Tuesday, March 20, 2012

No one is smelling like roses

Reposted from BLY March 10, 2012

I'm very grateful that we have at least a handful of ethical, objective journalists in Canada, and John Ivison is certainly among that chosen few. Last night Ivison broke the story of the Liberal robocalls in Guelph complete with audio file - New Guelph robocall attacks Tories, listen to the phone message here. He makes the point at the end that "no one in politics is going to emerge from this dung-storm smelling of roses." The RoboFembot did not identify herself as being funded by the Liberal party, which caused Liberal MP Frank Valeriote to hastily explain that it was an 'oversight'. Granted there does not appear to be anything criminal here - unethical or mean-spirited perhaps considering the nature of the call.  But it does allow some perspective on a story that most media prefer to skew against the Conservatives -  instead of waiting for Elections Canada to finish the investigation. A Liberal MP admits his campaign made a mistake by not identifying as the party behind the call. He has 'apologized'.  Is that good enough? As Preston Manning stated yesterday, voter suppression is 'deplorable'. However he also pointed out, “If you try to link these things to any one party, it’s a mistake.” But most media outlets seem to be reporting by Confirmation Bias which is deplorable in itself. Facts are facts but some seem to be selectively depressed, while others are torqued up to promote a certain agenda. (Of course here we also need to make a distinction from 'news' coverage vs. editorials or opinion articles.) In any case, let's encourage the few credible journalists we have left - and make sure they know their efforts are appreciated. For the sake of democracy we need fair reporting.
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Related I would also like to mention some of my fellow Blogging Tories who have done some amazing work on this file. Please check out: A CAW Worker's Voice Of Reason (Paulsstuff is on fire!) BC Blue Spin Assassin The Iceman And Stephen Taylor is documenting the apologies. I know there are more and I invite you to leave links to your posts in the comment section. Thanks. We have a terrific team!!
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Update Andrew MacDougall sets the record straight regarding Elections Canada rules on Guelph Liberal robocalls.

About those 'American Style Dirty Tricks'

(Reposted from BLY March 8, 2012)

Glenn Beck has a warning for Canada regarding the Robosmear - Watch out for the influence of George Soros and his minions especially now that there is a Conservative Majority in Canada (H/T Soccermom).: Spin Assassin has more. Certainly some of the allegations (especially in Guelph) needed to be thoroughly investigated, but the massive pile-on from the left to push for a public inquiry seems rather suspect. JR has a novel approach - He is using Leadnow's own form to fight back! Since the previous post has passed the 300 comment mark, perhaps we can continue the discussion here.
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More at The Blaze.
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But Glenn Beck is the Crazy One - SDA John Ivison: Closing in on Pierre Poutine - National Post (H/T Fh) Can A Person Living In Nipissing Get A Robocall In Quebec - Great investigative journalism by Paulsstuff! Radical budget in the wings - Michael Den Tandt:
...Each piece of the puzzle is intriguing. Taken in its entirety, it is breathtaking. It marks a big change in direction, both for the Harper government and for Canada. Will the ensuing debate prove important enough to push the opposition, and the government, past the daily cut-and-thrust of charge and counter-charge, over robocalls? My guess is yes. Small wonder the anticipation, on the government side, is building.
John Ivison: New Guelph robocall attacks Tories, listen to the phone message here - National Post (with intriguing update). Yeah nobody is smelling like roses here. Thank heavens for John Ivison.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Let's all take a breath

