CPC won 2011 election fair n’ square, yet media & opposition “stuck”

Click for PMs victory speech on May 2, 2011. Credit CBC.

See update below.

Original column starts here: I agree with L. Ian MacDonald’s Montreal Gazette column, not because I am a Conservative Government supporter (which I am), but because I too believe that there is more than enough evidence that the Conservative Party of Canada won a majority government on May 2nd,2011 fair and square. As MacDonald explains, the winning numbers are there.

Yet, apart from print journalists like MacDonald, Chantel Hebert, Ezra Levant and a few others at QMI and SunNews, who will write and present both pro and con sides to a story, there are few others in the mainstream media who are not part of the group-think “we-hate-Conservatives” consensus. 

Truly, that attitude is irrational. I mean, the only thing the PM has done to the media is way back in 2006, he asked them to get a list of names approved before a press conference — exactly what President Obama has always done.

To get a glimse of that so-called prickly relationship between Canada’s parliamentary media and the PM and his staff, read this Yahoo piece. I had to laugh at CTV’s Craig Oliver suggesting, during an interview with the CBC’s “The Current,” that the PMs communications staff try to massage the message in their articles. Yeah, right!

In fact, most of the media following the PM during the 2011 election campaign were openly hostile — something that was very obvious to a lot of people I spoke to during the campaign, no matter who they ended up voting for. I won’t mention any names of who those hostile reporters were and still are, but most regular readers of this blog will know exactly who I am talking about.

Yet, for some strange reason, even ten months after the election, many in the group-think media and the federal opposition parties are still fighting the 2011 election campaign. They are, in effect, “stuck.” Which, unfortunately, only adds to the nasty and dehumanizing attacks — by those who, oddly, blame the Conservatives for the very kind of toxic behaviour they are actually doing themselves.

By all means, the opposition needs to hold the Conservatives to account. That is their job. But, at the moment, they are making fools of themselves, grabbing at straws, particularly the Liberals, by trying desperately to uncover a Conservative scandal that will rid them of the Sponsorship stench. Well, the use of call centres and “robocalls” (which all parties and Elections Canada use), is definitely not the scandal that is going to do that, particularly when we find out it was a Liberal staffer who was behind the Vikileaks30 Twitter anti-Vic Toews nastiness.   

Think about it. The name the opposition is giving this brouhaha is – “Election Fraud” — an exaggerated term if there ever was one – meant to question the legitimacy of the Conservative majority. Suggesting to me, that the ultimate intention of this anti-Conservative campaign is another attempt by the NDP and Liberals to take down a duly elected government.

Would Elections Canada condone such an attempt? I certainly hope not. But, remember, the Liberals, NDP and Bloc have already done it once, only two months after the October 2008 election. I mean, we have the photo of the handshake for all to remember.

Thankfully, we have a level-headed Governor General who will be aware, that just as Jason Lietaer covers here (published in Macleans H/T SDA), even if there were some mistakes regarding call centres or robocalls, those mistakes don’t mean the Conservatives didn’t win the election fair and square.

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Update Wednesday, February 29, 2011:

Here is a link to Brian Lilley’s blog (H/T frmgrl). It contains the 190 page memo that the Ottawa Citizen got in their ATIF request from Elections Canada regarding voter suppression issues. There is no smoking gun and the entire matter appears to be, once again, an over-reaction and wishful thinking.

Although I did not watch the CBC National last night, one of my commenters said after all the accusations on the news program, Peter Mansbridge apparently asked Terry Milewski if they had anything on the Conservatives and he answered: “Nothing at all.” 

So, now my readers will understand why I didn’t condemn the government without concrete evidence. From the start it has been heresay, conjecture and innuendo. And, the worst thing is a young man working for a Conservative MP had to resign his position because he was harrassed to such an extent by the media that it interrupted the work of his MP’s constituency office. I sincerely hope he sues all those who defamed his reputation.  BC Blue has that sorry story here.

Conservatives to support NDP motion to end Aboriginal education funding?

So, now we know how this robocall issue is going to end — with a political compromise. Yes, the NDP’s Interim Leader Nycole Turmel and Pat Martin are still playing good cop, bad cop, as this column by PostMedia reporter Linda Nguyen indicates.

