Thursday, April 03, 2014

Another reason to fight the Fair Elections Act



Duff Conacher, Founder of Democracy Watch, on the Fair Elections Act. 
Democracy Watch has a list of "10 really unfair measures in the so-called 'Fair Elections Act' " and a letter you can send to federal leaders hereC'mon, guys, surely we can do better than just 36,000 letters.  

The Cons' contention that the universally negative response to their Bill C-23 is uninformed and hysterical took a big hit today when former AG Sheila Fraser weighed in : 

Ex-watchdog Sheila Fraser slams bill as attack on democracy

'It's just astounding to me,' former auditor-general says of Tories' proposed election law overhaul
"Elections are the base of our democracy and if we do not have truly a fair electoral process and one that can be managed well by a truly independent body, it really is an attack on our democracy..."
Ok, on to my point ...

Fraser has a similar list of complaints to Conacher and also mentions another shortcoming I haven't seen much discussed - that the chief electoral officer will now have to seek prior Treasury Board approval to enter into contracts with people with specialized or technical knowledge.

In June 2011, EC investigator Alan Mathews was looking for Pierre Poutine among VOIPs and proxy servers - a field he knew nothing about. As he said in his ITO : "I relied upon [Simon] Rowland, a subject matter expert in the area of call center systems, telemessaging and telecom product development and network engineering." 

That subject matter expert was the one who provided this analysis
"So it's not just what was reported so far -- that the Poutine account and Prescott account were accessed by the same IP within 4 minutes of each other during the middle of this night. It's also that on three separate occasions, someone with both the Prescott and Poutine account passwords used the same browser window to log into both accounts."
I'm guessing if Elections Canada had had to go cap in hand to Tony Gazebo at the Treasury Board for permission to hire that guy and his "specialized or technical knowledge", it never would have been approved and we never would have heard anything about it.

‘Pierre Poutine’ robocalls case: Prescott has given evidence about Michael Sona, Ken Morgan 

and it ain't pretty but catch the explosive end of the McMaher piece :
A national investigation into allegations of dirty political calls has been under way for more than a year. Elections Canada had planned to wrap up that investigation by March 31. On Thursday, spokeswoman Diane Benson declined to say whether it is ongoing.
That report has been postponed until after the 2015 election because of the introduction of the Conservatives’ election bill.
The agency would not say when if ever it will report on the national robocalls investigation.
Friday 11am update : This morning the above McMaher story was changed in the two slightly different versions previously posted at NaPo and canada.com. and is only slightly less explosive.
The NaPo one, listing only Maher, now currently reads :
A national investigation into allegations of dirty political calls has been under way for more than a year. Elections Canada had planned to wrap up that investigation by March 31. On Thursday, spokeswoman Diane Benson declined to say whether it is ongoing.
The agency was expected to include information about that investigation in a “compliance and enforcement mechanisms” report to Parliament this spring.
Benson said the agency has decided not to report until after the next election.
“In light of the government’s announcement in the fall that it would introduce comprehensive legislative reform, Elections Canada decided to postpone the general enforcement report until after the next general election,” she said. “This was necessary not only to focus our attention and resources on the announced reform, but also of the difficulty of engaging stakeholders simultaneously on a parallel initiative.”
while the McMaher one on canada.com goes : 
An Elections Canada report on “compliance and enforcement mechanisms” that was scheduled for this spring has been postponed until after the 2015 election because of the introduction of the Conservatives’ election bill.
That report had been expected to include information on the national robocalls investigation. On Thursday, a spokesman for the agency would not say when any report on that investigation would be released.
 






with thanks to Salamander in comments for the updated version.

As deBeauxOs says It's #Harper's Fraudulent Voting Reform Act, another #CON!

Friday update :From yesterday: Trapped in a Whirlpool : Parliamentary Civil Disobedience. 
To the Opposition : Go big or go home, stand up for Canadians or be judged harshly by history.
.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

But Rowland was wrong. The IP address used to set-up the RackNine Poutine calls was ultimately traced to an uninvolved home address on the other side of town so Prescott had nothing to do with it.

Alison said...

Nope. It looked that way for a long while but that was because Rogers initially gave Mathews the wrong info.

CBC Aug 2013:

"In March, 2012, Rogers Communications gave Mathews the name of a customer who Mathews said seemed to be unconnected to the Conservative campaign in Guelph ... the IP address seemed to be a dead end.

In fact, the new records show, Rogers gave Mathews the name of the customer who currently uses that IP address. The company has since corrected itself, Mathews wrote in the documents filed in court.

"We then reviewed the additional information provided by Elections Canada and determined that we had inadvertently provided incorrect information. This was a highly unusual and rare error. On Aug. 22, 2012 we provided Elections Canada with the correct information responsive to their court order," Rogers spokesperson Jennifer Kett said in an email to CBC News."

"The true subscriber for [the IP address] during the time frame requested was 'The Marty Burke Campaign,'" Mathews said."


As to Prescott, this past January he was granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for his participation as a witness.

Anonymous said...

unfucking unbelievable

Purple library guy said...

