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Conservative Election Subversion #8 (Robofraud Robocalls)

contrarianna
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contrarianna
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Pogge mentions  CBC's summary:
9 facts about Pierre Poutine and the robocalls case

And comments on the same standout quote I mention in my last post on McGregor and Maher's last article, here: http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/05/16/robocalls-council-of-canadians/

Pogge:

Quote:
Del Mastro thinks that EC is doing their due diligence. Let's put that up against a quote from the latest offering from McGregor and Maher. Towards the end of the article they discuss Arthur Hamilton, the Conservative party's lawyer.

 
Quote:
  It is unclear why Elections Canada agreed to let Hamilton attend the interviews or why the agency has not issued a production order to legally compel the party to hand over relevant records, instead of relying on voluntary disclosure.


It is unclear.

Just as it remains unclear — at least to me — why Andrew Prescott has been allowed to hide behind his lawyer and refuse to speak to Elections Canada since March. See why my inner cynic is getting so restless? EC seems to be bending over backwards to accommodate the Conservative Party of Canada. Since that would be the same CPC that has already admitted violations of election law, the reasons for not being more aggressive in the investigation certainly do seem ... unclear.

http://www.pogge.ca/archives/003598.shtml#more


JeffWells
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Breaking news tweeted from CBC: "Judge declares 2011 federal election results in Etobicoke Centre null and void. Story coming soon at http://cbc.ca/politics #cdnpoli"


contrarianna
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JeffWells wrote:

Breaking news tweeted from CBC: "Judge declares 2011 federal election results in Etobicoke Centre null and void. Story coming soon at http://cbc.ca/politics #cdnpoli"

Good news.

It will no doubt be appealed by the Cons and will go to the Supreme Court. (4 of the 9 judges were appointed under Harper).


JeffWells
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contrarianna wrote:

It will no doubt be appealed by the Cons and will go to the Supreme Court. (4 of the 9 judges were appointed under Harper).

Speaking of which, there's another news story today of a Supreme Justice retiring, giving Harper the chance for a majority on the bench.

 


Stockholm
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I saw that...of course there will likely be appeals so it could be a long time before a byelection takes place. When it does, I suspcet the liberals will win back the seat pretty easily. The Tory win there was a fluke, Tory support has crashed in ontario since the least election and this is a classic example of a marginal Tory seat that would never vote NDP in a million years - though i expect the party to put on a full campaign and try to bump up the popular vote as much as possible...who knows if Tory support crahses like it did in Toronto-Danforth the NDP could even come in second! When the Tory win in York North 1988 was thrown out under similar circumstances and a byelection was held in 1990, the Liberals won easily, the NDP actually came in second (it was right after the win in the ontario election) and the PCs were practically in single digits!


Stockholm
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1988/11/21 BEVILACQUA, Maurizio consultant  37,513 42.71% Lib  O'BRIEN, Michael publisher  37,436 42.63% P.C.  BUCK, Evelyn municipal councillor  11,583 13.19% N.D.P.  EDWARDS, Chris economist  1,293 1.47% Libert. 

By-Election:   Mr. Bevilacqua's election declared void and invalid, 07-06-1990

Parl Date Candidate Occupation Votes Votes (%) Party Elected 1990/12/10 BEVILACQUA, Maurizio consultant  21,332 49.90% Lib  DEVITA, Peter professional engineer  14,321 33.50% N.D.P.  O'BRIEN, Michael publisher  4,618 10.80% P.C.  UBBENS, William insurance & real estate  1,399 3.27% C.H.P. 

JeffWells
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Stockholm wrote:
...this is a classic example of a marginal Tory seat that would never vote NDP in a million years 

Though couldn't the same have been said at one time of Bramalea-Gore-Malton?

If the Liberal brand really is faltering in Ontario as bad as polls suggest, and the NDP are contending with the Conservatives for the lead in the province (and doing extremely well among seniors), I wouldn't be so quick to concede this one.


Stockholm
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JeffWells wrote:

Though couldn't the same have been said at one time of Bramalea-Gore-Malton?

No. BGM may have been a weak riding for the NDP in the past, but the potential was always there. Its quite a poor riding that is heavily Punjabi and is not unlike ridings in Surrey, BC that are NDP strongholds. Etobicoke Centre is one of the wealthiest ridings in Toronto anfd is full of mansions - so the low NDP vote there is about untapped potential - its about really bad demographics.

