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Database and IP Records Tie Election Fraud To Canada's Ruling Conservatives 257

Posted by timothy
from the ties-to-known-terrorists dept.
choongiri writes "Canada's election fraud scandal continues to unfold. Elections Canada just matched the IP address used to set up thousands of voter suppression robocalls to one used by a Conservative Party operative, and a comparison of call records found a perfect match between the illegal calls, and records of non-supporters in the Conservative Party's CIMS voter tracking database, as well as evidence access logs may have been tampered with. Meanwhile, legal challenges to election results are underway in seven ridings, and an online petition calling for an independent public inquiry into the crisis has amassed over 44,000 signatures. The Conservative Party still maintains their innocence, calling it a baseless smear campaign."
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Database and IP Records Tie Election Fraud To Canada's Ruling Conservatives

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  • Baseless? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by neokushan (932374) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @01:31PM (#39902515)

    Sounds like there's a lot of evidence to the contrary. At some point, it just stops being a coincidence.

    • Re:Baseless? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 05, 2012 @01:42PM (#39902607)

      Yes, but when you repeat something enough, and suppress alternative voices, it becomes true in the minds of the masses.

      I don't know if mass media in Canada are under the total control of the far right as in the U.S., Australia, and England, but I bet they have a strong hand at least. In the US, one of the major networks is owned by one of the major arms manufacturers, GE who also forced their employees to sit through right-wing propaganda videos narrated by Ronald Reagan.

      The same things have happened in several elections in the US, all Republicans (although the Democratic party is pretty much corrupt right-wing corporatist too). No consequences. It is so bad that there are even laws being passed to suppress votes of folks not likely to support an extremist right-wing ticket. Same thing too, smoking gun evidence, a hand wave from the accused, and all is forgotten.

      • Re:Baseless? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @04:35PM (#39903853)

        In the US, one of the major networks is owned by one of the major arms manufacturers, GE who also forced their employees to sit through right-wing propaganda videos narrated by Ronald Reagan.

        GE recently sold NBC to Comcast. That's probably even worse for the country as a whole though.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by LordLimecat (1103839)

        I don't know if mass media in Canada are under the total control of the far right as in the U.S.,

        So youre saying NPR, Huffington Post, MSNBC, CBS etc are all far right?

        Ok then.

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

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 05, 2012 @06:43PM (#39904755)

          NPR is unbiased until any pressure is put on it, in which case it caves like a cardboard box.

          The Huffington Post: I wouldn't describe a collection of blogs as "mass media" in the conventional sense.

          MSNBC is "liberal", but only as a marketing gimmick. Name anyone who takes them seriously. Ironically, the only show close to worth watching on it (and that's stretching the term "worth watching" is Morning Joe.

          CBS? Are you kidding me? You still living in the 1960s when Dan Rather dared to suggest a pointless war that was causing colossal suffering and misery, was unwinnable in any real sense, and was damaging the US's reputation of being the world's advocate of freedom, might, well, be a bad idea?

          Oh wait, no, Dan also published something that turned out to be a forgery about George W Bush - uh, except he was fired for that. Right. And also while the documents were false, the story was essentially true and the only remarkable aspect of the story is that it was a story at all, everyone pretty much knew Bush got out of Vietnam by using his connections to get a cushy National Guard position, at a time when the Guard wasn't actually used for anything useful.

          CBS, incidentally, is run by Sumner Redstone. You might want to look up his politics, and ask yourself whether someone who is, arguably, to the right of Rupert Murdoch, would countenance his news departments being liberal?

          Here's an idea. Stop watching Fox. Fox's marketing is that it's the only non-liberal media outlet. It's not. Fox is pretty insanely right wing, but the rest of the media isn't exactly far behind.

          • Re:Baseless? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by theshowmecanuck (703852) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @08:55PM (#39905315) Journal
            And if anyone cares to notice, since 60 Minutes (CBS flagship "investigative news" show) was sued over the tobacco whistle blower story, they haven't done almost any investigative journalism. I certainly haven't seen any in years. It's all most interviews and fluff pieces. i.e. stuff we already know about. Investigation isn't really part of the show any more. Mind you they may have some investigative pieces still, but as I said, I can't say I've seen any that rank with what they used to do in their heyday in the 70s and 80s. It's obvious their bosses don't like people prying into things that may upset their friends.
      • Re:Baseless? (Score:5, Informative)

        by preaction (1526109) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @06:33PM (#39904667)

        Unlike Canada, the news in the US no longer has to present a balanced viewpoint. That rule was removed from FCC regulations during the Reagan Administration. Also, they no longer have to tell you what is fact and what is opinion. In other words, nobody is monitoring journalistic integrity.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by DesScorp (410532)

          Unlike Canada, the news in the US no longer has to present a balanced viewpoint.

