Friday, February 08, 2013


Yesterday, Lawrence Martin asked a question, the answer to which has been obvious since Stephen Harper became prime minister: Does the fish rot from the head down? The story behind those recent robocalls in Saskatchewan gives the lie to the Conservative claims that robocalls in the last election were the work of rogue campaign workers with names like Pierre Poutine:

To date, the Conservatives have tried to pass off any dirty tricks onto ‘rogue’ actors or junior party people like Michael Sona from the riding of Guelph, which is at the centre of the robocalls controversy. Sona in turn has alleged that what happened in Guelph was not isolated but part of what he termed a massive scheme.

This time, the people who are being  outed are much higher up on the food chain:

Conservative MP Tom Lukiwski fingered Byrne as the figure ultimately responsible for the party’s surreptitious and deceptive telephone campaign in Saskatchewan in a dispute over the changing of riding boundaries. We can bet loyalist Lukiwski didn’t speak without the prior approval of the Prime Minister’s Office.

It was Byrne who managed the 2011 election campaign:

That so-called clean and ethical campaign saw voters being marched out of Conservative rallies for having suspected minor ties to other parties — and a bogus leak from a senior Tory strategist trying to tie Michael Ignatieff to planning sessions for the Iraq war.

This time, Harper is defending Byrne:

In question period Thursday, Harper said, "There was no violation of CRTC rules in this case, unlike the Liberal Party did in a different case. The fact of the matter, Mr. Speaker, is that the party has said there was a mistake here and we have clarified that."

The Conservatives make mistakes. But they never do wrong. The opposition parties should remember what Frank McKenna said when he retired as the Canadian ambassador to Washington: “They are dealing with thugs; they’ve got to fight back and fight hard.”


Frank Bedek said...

Hi Owen,

We do need to fight back and fight back hard.

But what does that mean?

I'll be attempting (yet again) to give another talk in meat-space to articulate a strategy for action.

If we let harper get away with his crimes, we might as well throw in the towel. Subsequent governments will do whatever they want.

Owen Gray said...

I agree, Frank. At the root of the problem is Canadians' willingness not to believe the worst of the Harperites.

If there is a message behind the robocalls, it is that the Harper Party will do anything -- anything -- to win.

Anonymous said...

Of course Harper used his, robo-call cheat to win the election. That's a given. Harper is using every dirty tactic in the book, to lie and cheat his way out of, the robo-call cheat investigations and, the riding disputes.

Harper abusive manner, towards the Canadian people comes from? His being Policy Chief for his, Northern Foundation Party of 1989.

To get rid of Harper, we would have to use extreme civil disobedience. Either that or, get out of Harper's Canada. Let Harper have, Ottawa and Alberta. What good are they? The rest of us don't, need nor want them. Kick them out of Canada. I am sick to death of, Harper's waste and abuse of our tax dollars, and his dictatorship. They can call themselves, little Red China.

Owen Gray said...

Rather than throwing Alberta and Ottawa out of the federation, Anon, we should throw Mr. Harper out of office.

The federation would be much better off without him.