Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

Montreal Simon: Why Stephen Harper Won’t Escape the Robocall Scandal

In my last post I said that Stephen Harper may have dodged the robocall scandal, so far. But he cannot escape the moral responsibility for what happened.For having created a depraved culture where some of his fanatic young followers obviously thought it was OK to try to steal an election.But of course there is also the question of CRIMINAL responsibility. Because two judges have now said that they believe there was a wider conspiracy. And Elections Canada needs to re-open the robocall investigation, and go after the other shadowy Con operatives who carried out this crime against democracy. Read more »

Montreal Simon: The Robocall Verdict and the Real Pierre Poutine

More than three years after the robocall scandal erupted, the verdict is finally in. Michael Sona is officially at least Pierre Poutine

Former Conservative party staffer Michael Sona has been found guilty of trying to prevent voters from reaching the polls during the 2011 federal election. Mr. Sona, 25, was the only person charged in the so-called robocalls scandal and now faces a maximum penalty of $5,000, five years in prison or both. He will be sentenced at a later date.

But as we knew it would, the verdict raises more questions than it answers.Read more »

The Disaffected Lib: Harper’s Whipping Boy Guilty in Robocall Case.

A whipping boy was a young boy assigned to a young prince who was designated to take a flogging when the prince misbehaved.

Methinks Michael Sona is the Harper Conservatives’ whipping boy.  Sona is the one taking the fall for the widespread robocall scam in the last federal election. He’ll be sacrificed.  He’ll get the heat.  Everyone else will be off the hook.

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: CPC Lied To Elections Canada On RoboCalls?

The corruption that is the CPC’s actions in the 2011 election continues to fester.

The most recent instalment comes to us via Stephen Maher’s latest column.

In an email May 1, party lawyer Arthur Hamilton told Elections Canada that Conservative call centre workers were not advising voters that Elections Canada had changed the location of polling stations, and that the party had not advised voters to go to a polling station an hour and a half from their home. 

But a report released by Elections Canada last month includes a script that shows the party’s callers were telling voters (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Robocall Scandal: Did the Harper PMO Lie to Elections Canada?

He has been lucky so far. The robocall scandal hasn't yet penetrated the darkness of his foul PMO.But now the robocall trial of Michael Sona is about to begin. Who knows who he might call upon to testify?And this can't be good news.Read more »

Montreal Simon: Darth Harper and the Robocall Scandal

Well he must be feeling pretty pleased with himself. He must believe that The Force is with him.And to be fair, it did decide that Nigel Wright shouldn't be charged for paying Mike Duffy to keep his mouth shut.It did decide that the sight of an underage drinker lying unconscious in his driveway, after a swim suit party, wasn't something it should be concerned about.And then today there was this gift from the Elections Commissioner. Read more »

Montreal Simon: The Fair Elections Act and the Robocall Conspiracy

As I've mentioned before, one of the reasons Stephen Harper's Cons are rushing their Unfair Elections Act through Parliament, is that they want it to become law before Michael Sona's robocall trial begins in June.And with good reason. Because the bill would make it harder to go after those who would try to steal an election.And that robocall scandal just got a whole lot more interesting.Read more »

Montreal Simon: Pierre Palooka and the Con Robocall Scandal

OMG. Somebody please throw in the towel. This fight has gotta end before I start feeling almost sorry for Pierre Poilievre.Because the way that palooka and his foul Unfair Elections Act are getting pounded in the ring of public opinion is almost too brutal.So many Chief Electoral Officers, law professors, election experts, and outraged Canadians want to take a shot at him and his bill, you gotta take a number eh? And today it was the Election Commissioner Yves Côté's turn to pound him some more. And make him look like a absolute idiot. Read more »

CuriosityCat: Robocalls and our Democracy: Michael Harris’ Compelling Ten Questions

Michael Harris: The Big 10

A must read for all who fear for our democracy, Michael Harris has done all Canadians a favour by spelling out ten questions he wants answered, along with some supporting facts that are background to each question he has posed. The inaction or lack of response by those whose job it is guard our democracy from voter suppression beggars belief. I trust that the three opposition parties will raise his article in iPolitics and his 10 questions during Question Period. And that they will demand that someone from Elections Canada appear to explain what is (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Is Stephen Harper Trying to Protect Himself From the Robocall Scandal?

