shell game of "democracy"

Quote:

Elections Canada now comatose
....

http://drdawgsblawg.ca/2012/08/elections-canada-now-comatose.shtml

Brachina

Maynard needs to resign in disgrace, this is our democracy were talking about and EC is comatose? A tragety.

Buddy Kat

I don't think people understand...If Harper makes it to the next election it WILL BE RIGGED...the cons are well on there way to computerized election planning and undermining....this was just the beginning ..When it is found out WHO came in 2nd in those 200 ridings that are being investigated and not being made public and when it is found out WHO should of been the rightful PM....all hell will hopefully break loose.

Remember the national data base for registering unsolicited calls and how they exempted themselves ..then  they followed thru with robocalls ....they do believe the public are as dumb as sticks and quite frankly I'm thinking they may be right. For the most part as long as Canadians are sitting pretty with a soother in their mouths they are easily conned.

It might even be too late ...for if it is being discovered that Harper is NOT the rightful PM ..the expectation of an insurgency might be used as an excuse like the national security excuse to lie ...misinform...hide evidence,etc.

Actually I think it is too late for justice ..we are under a dictatorship already ..the RCMP are under their control ..elections Canada are under their control...CBC is under control...all evidenced by the dragging of feet the heads up warnings and lack of persistence.

New http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zky2bn0Gtyg New

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-QvXax88J8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0eQgUpkJ1Q

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ns8LD5Q8ecc

 

Buddy Kat

doublepost

gzap

Elections Canada is certainly slow, but it appears they are finally looking into calls outside of Guelph. 

At this rate we should have a report almost ready to go in a decade or two.

http://www.leaderpost.com/news/Robocalls+investigation+expands+beyond+Gu...

 

gzap

The court has ruled against the conservatives requests that the council of canadians pay a ridiculously large deposit, and in a nice turn of events has instead ordered them to pay for them.

 

"Having heard the submissions of the parties on costs, and finding that these motions have unnecessarily delayed and encumbered these proceedings, it is further ordered that the costs of these motions shall be paid by the respondent MPs to the applicants, in any event of the cause," she wrote.

 

The case will now proceed in December, I believe.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/10/05/pol-election-challenge-...

 

Doug Woodard

See

Robocall manager starts new life in Kuwait

http://www.canada.com/Manager+campaign+heart+robocall+investigation+star...

Under the rug, or at least they're trying.

This URL doesn't work here though it will from my webmail. If you search on 

"robocall Kuwait" at

http://www.canada.com 

the story will come up.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

This is a test for the electoral process.  A clear message needs to be sent that there are major consequences for the parties involved otherwise this will become the new norm and next election they will be not backing off but taking the game up a notch.  I have fought elections in three different provinces often as one of the E-Day organizers [that's old school for GOTV] I was always proud to see the way that the scrutineers from all parties worked together to ensure that the election results were not corrupted. 

The integrity of the process must be maintained and the grassroots in all the parties are committed to democracy no matter whether the hired guns share that commitment.  One thing that Harper needs to fear is his own party. If  rank and file Conservatives in small towns across the country start to smell a stench like they did with Mulroney it may not be the left that takes him down.  Without that base he will not last long.  Of course barring a Reform revival they may not have anywhere \else to vote but they might not be as generous with their time and money.

jerrym

CBC News is reporting that Elections Canada, according to just released emails, was complaining to the Conservative party about the sending of phone calls to the wrong polling stations even three days before the election on April 29, 2011 in the ridings of Kitchener-Conestoga (Ontario) and Saint-Boniface (Manitoba). Once emails from local Elections Canada were received, an Elections Canada sent an email to the Conservative party which complained to lawyer Arthur Hamilton of the Conservative party (according to CBC TV News) who of course denied the Cons were doing it. By the day before the election they had similar reports from 10 ridings. CBC TV News that Elections Canada is not planning on releasing a report on the robocalls until March.

"The reply from the party's lawyer to Elections Canada more than a day later said that polling locations had changed in 'a number of electoral districts.'

'As a consequence, a number of our candidates have had to confirm the proper location of polling stations to a number of supporters during their respective get out the vote efforts... There is no indication by the caller that the location may have changed, or words to that effect. And no voter is being directed to a polling location one and a half hours away from the correct polling location,' the unidentified lawyer wrote on May 1 at 12:05 a.m.

Elections Canada instructs political parties not to phone voters about polling location changes. If a location changes more than a week before election day, the agency sends new voter identification cards that indicate the change. If the location changes less than a week before election day, the agency advertises the change in local media and sends workers to the old location to redirect voters.