          Good, I prefer it that way. Know why? Because the "balanced viewpoint" was always fake before. Walter Duranty was Stalin's mouthpiece at the NY Times. Walter Cronkite conducted an anti-Vietnam campaign in his position at CBS, and on the eve of the biggest defeat the US forces ever dealt to the North Vietnamese the day after Tet.

          I much prefer a British type press system where you know where your newspapers and stations stand. Quality of reporting can go hand in hand with an editorial viewpoint if done correc

        • by Mr 44 (180750)

          the news in the US no longer has to present a balanced viewpoint.

          I don't think you have a very good grasp of American history, and the form newspapers and tabloids have taken, over the past 200+ years.

          . In other words, nobody is monitoring journalistic integrity.

          Are you saying you wish there was a governmental department in charge of arbitrating truth, which would have the power to censor or re-write the news as it saw fit? That sounds like a much more terrifying option to me.

    • Re: (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 05, 2012 @02:10PM (#39902777)
      I am glad Canada is able to confront their voting manipulation, unlike Russia and the USA.
      • Re: (Score:4, Interesting)

        by shutdown -p now (807394) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @06:43PM (#39904747) Journal

        The question is, will Canada actually do anything about it? If they don't, then how is it really different from e.g. the recent elections in Russia?

        • Re: (Score:5, Informative)

          by theshowmecanuck (703852) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @09:26PM (#39905447) Journal

          No they won't. The way the system work here is that if a party gets a majority government, they have a defacto dictatorship for 5 years. The system allows the party leaders such discipline over their parliamentary members that they always vote the way the party leader wants, or they won't have a job come the next election day. And they are all shooting for their 6years in office to get a full pension at 55. And if they stay in longer they can end up getting more than $100K/year when they reach the literal golden age of 55. Bottom line is that what the PM of a majority government wants, he gets... within the limits of the constitution (I was going to say law, but they're law makers). They've invoked closure, effectively shutting off public debate, on at least a dozen occasions over the past year since they were elected, including the budget. Say what you will about partisanship in U.S. politics, but no-one can stop a republican who wants to vote for a democrat sponsored bill and vice versa. Here it isn't allowed except in rare "open votes" which as I say almost never happen.

          So no, nothing will happen. And since this is coming up early in their mandate (four more years to go), the lame ass Canadian masses who only seem to get excited when the hockey is on during the winter Olympics will forget most of what happened. Unfortunately most Canadians seem to just like to sit back and take it up the ass. If it weren't for the fucked up medical system in the U.S. I'd move back in an instant. The secret police issue and patent/copyright bullshit is a wash since the government up here is evidently moving to try to emulate the U.S. in that regards. I can't help it... and what is even more maddening is they have fucked up the manufacturing sector in an effort to promote tar sands development and other resource industries trumpeting how we should be thankful that they are turning us into a third world resource based economy that is losing its manufacturing and tech base... things that make money and provide jobs more evenly across the country. But hell, they and their cronies will be long dead by the time the resource run out so what the hell. People in Canada still can't figure out why if they are going to sell resources they won't even promote refining the damned tar sands based oil in Canada instead of shipping it south or to China unrefined. Evidently their backers would rather just take the money and profit than spend money investing in value added ventures that employ more Canadians. I had high hopes for the conservatives after years of self entitlement Liberal leadership. But those hopes are tanking fast.

          • Fricking Right On (Score:5, Interesting)

            by tjwhaynes (114792) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @09:49PM (#39905515)
            I'm glad to see that there are other people out there who share my despair at the Canadian political scene. When I watch the current Conservative government repeal six pieces of environmental legislation in a budget bill, I know things are seriously out of whack. I'm just waiting for the Copyright reform bill to reappear - the last draft was pretty much written end to end by the MPAA/RIAA pundits, despite the claims that this was a "Made in Canada" production. Oh, and I'm also glad to see someone who hasn't bought into the rebranding of the Alberta Tar Sands as the "Oil Sands". Go stick your hand in the damn stuff - it's pretty dry sandy tar. Just you can fractionate the more volatile elements of out it doesn't change the facts - this is a bitumen heavy cockatil.
          • The reward for election fraud is like killing someone and getting all their stuff.