For some reason I've always assumed that the Cons were rushing their foul voter suppression bill through Parliament, so they could try to steal the next election like they tried to steal the last one.For why else would they be in such a hurry? Why else would they even ignore the critical comments of the Con Godfather Preston Manning?But now Lawrence Martin has reminded me of another possible reason. They're trying to cover their asses from the fallout of the robocall scandal. Read more »

Montreal Simon: Elections Canada and the Revenge of Boss Harper

Well let's be clear, as he likes to say. Forget the smokescreen of fancy words, or the long list of minor changes, or the Orwellian name, the Fair Elections Act.Baby Face Poilievre may have pulled the trigger.But this was Boss Harper's revenge. Read more »

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Robocalls Revived

With Michael Sona’s trial expected later this year, the RoboCalls scandal has once again booted up, reminding Canadian voters of the corruption in the 2011 election.

The most recent thing to fall out of the back of that horse?  Apparently one of Sona’s co-conspirators has just been granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony on what actually happened. Prescott’s name has come up in some of the court filings made by investigators from Elections Canada, although he has so far declined to be interviewed by them. 

Prescott, who was paid a $1,000 stipend for his work on (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Robocalls: Is This the Breakthrough We’ve Been Waiting For?

Well I must admit that I thought he would be the last Con operative to be granted immunity in the robocall scandal.But the law, like the Lord, works in mysterious ways eh?And Andrew Prescott seems to be the big winner. Read more »

CuriosityCat: Robocalls: Who is blocking Elections Canada?

Our new flag?

If thisis true, then we live in a banana republic: Elections Canada has heard complaints of dirty tricks in the 2011 election from over 200 ridings. Many of the grievances don’t amount to much, sources say, but a substantial number are thought to be of a serious nature. A source with knowledge of the Elections Canada probe said investigators are handicapped because they are being blocked from gaining access to Conservative party records.  As a result, he said there is only a small chance of charges beyond those against Sona being laid. The sooner the police (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Robocall scandal: Who is the Second Person?

Robocalls: Mounties on the trail

From today’s press report in The National Post about Michael Sona and statements by others in his Tory office:

Dockstaeder also said Sona told her and a colleague that he paid in cash for a disposable phone and a VISA gift card, then obtained a list of phone numbers of Liberal voters from a friend who owed him a favour, the ITO says.

Sona “then recorded a message impersonating Elections Canada,” Dockstaeder told investigators.

The scheme was part of a “juvenile competition” with the Liberal campaign in Guelph, Dockstaeder said, according to the ITO. (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: RoboCalls Scandal – It’s Still Alive

For those who had lost track of the Robocalls fraud perpetrated by the Harper Conservatives during the 2011 election, it hasn’t gone away.

Harper has done an enormous amount of work to bury this case.  Not only have they fought the allegations tooth and nail, they have hobbled the ability of Elections Canada to fully investigate the scope of the malfeasance by stripping the agency’s budget.  Ultimately, a low level party operative is now facing charges related to one riding.

That court case has been slowly making its way through the courts, and because of a publication ban in place, (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: The Rot Starts At The Top

Regular readers of this space will know that I am no fan of Prime Minister Harper.  

Yesterday’s revelation that a “boot camp” for new Conservative Senators explicitly told the new Senators that partisan travel was a legitimate expense makes me downright furious.

Three former Conservative senators at the heart of a spending scandal were given clear directions from their leader in the upper chamber that they could bill for certain partisan — that is, political — travel when they first arrived in the Senate. 

