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Canada Government Politics

Canada's Conservatives Misled Voters With Massive Robocall Operation 401

Posted by timothy
from the now-that's-offsides dept.
choongiri writes "Elections Canada has just traced thousands of illegal phone calls made during the 2011 federal election to a company that worked for the Conservative Party across the country. The automated VOIP 'robocalls' appeared to be designed to stop non-Conservative voters from casting ballots in key ridings by falsely telling voters that the location of their polling stations had changed, causing them to go to the wrong location on election day. This news casts serious doubt on the legitimacy of Canada's Government. The Conservatives narrowly won their 'majority' by 6,201 votes in 14 ridings, with only 39% of the popular vote." For those as unfamiliar with the term "riding" in this context as I was, here's Wikipedia's explanation.
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Canada's Conservatives Misled Voters With Massive Robocall Operation

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  • More disturbingly... (Score:5, Informative)

    by iCEBaLM (34905) <icebalm@NOsPam.icebalm.com> on Saturday February 25, 2012 @05:36PM (#39160381)

    Some calls apparently were from people claiming to be with the Liberal party, acting rude, calling at very late/early hours, in an attempt to cause people who said they supported the Liberal party to not vote for them. These calls happened in multitudes of ridings (districts for you yanks) including Etobicoke Centre where the Conservative candidate won by only 26 votes. [www.cbc.ca]

    • by gl4ss (559668) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @05:47PM (#39160429) Homepage Journal

      wtf?

      surely some jailtime is in order? shouldn't be _that_ hard to figure out where the calls originated from(someone paid for them in some form.. even if they were done with skype-out or whatever).

      sincerely some guy.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 25, 2012 @06:23PM (#39160607)

        Perhaps Crimeminister Harper can be the first guest in the new superjails.
        Tough on crime. Remember that phrase, Cons.

      • by davester666 (731373) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @06:32PM (#39160641) Journal

        hahahahaha.

        Like what happened in the states, like in Florida, where dead people just happen pop out of the grave and vote, or where primarily Democrat-voting districts just happen to get robocalled with the wrong date, time and/or location to vote [or that you need a passport and multiple other forms of picture ID to vote].

        As long as the entire voting process, as well as the government in general, is under the direct control of the political parties that are permitted to run, every so-called 'investigation' will continue to result in...nothing happening.

        • Well, at least in one instance, a lawsuit was required: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bush_v._Gore [wikipedia.org]
        • by tlambert (566799) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @08:00PM (#39161063)

          Like what happened in the states, like in Florida, where dead people just happen pop out of the grave and vote

          The dead people were getting old, so they moved from Chicago to Miami, like most people in Chicago do when they get older.

          Interesting factoid:

          It's not commonly known, but the reason so many old people end up in Florida in the first place is that they shrink as they get older. As they shrink, their ability to see out of their cars decreases, until all they can see is the little crescent moon of sky between the dashboard and the top of their steering wheel -- this is also the primary cause of the so-called "ghost car effect", where a car appears to drive itself; the secondary cause, as any idiot knows, is Google. When this happens, all they can see is birds, and since birds are migratory, the old people end up going South as well, and end up in Florida (West of the Rocky Mountains, they end up in Arizona).

          -- Terry

        • by Leolo (568145) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @08:35PM (#39161239) Homepage

          Elections Canada runs all the elections. And they are is independent from Government.

      • by SolemnLord (775377) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @06:41PM (#39160695)

        So far one staffer [www.cbc.ca] has resigned as the allegations have landed, in what appears to be a case of falling-on-the-sword-itis. The scale of the scandal is actually pretty massive. As TFA points out, these calls have been confirmed to appear in 18 ridings, and others are being suspected. In those 18 ridings, the calls only hit households that were waffling Liberal (as per recent polling).

        What this means is that someone had to plan the calls, get the party affiliation information on these 18 ridings (at least), hire RackNine, hire a bilingual voice actor, and see everything through. The likelihood of one person pulling all this off is next to nil, and it doesn't help that the Conservative party has a (rightly deserved) reputation for bullying and playing dirty pool with the rules.