            The penalty is that you have to wear a hat, but you get to keep their stuff.

            If Harper was an American, he'd be sitting down to drink with Jack Layton.

      • My uncle lives up in Toronto, and basically lost his job at the [conservative ] university 15 years ago when he made an incoming conservative candidate appear ridiculous with some well-thught out questions. The candidate was dropped as unviable, but there were repercussions.
        Point being, Canda has long been hostage to US fascism. What makes you think that publishing vote fraud evidence will result in anything but
        . . . repercussions?

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

      by geekmux (1040042) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @02:11PM (#39902783)

      Sounds like there's a lot of evidence to the contrary. At some point, it just stops being a coincidence.

      We passed the point of coincidence and delved deep into blatant corruption in the US years ago. Doesn't surprise me that it has flowed outside of our borders. After all, we don't punish corruption. We reward it.

      The problem is not discovering what is wrong. The real problem is finding you have no control to do anything about it anymore.

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

        by msobkow (48369) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @03:17PM (#39903263) Homepage Journal

        That's my biggest worry. That at the end of it, even with evidence pointing specifically to the Conservatives, that they'll get away with some wrist-slap fine and letting go a couple of people to be sacrificed to the court wolves.

        But I can tell you this: The Harper government will not let go of power without fighting through every possible appeal in the courts that they can, even if this investigation doesn't take longer than their term of office. Mindless political party animal that it is, it's equivalent to the survival instinct is the instinct to seek power. Power is the food of the political animal, money is just the handler's proffered carrots.

        There have to be more severe penalties for this kind of blatant interference with the government and electoral processes. In light of the Conservatives previous conviction for funding fraud which is what led to an election in the first place, I posit that the Conservatives should be stripped not only of office, but of their federal party status, officially and permanently disbanded.

        We neither need nor want the Canadian Reform Alliance Party under any banner or name.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          We neither need nor want the Canadian Reform Alliance Party under any banner or name.

          To those not familiar with Canadian politics. The Conservative and the Reform parties united. The name when the two paries united was chosen to be 'Conservative Reform Alliance Party'. They changed it really quickly when they realised the acronim. What do they say about the 'first impression'?

      • You can always vote for a third party or independent.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 05, 2012 @06:31PM (#39904657)

          Yes, and that DID happen.

          Generally Canada has two strong parties(CONS, LIBS), and two or three "weak" parties(NDP, GRN, OTHER) where the two strong generally had enough seats to "run" the country; but couldn't push a draconian law if all the other parties "voted" together. Therefore, if all the other parties voted against them the government would topple (we refer to a government on the edge like this as a Minority Government). So, a minority government is forced to make concessions, win support, etc from the other parties to ensure they do not topple AND to get any laws to pass. The problem with Canada is when we do get a Majority government (where the party doesn't need ANY other support) that basically gives one person a Dictactorship over Canada.

          Now, we had (something like 15 years worth) of Minority governments so no party was "really" bad; we got to skip all those idiotic and draconian laws the US had since the elected government could not get enough other parties to agree to bring those laws in.... YEAH! However, in the last election a shit storm occurred; the Liberals seemed to go out of their way to really become assholes supreme and really pushed their supporters into a position of "having to switch to another party" (I wonder if this was US involved as the Leader seemed to come out of nowhere and really didn't connect at all with Canadians -- and rumor said he lived most of his life in the US -- the US really wanted us to have a Majority government (see reason below) so decimating one party in order to give a majority to another doesn't seem out of the realm of possibilities). Unfortunately, the party options were CONS and NDP (biggest of the three "smaller" parties); and a large number of those voters went to the NDP, but enough went to the CONS to give the CONS a majority. And now that the CONS have that majority, all those draconian laws the US wants us to have (thanks to trade agreements, etc) are now coming out full swing... and no surprise! (Note: When I voted I didn't care who won, I consider all the parties about the same, all I wanted was another minority as I believe that is the only government good for Canada).

          So yes, Canadians voted for the third party, but enough still went with the last "big" party to screw us all over unfortunately.... What is really dismal is if you look at the popular vote (individual tally of votes rather than as "seats"). I believe (last time I looked) the CONS really only had 35-40% of the popular vote (of all those that voted) so they got a majority with a minority of the voters (I do believe the NDP have more of the Popular vote). Now, toss in the fact the leading party (CONS at time, even with a minority) can control (to some extent) the boundaries for the seats and the robo-call scam and it really does seem like we have a government with much less than 30% of Canadians voting for them...)

