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No dirty tricks, Mr. Harper

Posted on February 25, 2012 | No Comments

Bob Rae holds a press conference in Toronto Danforth on recent allegations of dirty tricks in the 2011 election.

Any Conservative MP, candidate or party official who has any knowledge of the widespread vote suppression campaign during the last election must turn the information over to the RCMP or Elections Canada for investigation, said Liberal Leader Bob Rae today.

“These MPs, candidates and Conservative Party officials all benefited from an elaborate web of under-handed vote suppression tactics, that included but didn’t stop at, false and misleading phone calls,” said Mr. Rae. “If they don’t come forward with what they know then they are complicit with electoral fraud that, certainly in my mind, is on the scale of ballot box stuffing. It is hard to believe that in a scheme this widespread and elaborate, there are not a large number of people who would have knowledge of some of the things that took place and who directed it all.”

Mr. Rae released a list of 27 ridings in which the Liberal Party has received reports of misleading or harassing phone calls, as well as other tactics that were used to prevent probable Liberal supporters from casting a ballot.

“Unfortunately, this doesn’t end at phone calls,” said Mr. Rae. “We have heard reports of aggressive people acting on behalf of the Conservative Party outside of polling locations misleading voters, often seniors or new Canadians, in an attempt to prevent them from casting a ballot. There are also extremely disturbing reports of scores of ‘instant voters’ who cast ballots in certain ridings in which they were not actually residents.”

Mr. Rae noted that some of the alleged violations, including falsely impersonating Elections Canada or a Liberal campaign, go beyond a violation of the Canada Elections Act and may even result in a conviction under the Criminal Code.

“For the phone scheme alone, there were hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of phone calls which would have required hundreds of phone bank callers using targeted lists in over 25 ridings. This would have cost thousands upon thousands of dollars to pull off. To even suggest this was organized by one lone 23-year old staffer is beyond ridiculous,” added Mr. Rae.

Read the full news release here.

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  1. Avatar of Inge Jordan Inge Jordan said on

    Bob Rae, go for it in the HoC on Monday! No more nonsense about the mythical high road, which leads straight to defeat and destruction. This is now a fight to the finish, and if there is ever another federal election – after all, the Houses of Parliament might conveniently burn down, as the Reichstag did in 1933 – we the Liberals must first and foremost wake up the voters and make clear in no uncertain terms that this may be the very last chance to prevent a one-party state (as in Alberta) and a dictatorship. We missed many chances in the last 7 years, starting with Cadman and later with the coalition which was totally bungled. We had the Harperites on the run several times, and now it may be too late. Best of luck on Monday. I will be watching with trepidation.

  2. Avatar of Gregg Guptill Gregg Guptill said on

    The caption, “Dirty Tricks” while far, far understating the magnitude of the crime, may be effective by way of attracting public attention.

    However, collectively we can probably come up with a caption that both “grabs public attention” AND conveys the magnitude of the crime. I’ll give this some thought and be back with a couple of suggestions. Meanwhile, what do YOU suggest?

    The backlash on this is just barely getting started. By the time this fully plays out, if well done, it could (should) be enough to bury the Conservatives for a decade or two.

    Be sure to read Andrew Coyne’s February 25th article …

    Here >

  3. Avatar of said on

    As of lately I have become very alarmed towards the agenda of the conservative government. And I do admit I am part of the problem as I actually voted for these folks in the last election. What was I thinking! Being an average middle of the road Canadian left of centre socially and right of centre financially I incorrectly assumed that the conservatives would not stuff extreme right wing ideology and trickery down our throats. But instead they would align their policies with the majority of Canadians such as myself. I value democracy, honesty, personal freedoms, privacy, rule of law, as well social, personal, and financially responsibility.

    So why am I alarmed? Well in less than a month every value I hold dear has been or is in the process of being eroded and destroyed by this government. I am sitting in my living room in complete shock unable to utter a word. Election tampering to me is the ultimate betrayal of our democracy. And what shocks me and sends chills to the core of my body is this is happening in Canada. As I always thought electoral fraud only exist in countries with quasi and unstable democracies, with corrupt government officials and bureaucrats not in an advanced democracy such as Canada. What is becoming of the Country I love and know?