        And since it's going to come up, the Conservative Party of Canada is actually the result of a merger between two separate parties: the original Progressive Conservatives, who were the centre-right answer to the Liberal's centre-left, and the Canadian Alliance-née-Reform party, the country's (relatively)-far-right party. Prime Minister Harper was previously a member of the Canadian Alliance, and it's safe to say that his view, regardless of his party's, doesn't represent the overwhelming majority of Canadians. He's not all bad, but I will throw a party he is unceremoniously dumped from the Canadian political scene.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by quantaman (517394)

          And since it's going to come up, the Conservative Party of Canada is actually the result of a merger between two separate parties: the original Progressive Conservatives, who were the centre-right answer to the Liberal's centre-left, and the Canadian Alliance-née-Reform party, the country's (relatively)-far-right party. Prime Minister Harper was previously a member of the Canadian Alliance, and it's safe to say that his view, regardless of his party's, doesn't represent the overwhelming majority of Canadians. He's not all bad, but I will throw a party he is unceremoniously dumped from the Canadian political scene.

          I've always felt the Harper was one of the only things keeping the Conservatives in check, and the reason for his somewhat authoritarian style is that a lot of his MPs are pretty far off the deep end so he needs to keep them under reign.

          I very much doubt the plan was all Sona's doing, though I don't believe that Harper is to blame.

          • by SolemnLord (775377) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @07:31PM (#39160879)

            I've always felt the Harper was one of the only things keeping the Conservatives in check, and the reason for his somewhat authoritarian style is that a lot of his MPs are pretty far off the deep end so he needs to keep them under reign.

            I agree and I disagree. Harper certainly had to keep his MPs in check, but that seemed to matter more when he was running a minority government than now. You didn't hear a peep out of the fringe MPs up until the Conservatives had a majority. Without the need to appeal to Canadian moderates who would have voted for the Liberals otherwise, Harper is showing less interest in holding back the fringe MPs, and more interested in ramming his legislation down our throats. It was practical intra-party authoritarianism.

            As for who might be responsible, I started writing up things and realized that I was probably sounding paranoid. I think that the Nixon comparisons [theglobeandmail.com] being made in the Globe & Mail are warranted, but I admit I could be wrong, too.

          • by rs79 (71822) <hostmaster@open-rsc.org> on Saturday February 25, 2012 @08:52PM (#39161319) Homepage

            Whether he's to blame or not, he's accountable.

            And he is far, far from innocent. This is about a oil sands. A long long time ago Canada was - not so much - an oil producing nation, then they figured out how to get oil out of the oil shale ("tar sands"). Suddenly Canada had a few trilliion dollars of goo to exploit. What does a country do when it finds a windfall like that? Help its poeple or exploit the shit out of it and get what you can on the world market (then blame the Suadi's for the price of oil)?

            At the time the PM was Pierre Trudeau, as fine of a PM as this country has ever known. Now, some countries, like, oh, Britain, consider fuel to be an essential resource and it's nationalized. Trudeau made some noise that maybe that wasn't a terrible idea and Canada want to do something *like* that.

            Boom. That was it. Suddenly from out west a new political party popped up, the "reform" party, With the usual American style Fear-Uncertainty-Doubt they managed to scare the electorate to the point where they trounced the more liberal conservative party to the point where it had only 2 seats, then consumed it.

            And who was the guy that spearheaded the reform party out west and ushered in a USA style way of doing things? Steven Harper. Who used to live in Toronto.

            Starting with the first oil crisis in the late 70s American big oil interests have pumped a lot of money into Canada to get the government they want - and they got it in the form of Vice President Harper who gave us Bush's wars and we sell all the oil to the US - America gets most of its oil from Canada and very little from Saudi check for yourself.

            Canada has enough oil and so few poeple that we could be having twenty-five-cent a gallon gasoline or heating oil - the latter being pretty important in a country that gets -44 degree weather and relies on oil in rural settings almost exclusively. Instead the oil is sold to the US at Saudi prices and American oil companies benefit.

            No PM in recent history has done more to damage Canada than Harper. And oh look, it wasn't even a legitimate vote. Is there any doubt we're the 51's state or that _Syriana_ could be re-shot in a more, um, northern clime?

            • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 25, 2012 @09:31PM (#39161483)

              Wow, what a bunch of garbage spewing from your mouth. The election of 1980 in whyich Trudeau used that mandate to create the National Energy Program was done by Trudeau's government who didn't get elected in a single riding west of Manitoba. Not to mention the Constitution explicitly states that natural resources are provincial jurisdction. Add to this the fact that bankrupcies in Alberta rose 150% immediately after the National Energy Program was instituted. Not to mention the thousands that went homeless because they could no longer afford their mortgages due to the national energy program.