          So, in the end, it just didn't matter :( And we got another 3 years to go with our supreme leader (doesn't matter what name, any party that got a Majority would be doing the exact same thing since; in my opinion, the political agenda is pushed by the US and corporations, not Canadians....) So, I guess I should be thankful, at least we, as Canadians, have one "good" thing left for us: The ability to vote in a Minority government... But if Canada is reduced to only two parties, then even this last bastion of safety will be gone :( And, just a few months ago, the CONS removed the funding from parties (each party got paid a certain amount for each seat they won each election so that way they had money to support themselves -- this has been allowing for things like the Green Party (usually 1 to 2 seats), and Others (usually 1 to 2 seats), and NDP (usually 10-20 seats) -- The NDP is now larger, but Liberals are in the NDP position (with 15 or so seats)....

          Anyways, some scary trends are developing.... and I expect we'll be down to a two party system by the time the next election comes around (which will pretty muc

        • Re:Baseless? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by currently_awake (1248758) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @12:07AM (#39905977)
          Until the last election the NDP was a third party, now they form the opposition party. Things can change. "Throwing away" your vote gets noticed if many people do it, then the major parties start changing their policies to capture those lost votes.
  • It's Canada (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 05, 2012 @01:33PM (#39902527)

    As long as they did it in French, too, everything should be okay.

    • by bidule (173941)

      As long as they did it in French, too, everything should be okay.

      You know how good them ex-Refomer are at French, they couldn't come up with a better translation than "vote NPD!"

  • by wisebabo (638845) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @01:36PM (#39902557) Journal

    I'm surprised to see this kinda thing happening to our neighbors to the north. Compared to the cesspool that is American politics, I thought Canadian politics were squeaky clean. That's why I've always thought it would be a good place to run to (as James Cameron has evidently decided) in case the far right kooks took over.

    Speaking of which, what ever happened to the investigations into Diebold and the voting machines in Ohio (and maybe more states)? Wasn't there enough evidence to start a criminal investigation? Or did it just fizzle because nobody cared?

    Where's the outrage?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 05, 2012 @01:38PM (#39902581)

      It's because the same bastards that control US politics have shifted up into Canada as they have almost completely looted the US.

      Now it's our turn.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 05, 2012 @05:08PM (#39904089)

        They haven't shifted up into Canada, so much as certain Canadians are deciding to adopt the underhanded techniques that are routine in US politics. It's not even a hypothetical [www.cbc.ca]:

        "McBain was working in the party's central war room for the campaign and says Sona contacted him to suggest a campaign of disinformation. Crawford, who worked on the Burke campaign in Guelph, said he overheard a conversation between Sona and another campaign worker about "how the Americans do politics," but didn't think Sona was serious."

        That's pretty awful.

    • by choongiri (840652) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @01:44PM (#39902615) Homepage Journal
      There's growing evidence that Canada's Conservatives learned how to do this kind of fraud south of the border - e.g. a growing tangled web of links between them and US firms used by the republicans... http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1140344--conservative-mps-used-top-republican-firm-during-may-election [thestar.com]
      • by Sir_Sri (199544)

        That's not really a shock though. Political campaigners only have work once every 2 years in the US, in off years and even off months they go to other english speaking countries and work with ideologically similar parties, and it goes back and forth.

    • We have the second-largest province by population basically run by the Mafia, and the RCMP wanting to keep the evidence away from an official inquiry [www.cbc.ca].

      While we have students rioting in the streets because the government refuses to sit down and talk, we fine out the Education Minister took Mafia money [theglobeandmail.com].

      The mob skims 5% off the top of all large construction projects, decides who will be "allowed" to bid, and how the contracts will be divied up. This has been going on for at least 40 years.

      And of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

      • by Prune (557140)

        You mean the students of Quebec rioting due to minor tuition increase when they already have, by far, the lowest tuition in the country?

        • The problem is more complicated than you make it appear. Quebec has one of the lowest per-capita incomes in all of continental North America - and that's before you add the highest taxes in the world.

          So a level of tuition fees that would be affordable anywhere else is going to have a severe impact, because affordability is related directly to after-tax income.