The directions were given during a two-day “boot camp” for new Tory senators that (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: On The Ongoing Senate Scandal

As the summer wears on, more keeps dribbling out about the misdeeds of various Senators.  Whether we are talking about Wallin, Duffy or Brazeau the outrage that we direct towards these senators for their individual misdeeds should be directed in equal measure towards the man currently residing at 24 Sussex Dr. in Ottawa – Stephen Harper.

Remember, the key figures in this scandal were all appointed by Harper, and two of them served key roles during the 2011 election campaign – a period when it is suspected that Duffy was billing the Senate for the bulk of the travel (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Robocon: Guess who Sona will call as witnesses?

Michael Sona: Whom should I call?

Sona, charged with being the man behind the voter suppression robocalls in Guelph in the suspect May 2011 election, has, through his lawyer, repeated that he is not the personwho set up the voter suppression calls. His lawyer has called for a public enquiry into the mess (fat chance on that when our government is headed by a man who seems more intent on avoiding public debate of public matters). But his lawyer also said Sona now had the chance to state his say in court. Guess who I expect Sona to subpoena . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Robocon: Guess who Sona will call as witnesses?

Canadian ProgressiveCanadian Progressive: Maude Barlow: Conservatives rejected again… next stop Federal Court!

by Maude Barlow | Council of Canadians The Federal Court rejected the Conservative Party MPs’ motions on security for costs against the ongoing legal challenges in the robocall scandal. You’ll remember the Conservative Party MPs called for the nine individual applicants to put up a total of $260,409 as a security deposit – an outrageous [...]

centerandleft: Conservative Transparancy Now Scientifically Proven to be a Joke

51st place isn’t necessarily always a bad thing. The 51st wealthiest person in the world, or the 51st smartest are blessed to be so lucky. It’s a placement they can be proud of.

When your country is ranked 51st on any list, it is unlikely to be a source of such national pride, especially when the ranking deals with freedom of information. Yet, that is where Canada stands, behind traditional openness powerhouses like Colombia and Niger.

Bev Oda Waves to Responsible Government | iPOLITICS/Kyle Hamilton

The Canadian government, its departments and agencies are given requests (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: The Council of Canadians’ Magnificent Seven

Canada’s Woodward & Bernstein, Stephen Maher and Glen McGregor, of Postmedia News, today bring us news about The Council of Canadians’ Magnificent Seven. In the 1960 western The Magnificent Seven, based on the 1954 Japanese film Seven Samurai, seven gunmen are hired to protect a small village in Mexico from a group of bandits.

The Council of Canadians is springing to the defence of Canadian voters, whose Charter rights to a free and fair vote were attacked by a group of bandits: A citizen advocacy group is asking the Federal Court of Canada to overturn election results . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: The Council of Canadians’ Magnificent Seven

CuriosityCat: Robocon: Bob Rae and stopping the clock

CuriosityCat: Robocon: Was there a conspiracy and who conspired? The wide net of the law

So far we have 700 clear cases of complaints to Elections Canada about voter suppression acts in the May 2011 election. And we have 77 ridings identified where voter suppression complaints have surfaced. And now we have the CBC identifying 31 ridings where there were complaints of voter suppression: CBC News examined 31 ridings where such calls have been reported and found a pattern: those receiving those calls also had previous calls from the Conservative Party to find out which way they would vote. Was there agreement by persons currently unknown in those 31 ridings to conspire to break the . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Robocon: Was there a conspiracy and who conspired? The wide net of the law

CuriosityCat: Robocon: Bob Rae has one week to protect Canada’s democracy by stopping the clock

Bob Rae – one week to go

And a study by a Simon Fraser professor finds that the robocalls could have affected the result of the May 2 2011 election:

In a new paper, a Simon Fraser University economist finds that robo-calling, if the phenomenon did occur, could have significantly influenced voter turnout and ballot results in the last federal election.

Anke Kessler’s discussion paper is available on her website and on Worthwhile Canadian Initiative, an economics blog…

“Ridings where voters were allegedly targeted by robo-calls — meaning they were possibly discouraged from voting or directed to the wrong polls

. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Robocon: Bob Rae has one week to protect Canada’s democracy by stopping the clock