However, something else is going on as well. For example, check out this somewhat low-key column by Tim Harper in the Toronto Star (H/T newswatchcanada.ca) which indicates that the Conservatives might back NDP MP Charlie Angus’ motion to end the federal Aboriginal education funding gap.

Could, in fact, that be where the rubber hits the road and the NDP backs away from Bob Rae’s near hysteria? Well, only time will tell of course, but as Nguyen writes: 

“On Friday, Rae sent a letter to House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer, asking him to allow an emergency debate on the matter when Parliament resumes Monday. But interim federal NDP leader Nycole Turmel says approval for such a debate is unlikely because it is not the responsibility of the federal government to probe these kinds of situations. Instead, she urged for a thorough investigation by the RCMP and Elections Canada.”

A thorough investigation by the RCMP and Elections Canada? Absolutely. Of course, even without the results of such an investigation, Bob Rae and his Liberals continue to allege a connection between the robocalls and the Conservative Party of Canada  – even while voters like me are willing to sign an affidavit that we too got such calls.

As I wondered at the time I received my call, why on earth would Elections Canada call an individual voter. Or, for that matter, why would any political party call someone on or just before election day. The reality is that no one can predict how a person will vote on the basis of their telephone number. For example, as I mentioned in one of my comments on my previous thread, I also got automated calls during the Ontario election campaign as well, but they were identified as coming from the provincial Liberal candidate in my riding. However, at no time did I actually say who I was planning to vote for. 

Meaning, no political party can know how a person is going to vote strictly based on their telephone number. And, for Bob Rae and the federal Liberal incumbents who lost on May 2, 2011, to suggest electoral fraud is truly magical thinking, albeit dangerous thinking given how the confidence in our government is being eroded purely out of political desperation.

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Updates:

(1) Here is another Toronto Star article (H/T Ontario Girl) about a private Thunder Bay call centre company supposed to get out the Conservative vote. Obviously mistakes were made, but mostly by the call centre workers. But I am also very suspicious. Why are we not hearing anything about Liberal and NDP attempts to get out their vote. They had to have made those types of calls. Whatever mistakes were made, in my opinion, it is far more shameful what the liberal media and Liberals are trying to do now — take down a duly elected government on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations. No, the call centre workers do not prove voter suppression. Rather, they prove that call centre workers themselves decided to say they were calling from Elections Canada.

(2) Here is a Globe and Mail article about Senator Mike Duffy complaining that there are also third parties who get involved in election campaigns and likely use automated calling and call centres. Makes a lot of sense.

(3) CBC reporting that Peter McKay saying robocalls an isolated incident.

This Conservative got “official” robocall on May 2nd, 2011

Microsoft Clip Art

At first I wasn’t going to go public that I too had received an official-like robocall on election day on May 2nd, 2011 between 9:30am and 10am. I found it very odd at the time. But I proceeded to forget about it until the allegations broke this week about the Guelph riding and Bob Rae’s claims that Liberals lost ridings because of the calls.

What utter nonsense! I voted for my Conservative candidate — in a Niagara riding – nowhere near the ridings Rae is complaining about. And, as it turned out, my riding went heavily Conservative.

In any event, my automated caller had a very official sounding female voice. She said there had been a change of polling stations in my area. Then, the call was cut off. No alternative polling information was actually given. I remember thinking: “That is odd.” However, it didn’t bother me because I had already voted in one of the Advance Polls. And, even if I hadn’t already voted, I didn’t feel it involved voter suppression because all I would have had to do was call the telephone number on my voter registration card.

Anyway, tonight I made my complaint official by e-mailing my experience to Elections Canada at: accessibilityfeedback@elections.ca. I also tweeted what I had done to several media and blog sources as well.

However, I wish to make it very clear that I did not complain for reasons of voter suppression or inaccessibility. Rather, I complained because I am a Conservative voter and I am sick and tired of hearing that only Liberals got the robocalls.

In my opinion, the fake official robocalls went to supporters of ALL the political parties, and if any rule needs to be changed, it is the disallowing of any automated calls on election day.   

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Update: One thing I forgot to mention is that the caller said: “This is Elections Canada calling.” There was no doubt in my mind at all who the caller was and that EC had somehow screwed up. But, as I told Kady O’Malley in a tweet, I did not suspect anything suspicious.