Reposted from March 3, 2012

As Michael Taube opines in today's Ottawa Citizen, it just doesn't make any kind of sense that the Robo-Call 'scandal' was directed from the upper echelon of the Conservative Party (Top Tories would never risk all to steal an election). At this point it seems that there is little doubt that something went horribly wrong in Guelph. Many Conservative spokespersons have conceded that and hope that Elections Canada can ferret out the guilty people as quickly as possible. But to seriously think that Stephen Harper would condone such nefarious tactics as voter suppression just defies logic:
While some party tactics have been the subject of serious debate, especially the "in-and-out" election spending debacle, stealing an election is a completely different matter. The Tories have worked too hard, and struggled for too long, to simply throw away their good name and reputation in one swift, selfish grab for the prize of a majority government.
In fact Guy Giorno was tasked with the mission of maintaining a squeaky-clean campaign according to a recent column by John Ivison:
Another Tory operative said he couldn’t understand the motivation for electoral fraud. “Why take a risk in a risk-averse environment? You’d only do it where the risk has a high return, which it doesn’t here. The culture of the party is not one conducive to freelancing. If you do, you get frog-marched out of the door and dispatched for life.” Both said Guy Giorno, the Prime Minister’s former chief of staff, who acted as campaign manager last year, would not have tolerated such tactics. Mr. Giorno is said to have employed a full-time compliance officer to ensure the party didn’t break any electoral rules.
Unfortunately the opposition, media party and many left-wing advocacy groups are using this as a golden opportunity to tarnish the image of the CPC (and likely increase donations.) Some are already planning for the next election with the notion of 'co-operation' among the opps and then instituting electoral reform. For now let's allow Elections Canada to do their work, but let us also keep an eye on those who would most benefit from this type of smear campaign.
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Retraction and apology - National Post:
An article published in the National Post on March 2, 2012, referred to Responsive Marketing Group Inc. and stated that former employees of RMG have alleged that they were asked by RMG to direct voters to the wrong polling stations. That report was incorrect. No allegation has been made that RMG asked its employees to direct voters to the wrong polling stations. The National Post apologizes to Responsive Marketing Group Inc. for the error.
RackNine files $5M lawsuit against NDP and MP Pat Martin - Jack's Newswatch (with link to Deb Simms' conspiracy theory which merits a look.) Racknine says Pat Martin defamed company - Stephen Taylor (with docs) National Post forced to issue apology over robocall story - BC Blue Media Thinks Online Petition Is A Complaint Filed With Elections Canada - Paulsstuff 31,000 contacts to Election's Canada on Robo Calls. I think I, and the NDP, might know why. - Alberta Ardvark Something to keep in mind here (as tweeted by Stephen Taylor):
  Dear Media Party - Please take note! The language is not interchangeable. ROBOCALL WAKE-UP CALL - Ezra Levant

Another Wafer Chase

(Reposted from BLY - Feb. 24,/12)

  John Gormley's column in today's Leader Post (Harper's critics need to chill) takes a look on the consistently over-the-top attack on the Conservative Government (H/T NNW): This tendency by opposition parties and the Bandwagon Media to resort to spurious allegations and hyperbole has been dubbed Wafer-chasing by reader Wilson. Pat Martin suggested that the latest scandal du jour is our Watergate moment. He is sure that the crank calls were orchestrated from the top rather than the actions of some rogue campaign workers. (And FWIW I agree that anyone found guilty of trying to obstruct the voting process should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.)
The NDP's Martin said the Tories are "laying the foundation for throwing some kid under the bus" when it's clear there's been "a massive conspiracy to defraud the electoral system."
A massive conspiracy... At least John McCallum has the sense to point out that there is no proof of that, but then he goes on to weave his conspiracy theory anyway (from the WFP link above):
"We don't have a smoking gun pointing to Stephen Harper and the Conservative party, but we do know that these actions benefited the Conservative party and we do know this strategy has been in their tool kit for some time. So there are definitely suspicions."
  Tonda Maccharles includes a response from Elections Canada in her somewhat-more-balanced report in the Spectator:
All Elections Canada spokesman John Enright would say is that federal elections commissioner William Corbett reported to Parliament that his office “is looking into several complaints surrounding crank calls designed to discourage voting, discourage voting for a particular party, or incorrectly advise electors of changed polling locations.” However, in the initial two weeks after the election, long before November when investigators apparently linked RackNine to the calls, Commissioner William Corbett appeared unworried that massive electoral mischief had occurred...
  The problem with resorting to these kinds of histrionics is that eventually people tend to tune out - especially those outside the Ottawa bubble. But for now let's allow the proper authorities examine the evidence and proceed accordingly. We're still living in a country where innocence is presumed until proven otherwise - at least in the real world.
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Update Conservative government aide loses job over fraudulent ‘robo-calls’ - Toronto Star Michael Sona Fired: Conservative Staffer With Ties To Guelph Riding Let Go - HuffPo Stephen Harper and the Scandalettes - Adrian MacNair