Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Laurie Hawn does Brad Butt

In the House on Monday, Con MP Laurie Hawn's memory appears to have picked up where Brad Butt's left off, repeating Butt's earlier allegations - later retracted - about voter information cards being picked up from apartment building lobbies for fraudulent voting purposes. 
Hawn, as per my vid excerpt above :
"In the 2006 election, I was called personally and offered hundreds of voter cards that had been left in apartment buildings and so on. Like an idiot, I said, “No, we don't do that sort of thing”. I should have said, “Yes, come on down”, and had the police waiting."
But according to Hill Times last night, in light of Mr. Hawn's 8 year old allegations :
"Elections Canada told The Hill Times the voter information card was not accepted as voter ID in the 2006 election, when it was used solely as mail-out information to voters about their poll locations and was not required at the polls even as a way to help polling officials direct voters to their polling station ballot box."

As it happens, on April 27 2006, the very year in question and three months after the election, Hawn brought up this same allegation with Chief Electoral Officer Jean-Pierre Kingsley at the PROC Committee
Hawn :
"During the last campaign, we got an e-mail from a prominent Edmonton lawyer about the fact that many individuals were enumerated at their downtown offices instead of at their homes. One individual bragged about how many times he had gotten to vote for my opponent based on the number of leases he had in the riding and therefore the number of voter cards he received. That number was fourteen."
Hawn had a team stay up all night to check into this and they uncovered "300 apparently spurious registrations and several hundred suspicious ones", including "karaoke bars, lingerie stores, dance lounges" :
"We found 100 non-existent addresses in Edmonton's downtown core. In some cases the addresses listed were fictional residences between two genuine buildings. We found hundreds of families registered to vote out of their law offices, medical offices, accounting offices, Government of Canada offices.
In some cases there may have been genuine errors involved, but in other cases married couples, including their children, were registered to vote out of high-rise office spaces. Dozens of people were registered to vote out of office towers, but suite numbers were not listed, making the addresses look like normal residential addresses. Some people were registered to vote in other ridings as well as ours. In some cases people were registered to vote only in Edmonton Centre when it was clear they lived in another riding. One of those included a candidate.
Dozens of people were registered to vote out of storage yards, and yet there's no legitimate way anybody can be registered to vote out of a storage yard. Eighteen people were registered to vote out of one truck stop. People were registered to vote out of karaoke bars, lingerie stores, dance lounges, galleries; you get the picture.
We had other observations with respect to the voter cards. Some nationalities routinely get multiple voter cards."
Then he gets round to voter info cards left in lobbies :
A lot of people in apartment buildings are fairly transient, and voter cards get left in stacks in lobbies of apartment buildings. The cards can then be picked up and used by anyone. Since we don't require identification at the polling station, anybody can be anybody. This election and last, in fact, we got phone calls--anonymous, naturally--offering us extra voter cards, for money, naturally. We, naturally, refused.
Voter cards for money? That's new.
After Kingsley explained he requires a written complaint and cannot investigate on the basis of just hearsay, he turned to voters having addresses in office buildings:
... for purposes of the income tax system, some people register their addresses as their accountant's, so we were getting the accountant's address as a genuine address. We were able to purge the lists of these before the election.
and then to Hawn's complaint about voter info cards left in lobbies. Remember, this is in 2006 :
"There is no voter card in this country. It's a voter information card. It's information that is provided. That card does not entitle one to vote. It certainly does not entitle one to vote multiple times."  
Undaunted, Hawn comes back to his lawyer example again later on :
"The example that I used in the beginning was that of a lawyer, who clearly knows better, bragging that he voted fourteen times for my opponent in the 2004 election because he had a voter card for each of the fourteen properties that he leased in the riding."
Huh. This must be another lawyer that Hawn's "prominent Edmonton lawyer" told him about.

"Hawn's campaign actually issued a news release in January of 2006 to announce it had filed a complaint with the Commissioner of Elections Canada about "massive voter list irregularities" in his riding of Edmonton Centre, alleging that non-residential buildings or "non-existent" addresses were listed on the voter rolls. 
But the 2006 release does not make mention of an offer for voter identification cards."
Or money for turning them over. That's odd. Perhaps the Opposition could ask him about that today. Back to CBC :
About a week before the 2006 election, Hawn's campaign gave a list of suspect names found on the voters list to Elections Canada.
Hawn's campaign office "made such a stink about it" that Elections Canada put on extra staff in Edmonton Centre on voting day. Hawn won that election. 
A year later in January 2007, Elections Canada issued a release about the results of its investigation into Hawn's complaint. It found 93 voters who used what it called "non-residential addresses" and reports it interviewed "most of these electors."
The upshot of the investigation was that 23 voters who did not live in Edmonton Centre nonetheless voted there. Elections Canada found that all had "updated" their addresses, although the report doesn't say when that happened. The report says none voted twice and nor was any link found between them.
Perhaps because of Hawn's complaint, the report goes on to say, "On election day, electors listed at potential non-residential addresses, including these 21, were highlighted on the lists of electors, and election officers obtained proof of residence from these electors before they voted."
Blithering idiot parliamentary secretary to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Paul Calandra :
told the House that in the 2006 election, as a scrutineer for the Conservative Party, he had seen his dead mother's name on a list of voters who were recorded as having already voted.
"She had actually passed away in 2005, and when I asked the person why her name was checked off the list, she assured me that my mother had been in earlier in the day to vote. When I explained to her that was not possible, I was ushered out of the polling station," Calandra said.
Reached by phone late Tuesday, Calandra said he made a mistake when he said he was a scrutineer in that election. 
Sigh. Well, it is Calandra after all.
In 2007, new rules stipulated voters must provide specific ID, such as driver's licences, utility bills or other forms of identification, in order to cast a ballot.
For the 2011 election, the voter information cards were permitted to be used for proof of address, but only for specified groups, such as aboriginals, students and seniors in assisted living or retirement homes.
The Fair Elections Act [contrary to everyone but the Cons] eliminates the use of the voter information card..
Thursday update : Elections expert Harry Neufeld schools Laurie Hawn in 2 minute clip in PROC committee.