Elections Canada has had more than 1,000 complaints from people in 234 ridings about phone calls that allegedly tried to direct voters to the wrong polling station. A spokesman for a call centre that worked for the Conservative Party said that they did make calls to ensure voters knew where they were going to vote because there had been changes to some polling stations. ... 

Some voters had recorded a phone number so they could try to trace the call. 'When these numbers are called, the voice message is recorded by the same person even though the numbers are different,' Anita Hawdur, the election official in charge of the voting process wrote in an email to one of Election Canada's lawyers.

The complaints kept coming.

At 4:05 p.m. ET, another lawyer for Elections Canada sent an email to the Conservative Party's lawyer detailing the calls that had gone to voters in:

  • Avalon, N.L.
  • West Nova, N.S.
  • Cardigan, P.E.I.
  • Ontario ridings of Ajax-Pickering, Halton, Kingston and the Islands, Kitchener-Conestoga, and Vaughan.
  • Manitoba ridings of Kildonan-St. Paul, Saint-Boniface and Winnipeg Centre.

'These calls are continuing and the frequency of calls seems to be increasing,' Karen McNeil wrote to the Conservative Party. ... One 'sounds legitimately like the Conservative Party of Canada. The other message is more generic; it could be anyone's voicemail message... It's also not in English and French.' The party's lawyer responded the next morning, after polls in much of Canada had opened, by forwarding the same response sent the previous day.

The emails show Elections Canada officials discussed putting out a news release to warn voters about the calls.

'It is getting worse'

The first report from Guelph, Ont., the riding at the centre of allegations about misleading robocalls, came in at 10:41 a.m. on election day. Conservative officials say what happened in Guelph was an isolated case of a rogue campaign and that they are co-operating with the agency in its investigation into the riding. ...

New Democrat MP Charlie Angus said he thinks Canada is dealing with the largest case of voter suppression in the country's history.

'We need to know what Elections Canada is doing to follow up on this. The latest allegations are very disturbing because now we see that it wasn't just a rogue campaign in Guelph ... that leading up to the election, Elections Canada was raising alarm bells of a voter suppression scheme all across this country,' Angus said."

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/11/19/pol-elections-canada-em...

gzap

Monday is the start of the Council of Canadians court case.

Could be interesting.

jerrym

gzap wrote:

Monday is the start of the Council of Canadians court case.

Could be interesting.

Maude Barlow has an excellent blog on this.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/maude-barlow/2012/12/election-fraud-robo...

jerrym

Here are two articles on the court hearing that started today. The first article summarizes what was known before the hearing began. The second describes what happened during the first day.

The first article points out that it will be hard to prove that the "“irregularity, fraud, corrupt practice or illegal practice”, as outlined in the law, was sufficient to change the outcome of the votes, a standard Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj failed to meet in his case. However, the article notes that the Council of Canadians lawyer, Steven Shrybman, has "a lot more evidence than he did when he launched the lawsuit, and he has won a series of legal skirmishes that could have killed the case." The article then goes on to outline this evidence.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/12/07/robocalls-elections-canada/

The second article describes the Con lawyer's (Arthur Hamilton) to destroy the credibility of pollster Frank Graves by smearing him for having donated in the past to the Liberal party - a tactic we have seen before with anyone who offers any kind of criticism of the Cons. 

http://www.globalsaskatoon.com/robocalls+court+case+frivolous+tory+lawye...

 

Sean in Ottawa

Here is what I wrote on the Council of Canadians lawsuit and the test being applied to create new elections in individual seats:

The last election smells of frauds not just on the voting itself but lies people were told that affected their choices. How many smoking guns do we need? Apparently fraud, lying and loss of integrity of the vote are not enough. Ordinary Canadians must prove riding by riding that the winners would not have won without their proven illegal activity. The election was forced because of the military procurement scandal and the government deliberately lied on this issue which was important enough to cause the election. Nobody is can deny illegal activity. So the defense is asking for proof it made the difference in each seat. Canadians do not trust the last election result. Why is that not enough?

If the test were the integrity of the democratic system we would already have a resignation of this government and a general election. The integrity test was applied in 1873 when a Conservative government that had elected 102 members including Conservatives and 2 independent Conservatives handed power to a minority opposition in November 1873. The new election was held in January 1874. Then individual voters did not have to prove fraud in every seat to get an opportunity to test a tainted result in a new election.

Only the winners, incredulously suggesting grand conspiracy on the part of ordinary Canadians and all opposition parties, seem able to ignore the stink which has been universally condemned by all but the conservatives. The winners lack the integrity to admit the election was tainted and want to avoid a new and fair election. The age of placing integrity, democracy and the appearance of a fair vote is behind us. The age of attacking the character of the opposition rather than defending integrity is here.