          It's true that much of this damage is self-inflicted - Montreal used to be the head-office capital of Canada, but 50 years of language laws (started in 1969, before the Parti Quebecois came to power in the '70s), the resulting migration of almost a million people from Quebec to the Rest of Canada in just a few short years, and the willingness of politicians of all political stripes to play the game and suck up to Quebec Nationalists when votes are at stake are also part of the problem.

          It's in the country's best interest that Quebecers get as much education as possible, not just for the same reasonas as anyone else, but also because a more educated workforce is more likely to have to look elsewhere (the rest of Canada) for jobs because they won't be able to use their skills at home.

          The dissatisfaction this generates towards the nationalistic/separatist policies of Quebec among French-Quebecers is the REAL reason that the Quebec government doesn't want to increase the level of education - the less education, the less likely you are to leave the province, so the more likely you are to be vulnerable to exploitation by both government and industry (those highest taxes in the world and those lowest after-tax wages in North America).

          It's also why the Quebec government made it illegal for French-Quebecers to send their kids to English schools - it reduces the ability of people to look outside the province for jobs, creating a captive labour pool. We saw this in the nurse's strike in the '90s - the nurses had the backing of the public, but the government knew that the majority of nurses, not being able to pass proficiency tests in English to work in another province or another country, would have to settle for crappy work conditions and lower wages than their more mobile counterparts in other provinces.

          Historically, this is not new. The US started it the better part of a century ago; US-funded Quebec industries were notorious for treating the french as cheap labour worthy only of exploitation. The only difference is, with a policy of "maitre chez nous" ("master of our house"), it's the political elite (at the rovincial level in Quebec and the Liberal, Conservative, and NDP politicians at the federal level) who do the exploiting now, always saying stuff that appeases enough of the nationalist/separatist faction to get votes, while at the same time giving them legitimacy.

          Whether it was Mulroney, Chretien, or Harper, none of them were willing to engage in realpolitik and call the Quebec provincial and Montreal municipal governments corrupt, because they always wanted enough of those "soft nationalist" votes to hold onto power (and because they too were corrupted).

          The solution is complicated.

          First, Canadians are going to have to reject any more willingness to compromise with anyone who wants to break up the country. Second, get rid of all the hypenated-Canadian talk. We're all just Canadians, not French-Canadians, English-Canadians, Whatever-Canadians. Labels are used by manipulative scoundrels of all political stripes to divide people, highlighting the unimportant differences rather than the important commonality. In other words, kill off multi-culturalism. Multi-culturalism legitimized Quebec nationalism.

          Second, the whole country needs to realize that bilingualism is a "good thing." Not only does it help delay the onset of Alzheimers by exercising the brain more, it also helps the country be more competitive internationally, and communicate better internally. Quebec would have to go from being officially french to officially bilingual, same as New Brunswick. Other provinces sh

        • by Trepidity (597)

          One reason students in Quebec are more angry about it is that they typically pay their own tuition, for a mixture of economic/cultural/historical reasons. In the rest of Canada it's more common (as in the U.S.) for parents to pay substantial parts of tuition, so tuition hikes don't affect students as directly.

      • by ceoyoyo (59147)

        You can't judge the whole country by Quebec. Quebec is very, very special.

        • As I took paints to point out, the Federal political scene has been repleat with politicians from all political stripes pandering to the "soft nationalist/separatist" Quebec vote.

          At some point, the voters in the rest of the country has to accept some responsibility for the mess because they supported this sort of "knife-at-the-throat" cowardice tactics by voting for it.

          The latest example is Tom Mulcair of the NDP - another in the long line of politicians who panders to the soft separatist vote by continua

    • by ohnocitizen (1951674) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @02:14PM (#39902807)
      It fizzled. In the meantime, record voter suppression laws have been successfully passed by the far right kooks in a number of states: http://www.aclu.org/maps/2011-voting-rights-under-attack-state-legislatures [aclu.org]

      2012 will host a bunch of important and close elections, and an even greater portion of the American public won't even be allowed into the polls. Other methods of voter suppression will happen on top of that insidious base.
      • by turbidostato (878842) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @02:22PM (#39902871)

        "It fizzled. In the meantime, record voter suppression laws have been successfully passed by the far right kooks in a number of states"

        I'm not an expert on internal USA matters, so I won't doubt you are in the truth.