              Easterns love to spout the kind of crap like you just spouted. This just shows the ignorance of eastern canada and how they really have no idea why the west has the mindset it does.

              Also, how did Harper support the Bush wars? He wasn't in power at the time and Chretien made the decision to go into Afghanistan and not go into Iraq. Both of those decision had literally NOTHING to do with Harper.

              Also, oil sands are expensive. It is not worth developing unless the price of oil is very high, like it is now. The prices you quote are an impossibility. If those are the prices, the oil sands are not in production.

              You have no idea what you are talking about. Not a single thing you wrote has any truth to it or connection to reality.

            • by Zalbik (308903) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @10:56PM (#39161783)

              Yep, that's about it

              Except for a few key points:
              - The reform party never won an election. They were never even the official opposition

              - The Canadian constitution designates natural resources under provincially jurisdiction, not Federal.

              - The NEP was actually enacted between the years of 1980 and 1985. Canada never say "twenty-five cent a gallon gasoline", despite this fine program.

              - The "oil sands" were a benefit, but did not substantially increase Canadian oil production. Oil production in Canada has been rising at a fairly steady rate for the past 50 years

              - Even before the reform party was even a gleam in Harper's eye, Trudeau's party didn't hold a single seat west of Manitoba. i.e. half the country didn't really like this "fine of a PM as this country has ever known"

              - It was in fact, Trudeau's party (actually another future PM of canada, Jean Chretien), who shut down the National Energy Program

              With oil and gas being traded on the free market, the whole NEP idea was ridiculous. It was a blatant attempt by the Liberal party to buy votes.

              But other than those key points, you got everything else pretty much wrong as well.....

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by Anonymous Coward

                - The reform party never won an election. They were never even the official opposition

                Reform party won official opposition status in the 1997 election:
                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_federal_election,_1997

              • by rs79 (71822) <hostmaster@open-rsc.org> on Sunday February 26, 2012 @12:10AM (#39162019) Homepage

                - The reform party never won an election.

                So what? They won seats, and split the vote on the right so much the conservatives were down to two seats. It was either fold up a very old political party or merge with reform. They did the latter. See Wikipedia: "Reform had also failed in 1997 to establish itself as the clear right-wing alternative to the Liberal Party. The Progressive Conservative Party, which had been steadily rebuilt under Charest, enjoyed a modest revival in the 1997 election. It won 20 seats, up from the dismal two it had won during in the 1993 election. The split in the right-wing vote between Reform and the PCs allowed the Liberals to win a second majority government with only 40% of the vote, the combined vote of the Reform and the PCs in 1997 equalled the same amount. Political observers noted that it was a divided right which allowed the Liberals to gain a second majority government, and claimed that if the two parties did not put away their differences, the result would repeat itself."

                The NEP was actually enacted between the years of 1980 and 1985. Canada never say "twenty-five cent a gallon gasoline", despite this fine program.

                If you look at the top 5 oil producing nations in the world, only Canaa charges its citizens full retail. Given the staggering rise in heating oil costs (ie, what use to cost $750 a season now costs $5000, many poeple have given up their homes because of this) and the trend towars national policy, not provincial, being in charge of that kind of oil gives some wiggle room in a country where the government subsidizes home, heat and shelter for poeple in its safety net. Or we could just run the thing like a US business, which is where Harper et al want to do for some reason. I'm sure that they're one of the most clueless and corrupt parties in Canadian political history is just a coincidence.

                Again, from Wikipedia:

                The NEP was introduced in the wake of the energy crises of the 1970s. Because of high oil prices, several economic problems that were beginning to manifest themselves through the 1970s were accelerated and magnified. Inflation was most commonly between 9 and 10 percent annually[1] and prime interest rates over 10 percent.[2] Unemployment was epidemic in the eastern provinces.[3] The NEP was designed to promote oil self-sufficiency for Canada, maintain the oil supply, particularly for the industrial base in eastern Canada, promote Canadian ownership of the energy industry, promote lower prices, promote exploration for oil in Canada, promote alternative energy sources, and increase government revenues from oil sales through a variety of taxes and agreements.[4] The NEP's Petroleum Gas Revenue Tax (PGRT) instituted a double-taxation mechanism that did not apply to other commodities, such as gold and copper (see "Program details" item (c), below). The program would "... redistribute revenue from the [oil] industry and lessen the cost of oil for Eastern Canada..." in an attempt to insulate the Canadian economy from the shock of rising global oil prices[5] (see "Program details" item (a), below). By keeping domestic oil prices below world market prices, the NEP was essentially mandating provincial generosity and subsidizing all Canadian consumers of fuel.[6]

                - The "oil sands" were a benefit, but did not substantially increase Canadian oil production. Oil production in Canada has been rising at a fairly steady rate for the past 50 years

                Yeah and it dropped in 72 and didn't recover until 95 again.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Canadian_Oil_Production_1960_to_2020.png [wikipedia.org]

                blah blah blah... It was a blatant attempt by the Liberal party to buy votes.