A good yard stick is the fact that even when the Ontario NDP swept Ontario in 1990 - it didn't even come close to winning either of the seats that make up Etobicoke Centre. I think the best strategy for the NDP hear is to giv e it their best shot and with any luck you could get a York North-type scenario where the Tory vote so totally crashes that the NDP manages to come in second.


contrarianna
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All interesting stuff, but off topic--their are myriad other threads on party fortunes, thanks.


kropotkin1951
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The Etobicoke Centre case has nothing to do with robo calls or Conservative dirty tricks

All parties agreed there were no allegations of fraud or wrong doing.  The case is about how bad does the paper work have to be before the votes of those who registered on election day get thrown out.  No partisan advantage here only a critic on the shoddy record keeping at 10 selected polls.


quizzical
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i read the article it says they found that some people voted x2. would those who voted x2 now be the target of a illegal activities?


kropotkin1951
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quizzical wrote:

i read the article it says they found that some people voted x2. would those who voted x2 now be the target of a illegal activities?

Actually to be more precise the judge found that from the records it was not certain that they had only voted once.  That is different than finding that someone had voted twice. I perused the decision itself and the judge discusses how this was specifically not about chasing voters to see if they had done anything improper.  I tried to cut and paste out of the doc but the ways I would normally do it don't seem to work.

 

ETA: The judge discusses looking at indivdual voters, in the context of this case, at paras. 33 & 34 on page 10.


Basement Dweller
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For the record, some of you may remember my posts about being a DRO in the last election. I even more or less predicted EC failures could overturn results at some point.


contrarianna
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Kudo's to investigatgor Mathews for his hard work, but with EC's ineffectual leadership in this massive assault on democracy, it  doesn't look terribly encouraging:

Report on Elections Canada probe of mystery robocalls expected soon


Stephen Maher and Glen McGregor, Postmedia News  May 18, 2012 – 4:25 PM ET

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/05/18/report-on-elections-canada-probe...


Quote:
....Prescott, who cancelled an interview with Mathews in March on his lawyer’s advice, has repeatedly publicly stated that he had nothing to do with the calls. Others involved with the Guelph campaign say they don’t think he was involved, and say he is unfairly bearing the brunt for a scheme carried out by others.

One source who has spoken to Mathews says the investigator said there is a limit to how far a case can be built on just an IP address.

And sources say that people with knowledge of the inner workings of the Burke campaign have not been forthcoming with investigators.

“The guys are waiting it out,” said one person who spoke on condition of anonymity. “From my understanding, their lawyers are just saying there’s nothing they can do to stick it to them.”....


Buddy Kat
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Well for a judge to nullify the one riding today on simple clerical mistakes is a pretty good indication of what should be coming , especially regarding serious crimes like fraud.

Another thing is the transparency and accountability the electoral process is based on....While cons are busy hiding their tracks and heeding warnings  for them to do so ...this is resulting in the transparency and accountability disappearing ..so they may think they are smart asses for their computer proxy server dead end games and there use of off shore and Canadian robocalling firms sending the public on a wild goose chase. It will all equal a massive electoral rigging fraud and with 200 ridings subjected to it the confidence in the process has been ruined , tainted, undermined and criminally destroyed hence a null and void election in a minimum of 65% of the ridings should be expected.

Yep the Conservative smart fish will be frying in their own fat, one way or another. Conspiring to stack the supreme court to make the judges part of the crime is even worse, and I hope the judges have the integrity to see thru that one..Actually if I can see thru it , I'm sure they can.

Really I can't believe how the cons are like a contaminant infecting every institution they touch..It's true what Chretian said during the Mulroney years.."They ave a reverse Midas touch, whatever day touch turns to gabage"..so damn true!


KenS
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Quote:

Just as it remains unclear — at least to me — why Andrew Prescott has been allowed to hide behind his lawyer and refuse to speak to Elections Canada since March. See why my inner cynic is getting so restless? EC seems to be bending over backwards to accommodate the Conservative Party of Canada. Since that would be the same CPC that has already admitted violations of election law, the reasons for not being more aggressive in the investigation certainly do seem ... unclear.

So what is it you think they should do?

Their big interest is in getting Prescott to say everything he knows. Charging him right now would change nothing, he still won't voluntarily talk. Just like you or me, charged or 'just' under investigation, 'hiding behind his lawyer' is a fundamental civil right.

Break some fingers maybe?

There will only be a bigger stick for getting him to talk when they tell his lawyer the whole case agaist him. "We know you did it" is not a case. And the case isnt far enough along to be ready for trial. Even IF they have enough now for that, they'll have more later.