        But certainly not because of the provided evidence... which I took the time to read and that basically ends up to: "nine states won't allow to cast votes to badly or un-identified persons". I happen to think that's a good thing.

        • by MightyYar (622222) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @02:46PM (#39903059)

          But certainly not because of the provided evidence... which I took the time to read and that basically ends up to: "nine states won't allow to cast votes to badly or un-identified persons". I happen to think that's a good thing.

          The problem with political discourse in the US is that people always have to be on a team and can't think objectively like you just did. The result is that we have the most ridiculous arguments. In this case, we have some small amount of voter fraud... dead people voting, vote buying, etc. An obvious solution is to do a better job with voter identity. Of course, any time you make voting requirements more stringent, you disenfranchise people. And as it happens, the people who have the most trouble with voting requirements are the poor.

          Now, reasonable people who don't associate with a team could sit down and talk about where to draw the line such that you have a suitable balance between voter fraud and disenfranchisement. Add partisan politics, and it just becomes a "you hate the poor", "you have a vested interest in voter fraud" argument.

          In PA, I think it is a pretty reasonable law - you must show photo ID to vote. If you do not have an ID you can still cast a provisional ballot which will get counted when you bring proof of ID. If you cannot afford a government ID, you can sign an affidavit stating that you are too poor to afford one at any motor vehicle center and they will give you an ID for free. Now, this still has a greater effect on the poor than on the rich - but it's not a terrible balance IMHO. If anything, the failure has been to spend money getting the word out.

          • by forand (530402)

            So it is reasonable to force citizens to pay for a government issued ID to vote? I was under the impression that, as a citizen I had the right to vote and be free from unwarranted search by my government. Requiring me to obtain a government issued ID to express my opinion in a democracy is something that must either be encoded in the constitution or not allowed. Requiring government issued ID without requiring it at birth means you will disenfranchise legitimate voters who, until some law that they can now

          • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @04:43PM (#39903907)

            In this case, we have some small amount of voter fraud... dead people voting, vote buying, etc. An obvious solution is to do a better job with voter identity.

            In this case we have such a small amount of voter fraud [nytimes.com] that it is significantly less than the margin of error in the counting process. Given that basic fact, any argument for tightening up access to voting must be seen as disinegenuous.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Burpmaster (598437)

            The problem with political discourse in the US is that people always have to be on a team and can't think objectively like you just did.

            No, the real problem with political discourse in the US is that too many people think what you think here, and they are too susceptible to confirmation bias. So complete scumbags can get away with enacting a policy for partisan political gain, as long as they accuse the other party's opposition to their policy as being for partisan political gain. By doing so, the provide a narrative that fits your preconceptions about how politics works and brings both sides down to the same level, so it's a stalemate. Thi

        • by ohnocitizen (1951674) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @02:58PM (#39903147)
          If you don't understand how requiring picture id suppresses voters who have other forms of id, then yeah, you don't get it. Voter Fraud in the US is a myth (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/10/opinion/the-myth-of-voter-fraud.html). What we are left with is populations of people (students, the poor) who typically vote Democrat, and have trouble getting through the hoops Republicans enjoy throwing in their place. So yes, these laws are indeed an assault on voting rights.
        • by compro01 (777531)

          "It fizzled. In the meantime, record voter suppression laws have been successfully passed by the far right kooks in a number of states"

          I'm not an expert on internal USA matters, so I won't doubt you are in the truth.

          But certainly not because of the provided evidence... which I took the time to read and that basically ends up to: "nine states won't allow to cast votes to badly or un-identified persons". I happen to think that's a good thing.

          In and of itself, it's good.

          Add up the entire picture, including aspects such as unreasonably restricting what is considered valid ID, adjusting locations of where those IDs can be obtained, and the cost of said IDs, and it looks much less like a good thing.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        2012 will host a bunch of important and close elections, and an even greater portion of the American public won't even be allowed into the polls. Other methods of voter suppression will happen on top of that insidious base.

        I love how liberals have some how managed to turn "preventing voter fraud" into "voter suppression." I suppose at the most pedantic level, it's true. By preventing people from fraudulently voting, you are suppressing their vote.

        Oh no, you might be required to show a picture ID to vote! Check in your wallet. See that state-issued card with your picture on it? The one you need to drive and buy alcohol? Congratulations! You can vote!

