Conservatives admit they’re behind false byelection phone calls in Mount Royal

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Debater

Is one of the reasons the Conservatives are targeting Cotler because he is a well-respected lawyer and human rights advocate who has criticized the Conservative crime bill?

(And to give some credit to the NDP, the NDP has recently voted in support of Cotler's amendments to the Conservative crime bill).

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1095753--tim-harper-...

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Oh look, more proof the Liberals are coming back.

Thanks Debater, you rock!

Debater

Arthur Cramer wrote:

Oh look, more proof the Liberals are coming back.

What are you referring to?  I don't see anything about that in this thread.  This thread is all about 2 things:  1) Conservative dirty tactics in Mount Royal  2) Irwin Cotler and his attempt to get the Con crime bill amended (in which I also complimented the NDP for supporting Cotler)

ottawaobserver

What's being done to Irwin Cotler is nothing short of appalling, Arthur, whether Debater is the one to raise it or not. This is an unconscionable attempt to undermine his parliamentary privileges, which is an affront to our very parliamentary democracy. If the Commons Speaker doesn't call these brown-shirts to order, he is not worthy of the title.

The Liberals engaged in this kind of whisper push-polling against Father Andy Hogan, the NDP M.P. for Cape Breton-Canso, long ago, before Debater gets too high-dudgeon, when they phoned around in the middle of the 1979 election campaign and told people he had "fallen off the wagon". In fact, Father Hogan had had a heart attack. The story was documented in Jeffrey Simpson's book "The Discipline of Power". The Liberal behind that campaign was none other than Dave "entitlements" Dingwall.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

I am being sarcastic. You aren't discussing you're simply gloating again. And yep, the NDP voted with Cotler, because unlike you guys, we New Dems put country ahead of political goals. I have said it before, and I will  say it again, another reason the NDP did so well is because Jack always tried to work with the government. The leader of the NDP from TC Douglas, through Davey Lewis, Ed Broadbent, Shirley Mclaughlin, and Jack, blessed be his memory, always tries to work with the government. Canadians know that about the NDP, it is what we New Dems are like. Its no surprise our leaders act like that, they are a reflection of us. That was rewarded. So, the NDP supports Cotler, and what do you point first, oh look, they supported his amendments, and you complimented us for being so supportive. Oh, that is so nice. Speaking for New Dems from coast to coast to coast, thank-you!

Debater

OO, I thought you might actually write a whole post standing up for the Liberals for once without saying anything negative.  Smile

And then I read your second paragraph.  Frown

 

David Dingwall was an idiot and couldn't even hold his seat.  He lost to a low-profile NDP candidate, so clearly he was a loser and got what was coming to him.

Anyway, thanks for coming to the defence of Cotler.  As you know, he is respected by people from all parties (except the Cons) and as I mentioned above, the NDP have been supporting his amendments to the Con crime bill.

Debater

Arthur Cramer wrote:

I am being sarcastic. You aren't discussing you're simply gloating again. And yep, the NDP voted with Cotler, because unlike you guys, we New Dems put country ahead of political goals. I have said it before, and I will  say it again, another reason the NDP did so well is because Jack always tried to work with the government. The leader of the NDP from TC Douglas, through Davey Lewis, Ed Broadbent, Shirley Mclaughlin, and Jack, blessed be his memory, always tries to work with the government. Canadians know that about the NDP, it is what we New Dems are like. Its no surprise our leaders act like that, they are a reflection of us. That was rewarded. So, the NDP supports Cotler, and what do you point first, oh look, they supported his amendments, and you complimented us for being so supportive. Oh, that is so nice. Speaking for New Dems from coast to coast to coast, thank-you!

AC, there was NO gloating about anything on this thread by me, unless you count praising Cotler's international profile and accolades as 'gloating'.  The purpose of this thread was simply to expose what the Cons have been up to.

And as a secondary topic I thought I would be complimentary and mention that Cotler appreciates the support he has received from the NDP.  I was at an event last week in which Cotler spoke in front of a group of law students in which he acknowledged the NDP's help against the Con crime bill.

This was a genuine attempt at being complimentary to the NDP (which I do when deserved). Why not have one thread where we can be friends rather than bringing other stuff into it?  Smile

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Why indeed. I think I have already explained myself. Maybe you need to start reading what I write a little more carefully.