The report must come out. If they're not going to publish it, it must be leaked. If nobody comes forward a la Snowden, at least send it to Wikileaks. If nobody inside leaks it, it must be hacked. If Elections Canada has unexpectedly secure computers, someone should break into their fucking offices and bloody well take it.
That is our information, needed to keep our democracy, and if the Cons try to suppress it so they can steal another election, we must take it from them by any means necessary.

the salamander said...

it now appears the so called Fair Elections Act has triggered muzzling of the Elections Canada report that would have explained progress as of March 31, 2014 . Election Canada now muzzled until after the 2015 election

Here is from Maher & McGregor April 3, 2014

A national investigation into allegations of dirty political calls has been under way for more than a year. Elections Canada had planned to wrap up that investigation by March 31. On Thursday, spokeswoman Diane Benson declined to say whether it is ongoing.

The agency was expected to include information about that investigation in a “compliance and enforcement mechanisms” report to Parliament this spring.

Benson said the agency has decided not to report until after the next election.

“In light of the government’s announcement in the fall that it would introduce comprehensive legislative reform, Elections Canada decided to postpone the general enforcement report until after the next general election,” she said. “This was necessary not only to focus our attention and resources on the announced reform, but also of the difficulty of engaging stakeholders simultaneously on a parallel initiative.”

Kev said...

What PLG said in spades

Anonymous said...

Salamander, don't you read the post first? That's what its about.

Unbelievable Elections Canada would collude with the Cons like this to throw yet another election. They have lost all credibility now and their noise about the bill compromising their independence is revealed to be nothing more than protecting their turf and not about defending our elections. We've been had.

Dana said...

No longer a functioning democracy.

Sweet.

Beijing York said...

OMG the fix is truly in.

I still think that the CIMS database plays a huge role in the robocalls voter suppression tactics. Did it not just come out with the recent Soudas/Adams scandal that CIMS is easily accessed by any Con worker bee (contrary to previous reports)? Also, Prescott resigned from his job in Eve Adams office pretty much on the heels of the Marty Burke campaign irregularities story breaking.

I swear that among the most rabid CON/REPUBLICANS, it's a badge of honour to game the system - it's only cheating and lying if you're stupid enough to get caught. With that goes the arrogant attitude that the world is full of dupes ready to be manipulated.

Dana said...

"With that goes the arrogant attitude that the world is full of dupes ready to be manipulated."

In all honesty I can't say they're wrong about that.

Just looking around with clear eyes proves that out.

Hugh said...

Elections Canada complaints phone:

1-800-463-6868

Alison said...

Hi all.
Please see today's Friday update and Maher quotes in post. His story has been amended since I quoted it yesterday, and thank you very much Salamander for pointing that out. Not sure either of the two newer versions are particularly more comforting.
Did EC get a nudge to back down on their spokesey's quote? Coz it's still up there.

Also see new link to Kev's call to arms directed at the opposition parties.

Good link, Hugh. We should all be registering complaints with EC re their intransigence on this.

Dana, you're such a brat.

BY : Bruce Cheadle did a good piece addressing CIMS database issues vis a vis the Fair Elections Act a couple of days ago.

Yes, Kev - What PLG said in spades and clubs and hearts.

Alison said...

BY! BY! : Actually it was Michael Sona, the only person charged in Guelph election violations, that worked for Eve Adams - right up until he was fired by Jenni Byrne after Brian Lilley named him on SunNews in connection with the Guelph robocalls.

But I see what you're getting at now.
This is possibly the real reason Soudas got fired. Because the riding Adams wants to jump to complained they had their CIMS data accessed for her benefit by ... either or both herself and Soudas.
And at the board meeting she crashed, she allegedly threatened to look up the president of the Oakville North Burlington Conservative Association, who is not in her riding, on CIMS and he complained about it to Harper :

“For myself, she pointedly asked me how much money I donated to the party annually, and said that she would use her access to CIMS data to look that up for herself.”

Did she have clearance to access CIMS info on someone in another riding? Not according to other Con MPs and ops. So did Soudas in his capacity as head Con Party honcho do it for her or did she just have grounds to assume he would do it?

So now we begin to see why Steve fired his top gun four months after hiring him - because Soudas' behavior was about to start reminding people of possible connections between top party ops and the Guelph robocalls made from the CIMS database in 2011.

Whadda ya think?

mogs moglio said...

PLG sounds like a job for Anonymous

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/31/AnonymousOccupy.jpg

This information Elections Canada is holding, by all the Harper Government is doing to repress its release, is probably enough to make the government fall.

Anonymous where are you?

G West said...

I think, Alison, that exactly the same thing occurred to me when I read the twin-page coverage of Ms Adams and Dimitri in the middle of the Globe this morning...Actually, I'm not quite sure why the penny dropped but I can't say why I wasn't surprised when I came here this afternoon after a brief stop at Gazz's.

The fact that Sona might end up being the connection (through Soudas and his paramour) to the wider issue of robocalls and the 2011 election would explain a lot of things - not least the fact that the 'Fair' Elections Act might be the next election's iteration of tilting the table in Pee Wee's favour.

scotty on denman said...

Subpoena

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, I hadn't seen that connection!
Michael Sona was working in Eve Adams' office after the election and resigned.
"Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive!" Sir Walter Scott, 1808

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