        Oh no, you cry, I might not have a driver's license. Except I do becau

        • by SpeZek (970136) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @03:13PM (#39903249) Homepage Journal

          Oh no, you might be required to show a picture ID to vote! Check in your wallet. See that state-issued card with your picture on it? The one you need to drive and buy alcohol? Congratulations! You can vote!

          Shit, is it behind my bus pass or my food credits card?

          Oh no, you cry, I might not have a driver's license. Except I do because almost everyone does, but theoretically I might not. Well, have no fear! Any valid ID is OK! And every state offers a non-driver's license photo ID.

          Oh, shit, you mean the state-issued photo ID that costs money (that some folks can't afford, living paycheck to paycheck) and requires one to take the entire day off work (again, that some folks can't afford) to get on a weekday?

          Check your privilege.

    • by quantaman (517394)

      Actually since you mention it I regularly hear about these kinds of shenanigans or worse during US elections, though it never makes a real splash. I'm actually relieved that the same stuff up here is still able to draw outrage.

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      Or did it just fizzle because nobody cared?

      No, the prosecutors who made sure the investigation fizzled absolutely cared - they cared that they and their buddies didn't get caught breaking the law.

  • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @01:37PM (#39902573) Homepage Journal

    The Conservatives engage in massive election fraud, while their co-ideologues south of the border, the Republicans, make political hay with completely baseless complaints of widespread voter fraud. If I were a suspicious, conspiracy-minded sort, I might think there was some sort of connection. "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." But surely this kind of thing is just a coincidence ... right?

    • by chispito (1870390)
      Stop trying to score political points off this. You should maintain a healthy skepticism of ALL politicians and those who cling to them.
      • by MightyYar (622222)

        That wouldn't help his team.

      • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @03:27PM (#39903337) Homepage Journal

        You should maintain a healthy skepticism of ALL politicians and those who cling to them.

        Indeed. And part of that healthy skepticism is recognizing that while all political parties are inherently brutal and corrupt, they are not equally so; some are, in fact, markedly worse than others. The "oh, forget about it, they're all the same" attitude that a lot of people take is intellectual laziness which, if enough people adopt it, paves the road to power for real monsters.

        • The robocalling scandal certainly takes it to another level, but dirty tricks, even if just defacing opposing candidates' election signs, has gone on for a long time. I worked for a fellow who was a campaign manager and he had stories to tell about harassing phone calls, letting air out of tires, send small squads of hecklers to shout down other candidates at election events. Yes, these are lesser evils than deliberately trying to fool voters directly, but you can see a continuum here. We have a bunch of pu

          • Quite frankly, I think any card-carrying party member should probably have their head examined. I consider extreme partisanship to be something of a mental disorder. You can kind of forgive it in the young, because if they weren't worshiping at the feet of the party leader, they'd probably be worshiping at the feet of Marilyn Manson or some football superstar. But it's the middle aged guys that get me. You would think that at some point along the road they would have become wise to the fact that parties are fundamentally corrupt creatures, dens of inequity and sin, machines of special interests masquerading as electoral beacons.

            Given the rising numbers of evangelical and fundamentalist Christians and mega churches, and rejection of science and rational thinking at state levels, why is it at all surprising that today's middle-aged population aren't wising up to the corruption but instead lean toward extreme partisanship?

        • by M. Baranczak (726671) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @05:27PM (#39904239)

          The "oh, forget about it, they're all the same" attitude that a lot of people take is intellectual laziness which, if enough people adopt it, paves the road to power for real monsters.

          Too many people have forgotten this. Objectivity means that you examine the facts without prejudice; it doesn't mean that you automatically give equal weight to both sides of an argument. When two people are taking two incompatible positions, chances are very good that one of them is more wrong than the other.

  • How about that! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WindBourne (631190) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @01:51PM (#39902663) Journal
    Canada's conservatives are becoming a lot more like American republicans. Now, they simply need to share information to see how to cheat at it better.
    • I'm not so certain anymore - the Conservative Party has been slowly drifting to centre. If you need proof, go and check out the Wild Rose party of Alberta. They make the Conservative Party (provincial and federal) look like the demigods of democracy and fair-play. The frightening bit is 30% of the province wanted to elect them, almost out of nowhere. The mast majority of the province actually voted Conservative just to keep them out.
    • Re:How about that! (Score:5, Informative)

      by shutdown -p now (807394) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @07:00PM (#39904807) Journal

      Curiously enough, even the most extreme Canadian conservatives are still left of U.S. Republicans. Case in point: the Alberta Wildrose alliance, which is to the right even of the federal Conservative party; and yet, from their program:

      "Albertans do not want a U.S.-style health care system that leaves millions uninsured. It is critical that any proposed health reforms for our province comply with the five key principles of the Canada Health Act – namely that health insurance coverage is publicly administered, comprehensive in scope, universal, portable among provinces and accessible."