    • Avatar of Gregg Guptill Gregg Guptill said on

      {Nothing ‘personal’ intended here}

      Do we remember all the warnings about, “Harper’s Hidden Agenda?”

      You bet we do!

      It took the Harper Gang many years and three elections to ‘bury’ that fear. A fear we now know was very well founded.

      Well, bury they did … but not for long.

      Welcome aboard, disaffected, now former Conservative voter. Your declared values align very well with fundamental Liberal values. I admire your courage in taking responsibility for your honest mistake. Now, lets hope that a few million more have your level of integrity.

      As to your question, “What is becoming of the Country I love and know?” …

      The answer, albeit dated, is here >

      *** And that only covers the first three months of his first mandate in 2006

      Note the very last paragraph of that article, “And finally Mr. Prime Minister, will we really not recognize Canada when you get through with it?”

      Well, here we are not quite six years later; just nine months into a majority mandate; with four years of majority mandate remaining. Changes to date have been, to say the least, ‘negative’ and ‘radical.’ I truly fear where we have come to and where we are heading – not so much for ‘our generation’ (pre-boomer) but for the generations that follow and the country as a whole.

      *** And to think; the majority mandate was attained by way of seemingly (and probably to be proven) criminal acts. ***

  4. Avatar of ryan kavanagh ryan kavanagh said on

    That election fraud of this kind could happen in Canada disgusts me. I think that it really does show how little the Conservatives care about what is necessarily good for Canada as a whole and instead how they are interested mainly in power.

    At the same time, I don’t think we – the Liberals – should make a push for bi-elections in these ridings or even an election in general. If bi-elections were held, in the best case scenario we would handily take each riding and the Conservatives would be reduced to a (near-majority) minority government. This would not be good. The Conservatives would regain their excuse of “Hey, it’s not OUR fault we haven’t accomplished anything, its this UNSTABLE MINORITY’s fault” i.e. the opposition – us. At the same time, the Conservatives would still be able to get through uncontroversial measures that help the economy and – on this economic platform – the Prime Minister would likely by re-elected in 2015. In the worst case scenario, the Conservatives would take enough seats to maintain their majority, and the scandal would be passed over.

    It is absolutely low, rotten, and disgusting that the Conservatives would engage in tactics such as these. And this is the foundation that their majority has been built on. Everything else that they build up between now and 2015 stands on this unsound foundation and, as such, when the time comes it will be easy to knock down. Let them keep their majority and with it the agenda they have so long hoped to act out. Let them keep on proposing and, occasionally, keep on passing bad legislation; it will only serve to alienate them from the public. As we’ve seen with the recent stalling of the internet surveillance bill, it doesn’t take seats in Parliament to stop legislation, it takes public outrage. If the majority stays, so will that outrage.

  5. Avatar of Maureen Cursley Maureen Cursley said on

    I have serious doubts regarding the ability of the opposition, the RCMP or Elections Canada to find the truth about this treasonable attack on Canadian democracy. Harper has effectively gotten away with the “in-out scheme”, contempt of parliament, a slap on the wrist over the Irwin Cotler debacle and so on. I have little faith left in our traditional means of keeping a government honest, with the Commons only used as an insult-hurling venue – never for a discussion of policy or anything pertaining to the an opposite view to that held by Harper. Our system of government was never designed to allow, much less overthrow a dictator, and that is what we have in Harper. An appeal to the GG would be useless if this is proven, as he has shown himself, very obviously, to be Harper’s man. What in God’s good name has happened to my country. With the state of affairs right now, maybe only the Supreme Court could rid us of this farce of a government.

  6. Avatar of James Mills James Mills said on

    On todays episode of the CTV program Question Period. The Parliamentary Secretary for the Prime Minister, Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro said “The NDP has been RoboCalling my riding for a month about Old Age Security”. Apparently, Del Mastro does not see the RoboCalls about Old Age Security (which are legal) as different from pretending to be Elections Canada (which is illegal) and calling misdirecting people to the wrong place to vote. Telling statement ….the Parliamentary Secretary for the Prime Minister does not distinguish between a legal activity and an illegal activity.