                Clearly the oil industry still has some Wikipedia edits to make to bring history in line with their "official" version.

                We have always been at war with Oceana, too.

        • by epp_b (944299) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @07:53PM (#39161023)
          Ah, yes, the Canadian Reform Alliance Party
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by tlhIngan (30335)

          What this means is that someone had to plan the calls, get the party affiliation information on these 18 ridings (at least), hire RackNine, hire a bilingual voice actor, and see everything through. The likelihood of one person pulling all this off is next to nil, and it doesn't help that the Conservative party has a (rightly deserved) reputation for bullying and playing dirty pool with the rules.

          And honestly, it really does point to Harper.

          *EVERYTHING* the Conservative party does is directed by Harper. If y

      • by Muros (1167213) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @07:19PM (#39160845)
        Not just jail time. Make them pay for the cost. All of it. Re-run the election in constituencies where this happened, and make the culprits pay the cost. And time & travel expenses for those who spent time driving about to the wrong places. $60 an hour and $0.50 per mile sounds fair to me.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Opportunist (166417)

        Want to bet that for some odd reason suddenly the same people who clamor for total surveillance now cry bloody murder if said surveillance backfires?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 25, 2012 @05:50PM (#39160445)

      Solution: Ban all robocalls and livecalls for election purposes! I am sure that Canadian would benefit from this.

      • by MightyMartian (840721) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @06:22PM (#39160599) Journal

        Someone who is willing to break the law to try to fix the vote isn't likely going to care about any other law. Properly, the law should be written so that if any malfeasance like this is proven, the election results are vacated and a new election run.

        • by rs79 (71822)

          ...and they can't run again. If we don't weed out these fuckkers they'll just find new ways to do it.

      • by Guppy06 (410832)

        The calls were already illegal, hence the investigation.

      • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @06:48PM (#39160727) Journal
        The problem is not that these things are legal - they aren't - it's that the risk/reward ratio is wrong. If you cheat and win, then you get to run the country. If you get caught, you get a slap on the wrist.
      • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @01:14AM (#39162219) Homepage Journal

        Solution: Ban all robocalls

        Solution: When you go to vote against a Conservative, make sure you know where your polling place is. even if you have to call the local election commission and if you get a call in the middle of the night, tell them to go fuck themselves, eh?

        If it's not close, it's a lot harder to cheat. So don't let it be close. Talk to your friends. Ridicule anyone who says they're going to vote conservative. And as at least one wife of a Virginia senator has done, if your husband says he's going to vote the wrong way, hand him a tissue and tell him to go sleep on the couch.

        If that doesn't work, don't waste any time: Go straight to general strikes and boycotts and civil disobedience. It works if you work it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Fluffeh (1273756)

      Some calls apparently were from people claiming to be with the Liberal party, acting rude, calling at very late/early hours

      Interesting, it seems like more and more of the world population is wanting more libertarian, open minded, moderate type leaders - rather than the old guard, which to me seem to be in the exact same place as the likes of the **AA in the music world - grasping and clutching at grains of sand as they trickle through their fingers. As they get more and more desperate, their methods and tactics get more and more dirty, desperate and despickable.

      • by canajin56 (660655)
        Interesting narrative. Except that in the 20th century, the Liberal party formed the government 69 out of 100 years. So, THEY are the corrupt old guard only recently dethroned (and only resoundingly defeated this last election). The narrative is more like, "far right rises up, merges with progressive right, and fights dirty to ensure majority after is kills and buries the old guard."
        • by rs79 (71822) <hostmaster@open-rsc.org> on Saturday February 25, 2012 @09:12PM (#39161405) Homepage

          Sure, and under Liberal rule the country ran well. Under Conservative rule it went downhill very quickly: education, health care, prisons, foreign affairs, defense - all these have been chipped away by either federal or provincial conservatives and the damage never undone.

