Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Jackasses Out Of Control?

"The jackasses at Elections Canada are out of control," Stephen Harper wrote when he was president of the National Citizens Coalition. Harper has hated Elections Canada for a long time. In 2001, he took the electoral watchdog to court over what had been law in this country since 1938:  Real time election results from Eastern Canada could only be released in western Canada after polls had closed in the west.

Harper waxed poetic about freedom of information:

“Iron-fisted bully tactics have no place in a free and democratic society,” Mr. Harper wrote   .  . .  . “Information is power. The less control the government has over the flow of information, the less control it can exert over its citizens. We cannot allow the government to dictate what information we can and cannot publish.”

As is so evident ten years later, there is no connection between what Mr. Harper says and what he does. That was obvious again yesterday when the Conservatives insisted that the Liberals open their phone bank database, while refusing to do the same. Dean Del Maestro claimed there was no need for reciprocity because, "obviously our party is not behind the calls."

And, after having seen Vic Toews' internet security bill, Canadians have the right to ask, "Are these guys for real?" Unfortunately, they are all too real -- and all too unaccountable.


thwap said...

If harper didn't have his shameless hypocrisy he wouldn't be able to open his mouth without somebody slamming it shut for him.

"Iron-fisted bully tactics," from the guy who wants to spy on us and torture anyone who looks funny.

His electoral standards are the same as Mussolini's.

Beijing York said...

Does Elections Canada have the power to demand all phone call data files/phone logs from all the parties in their investigations?

I'm glad the LPC have volunteered and I think the NDP should follow suit. (I still think RMG is involved and that's why Giorno is trying to get their name cleared.)

Owen Gray said...

I'm not sure, Bejing. But it's worth remembering that the RCMP carried out a raid on Conservative headquarters to obtain their campaign finance records.

If the LPC and the NDP willingly make their records available, the Conservatives are on the spot. If they refuse to make their records public, that begs the obvious question -- What have you got to hide?

Owen Gray said...

Harper talks a lot about freeing individuals from the tyranny of government, thwap.

But he doesn't believe it. And neither should we.

Holly Stick said...

Beijing York, John Ivison's column has interesting stuff about the CIMS database, but he also says insiders think RMG will be cleared, which I feel sceptical about - are they going to have to throw others under the bus to protect RMG? That report by Buzzetti about what looks like in-and-out payments in Quebec had the payments being made to RMG. Is it a separate scandal from thje robocalls/hoax calls?:



Owen Gray said...

I remember reading Ivison's column, Holly, and thinking, "they wouldn't be stupid enough to try the same thing twice."

But, as the story unfolds, I'm beginning to think that -- because it only cost them $50,000 -- the Conservatives might try to run the same play.

Beijing York said...

They certainly have set up a series of Chinese walls with the likes of such outfits as Electright and RackNine and possible many others.

Those outfits are bit players in their capacity to mastermind what looks to be a very national, concerted effort. RMG has the capacity and has done national campaigns on both sides of the border. They are expert at database building with multiple lists (merge and purge list technology).

Owen Gray said...

And today we have Maurice Vellacott -- in The Hill Times -- claiming that voter names and telephone numbers were matched at national campaign headquarters, Bejing.

The cracks in the wall are beginning to show.