Its also interesting how investagator Matthews gets kudos, but Elections Canada gets the tomatoes for the slow pace, etc. Well, ALL the decisions of how the case unfolds are made by Matthews and the Commisioner- neither of whom are Elections Canada. It is out of EC's hands once they referr it to the prosecutorial functions of the Commissioner.


blink2much2
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How many black swans in other ridings make a flock?  Do we discriminate to provide one riding forensics for 'clerical certainty'?

 

The tools of democracy are wielded in increasingly arbitrary parameters: Here, electoral correction by riding, there, lawful public assembly limited to 50.  

The change to the territory's environment assessment time limits, and future job projections met by current foreign wage reduction by 15% paralleled with the repeal of domestic citizen fair wages and labour Act, mean the law is steering Canadian job security to meet venture capital demand, and its futuristic sister, Ms hedge, for our raw resources.

Where is the government in service to an ecology of land, peoples, and law which grows, not on the quarter-to-quarter ratings of 'the market' (good luck perfect facebook!) and its immediate captivations and follies, but the time-line of generations, as was built here upon decades to the mid 1970s?   

How much Canadian know how can you buy in a diesel-electric locomotive from London, Ontario this year?  None.  Caterpillar slinked away with the goods.  Corporations shift to profit from policy.  Repeal the fair Wages and Labour Act; cut foreign wages by 15%, limit their presence to 4 years; remove environmental assessments more complex than a 2 year maximum, see what big companies can 'fairly' compete against those willing to low ball with just-in-time labour with no tie to Canada after 4 years.

That's some culture to cultivate for the next generations.

Whose civic?

When legal discernment smacks of discrimination is the system exhibiting feature or a bug?

Pipe Albertan to our refineries in Montreal, the EU will be in want for energy needs for decades, and more diligent customers too (thanks Sino!).

 

 

 

 


KenS
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Agreed that the court case in Etobicoke had nothing to do with voter suppression, outside of court and very publicly whats-his-name, the defeated MP who mounted the case charges there was extensive voter suppression in the riding. With a by-election looming, this is one the investigators will stay away from. EC would collect info when people make complaints. But the investigators will stay away from this one. Especially when thy have more investigating to do than they can ever get around to all of it.

I think it could go either way about the Cons appealing the decision, because of the robocalls. There would be reasons both to drop it [because it isnt substantively linked to the robocalls], and to fight it because the optics in most voters minds is that it is all linked. But even on the latter- would appealing just make the optics worse... the issue dragging out because of the appeals process,


contrarianna
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KenS wrote:


Quote:


Just as it remains unclear — at least to me — why Andrew Prescott has been allowed to hide behind his lawyer and refuse to speak to Elections Canada since March. See why my inner cynic is getting so restless? EC seems to be bending over backwards to accommodate the Conservative Party of Canada. Since that would be the same CPC that has already admitted violations of election law, the reasons for not being more aggressive in the investigation certainly do seem ... unclear.


So what is it you think they should do...Break some fingers maybe?


First, that quote I cited is the opinion of another blogger; you ignore its central key quote cited from McGregor and Maher which I also cited earlier, which is:

Quote:
  It is unclear why Elections Canada agreed to let Hamilton attend the interviews or why the agency has not issued a production order to legally compel the party to hand over relevant records, instead of relying on voluntary disclosure.

 
KenS wrote:
Their big interest is in getting Prescott to say everything he knows. Charging him right now would change nothing, he still won't voluntarily talk. Just like you or me, charged or 'just' under investigation, 'hiding behind his lawyer' is a fundamental civil right.

There will only be a bigger stick for getting him to talk when they tell his lawyer the whole case agaist him. "We know you did it" is not a case. And the case isnt far enough along to be ready for trial. Even IF they have enough now for that, they'll have more later.


At least this is a little improvement on your previous statement that Prescott had "all but admitted" being Poutine and was "talking to EC now" even though he had already taken his Christian vow of silence.

Yet your latter statement is also fantasy optimism.
There is no obvious "bigger stick" in the wings, as McGregor and Maher have also suggested:

Quote:
One source who has spoken to Mathews says the investigator said there is a limit to how far a case can be built on just an IP address.

And sources say that people with knowledge of the inner workings of the Burke campaign have not been forthcoming with investigators.