          One quick example: when I went to school in the 70s high school had grade thirteen, which was optional but was, in a sense, like first year college, but free. The Ontario premier (a failed teacher) did away with this and found a way to save a few bucks by having school start early. This mean getting up at 5:30 to catch a bus in rural areas and kids are out by 2:30. That being enough out of sync with the 9-5 world of the parents that it caused problems oh an the results are in - kids don't learn well this way according to recent studies. Who would?

          It's hard to keep crazies in mental hospitals now because of rules brought in by the same whacko, and he gutted the prison system - no more educational/training programs, no more daily legal services. You just rot there now. Recenlty a large federal prison near here in Kingston had to shit their farm down that has been in use for ages - they grew their own vegegetables. That got shut down even though the alternative - having food trucked in - was more expensive. Somebody got bribed, there isn't a single good thing to come of that deal for anybody but the company providing the food.

          The conservatives a a pack of treasonous cunts who have absolutely decimated what Canada is and what Canada could have been if it were not for the mean spirited, greedy corrupt pack of not-very-smart-poeple we jokingly refer to as "the conservative party".

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      What's odd about this is, the paid calling card is apparently from Quebec. But this guy is from Alberta? Did he drive across the country or something to get it. I also seem to remember this guy doing work for the liberals a few years ago too.

  • They're the Corporate-Regressive party, our own home-grown copy of American neoliberal parties like the GOP. No real Canadian actually thinks they are legitimate.

    • Re:Legitimacy? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jc42 (318812) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @06:05PM (#39160543) Homepage Journal

      No real Canadian actually thinks they are legitimate.

      So what percentage of the Canadian population are "real", and what percentage are fake?

      I suppose I'm neither, since I'm not a Canadian. I was born about 50 miles south of the border. But, as the saying goes, some of my best friends are Canadian. I'd like to know how to figure out if they're real or fake.

    • Re:Legitimacy? (Score:5, Informative)

      by DesScorp (410532) <DesScorpNO@SPAMGmail.com> on Saturday February 25, 2012 @06:13PM (#39160563) Homepage Journal

      They're the Corporate-Regressive party, our own home-grown copy of American neoliberal parties like the GOP. No real Canadian actually thinks they are legitimate.

      Is this a variation of the "No True Scotsman" argument?

      • Is this a variation of the "No True Scotsman" argument?

        Perhaps. Just plain wrong is more likely. If no-one thinks the C-R party are legitimate then who voted for them (majority or not)?

        • by AdamJS (2466928)

          Most of the people I know that voted for them did so only because the "liberals deserve no votes" and "Voting for the NDP or Greens? HAHAHAHAHA" rather than because they actually like or agree with the Conservatives in any way. Spite, really.

    • Re:Legitimacy? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Unoriginal_Nickname (1248894) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @08:05PM (#39161093)

      "No True Scotsman," etc.

      40% of us think the Conservative Party is legitimate. You don't have to like them, but it's a huge mistake to pretend their supporters aren't "Canadian" enough.

  • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @05:39PM (#39160393)

    US voters must pay a $2 E-voting card fee but you can save $1 buying that card at this site (put scam site hear) we take pay pal and all major credit cards.

    Don't delay pay now and avoid the $10 on site fee.

  • Why isn't this in the mainstream news?

    • by tw (66899)
      Read a Canadian newspaper (web or paper) or watch tv. Been in the main stream media for a couple of days.
    • by tixxit (1107127)
      The fine article is in the National Post. I'm not a huge fan, but that is certainly mainstream. Also, it was mostly known the Conservatives were behind this when the news broke around election time. That EC has now found some more evidence isn't too surprising. However, I'm sure they'll not get enough evidence to actually do anything about it.
    • Re:Blame Canada (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Bieeanda (961632) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @05:58PM (#39160483)
      American mainstream news generally doesn't give a shit about international events unless it involves celebrities, celebrities dying, normal people dying en masse, or distant places that the government claims to be warring with or policing. Canadian politics simply aren't worth column inches, unless it directly affects the States or the media's ability to follow a story.
      • Re:Blame Canada (Score:4, Insightful)

        by tgeek (941867) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @07:50PM (#39161001)

        American mainstream news generally doesn't give a shit about international events unless it involves celebrities, celebrities dying, normal people dying en masse, or distant places that the government claims to be warring with or policing. Canadian politics simply aren't worth column inches, unless it directly affects the States or the media's ability to follow a story.

