Robocall protest falls flat

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First, voter suppression is a serious thing, and as an extension, false allegations of voter suppression are serious too. Elections Canada should investigate fully and prosecute any wrong-doing if it is shown to exist. My guess is that Guelph is the only riding that will show irregularities of extended concern to Elections Canada.

A lot of ink and broadcast bandwidth has been dedicated to 31,000 “complaints” filed with Elections Canada regarding the so-called Robocall Scandal. The opposition is trying to construct a media narrative of a broad orchestrated conspiracy. Elections Canada instead reports that 31,000 “contacts” have been reported. What’s the difference, you ask?

Well, let’s take a look at leadnow.ca’s petition. The second addressed recipient of the petition is William H. Corbett, Commissioner of Elections Canada. Today, Leadnow’s petition boasts 39,677. No small feat however, this petition was likely emailed out to leadnow’s list which has been built off of previous petitions (and campaigns). A signature petition to demand a public inquiry does not a specific complaint of voter suppression make. Indeed, for those looking for the truth in the matter, flooding Elections Canada’s inbox only makes it more difficult to find the needles of legitimate complaints (if they exist) in the ever-growing spamstack. Troubling has been the media’s tone and volume on these contacts as they are seemingly equating lazily clicking a mouse and joining (re-joining) leadnow’s mailing list with the effective filing of a police report.

There was a protest against robocalls on Parliament Hill today, led by leadnow. How many of the 39,000+ mouse-clickers showed up for it? Don Martin reports,

BC Blue reports the senior organizers of Leadnow:

- Alex Michalos – Emeritus Professor (Political Science), University of Northern British Columbia; Author of 22 books; Editor in Chief for the Journal of Business Ethics; Director of Research for the Canadian Index of Well-Being; Member of the Order of Canada

- Alnoor Ladha – Director of Strategy, Purpose.com (building 21st century movements); Formerly at Ogilvy & Mather, J. Walter Thompson and Mother

- Ben Brandzel – Int’l practitioner & trainer in online organizing; Former Director of New Media for Barack Obama, Founding Adviser/Board Member of 38Degrees.org.uk and Avaaz.org, Advocacy Director for MoveOn.org

- Beth Wilson – Managing Partner, KPMG (Community Leadership), Board member of National Ballet of Canada & Cabinet member of United Way; one of Canada’s “100 most powerful women”

- Ian Capstick: Owner, MediaStyle.ca; Former Press Secretary to Jack Layton, Frequent Media Commentator

- Jim Stanford: Economist, Canadian Auto Workers; Frequent Media Commentator

- Judy Rebick: Journalist, author, political activist and feminist; Founding Publisher Rabble.ca, Former Chair in Social Justice and Democracy at Ryerson University

- Julia Pope: Communications director for a company developing asthma therapeutics; Background in regional electoral politics and journalism; Participant in the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives’ 2012 NextUp leadership program.

- Robin Sears: Partner, Navigator Ltd (Strategic Communications); Former Nat’l Campaign Director, NDP

- Ross McGregor: Director, Tides Canada & Waterfront Toronto; Former President & CEO of Ketchum Canada & Toronto Region Research Alliance

- Susan McLennan: President & Founder, Babble On Communications-

- Vicky Husband: Long-time Environmental Activist; Former Conservation Chair, Sierra Club of BC; Member of the Order of Canada

So who were the other 15 people, and where were the other 38,970?

  • Anonymous

     Why is the Conservative Party the only one who has repeatedly changed
    their story several times and the only one to be against a full
    investigation into voter misdirection?

    Because the CPC campaigning machine has organized very well, studied hard, and learned much from their US right-wing mentors, and they know that, coupled with an aggressive campaign, the shady stuff works. Especially in Canada, where there’s a history of voter cynicism and low election turnout, and small things can make a big difference.

    I note in passing that this is not exactly consistent with the actions of a party promising to clean things up and to be open and accountable, but the above mentioned cynicism probably guarantees they won’t ever be called on it.

  • Switchyard O’Taylor

    I smell a conspiracy!

  • Switchyard O’Taylor

    I smell a conspiracy!

  • Anonymous

     Only a political hack would jump to a conclusion of guilt with no evidence of wrongdoing.  That something went awry is obvious. But for the limited number of people who showed up at the alternate booths, there had to be very few calls actually made. The confusion about the date/location issue indicates that it may in fact have been a simple error, and not criminal. The fact that EC is investigating and are obviously not afraid to call the CPC on issues tells me those that are rushing to judgement have a political, not a fairness issue. And the listing provided here, which I have not investigated, that ties this petition to Obama’s people truly intrigues me. Having screwed up the US, are their sights now set on Canada?

  • Anonymous

     Sound like another leftist/NDP/socialist is howling again. I didn’t notice the full moon . . .

  • Anonymous

     Like the media, and most non-partisans, I’m troubled by the amount of reported questionable actions, both alleged and proven (eg the Cotler calls).  I have pointed to these issues, and to links who agree that it is all too plausible that the CPC is in some way involved, given past campaign tactics. But I haven’t flat-out said that they’re guilty. We don’t know that yet.

    My biggest complaints are that:
    - the CPC’s fumbling of their response, and their usual combination of arrogance and denial, …feels like the response of an angry 12-yr-old whose conscience is bothering him
    - if the CPC is truly innocent, or the phone stuff was the work of a rogue handfull, or is otherwise manageable… then why the heck doesn’t Harper just get out in front of it, aid the investigation, show how this is not how the CPC does business… and put out some legislation (eg record-keeping of phone campaigns) that will prevent a recurrence?

    Nobody seriously thinks this issue will unseat the CPC before the next election. Why won’t they take the high road on campaign misbehaviour for once?

  • Gentlevoice_cdn

    Thank you!!!!!! A voice of reason amongst a group of blind deaf conservatives