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JimBobby Sez: The Cremation of Canadian Democracy – With apologies to Robert Service

There are strange things done ‘neath the Canadian sunBy politicians lusting for power;The backroom boys have their techno-toysThat would make your blood go sour;The ballot boxes have seen sly foxes,But the slyest they ever did seeWas on election day, the second of MayWhen they butchered democracy.

In two thousand eleven, for the forty-first time, Canadians lined up to vote,But some dirty tricks from some rotten pricks delivered a hell of a note,Nefarious brains launched their robo-campaigns designed to perplex and confuse,And keep opponents away on election day by a scurrilous, (Read more…)

Impolitical: Conservative phone call harassment on tape

Listen to the tapes here. A former employee of RMG said things like this: «Oh, vous n’êtes pas un conservateur? Nous ne voulons pas parler à un socialiste ou à un séparatiste.»

The former employee of RMG has been let go, here are the apologies: Le collecteur de fonds Don Duke s’est comporté de manière «inacceptable», reconnaît le Parti conservateur. Et la société Responsive Marketing Group (RMG) s’excuse «sans réserve» aux membres de la formation qui se sont frottés à ses méthodes musclées.

Note one of the calls mentions Ignatieff, so this could have been during the election, it’s

Aung San Suu Kyi to John Baird: When it comes to voting, today’s Myanmar a lot like Harper’s Canada

She didn’t say that in those words of course but her sly mention of voter irregularities could not have been better timed and said to a better person.

“We have just discovered there are many, many irregularities on the voters’ lists, and we have applied to the election commission to do something about this,” Suu Kyi said, standing next to Baird on her back porch.

“A lot of dead people seem to

Impolitical: Harper reverses on new audit powers for Elections Canada

“Tories agree to new audit powers for Elections Canada.” The Conservative government has reversed course and now says it will support an NDP motion to give Elections Canada increased audit powers.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who has battled the federal elections watchdog for much of his political career, told the House of Commons on Wednesday his government will support new legislation within six months — as proposed by the official Opposition.

New Democrats and Liberals have been making hay of the fact a Conservative-dominated committee last month formally turned down a recommendation by the chief electoral officer for new

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Manning Centre’s voter suppression school

Must read article from the Vancouver Observer on the creepy Manning Centre’s 2010 ‘campaign school’. Here’s a little of what one attendee, John Fryer, discovered. (emphasis mine).

The conversation that followed was deeply disturbing to Fryer. In a question and answer session, attendees discussed voter suppression tactics. They talked about posing as a member of another party, and about making

Trashy's World: A course on…

… how to commit fraud? Interesting piece in the Vancouver Observer that is making the rounds on Facebook describing a course given through the conservative think-tank Manning Institute. Again, no smoking gun and I’m not drawing any conclusions about the CPC involvement, but give it a read and come to your own conclusions. Trashy, Ottawa, [...]

Politics and its Discontents: While The Globe and Mail Is Busy Doing PR for The PM …

…it appears that The Vancouver Observer is actually doing some journalism as it unearths the details of the campaign school that John Fryer wrote about last week in his letter to the Globe and Mail.

As far as I know, the Globe did no followup of Fryer’s explosive allegations. Hardly surprising for the self-proclaimed ‘newspaper of record’.

H/t @yvonne4tn Recommend this Post

Word to Peggy Wente And Comic Relief: A Cheesy Cartoon And Latest From Montreal Icons, Bowser and Blue

Keep thinking you live in a democracy, dear.

What’s happened to my country? I went away for a couple of weeks and all hell broke loose. I came back to find that someone named Poutine stole the last election. At first I thought this was a typo, that they meant Putin.

Go . . . → Read More: Word to Peggy Wente And Comic Relief: A Cheesy Cartoon And Latest From Montreal Icons, Bowser and Blue

Blunt Objects: Nanos, Robocalls, and Super Tuesday

Sorry for my lack of posting the past three days – but I haven’t missed much anyways.

The big thing I did miss was the recent Nanos Research poll, showing for the second time in a row, the Liberals in second place. The topline numbers (and changes from the last Nanos poll) are as follows:

Cons: 35.7% (=) Liberal: 29.5% (+1.9) NDP: 25.0% (-0.2) Bloc: 4.9% (-0.7) Green: 3.4% (-1.1) Other: 1.5% (+0.1)

The numbers are pretty standard for what most polls show right now, except

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Far and Wide: Robopoll

The first robocall specific poll is out from Angus Reid and it provides little comfort for the Conservatives. The poll also reveals the opposition will find much support in pushing for further inquiry. As well, on a couple key questions, there is some consensus across party lines.

The opposition should ramp up the calls for a full public inquiry, that is shrewd politically and the concept finds overwhelming support with votes, even Conservatives: 81% want an independent investigation to find out exactly who was behind any misleading robocalls that may have been made in the May 2011 federal election…including

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Far and Wide: Robocall Reset

It’s important to keep some perspective here, as the Conservatives play the “contain” game with robocalls. The frame emerging seems to be that if the Conservatives can isolate electoral fraud to Guelph, they’ve effectively killed this scandal. On the other hand, the opposition is entirely focused on finding the smoking gun that leads right to Conservative central command. There is a tug of war at play, which has the almost bizarre effect of rendering Guelph almost irrelevant to the discussion. Oh sure, something really bad happened in Guelph involving Conservative operatives, perhaps some rogue element used the database for nefarious

. . . → Read More: Far and Wide: Robocall Reset

Saskboy and Jymn rub The Globe’s nose in #RoboCon | #cdnpoli

RoboCon: Journalism Failure at the Globe – UPDATED | Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: “And what’s the reason that John Ibbitson, a professional journalist for a national newspaper, treats Giorno with so much respect and kid-gloves that he talks him up as some sort of non-lying politician, while a nobody blogger in Regina has quickly demonstrated the exact opposite, using evidence?