        You are very correct. And you know why that is? It's because mainstream America generally doesn't give a shit about international events unless it involves your list of exceptions (whether we should or shouldn't give a shit is another debate). The media is simply giving their customers what they want. Believe me, the day Canadian politics becomes interesting to average Americans will be the day you can't swing a dead cat in Ottawa without hitting a Fox News truck.

    • Why isn't this in the mainstream news?

      Not only is the National Post a mainstream Canadian paper (one of the big 3 - The Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, and the National Post) but the National Post is the most conservative of the three.

      Imagine the Star's take on this!

  • by Bieeanda (961632) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @05:50PM (#39160447)
    This is also the government who prorogued parliament in order to head off a legal inquiry into some of their other shenanigans-- which, had it gone through, could very well have been a scandal of historic proportions.

    They also made significant changes to the election system and advertised it poorly, several years ago. You Americans in the audience might be familiar with this sort of tactic: requiring forms of identification that younger and poorer voters were less likely to have, in the name of combating electoral fraud. I worked the polls that year and it was a real goddamn treat explaining to people from all walks of life that they couldn't vote because they didn't bring the right ID. Some came back later. Some didn't. The whole thing was an awful bottleneck.

    • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @05:58PM (#39160487)
      There are lots of tricks. Another good one was allegedly used to advantage GW in his first presidential election in Florida - manipulating polling booth allocations. Districts likely to vote democratic were given insufficient polling stations, resulting in around-the-block queues and long journeys to discourage voters. Nothing was really shown conclusively though, as in this case deliberately trying to influence the outcome would be indistinguishable from plain old screw-the-poor-districts mismanagement.
    • by realityimpaired (1668397) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @06:27PM (#39160621)

      This is also a government that was found guilty of contempt for parliament shortly before the last election... the first time *any* british parliamentary system has *ever* been found guilty of that, since the introduction of the british parliamentary system almost 1000 years ago. By rights, Harper should have been in jail during the last election, not on the campaign trail.

  • by strathconaman (539781) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @05:51PM (#39160449)
    There hasn't been a government elected by the majority of Canadians since 1949! In fact I remember a government that publicly stated they would abolish a national sales tax and then didn't! That same government lasted for 7 years, through two elections, never getting more than 41% of the vote! Shocking I tell you. Just shocking.
  • It is a stretch to say that this "casts serious doubt on the legitimacy of Canada's Government'. It is disturbing and not inside baseball.

    However, the government needs 154 seats to form a majority in the 308 seat lower house and it has 165, an 11 seat margin. Even if they lost all 14 of these narrowly contested ridings, they would still have had a minority government.

    How many were fooled by these calls? Certainly some were, even hundreds might have been. But enough to flip more than one or two seats the

    • by ceoyoyo (59147) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @06:01PM (#39160519)

      There's a big difference between a minority and a majority government. And who's to say what the effect was? There was large scale elections fraud by the party that won the election, thus, their right to govern is in question. Even if no ridings were swayed, whoever was involved violated the elections act and, if they were elected, are in office illegally.

    • by Theleton (1688778) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @06:05PM (#39160545)
      Illegal methods can undermine the legitimacy of a government even if they weren't ultimately responsible for winning the election. Just ask Richard Nixon.
    • I'd say it simply means any and all people involved in this, and knowingly approving of it, are simply not fit to do ANY sort of governing in any democracy. This also goes for those who cover them.

      Until you followed those vectors you don't even know how much of the conservative party is left (and what exist cannot govern period). If those vectors aren't followed, what does it say about Canada's claim to being a democracy?

  • by rbrander (73222) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @06:01PM (#39160517) Homepage

    Our fine Conservative party is working as designed, nothing new to report. It's funny the crap that people will put up with - obvious lies about war, torture, electoral fraud - once they've decided one party is 'tough' and well-organized and the other are hapless fools. As Hunter Thompson said in '72, there are only two real parties, the Winners and Losers. And people would rather go with a Winner than with Honest. (Also, the Liberals have been spiraling downwards since they were clearly convicted - in the public mind and indeed in a few court cases - with brazen corruption about using public money for their own adverts. They haven't done their time in exile yet, so we're kind of stuck with the Conservatives.)

