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,
Here’s the Robo Call protest on Parl Hill. Must be 30 people. Harper should be very afraid. yfrog.com/h2spqwqj
— Don Martin (@DonMartinCTV) March 5, 2012
– 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?