      This is the kind of thing that people have in mind when they say that U.S. politics are extremely biased towards right wing in general.

  • fall guy. (Score:2, Redundant)

    by Dzimas (547818)
    The national party will simply claim that the robocalls were the work of a rogue campaign employee in a single riding who misused the organization's confidential database. One guy is going to get hung out to dry and they'll let time cloud the collective memory.
  • by bidule (173941) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @02:18PM (#39902845) Homepage

    Considering how often our PM said we were getting an erection, I'm not surprised we got the shaft.

  • by rueger (210566) * on Saturday May 05, 2012 @02:18PM (#39902847) Homepage
    Watch as the "mainstream media" twists itself into knots trying to avoid stating what everyone knows: The Tories broke the law, and arguably stole at a least a couple of seats. And given the penchant for micromanaging there's no way the Prime Minister didn't know about it.
  • What's even worse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hentes (2461350) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @02:19PM (#39902857)

    What really surprised me is that the conservatives don't even try to hide that they are compiling a database of their supporters and rejecters. This goes against the very idea of secret ballot voting, and in most civilised countries is at least theoretically illegal.

    • Actually most political parties in the Western world compile voter lists, and since, curiously enough, all these laws out there banning telemarketing explicitly give political parties an out, they've nicely made sure it isn't illegal.

      Profiling voters is an extraordinarily important aspect of modern political campaigning at the ground level.

      • by Hentes (2461350)

        Voter lists and supporter databases are two different things. Yes, political parties can legally use voter lists for telemarketing/snailmail spamming, but that's fundamentally different from making a list of friends and enemies.

        "Want to get a job in the public sector? Sorry, our database shows that you didn't support the currently ruling party last election."

        • Is it? It strikes me that if you have a list of voter affiliations, then you automatically have a list that could be regarded by those who suffer from the partisanship disease as a list of friends and enemies.

          I'm not saying CIMS, or any such database (and most political parties with any resources in most democratic countries have them), is compiled for the purpose of identifying your enemies. It has uses such as projecting electoral results, finding the demographics in question to determine how to tailor th

  • by wisebabo (638845) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @02:33PM (#39902953) Journal

    I'd like to think that the solution to this sort of thing (voting fraud) could be effectively combatted by making the penalties really severe, like a multi-decade stay in prison. I feel that the consequences are serious enough, after all the BASIC premise of our DEMOCRACY is at stake; one person one vote. I mean how many nations do we despise, condemn or even sanction for not allowing this basic right regardless of how much it has been perverted or corrupted by practices like buying votes or dirty politics. Even when "the people" make stupid mistakes REPEATEDLY (Bush 2000, 2004), we allow them that right.

    So denying that right should be treated very very seriously. If, in fact, the criminal act was carried out by a single or few individuals then fine, a long prison term should discourage others. Otherwise, in the best of worlds, a plea bargain will be made in which they'll finger the real perpetrators; the big fish who are doing this systematically and on a large scale. THEY should be prosecuted and sent to prison for a long long time.

    Unfortunately the reason why I said "in the best of worlds" is because some of these individuals may be motivated by a higher calling (and not just by the reward of public office or money). If they truly believe that what they are doing serves some sort of meta-physical goal, their beliefs may cause them to act without fear of earthly punishments. Suicide bombers, to take an extreme example, are unlikely to be dissuaded by even the death penalty. This is just another way in which extremism destroys what most people would call civilization and would return us to the pious but desperately impoverished middle ages.

    • Please mod parent up!

  • Fairness and truth don't matter. Like all sociopaths, they feel above the rules. All that matters is winning. Florida in 2000. Canada. It's all the same.

  • Now what? Trying to claim that IP addresses are not enough evidence to identify someone will only help the people being targeting by the recording/movie industry for file sharing.

  • I think I'd believe the Syrians first.
  • Every time an media industry probe claims to catch people via IP address there is a chorus of nyah nyah from Slashdot on how it is impossible to match IP addresses to actual offenders. However in this case the same chorus is cheering the IP Address smoking gun as solid evidence of guilt. Go figure!

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