    But my Not Utterly Off-Topic factoid is that "riding" is not the only thing that has vanished in England but survives in Canada. I was looking up the "Sheriff of Nottingham" once and wondered how "Sheriff" had translated from the 1100's to a western lawman. Turns out it's a slurring of "Shire Reeve", where "Reeve" was the commoner that kept order, provided public services, and collected taxes on behalf of the nobleman that owned the shire. It mentioned that "Reeve" survives today only in small Canadian municipalities that aren't big enough to call the head a "Mayor".

  • ... in canada. It's using a massively out-dated first past the post system while others use proportional representation. The country has been a two party liberal/con dictatorship for a long time and the elites like it that way. There is very little difference between how liberals and conservatives enact policy. Both govern from the right. Mots Canadians sadly are just as stupid as their american counterparts. In fact a majority of Canadians don't even know how parliament works. Voting today is a me

    • by Nemyst (1383049) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @07:25PM (#39160869) Homepage

      I'd have agreed before, but not now. If you can't see the difference between Harper and any Liberal, you have to be blind.

      • "I'd have agreed before, but not now. If you can't see the difference between Harper and any Liberal, you have to be blind."

        Have you ever looked at what past liberal government have done to healthcare? They've been cutting just like conservatives, the conservatives are stupid and hard right no doubt about it. But the liberals are flaming right wingers as well. Conservatives are bad no doubt about it... but the liberals haven't been doing anything for canadians for decades either. The liberals "paying do

  • A New Election (Score:5, Interesting)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @06:10PM (#39160553)

    I strongly hope this leads to a new election (with very strict oversight). Clearly the last election was tampered with in such a way that the outcome was altered, thus a new election is needed. While I hate elections, I hate knowing a party wrongly gained power even more.

    • by Guppy06 (410832)

      I strongly hope this leads to a new election

      Canada's already been having a new election every two weeks or so.

    • I strongly hope this leads to criminal investigations and long jailtime.

      I'd be rather offended if anyone didn't hope for the same.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 25, 2012 @06:16PM (#39160571)

    Unfortunately, I'm less glad the subject seems to keep being our Harper Government(tm) doing some technologically backwards (ACTA, the C-60 DRM bill, the C-30 internet spying bill). And now they've descended into outright voter fraud - having inherited the other sleazeball methods of US right-wing politics (attack ads, stupid "tough of crime" policies, etc.)

    I hope a number of people go to jail for a long, long time over this. From what we can tell, this occurred in dozens of ridings including a number that Conservatives only won by less than 100 votes. The Cons have thrown one staffer under the bus (incidentally, he was caught trying to grab a box of ballots and run out of a polling station as well last year, but yet, managed to stay employed with the party) - but there is no way he could've gotten all the voter info and done this on such a wide scale.

    Personally, I hope that the RCMP gets involved, pulls the logs from the robocall company, and each and every seat won by the Conservatives where cheating was involved is recalled. Yeah, it'll be expensive - but so is three more years of these Nixonian, Stasi-like unethical dirt bags in office.

  • I have never voted for the NDP but I kept on getting propaganda from them presumably because the previous tenant was presumably an ardent supporter. At two different occasions, I received robocalls informing me that I was about to be placed in a conference call with the local NDP candidate around dinner time and I had a hell of a time getting the phone to hang up as it kept on calling me back when I put down the receiver.

  • by wisebabo (638845) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @06:24PM (#39160609) Journal

    Unfortunately we, in the states (and many other countries?) have also seen this sort of thing.

    The Ohio elections were tainted by claims of electronic voting irregularities (don't know what became of that) and I believe several republican operatives have been convicted of similar phone hacking activities. I could go on about the hypocrisy of republican claims of voter fraud (despite ANY actual verified proof) which their solutions have the well documented effect of disenfranchising the poor and minorities. (Notice how many times those who warn you not to trust anyone are, themselves, the ones you shouldn't trust?).

    Still, it's evident that the root cause is their religious self-righteousness these people feel that allows them to justify blatantly illegal acts (to only themselves fortunately, we aren't Indonesia yet!). If you honestly believed that you, or your party is doing the work of God (unlike say Obama who Rick Sanctorum says follows a "false theology"), you'd also do ANYTHING to guide you, your family and your country into the arms of God. I suspect some of their moral "leaders" don't really believe this and are just using these issues for personal gain just like they hypocritically advocate economic policies which they know will hurt the average republican voter (but pays off handsomely for them; isn't that right Rush Limbaugh?)