“The guys are waiting it out,” said one person who spoke on condition of anonymity. “From my understanding, their lawyers are just saying there’s nothing they can do to stick it to them.”...



KenS wrote:

Its also interesting how investagator Matthews gets kudos, but Elections Canada gets the tomatoes for the slow pace, etc. Well, ALL the decisions of how the case unfolds are made by Matthews and the Commisioner- neither of whom are Elections Canada. It is out of EC's hands once they referr it to the prosecutorial functions of the Commissioner.



Say what?
The Commissioner of Canada Elections IS PART of Elections Canada and an appointee of the Chief Electoral Officer.

Although Mathews has made all the court filings for the information that have been revealed, there is ZERO reason to assume there hasn't been direction from EC brass on decisions whether or not to file for particularly politically sensitive requests--such as the lack of timely access to CIMS root logs mentioned above. And any possible charges and interpretive reports will be the product of EC.
It is not the "slow pace" of laying charges that is the obvious problem, it is  time sensitive  retrieval of crucial evidence which has resulted in delays in accessing key information before it has been tampered with, as Maher and McGregor imply.

Your repeatedly expressed faith that: EC will get to the bottom of this--that there is plenty of effective evidence--just give them time--major charges will be laid-- is simply not credible and is not born out by its past treatment of robofraud.

EC's history in handling of the 2008 Robofraud scandal (which likely also used CIMS), was simply CLOSED on false grounds after languishing in the dark for many months. That is the only direct precedent here.

The leadership of EC has not changed since then.

EC's obvious lack of transparency is not limited to the understandable silence during investigations as Democracy Watch has pointed out:
Quote:

Monday, April 16, 2012

OTTAWA - Today, Democracy Watch released its analysis of Elections Canada’s enforcement of the Canada Elections Act since 1997, revealing that the main problem is no one can tell whether Elections Canada has been enforcing the law fairly and properly because it has failed to disclose details of how it has investigated and ruled on 2,982 of the 5,018 complaints it has received about federal elections in the past 15 years....


http://dwatch.ca/camp/RelsApr1612.html

There is always the possibility that EC will turn over a new leaf, perhaps as the result of public attention--there is hope, but no justification for optimism.


contrarianna
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Yesterday's news:

Quote:

Tory MPs ask Federal Court to toss request to review election results [7 ridings]
Steve Rennie, 22 May 2012, Canadian Press

OTTAWA -
....
Conservative Party lawyer Arthur Hamilton has filed motions on behalf of the seven MPs asking that the cases be rejected.

The almost identically worded motions call the cases frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of process
....

Those ridings are:

— Don Valley East, where Conservative Joe Daniel beat Liberal Yasmin Ratansi by 870 votes;

— Nippissing-Timiskaming, where Conservative Jay Aspin beat Liberal Anthony Rota by 18 votes;

— Elmwood-Transcona, where Conservative Lawrence Toet beat New Democrat Jim Maloway by 300 votes;

— Winnipeg South Centre, where Conservative Joyce Bateman beat Liberal Anita Neville by 722 votes;

— Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar, where Conservative Kelly Block beat New Democrat Nettie Wiebe by 538 votes;

— Vancouver Island North, where Conservative John Duncan beat New Democrat Ronna-Rae Leonard by 1,827 votes; and,

— Yukon, where Conservative Ryan Leef beat Liberal Larry Bagnell by 132 votes.

The council alleges misleading or harassing phone calls in those ridings kept some people from voting and may have affected the outcomes....


http://thetyee.ca/CanadianPress/2012/05/22/Vote-Dirty-Tricks-18570432/


Buddy Kat
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Obstruction of Justice .....nothing more , nothing less.

 

In this case , given the power of the Conservative to appoint and remove judges etc. they are in fact obstructing and intimidating the Judge to their bidding or else. I can see thru it ..I bet they can too.......once the judge says ..begone or you cons will be charged that is going to be the beginning and unravling of the entire affair and justice will start to be served.


gzap
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Maynard now says the robocall report on the investigation won't be complete until March 13, 2013, according to CBC live blogging of his talk at parliament.

 

18 month long investigation?

 

sigh.


gzap
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And CBC is reporting that Elections Canada will spend $600k on the robocall investigation.

Too bad they can't recoup that from the guilty party.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/06/05/pol-elections-robocall-...


thorin_bane
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Its a little off. They already spent that 600,000 months ago. There is no way to track how much was spent. P&P  from yesterday discussed this. One thing they mentioned was this wasn`t about robocalls, but about voter supression. People fell into the trap and are conflating the two.


gzap
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Its true that it is bigger then just robocalls, since there were also live calls and attempts to stop people from voting in Guelph, but it still is largely a robocall investigation.