the salamander said...

.. this is PMO strategy & duplicity in action. By conflating 'Voter Fraud' over Election Fraud & muddling & confusing the terms.. Conservatives are seen as attacking 'Election Fraud' when they are actually enabling & unleashing increased vote suppression.

This was classic suppression strategy in the last American Election.

So does Jenni Byrne, Ray Novak, Stephen Lecce, Peter Van Loan et al muster the troops.. program disposables such as Hawn, Butt & Calandra.. and launch the new initiative under the smug smirking Minister.. P Poilievre?

What manner of elected public servant agrees to this kind of toxic, tainted gaming and malicious grooming of the electoral system and parliament itself?

Further.. what kind of Canadian electorate or riding accepts or rewards such obvious deceit, vacant values, ethical failure.. and sheer stupidity.

Its all approved at the highest level of course.. To think Stephen Harper is unaware or did not greenlight all aspects of this greasy, shallow strategy, is laughable.

Welcome to a make believe version of Canada that only Stephen Harper and complicit sellout dullards could possibly recognize.. or tolerate.

Anonymous said...

That is no surprise to scores of Canadians. After all, Harper was Policy Chief for his, Northern Foundation of 1989. Harper is a paranoid dictator, from way back. Harper's security bill has doubled.

Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini were all dictators with, very similar personalities. All of them, lied, deceived, thieved, were corrupt, used dirty politics, dirty tactics and all of them cheated to win.

Sound familiar, it should. Even Harper's henchmen back him up. Those who detest being Harper's trained Seals, leave.

Purple library guy said...

You know, it was not so many years ago that this kind of barefaced lying on important issues by people close to the Prime Minister would in itself have been a huge scandal, the kind of thing for which heads roll and governments fall. Thirty years ago the unwritten rule was, you could omit, you could mislead, but telling flat-out lies about matters of record was beyond the pale.

In fact I'd say that as a rule, the NDP and Liberals continue to adhere to that standard--and the NDP at least would still be subject to a firestorm of negative media if they dared depart from it. But the Cons and Republicans feel free to just lie their heads off about readily checked matters of fact, and at absolute most sometimes the media will present the actual facts side by side with their lies, never actually pointing out that "lying to the public" is what is being done here. It's a travesty; really, the Cons shouldn't just be defeated, they should probably have the privilege of media coverage of anything they say be taken away until they can establish a five year track record of not lying like little kids who didn't do their homework.

Alison said...

PLG : This is what happens when you elect people who hate government - they might like wielding power but have no respect for the institutions upholding it so consequently they behave like hooligans breaking into a house and wrecking it because - can!

Media. I somehow doubt the 9/10s of newspaper editorial boards who have endorsed Harper in every election to date are going to be much help to us here until the CCCE say it's time to shift over to Trudeau instead.
Wouldn't hold my breath though - in January, the Cons awarded Fleishman Hillard a $1.7 million contract to oversee an ad blitz in the States, Europe, and Asia to promote the tarsands.

Hello again, Dr Chin

Salamander : By conflating 'Voter Fraud' over Election Fraud & muddling & confusing the terms.. Conservatives are seen as attacking 'Election Fraud' when they are actually enabling & unleashing increased vote suppression.

Yes, while that same legislation will prevent EC from making public the Cons own past election fraud.

Dana said...

A very long time ago now I said that Harper would be free to fuck up this country until the LPC and NDP put aside their differences and agreed that Harper was more of a threat to the country than their differences were. I also said that that would not happen until sometime shortly after Harper won his second majority government but by then it would be too late to matter.

There's no reason to change that prediction that I can see.

By 2016 or so Canada as we have known it will no longer exist. There may well be one fewer province and rumblings of a new Maritime federation beginning. The country will almost certainly fly apart at the seams without a central government that gives a shit.

And the hard truth is most Canadians don't really care all that much.

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