I'll tell you what, I think I have made my point. I'll try to stop hitting you over the head with a shovel over and over. Maybe you could try watch your tone a little bit in return. Do what you want, I'll try to drop it and be a little more civil.

Stockholm

I hope Cotler does quit...that way the NDP can run Julius Gray in Mount Royal and win the byelection!

Azana

We could start calling constituents in Mont Royal to ask their opinion on Cotler's decision to sit as a New Democrat.

Lord Palmerston

Stockholm wrote:

I hope Cotler does quit...that way the NDP can run Julius Gray in Mount Royal and win the byelection!

I thought he'd run in Westmount.

Lord Palmerston

ottawaobserver wrote:

What's being done to Irwin Cotler is nothing short of appalling, Arthur, whether Debater is the one to raise it or not. This is an unconscionable attempt to undermine his parliamentary privileges, which is an affront to our very parliamentary democracy. If the Commons Speaker doesn't call these brown-shirts to order, he is not worthy of the title.

Very well said.  

bekayne
Gaian

Debater wrote:

Arthur Cramer wrote:

Oh look, more proof the Liberals are coming back.

What are you referring to?  I don't see anything about that in this thread.  This thread is all about 2 things:  1) Conservative dirty tactics in Mount Royal  2) Irwin Cotler and his attempt to get the Con crime bill amended (in which I also complimented the NDP for supporting Cotler)

Mulcair will be speaking to that question in the law offices of James Lockyer in Toronto on Monday. We will see if any of the right-wing media pundits, including Liberal hangers-on, will be there. Always nice to see a Liberal support New Democrats' support for a true liberal (small l) like Irwin, not one of the sleaze-bag corporate kind.

KenS

Debater wrote:

David Dingwall was an idiot and couldn't even hold his seat.  He lost to a low-profile NDP candidate, so clearly he was a loser and got what was coming to him.

Dingwall lost his seat when every single one of the all 11 seats held by the high and mighty Liberals was swept out of office.

And Chretien made that particular idiot the point man and ruler of Liberal patronage in Nova Scotia. The kind of skills he had and his tactics [smearing the beloved Father Hogan] have always been rewarded in the Liberal Party. I'm sure it has a lot to do with why even now when survival is on the line, they cannot stop girding for the next internal battles. 

[And by the way- Andy Hogan survived that smear campaign even with it being so late that the rumour was still circulating on eday. I am pretty sure, but not certain, that he resigned when one of the ways the Pope went after left wing priests was by giving them the choice of giving up their government posts or resigning as a priest.]

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

OO, I am not attacking Cotler. I was simply commenting on the fact that the New Dems would naturally support him on his position. Lib or not, he came down on the right side of things. I don't know where you thought I was attacking Cotler.

I may not like the opposition, but I would be just as angry, and probably angrier if I found out the New Dems were up to it, because I expect us to be better.

There was no swipe at Cotler from me. I don't know how you could get that out of what I wrote. And in case this is underlying some of this, I am Jewish, and the last time I checked, I wasn't an anti semetic Jew.

nicky

I think Andy Hogan was defeated. KenS is probably thinking of the Catholic priest from Saskatoon (whose name escapes me) who was pressured to step down by the Vatican.

KenS

I knew I was not at all sure of the memory. I was here when the smear campaign against Hogan happened. But back in BC when the Vatican did its thing [1984?] aimed mostly at the Sandanista priest/Minister. I thought it roped in Andy Hogan too, but the election must have happened before that whole thing. [Grumbles to himself about memory.]

DaveW

Stockholm wrote:

I hope Cotler does quit...that way the NDP can run Julius Gray in Mount Royal and win the byelection!

Gawd, I'm so old I can remember when Mount Royal was the No. 1 surefire, slam-dunk Liberal Party riding in the whole country;

when Harry Bloomfield ran against Trudeau in the two Joe Clark elections, PET got 40,000+ votes, and Harry about 4,000; NDP ran a McGill student, results not worth a mention (30 years too early for Orange crush !), bunched in with Rhinos and various oddball leftoids...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Royal_(electoral_district)

 M-R is still a pretty upper-middle-class riding in many parts, so electing NDP, I still think, would be a long-shot...