 

The Post is now reporting that Dean Del Mastro (the con in charge of robocall denial) is now under investigation, the article includes a check for expenses to a now defunct robocall company that was not reported and clearly illegal.

 

Go, Elections Canada, go.

 

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/06/06/tory-robocall-defence-mp-himself...


gzap
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Joined: Apr 24 2012

Also, it nows appears that the company that Del Mastro illegally paid received $125,000 in federal stimulus money do develop database and robocall software. 

 

http://www.actionplan.gc.ca/initiatives/eng/index.asp?mode=8&imode=&init...

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/inside-politics-blog/2011/10/canada-econ...


KenS
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gzap wrote:

Its true that it is bigger then just robocalls, since there were also live calls and attempts to stop people from voting in Guelph, but it still is largely a robocall investigation.

Maynard was just trying to correct the general impression it is about robocalls, per se. Even if all the misdirecting calls were all done by robocall, its still an investigation of election fraud, not an investigation of robocalls.

I think Del Mastro's goose will be cooked, and pretty straightforward. There is nothing complex about his case. And even his public filings are a mess. Still, it will probably take a long time to unfold into prosecution or voluntary agreement of wrongdoing. And even the latter would probably take a long time... because the minimum Del Mastro would probably have to agree to is probably pretty serious.... even if he has extenuating and plausible excuses about how the re-inbursement of those personal checks just got overlooked.

If he had been reimbursed by the riding association for that check, as was probably planned, then this would never have come to light. But now that it has, the court documents include the invoice, and the invoice says that even though the EDA is paying and the contract is dated before the writ drops, the services are to be performed DURING the election. Since Del Mastro reported spending the limit, this additional amount when counted would put him way over the limit, and there is clear evidence in hand of conspiring to make it appear that the expenses were incurred BEFORE the campaign.

His protestations of wounded innonence are comic.


KenS
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The Cons will admitt to nothing and deny of course. And Del Mastro will remain Parliamentary Secratary.

But I think we will be seeing a new mouthpiece in charge of election fraud denial.

What Del Mastro did was pretty amateurish. I would bet the farm that the party had no idea he was doing this. He could have had this all covered up by asking the party for a transfer to the EDA so they could re-imburse his personal check. They wouldn't have like it, and he would look bad, which is why he didn't ask. But they would have given him the money to make sure this didnt happen.


Buddy Kat
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CBC reported last night that Del Mastro was pissed off because Elections Canada didn't give him a heads up warning that they were investigating him....Hahaha you mean to tell me  Elections Canada is finally "Getting It" and NOT warning them now or perhaps Del Mastro isn't the kingpin he thinks...NOT!

That they even warned the real culprits and crooks and got away with computer deletions is disturbing enough and shows criminal conspiracy on the part of elections canada and the conservatives ..this could just be a ploy for them to say "Look we invetigate without conspiring see this dangling carrot"...then there is this praise and spin  the CBC had for the overspending con..was out of this world..there is no question that power and politics is a conservative biased setup after that...what is the punishment? $5000 fine and 2 years in jail...he can take Evan with him.


KenS
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Del Mastro has never been a kingpin.

They thought highly enough of him to give him a PR role. That's it.

And the nature of the two different investigations is ENTIRELY different. The robocalls and election fraud investigations REQUIRE the cooperation of people like the Rack Nine guy and at least some people in charge of the Cons database. You've been watching too many movies if you think the investigators can just say "everyone hands off, step away from the computers- the ones that are not here as well- we're taking possession of everything."

Way back when they were sniffing around without questioning anyone directly involved, they would already have been tipping off the perps that something was up.

In the Del Mastro case- his EC filings are a mess. There are red flags all over the place. From what I can see on-line, I wouldnt be thinking to go check with the company that did the voter contact. But EC gets somewhat more than what is online, and they could start checking without alerting anyone except the owner of the company, who probably has everything to lose and virtually nothing to gain from even trying to hold back.

And it just happens that his relation with Del Mastro soured- probably not getting paid, because whattripped up DM was that he didnt have enough money for what he was doing. Since Del Mastro apperently stiffed buddy, the company owner didnt feel inclined do what most people in this kind of situation would have done: warn the client that the heat is getting records about you.... which there is no stopping if people want to do it.


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