Tag Archives: #robocon

Micah Goldberg: Pennywise Mr. Harper

The end of the penny has caused many important cuts in Steven Harper’s first majority budget to have been buried. CBC funding was cut to the amount of $115 million dollars, $56 million was cut from the Canadian Food Inspections Agency, the Katimavik program was scrapped altogether, the list goes on. In the midst of the Robocall scandal however, no cut strikes a more political cord than the $7.5 million being cut from Elections Canada.

Cutting millions while the electoral fraud investigation searches through thousands of complaints spanning 200 ridings in all ten provinces and one territory is absurd, apprehensible, and so very cute. Pierre Poutine’s actions seem to be the only thing that stands in the Conservative’s way of another majority. As I have been predicting since Mulcair’s victory in the NDP leadership contest last week, Steven Harper has essentially been gifted another Conservative majority in 2015; however, despite the stars aligning, the one thing standing in his way of another strong mandate is an electoral scandal that turns a “strong, stable” government into a crooked one in the eyes of centrist Canadians.

If I know this, you can be sure Prime Minister Harper knows this. Pierre Poutine and his calls trouble Mr. Harper, as they are the only issue your non-political Canadian cares about. By cutting funding to the only objective investigators in an ongoing electoral fraud case is the easiest way to prolong the process of finding the true source of the calls, and that is the key, to make Canadians forget about a serious issue or court them back into apathy and indifference. If the Robocall story does not surface before the next election, people will lose interest in an old story. Harper’s agenda is to retard the process, to bury the story underneath pennies and duties.

If our Prime Minister had any guts, however, he would not cut the powers of the chief electoral officer, but compliment them. It is time to find out who was behind the misleading robocalls, and while I believe the Conservatives are playing politics with the budget in order to delay the truth, it is imperative that the story remain fresh in our hearts and minds. This is assuming we want change of course, and with the penny being eliminated, we’ve been forced to look extra hard for some.

Why Nobody Believes the Conservative Talking Points on the RoboCon Scandal.

Mere days ago the Conservative Party finally admitted their guilt in the “In & Out” election fraud scandal (remember that the Conservative Party headquarters was raided by the RCMP.) Months ago, the Conservative Party admitted that they paid to make phone calls in Mount Royal (saying Irwin Cotler was going to resign, which is a lie).

The Conservatives voted against giving Elections Canada expanded power to investigate the election fraud that they are being accused of today. Stephen Harper and Dean Del Mastro said repeatedly in the House of Commons that the Conservative Party didn’t use American call firms. It was later revealed that they did.

So, only the Conservative Party of Canada has been convicted of electoral fraud. Only the Conservative Party has been caught paying to make misleading calls. Only the Conservative Party has opposed an independent investigation of possibly electoral fraud in the 2011 election.

On a number of occasions the Conservatives admitted that they called Conservatives to inform them of changes of polling locations. Now, Elections Canada specifically told all of the political parties not to do this. The riding that was mentioned, a number of times, by the Conservatives was Edmonton-East. There were no polling location changes in Edmonton-East.

Stephen Harper prorogued parliament, twice, to avoid democratic accountability. The Conservative Party of Canada then proceeded (in 2009, then throughout the 2011 election) to lie to the Canadian people on the subject of coalition governments. Conservative Members of Parliament, the Senate, the Conservative campaign team and the Prime Minister told Canadians over, and over and over again that coalition governments were “anti-democratic.” The Prime Minister said that he prorogued parliament because the opposition wanted to “overturn” the election results, which is exactly what he did by proroguing parliament.

Stephen Harper’s animus toward Elections Canada is well know. He has had the opportunity to call an independent investigation but he has refused to do so.

The RoboCon situation will unfold over the next few months and years. The allegations are quite serious but the Conservative Party, the only Federal party that has been convicted of electoral fraud, the only party that has paid to call Canadians with false information, the only party that is being investigated for election fraud and the only Prime Minister in Canada’s history to be found in contempt of parliament, refuses to take it seriously.

Micah Goldberg: How bad was this week for the Conservative Government?

It was bad. It was really bad. It was the worst week the Conservatives have had since they became a Majority Government. Bill C-30, the “Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act” allows the Government and Canadian authorities to track the digital footprint of Canadian citizens without a warrant in situations deemed “exceptional”. Problem: the word “exceptional” is not defined in the bill. C-30 has been endorsed by many police chiefs around Canada, including the one here in Winnipeg, but severely lacks the endorsement of Canadians’ common sense faculties. If there is child pornography transpiring, it certainly ought to be stopped; however, the ends hardly justify the means, which is assuming the means are even being used to meet the ends.

Elizabeth May brought up a terrific point, criticizing Vic Toews for arguing the gun registry was too much of an invasion of privacy, and presently claiming that a privacy invasion which completely eclipses anything in recent Canadian history is somehow acceptable. This is Mr. Toews having it both ways. Ralph Goodale added that the Conservative Government used the same privacy invasion argument for the anonymous long form census. How an anonymous census which never suffered a security breach is a greater threat to the privacy of Canadians than the ability to trace every website, email and text message associated with a citizen is beyond all comprehensible reason.

The Conservatives, however, have been criticized by progressives before, proroguing government in 2008 for example, but they went ahead and did it anyways, so why are they amending the bill? The answer, it turns out, is that no one ever polled the Conservative members or their representatives in Ottawa. Apparently Conservative members and many MPs don’t see a difference between opposing the gun registry and opposing government spying. Good on them for being consistent, bad on Mr. Toews for embarrassing the Conservative Party.

If you thought privacy scares were a PR nightmare, what about wide-spread election fraud? RackNine, an Edmonton call centre that worked for only one federal party (the Conservatives) were linked to automated calls in contested ridings which led many Liberal voters to believe they were being contacted by Elections Canada, stating that their polling station had been changed.

Let me be clear, this story, and any election fraud does not only affect the Tories. It hurts all of us. It hurts anyone interested in politics, and all political parties. It hurts the credibility of the democratic institution and every single elected politician. It makes the system look dishonest and crooked, unworthy of the hard earned tax dollars they already see spent on helicopter joyrides and an absent upper chamber.

There is no proof that the senior members of the Conservative Party were involved in this, but there is proof that someone within the party spearheaded this project. It was not 23-year old Micheal Sona from Guelph. It was someone with Liberal lists and influence. I only hope they are publicly named and shamed, incarcerated and completely excommunicated from the Canadian political process.

This week was probably the worst five days to be inside the Tory caucus, mainly because they learned – in the hardest way possible mind you – that they are still accountable to at least two groups: their base and the police. Let’s just hope Bob Rae gets some help from his NDP counterparts this week during question period to keep the fire next to our Prime Minister’s feet burning.