 

 

bekayne

nicky wrote:
I think Andy Hogan was defeated. KenS is probably thinking of the Catholic priest from Saskatoon (whose name escapes me) who was pressured to step down by the Vatican.

Bob Ogle

Lord Palmerston

DaveW wrote:
Gawd, I'm so old I can remember when Mount Royal was the No. 1 surefire, slam-dunk Liberal Party riding in the whole country

There are no safe Liberal ridings in Canada anymore.  

Lord Palmerston

I think the NDP could take Mount Royal if Mulcair was leader, given his pro-Zionist views and the fact that he represents a neighboring riding.  

Julius Grey opposed Israel's attack on Gaza and also opposed a "no noise on the High Holidays" by-law in Hampstead, so I'm not so sure if Mount Royal is the right fit.  

Debater

Yeah, when Kelly McParland criticizes the Conservatives, you know they've gone too far.

Since nothing ever happens in the Conservative Party without King Harper's knowledge, I would assume they had his permission to do this.  I think he wants Mount Royal badly because he hates Pierre Trudeau and wants to stick it to the Liberals by winning his old riding and because it's the only riding in Montreal where the Conservatives have done well.

Lord Palmerston

That's a really scathing criticism of the Conservatives, and right on the mark.

Debater

Yup.

I like this quote:

"Prime Minister Stephen Harper should be ashamed to head a party that would soil itself with such devious and underhanded activities. Why not just break into Liberal headquarters and jimmy open a few file cabinets in search of their next campaign plan? Or bug the opposition leader’s office and listen in private conversations?"

ottawaobserver

Bruce Anderson on the same subject in the Globe:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/second-reading/bruce-anders...

I would not call this particular "free speech" argument a resounding success for Peter Van Loan.

Debater

Andrew Cohen:  The smearing of Irwin Cotler

 

"Zajdel, you should know, couldn't carry Cotler's briefcase."

 

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/life/smearing+Irwin+Cotler/5849789/story.html

Debater

Firm that made Cotler calls also worked for Speaker Andrew Scheer, other Tory candidates

 

Cotler says his staff traced the calls to Campaign Research Inc., a marketing research firm that has done work for conservative Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.

. . . 

As @kady notes, one of the campaigns that used Campaign Research was that of the same Andrew Scheer who found no breach of privilege. His campaign paid more than $8,000 for their services in aid of his run for the roses in Regina – Qu’Appelle, before he was elected Speaker. Scheer does not appear to have mentioned this in his ruling or, uh, anywhere else.

 

http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2011/12/14/firm-cited-in-cotler-calls-dec...

Lord Palmerston

Cotler may be a Liberal but he is one of the few who seems to have principles (even if I don't agree with a lot of them).  Far more importantly, there is something VERY disturbing that a majority party with far more resources than the others can get away with spreading outright lies about their opponents on the grounds of "free speech", as is hiring a candidate rejected by the voters of Mount Royal to serve as a shadow MP.

David Young

There's nothing new in seeing the Conservatives hiring a defeated candidate for 'outreach' work, but seeming to be the 'go-to' guy for anyone wanting to connect with the sitting government.

Here in Nova Scotia, when New Democrat Vicki Conrad defeated incumbent Tory Kerry Morash by 55 votes in the 2006 Provincial Election, afterwards there were announcements by the Conservative government that Kerry was invited to speak at, but they didn't let the sitting M.L.A. know about the events until after they had occured.

The voters in QUEENS saw through this, though, and in 2009, Vicki defeated Kerry by almost 2100 votes.

Give the voters a little bit of credit to see this for what it is...a crass, if not desperate, attempt to subvert the will of the people!

 

Gaian

They have now been found out in a couple of Waterloo Region ridings as well. The federal members, good Christians all, will "investigate."

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Quote:
Tuesday Dec. 20 Update : Phone calls to presumed Liberal voters in Con MP Peter Braid's riding advising them of false polling station location changes in the days days before the May 2 federal election have been traced to a "Conservative Party of Canada voicemail".

“I used them for a very specific and limited purpose and that was phone calling to constituents and voter identification,” said Braid.  “Nick [Kouvalis] has a particular expertise in this and that’s why it was helpful to have him involved.”

