Saturday, March 17, 2012

RoboCon Time Capsule

Seen from today, one of the more startling aspects of the RoboCon live and automated calls story is just how much we already knew about how widespread it was nine months ago.
How did we come to forget/accept all this? The depressing election results appear to have swept it all away.

May1, 2011 CBC : "....voters are being told to go to the wrong polling stations — some up to an hour away from their homes" in Winnipeg-South Centre and Kitchener-Waterloo.

May 2, 2011 Media Co-op : 
"Residents from Prince George, BC, to St. John's, NL, are reporting receiving calls informing them that their local polling stations have been closed or have been moved.
According to the CBC, Elections Canada was first contacted about the issue on Saturday. Since then, people from across the country have been reporting such calls, many saying they are receiving automated "robo-calls." 
... Guelph, Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton &  Prince George." 

May 2, 2011  CBC : 
"Elections Canada has reports from at least 3 provinces (Ontario, Manitoba, and BC) of misleading phone calls, claiming to be from Elections Canada. They tell voters to go to other polling stations than the ones listed on their voter information cards, "due to high turnout." 
CBC News has done some digging and when they called the 1-800 number left on the message, they got a recording saying the number was out of service. But CBC News traced a caller ID to an unlisted Montreal area code. It rang through to a pre-recorded message that said, 
"Pierre?? (Inaudible) Uh oh. There's no room to record messages. Please hang up and try your call again later. Bye." 
May 2, 2011 The Star  "Elections Canada receptionist Adele McAlpina said she had received about 100 complaints by mid-morning." From one district.

May 6, 2011 London Free Press
London Lib MP reports calls from people saying the polls had been moved.
"His campaign office received complaints about the calls that "call display" features showed originated in Florida and the Dakotas, he said"
May 11 2011 CBC posted a recording of robocall purporting to be from Elections Canada about a bogus polling station change in Guelph. They also reported live harassment calls made in the middle of the night targeting "Oakville, St. Catharines, Haldimand-Norfolk, Simcoe Grey, Guelph, Eglinton-Lawrence, St. Paul's and Mississauga East-Cooksville. The calls were also made in Egmont, P.E.I., and St. Boniface, Man".

May 22, 2011 G&M :
Bogus phone messages that mislead voters about their polling stations have caused widespread disruptions in at least two provinces: Ontario and B.C. The false messages appear to be clustered primarily in ridings where close races are anticipated, meaning a small swing in voting preferences could mean the margin between victory and defeat. 
 Elections Canada returning officer said he received hundreds of complaints about it.

There are scads more of these news stories from the time of the last election. Note they contain peoples' names and statements and the many ridings they live in - thus making the Con strategy of calling it "a few mistakes" and trying to contain it to just Guelph more than a little ridiculous

Bonus : Yesterday, an anonymous commenter linked to what MP Garth Turner had to say about the Cons' CIMS voter database back in October 2007 : Someone is watching you
"Conservatives were required to use the system to not only track a constituent's allegiance to the party, but also to collect personal information about constituents that might come to light when the constituent contacted the parliamentarian.
"Any time a constituent is engaged with a member of Parliament, they get zapped into the database," Turner said. "It's unethical and it's a shocking misuse of data." 


Dr.Dawg said...

And it seems to have taken until a few weeks ago for Elections Canada to take any of this seriously.

Anyone still doubt we need a full,independent public inquiry?

Robert McClelland said...

We had more important things to discuss at the time; like Ruth Ellen Brosseau and the age of NDP MPs.

thwap said...

To be honest, I only remember the shenanigans at Guelph at the time.

I don't know if an Inquiry can deliver the criminal penalties necessary.

But this is obviously a centrally-orchestrated campaign.

Beijing York said...

Ex-Conservative MP, Inky Mark, of Dauphin, MB also spoke about central control over voters list and how he declined to use their "assistance" in the last election he ran.

Alison said...