  7. Avatar of Inge Jordan Inge Jordan said on

    Here we go again, endlessly soul-searching somewhere on the high road to defeat, while Rome, or rather Ottawa, burns and our rights are slowly but surely being eroded.
    If it turns out that laws have been broken, esp. the following:

    Section 524 of the Canada Elections Act:
    524. (1) Any elector who was eligible to vote in an electoral district, and any candidate in an electoral district, may, by application to a competent court, contest the election in that electoral district on the grounds that
    (a) under section 65 the elected candidate was not eligible to be a
    candidate; or (b) there were irregularities, fraud or corrupt or illegal practices that affected the result of the election.

    there should be punishment and, if appropriate, byelections, not in order for us to win first and foremost, but because the voters in those ridings have been wronged. As the third party, we have not got a chance in h**ll to bring in legislation to ban anything, such as robocalls. Harper rules until 2015.

    What we should work towards, esp. with public opinion on our side, or rather on the side of decency and honesty, as it seems to be right now, is to make sure that Elections Canada makes the rules absolutely crystal clear for even the most uninvolved citizen to grasp, preferably with a note on the very voter’s card: “We never call you, we don”t even have your phone numbers. If you have any doubts about the voting process or the location of your polling station, ring xxx for advice”. And back that up with plenty of well-informed, polite operators before and on voting day. I have seen Elections Canada ads in bus stations – that would be another method of informing large numbers of people, at least in cities.

    The voters who by 2015 will have forgotten what happened during the last elction can be reminded by us in a matter-of-fact way, without being overly partisan. But here the meekness and mildness should end! Harper means war and loves it. We may not love it but must engage in it or be trampled underfoot.

  8. Avatar of Inge Jordan Inge Jordan said on

    P.S. Elections Canada has an e-mail address. We can and should swamp them with suggestions about clarity and completeness of voting instructions. Someone could even start a petition.

  9. Avatar of Michael Broughton Michael Broughton said on

    I have a question that I have not seen being asked yet in the media. How did this Michael Sona manage to identify and target Liberal supporters in ridings other than the one in which he worked?

    If there are any persons who were targetted who had not previously donated above the $200 limit to a campaign to trigger disclosure as a supporter, then something really, really fishy is going on. For that, go back and cross-reference the original complainants against the disclosure lists. Even if all targetted individuals were previously disclosed supporters, we would have to presume that Mr. Sona had so much spare time during a campaign that he could, across 27 riding, get the disclosure list from the previous election, cross reference it all to the phone book, and did so all without any help.

    Frankly, that just isn’t believable.

    It needs to be asked in Question Period of the Government exactly how it was that Mr. Sona had such wide-spread access to information is supposed to be private in this country. Beyond any overt criminality, the sanctity of the anonymity of the ballot box is at stake here.

    • Avatar of André Brisebois André Brisebois said on

      Good suggestion, thanks! I’ll share it with Caucus.

  10. Avatar of Christopher Birch Christopher Birch said on

    THis is a new article today listing almost 30 illegal tricks the tories were caught doing. It was an eye opener for me, enough to sign up to this site to share.

    I’ve never voted as no party leader has moved me or instilled faith or hope to a degree where i reach a tipping point and become active politically. I’ve been learning a lot about RON PAUL a republican presidential hopeful. He is fighting against so many issues that do MATTER to canadians but no political party is representing to a great degree. SHould you look at his platform you will see how he is trying to save america from the same problems we face… bankruptcy, Illegal wars, illegal monetary system via central banks, internet freedoms at stake, government corruption due to increased powers,size, and special interest influence. rotating doors between industry(mostly drug) and government leading to illegal policies and activities. Even the entitlement systems bankrupting the country (in our case free medical care = a system creating multibillion dollar drug prescriptions benefitting drug companies and giving us such awesome problems as oxy addiction, making curing cancer illegal and forcing untested vaccines on girls and so on while not creating health or solving problems… you get the point) There is much more to share and id rather you find out for yourself.

    I make the following plea to any liberals with free time to learn about the hugest political movement in the USA: Do me a favor goto and watch one Ron Paul rally, almost any one will do. It will inspire you to take action. My hope is the liberal party will take notice and run on these issues and in turn get my vote next election. Liberty is a worthwhile cause. To ROn PAUL 2012 and to a new era in canadian politics.
    Be well.


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