Braid said he’d consider using Campaign Research again, citing its excellent record with live phone calls. He added “It doesn’t necessarily mean I agree with everything they do.”

Presumably another example of Jason Kenney's "vital free speech" argument.
Despite evidence of just how entwined the history between the Cons and Campaign Research has become, expect imminent use of distancing weasel words like "over-zealous" and "party volunteer" from the Cons any moment now.

h/t The Record.

[url=http://creekside1.blogspot.com/2011/12/campaign-research-con-cats-are-ou... Research co-Founder Nick Kouvalis was Rob Ford's campaign manager[/url]

Debater

The fact that the Speaker himself has used the same firm in his riding of Regina – Qu’Appelle obviously raises the question of conflict of interest in his recent ruling.

I hope both the Liberals & NDP make this a big issue when they return in 2012.

OnTheLeft OnTheLeft's picture

More deliberate Conservative scheming?

 

Conservative party says alleged crank call a mistake

 

The Canadian Press

Date: Tuesday Dec. 20, 2011 2:53 PM ET

 

OTTAWA - The Conservative Party of Canada says there's a honest explanation for why it directed an Ontario woman to vote at the wrong polling station during the last federal election.

Carolyn Siopiolosz had complained to Elections Canada that she received a phone call a few days before the May 2 election telling her she was to vote at a polling station in downtown Kitchener rather than St. Clements, Ont., the town where she lived.

"The caller identified himself as representing Stephen Harper," reads a complaint sent to Elections Canada by the Liberal riding president in Kitchener-Conestoga, Joe Nowak.

"Carolyn was asked if she planned to vote on Monday. She said yes. She was then told that her poll location had changed to Victoria Park Pavilion in Kitchener.

"She became suspicious because her original poll was to be immediately across the street from where she lived and she had not heard of any official change. She was asked by the caller if she would like a ride to the new poll."

The federal elections commissioner is currently investigating several complaints related to "crank calls designed to discourage voting, discourage voting for a particular party, or incorrectly advise electors of changed polling locations." Elections Canada spokeswoman Diane Benson said the office does not comment on its investigations.

The complaint from Kitchener follows another controversy involving calls and the Conservative party.

In the same riding where Siopiolosz received the election phone call, a campaign worker with Conservative incumbent Harold Albrecht was accused of dirty tricks when he bought up Internet addresses with the name of the local Liberal candidate. The addresses sent people to a Conservative party website attacking former leader Michael Ignatieff.

NDP ethics critic Charlie Angus said he's concerned a pattern of behaviour is emerging from the Conservatives.

"They seem to be in ridings where the Conservatives were fighting neck-and-neck with Liberals," said Angus. "They all seem to follow the same pattern.

 

http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Canada/20111220/crank-call-conservative-party-mistake-111220/

 

 

 

 

 

Debater

OnTheLeft wrote:

 

NDP ethics critic Charlie Angus said he's concerned a pattern of behaviour is emerging from the Conservatives.

"They seem to be in ridings where the Conservatives were fighting neck-and-neck with Liberals," said Angus. "They all seem to follow the same pattern.

 

http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Canada/20111220/crank-call-conservative-party-mistake-111220/

 

Mistake, my foot.

Angus is right.  It's not coincidental that these fake phone calls are going on in battleground ridings/swing seats where the Conservatives are in contention.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

There were definitely misdirecting poll calls in Winnipeg South Centre (where Bateman narrowly defeated Neville) and in St. Boniface (where Glover wasn't doing as well as they had hoped). Those calls were traced to North Dakota I believe.

Debater

Interfering with the voting process by giving out false information to voters and trying to distort the election results should be prosecuted as being against the law.

chowder

Arthur Cramer wrote:

Oh look, more proof the Liberals are coming back.

Thanks Debater, you rock!

 

I don't think the liebrals will be coming back anytime soon maybe in the election after next. Maybe

Erik Redburn

Debater wrote:

Interfering with the voting process by giving out false information to voters and trying to distort the election results should be prosecuted as being against the law.

 

Yes they should.  All the opposition parties should be united in making as much noise as possible, as the cons were also found guilty of illegal campaign financing.

bekayne