And in closing:

They should know by now that breaking the rules can land a party in a world of hurt, no matter who did it, or why.

Yes, they might get another $52,000 fine for overspending by $1.3M

. . . → Read More: Saskboy and Jymn rub The Globe’s nose in #RoboCon | #cdnpoli

"Robo-calls? Get a grip. We’re Canadian"

So says Globe & Mail scold Margaret Wente.

We expect our elections to be squeaky clean, and that’s a good thing. Obviously, there were election irregularities in Guelph, and maybe elsewhere, and Elections Canada needs to find out what happened and who did it. But it’s ridiculous to think there was some massive cheating scheme engineered by higher-ups. We’re not Russia after all. It’s unpopular

Impolitical: The plausible deniability angle

That is what John Ivison is tackling in his latest column where he opines that the Conservatives’ voter identification database system, CIMS, is a key to unravelling the robocall scandal. In the wake of Guy Giorno’s very strong push back against the notion that the Conservative party’s national campaign had anything to do with any of the misdirection, impersonation, harassing calls, etc., it’s not surprising to see a watertight compartments theory of the Conservative campaign being considered.

It would go along the lines of this excerpt in the column, with a few comments on it below: The strong suspicion

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Impolitical: Rae on robocalls, the budget

From Monday’s scrum…on wanting to make amendments to the Elections Act to require greater accountability, the need to retain documentation such as scripts, etc., in light of the ongoing scandal. The kinds of things we should be hearing from the government.

Plus a bit on the Cotler calls and Flaherty at the end.

Impolitical: Late night

If you’re a Conservative, there’s not much to be laughing about tonight.

(h/t)

Impolitical: Conservative MP blames Elections Canada

Today, straight out of the mouth of a Conservative MP: “Tory MP says Elections Canada to blame for robocalls.” “I suspect that at the end of the day, if Elections Canada has the resources to do a proper investigation, they’ll find they’re themselves significantly responsible,” Saskatchewan MP Maurice Vellacott said in a statement.

“That tech issues with marrying (Elections Canada) lists to available, electronic phone lists is part of the problem, and in a few instances there may have been malfeasance by one party or the other.”

“Hired live phoners or automated calling systems are only as good

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John Ibbitson shames himself in the Conservative daily Globe & Mail

Itchy and Scratchy

The Globe & Mail is a terrible newspaper. It was once highly regarded but has fallen into disrepute. Only if you are a Conservative or a right-wing operative would you even consider the Globe to be the ‘newspaper of record’. In fact, the newspaper has become the most virulently conservative of all the national rags, including the Post and Sun medias. And that’s saying

Trashy's World: Huh?

The robocall blame falls at the feet of Elections Canada? Seriously? What has this guy been smoking? “I suspect that at the end of the day, if Elections Canada has the resources to do a proper investigation, they’ll find they’re themselves significantly responsible, that tech issues with marrying EC lists to available, electronic phone lists [...]

Politics and its Discontents: Canada’s ‘Newspaper of Record" Continues Its Defense Of Harper

The Globe’s John Ibbitson says the Harper regime wasn’t behind the voter suppression crimes because, well, because Guy Giorno and Stephen Harper say they didn’t do it.

Seems like it isn’t just the Conservative Party that has contempt for the intelligence of Canadians. Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: A New Tory Fantasy Excuse For Robocalls

He may not have anything else going for him, but at least Conservative backbencher Maurice Vellacott has a rich imagination. Recommend this Post

Conservatives play Whack-A-Mole with Robogate blame game. First it was the Liberals. Now it’s Elections Canada.

“Take my wife. Please.”

I hope comedians around Canada are paying attention. The jokes from the Conservatives during the Robogate scandal keep on coming. Only thing is, these jokers don’t realize how funny they really are.

I can only hope that Maurice Vellacott was auditioning for the Just for Laughs festival when he said, “I suspect that at the end of the day, if Elections Canada has the

Politics and its Discontents: More On Voter Suppression

The Globe has some interesting letters today on the voter suppression crimes of the last election. Of particular note is the first one, by an adjunct professor at the University of Victoria, who attended a campaign school presentation in which instructors “made it clear that robo-calling and voter suppression were an acceptable and normal part of winning political campaigns.”

If you follow the link, you will notice that three of the presenters have, ahem, rather close ties to the Harper regime. The story keeps getting darker and darker.

h/t katie o’malley Recommend this Post

Hey Rob Anders, it’s your party which is the party of Putin

Peas in a pod

Like the Conservatives’ voter suppression tactics during the last federal election in Canada, it looks like Russia’s governing party also rigged the vote. No surprise there, seeing the inherent similarities in the two parties and its two leaders.

Politics and its Discontents: Voter Suppression – March 11 Toronto Protest

As I suspect is the case with most political bloggers, I offer commentary and provide links to important stories because I love my country and am very concerned about the direction in which it is heading. As well, I am deeply offended when abuse of political power occurs. And, like many others who write, I always hope that something I post may influence the thinking of some readers to the point where they become more aware of and interested in the important issues confronting our country.

That’s on a good day.

There are many other days when I wonder if

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