Sandy Dillon

Conservative mindset on the robocalls. Everybody got to vote so no harm done!!!!!!

SO using THAT mindset if I go try to rob a bank but I end up getting no money """ I SHOULD BE FOUND INNOCENT???"""

I worry for our democracy folks I really do.

JOE CLARK QUOTE:: "" These are ^not your old P.C. type Conservatives.

JOE was and still is one honest politican I do give him that!!!

Fidel

Kara

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2013/04/02/pol-michael-sona-charged-under-elections-act.html

Michael Sona has been charged in relation to the robocalls scandal.  Hopefully this charge will lead to Sona sharing more information so that others can be charged and also lead to more public pressure for a public inquiry.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/inside-politics-blog/2013/04/statements-from-michael-sona-conservative-party-on-robocall-charge.html

Statements from Michael Sona's lawyer, the Conservative party and Elections Canada.  An excerpt from Mr. Sona's lawyer's statement, with which (hopefully) most people will agree:

I cannot help but  comment, that if the government was interested in the public being fully  informed and the issue of robocalls being properly addressed, a Full Public  Inquiry would be called, rather than a charge laid against a single individual  who held a junior position on a single campaign and who clearly lacked the  resources and access to the data required to make the robocalls.

jerrym

Now if Harper quickly calls the Labrador by-election, the opening of the Sona trial will occur right in the middle of the campaign that is the result of Penashue overspending and free corporate flights. That should really help the Con vote. 

gzap

He might have to, sounds like one of the goals of charging Sona, who most defnitinetly didn't run the program, is to allow Elections Canada to compel witnesses to give testimony. As a number of conservatives have just refused to talk to them, in court they won't get that option.

gzap

double post, deleted.

whoops

arielc

There must be a reasonable expectation of convicting Sona, if they're going to trial. It's hard to see how that could be the case if he didn't have access to the CIMS database. Someone accessed it, Andrew Prescott and 'Pierre Poutine ' I recall reading, at the time of the calls.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/04/04/tory-staffer-charged-in-robocall...

Sona says he did not have access to the Conservatives’ CIMS database of voter information during the campaign,and court records filed by Elections Canada show that a CIMS list was used to send out the fraudulent robocall.

Five workers on the campaign did have access: Andrew Prescott,John White,Ken Morgan,Trente Blanchette and Chris Crawford.

White and Crawford have given evidence to investigators. Prescott,Morgan and Blanchette have refused to do so. Prescott now lives in Calgary. Morgan,the campaign manager,has moved to Kuwait.

KenS

To be charged, Sona does not have to have executed the crime. So not having access to CMIS [or probably the skill] is not definitive.

It may mean- and probably does mean- someone else is at least 'more guilty'. But they dont have enough evidence yet to take the risks of laying charges.

Neither does Sona need to have hatched the plan to be charged. If they have evidence he knew and participated in discussions- that is sufficient even if he did nothing else. In a way, it is easy to see how evidence of participation in a meeting is easier to be sure of. Evidence of the actual perpetrators is going to tend to be more complex.

So they go with what they've got- especially since they are stalled from anyone being willing to talk. Once in court, the alternatives to talking get uglier and more dear for each individual.

Sona has consistently said, "I have my theories of who did it." My hunch has always been that he has always had more than theories. He has a slew of reasons for wanting the truth of the perpetrator[s] to come out, BUT without him doing the fingering. Not least of those is that he was present for the conversation that led to the action. Admitting to being present, even if he initiated or contributed nothing concrete, is suffcient to make him an accomplice.

So he has been waiting for the easy way out.

There is also the possibility that he is much more responsible or co-responsible than he makes out. But he could be mostly telling the truth in his interviews, and at the same time be very exposed to prosecution.

But this is still not something where we can say it IS "going to trial". Seems ever more likely we will get there. But I seriously doubt there would be a trial with only Sona charged, unless he set this in motion and did most of the execution. More likely, they charge him, and hold his feet to the fire... either cooperate and give useful evidence before a trial of others... or be prosectuted with them.

jerrym

CBC showed Sona saying that there is no way that I am taking the fall for this. 

Furthermore, "Sona's lawyer broadly hinted that his client has much damaging information to share about the full extent of what happened in 2011. He dropped that hint when he said the only way to get at the full truth would be "a full, public inquiry." The clear implication is that the full scope of the "truth" spreads way beyond whatever his hapless client might have done."

http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2013/04/05/Robocalls-Junior-Tory/print.html

I think Sona is sending a clear message to the Cons - get me out of this problem or I'm going to plea bargain a minor penalty (or none) in return for testifying what and who I know was involved in the calls and the coverup. 

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