Dr Dawg : No sure about "seriously"; this could just be a reflection of media inattention.
Under "Electoral Law Enforcement" in the Report of the Chief Electoral Officer dated Aug 17 2011, Mayrand wrote :
"The Commissioner 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."

Robert : Yes.

Thwap : Some discussion on public inquiry vs EC investigation here.

BY : I didn't include Inky Mark's comments because they are recent and the post deals with what we knew last May, but I did blog his remarks in the previous post.

Saskboy said...

Once CIMS is poured through by investigators, they should be able to tie 10%er contacts to it, which I would argue crosses another line of using government money for partisan gain, since CIMS is a Conservative, not a government DB. Hit the Conservatives with a bill for that, if they put 10%er mailing responses into CIMS.

Saskboy said...

Also last May is EMay's letter to EC on May 19th I think, about electoral fraud (probably in S-GI, but that detail eludes me at this hour).

Alison said...

Thanks, Saskboy.
EMay's letter, May 19, 2011

Good point on 10%ers.

Jennifer Smith said...

I was going to look all these up, but now you've done my work for me. Thank you! :)

Here's another one, from Halton:

Alison said...

Jennifer! Was just thinking about you the other day. Assume you're still giving them hell down east.
Thanks for the link to your local paper's May 2 2011 election fraud story, but no, I haven't done your work for you. While looking for initial MSM election fraud references I ran into scads in small local papers and I think someone should link all those together ;-)

btw While picking up your paper's link, I got distracted by a report about "the theft of a tractor trailer filled with alcohol spirits."
Don't you easterners use bottles or cans anymore? :)

Holly Stick said...

Are you keeping an eye on

He's finally posting results in a series of posts.

Mogs said...

I’m pushing 60 and can’t believe Harper's push from a “benign dictatorship” as Harper and Tom Flanagan labeled a one party majority Canadian Government in the winter of 96/97 to a not so benign Autocracy, with Harper the sole in control. I have seen our freedoms erode faster in the years since Harper first got in than all the entire years since 1867 Canada. The list is too long to post here but everyone has blogged twittered and tweeted his lies, deception, manipulation, back door deals, corporate whoring, complete distaste for the rule of law and the average Canadian, now robo and live calls tipping the election to the Cons favor unfortunately the list is endless. We don’t have until the next election; there will be nothing left of Canada it will be a far right toxic wasteland stripped bare of all natural resources going to the highest foreign bidder. Even thinking about protecting the raw beauty and nature of flora and fauna, is already being branded as 1 step away and holding hands with terrorism – radicalism. Along with all other dissenters, the radicals will be tossed in his new prisons. Anyone with eyes wide open can see the pattern developing here and it must be halted in its dirty deeded tracks, because its going to get a whole lot worse. If you have not already seen Harper and Flanagan’s ‘case’ its worth a look: “Next City, Winter 1996/97. Our benign dictatorship - Canada’s system of one-party-plus rule has stunted democracy. Two prominent conservatives present the case for more representative government-by Stephen Harper and Tom Flanagan”


He knows he is unstoppable his grasp of the situation he finds himself in with his unholy ‘majority’ stolen from the Canadian people, is very well outlined in their “case for more representative government”, coalition governments were good then. He was never ever planning on more representative government just another lie to gain public opinions trust; he simply wants to cash in on his newfound fortune BIG TIME. Side dishes of Stuffed Senators anyone? Next election stuffed ballot boxes; suppression is not enough for Steven Treason and his Con Hypocrisy Autocracy. The Egyptians set the bar high and ousted their Autocrat I believe we still have the right to oust ours too before it is too late, if we don’t use it we will loose it. With the test run Saanich, Gulf Islands that was mission accomplished in the 2008 election:

Taken right out of the Con ‘Elections for Dummies Playbook’ Chapter 1 Blame Another Party, Verse i) 2008 the NDP did it, Verse ii) 2011 the Liberals did it. Hold it right here you’ve got to be kidding me, shit, we’ve been fooled again, NOT! Harper you’ve got mud on your face and you’re a big disgrace GET OUT NOW.


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