    Maybe that's why the founding fathers put such a clear line between Church and State (please read Jefferson's exact, specific, detailed words on the subject before claiming otherwise).

    Of course what's really scary are the number of evangelicals who are HOPING that the end times are here and are willing, again, to do anything to bring it about. My American Jewish friend thinks that is the only explanation for the fact that the fate of Israel completely controls American foreign policy (in the last republican debate, all the candidates indicated defending it was of the highest national priority). He cannot imagine that the Jewish lobby, significant as it is, could possibly generate that level of support.

    Our only hope, if we get another Republican into office, is that they are one of the hypocritical ones and they understand that blowing up the world won't automatically send them (and their families!) to Heaven. Fortunately, all these religious "leaders" all over the world seem to understand this; notice any high ranking Ayatollahs volunteering for suicide belt duty?

  • Of course... not much will happen. The link below from an article about a Waterloo phone call problem, which also mentions the Guelph robocall problems listed in TFA above.

    "Under the Elections Act, an election in a specific riding can be overturned if a "competent court" finds "there were irregularities, fraud or corrupt or illegal practices that affected the result of the election."

    However any application to the court to contest the election must be made within 30 days of the election results being
  • Seen this first hand (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 25, 2012 @06:47PM (#39160725)

    I lived in the Minister of Defence, Peter Mackay's riding for a few years in university.

    There were literally people by the polling station in the student union telling students (most would vote Green Party) the polling station had moved. There was no liberal candidate as the Green Party Leader and the Liberal leader weren't opposing each other in their ridings. (No liberal candidate in Antigonish, no green wherever the liberal's from)

    Absolutely Despicable.

  • Torqued Headline? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by _DangerousDwarf (210835) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @07:24PM (#39160859)

    The headline is seriously torqued, bordering on libel.

    The Conservative Party of Canada hasn't be proven to have committed any crime.

    The robocaller company (RackNine), is "Conservative" connected by virtue of having Conservative Party of Canada as a customer and I guess being based in the west.

    The facts haven't come out yet, so we shouldn't throw stones.

    It is plausible that the robo calls were done by one or two people. Canada is a bilingual country, no voice actor is required.

    It seems highly unlikely that this was funded and organized by the Conservative party of Canada as an official part of their strategy.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      ...It seems highly unlikely that this was funded and organized by the Conservative party of Canada as an official part of their strategy.

      But it does seem highly likely that this was funded and organized by the Conservative party of Canada as an unofficial part of their strategy. And if you don't like it, you are an enemy of Canada and stand with child pornographers.

    • Re:Torqued Headline? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Skapare (16644) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @07:43PM (#39160965) Homepage

      Unless and until there is a conviction of who did this, no sanctions can be made against them (assuming Canada still operates as fairly as the USA used to). OTOH, it would only take proof that it happened (without knowing who did it) to invalidate the election, since it resulted in many people being unable to vote. But it seems it was at least narrowed down to a robocaller company.

      If the Conservative Party of Canada actually sanctioned this, they they should be decertified as a party (for at least 10 years). I doubt they would be that stupid. But maybe some higher-ups in the party did it. They should be imprisoned, if convicted. 10 years might be enough.

      There still may need to be a complete nullification of the laws passed, or at least a re-vote on them all with the correct members voting (after hearing again, all the debates). This depends on proof this happened. If this is all a news media lie, then never mind.

  • by inhuman_4 (1294516) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @07:41PM (#39160937)

    As someone who voted for the Conservatives in the last election I have to say I find this every disturbing. Everyone expects politicians to play hardball with each other: name-calling, negative campaigning, scare-mongering, over promising. No one likes it but it is what it is.

    But playing hardball with voters is crossing the line. Every Canadian citizen has a right to vote, and someone in the conservative caucus was interfering with that right then they should be put in jail.

    The funny thing is while I don't agree with many of the polices of this government I can at least understand why they are doing it. But between Toews, MacKay, and now this, I think the problem with the Tories is not policy but personality. Some of them are just assholes.

  • by tomhath (637240) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @09:11PM (#39161403)

    ...with only 39% of the popular vote.

    That's the beauty of not having a two-party system. The winning party almost never gets anything close to a majority. Of course this is close to what happened in the US in 1992 when Ross Perot drew enough Republican votes to allow Clinton to slip in with a whopping 42% of the popular vote.

"The medium is the message." -- Marshall McLuhan

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