Was I too Hasty?

In addressing the Robocall, election fraud scandal Prime Minister Stephen Harper says "The Conservative  Party can say absolutely, definitively it has no role in any of this."

The real question is can we trust anything Harper says? You have to admit. that is a pretty strong statement from the leader of the Party that only four months ago pleaded guilty, in court to violations of the Elections Act. And, I am reminded that the guilty plea came after four years of denials that there was wrongdoing on their part.

So, if the Conservatives didn't do it who did? The suggestion from the Tories is that if anything actually happened, if this is anything more than a political stunt by the NDP and the Liberals it was the work of over eager election workers acting independently.

I wonder?

  • To start with, setting up Robo calls, particularly on the scale which is alleged in the current scandal, is not cheap. It is well beyond the capability of a few rogue Conservative pranksters. 
  • To make it work you need to have a voters list broken down to indicate party preference,  
  • access to a call centre and;
  • lots of expertise 

Who would have the access, the money and the expertise?

Did someone steal the election?
The Globe & Mail reports today that, expanded under Stephen Harper's leadership, the Constituency Information System (CIMS) the massive Conservative database could be, some would say very likely was, the tool which helped all this come together.

The Green Party suggests that during the 2009 election someone in the Saanish-Gulf Islands riding launched, what now looks like a pilot project for what happened in 2011. The same Robocall setup there in 2009  is alledged to have stolen the election from the Liberal candidate and handed it to Conservative Gary Lund.

It is not quite a smoking gun but...

Elections Canada claims to be looking into all this but is being very tight-lipped about what it is up to and how wide its probe is. It is reported that today it is off to Thunder Bay. That is where a call centre worker reported that she and her colleagues were scripted to misdirect voters to factitious polling stations. The worker is reported to have reported the situation to both the RCMP and Elections Canada at the time but both apparently ignored her complaint.

It has also been reported that Elections Canada met with parliamentarians in committee, to ask for increased funding so they could properly deal with this scandal but the request was denier by the Conservative dominated committee.

I am sure many will believe the Prime Minister when he says his hands are clean. I, for one, am not so ready to suspend my disbelief.

If you are late to this story, the Ottawa Citizen has done a good job of putting all these stories in one place which makes it easier to follow.

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