The scam comes in two parts. (Wet coasters may want to skip this bit.)
Environmentalist and SGI Lib candidate Briony Penn lost in the 2008 election when robocalls from the US spoofed the NDP campaign number and encouraged SGI voters to vote for the NDP candidate who had very publicly dropped out 3 weeks earlier but too late to have his name removed from the ballot. Some 3700 voted for him and Con MP/TarSands Minister Gary Lunn bested Penn by a 2,625 vote margin.
The alternative theory is that pissed off NDP voters voted for their candidate anyway to spite the Liberals who outed him for inappropriate skinny dipping and body painting behavior 12 years earlier in 1996, causing him to drop out of the race.
“The Liberal Party did that,” the director of communications for the Liberals B.C. campaign Brad Zubyk said, though he denied deserving credit himself. “It's all public domain. Quite frankly, we don't apologize for it. None of this is particularly hard to find.”
Either way, Elections Canada closed their investigation after failing to determine whether anyone "had actually been influenced in their vote because of the purported telephone call", and because "evidence of the actual source of the calls and the person or persons who made them would be required."
Same reasons EC gave for concluding their election fraud investigation in 2011.
2) Third party advertisers.
Your previously unheard-of go-to people when a campaign has maxed out their allowable EC spending limit and there's a need for a last minute proxy ad buy in local papers and radio before Election Day, after which they vanish in a puff of smoke til next election.
Of the 50 odd third-party groups registered with Elections Canada in 308 ridings across Canada in 2008, five were registered in Saanich-Gulf Islands. The first four on the list below all shared the same financial agent and registered under the law firm address and phone number of Bruce Hallsor - former Canadian Alliance Party candidate, Gary Lunn supporter, and Conservative riding association VP .
Before Andrew MacLeod at The Tyee added Citizens Against Higher Taxes to his list, there were only four on it. At that time Hallsor told him that while Dickinson of Saanich Peninsula Citizens Council :
"did some advertising in 2006 - the other three were new for this election."Not that new.
In 2006 in Victoria - the riding right next to SGI - crown prosecutor and Con MP-hopeful Robin Baird got some election advertising help from Common Sense Advocacy of Victoria. On their January 2006 Elections Canada Third Party Advertising Report, Common Sense Advocacy lists Donna Evans as financial agent and the address is once again ... wait for it ... Bruce Hallsor's law office.
Donna Evans is married to Robert Evans, Gary Lunn's fundraising chair for Saanich-Gulf Islands electoral district association. Lunn's VP was Bruce Hallsor and his riding president was then-Environment Minister Jim Prentice's sister.
"Robert Evans is the vice-president of Community Marine Concepts, which is seeking a license from the province to occupy 2.63 hectares of Victoria Harbour with a marina for 80-foot to 120-foot yachts. The company is working on the proposal with Alberta-based WAM Development Group. Getting the license requires approvals from various provincial and federal agencies ... Hallsor has registered to lobby on behalf of WAM."and is still the registered lobbyist for WAM in 2015 :
- Application of transport regulations related to use of the Victoria Harbour
G&M : "... when a minister gets lobbied by his own campaign manager, who is acting for his fundraiser, it certainly looks bad. "
Likewise, when local opponents to the mega-marina ask the riding president's brother, the Environment Minister, for an environmental assessment and are refused - also not good.
In 2006 Bruce Hallsor formed the BC Conservative Club ; by 2009 he was also the BC Liberal constituency association president for Victoria – Beacon Hill. In a treatise I can no longer find online, Hallser argued that federal conservatives should vote for BC Liberals.
It's a small, small, small LibCon world out here in BC. A lot of it is about money. I reckon the 'ground zero' elections shenanigans event horizon goes back further than most of us can remember.
Thursday Update : Deep Climate : Conservative Democracy Deficit on Vancouver Island
A very thorough and detailed look that I had read four years ago and forgotten about.