Archive for February, 2012

That “voter suppression” ATIP from Elections Canada

- February 29th, 2012

Claiming that anyone engaged in voter suppression is a serious charge and anyone caught doing it should face the legal penalties outlined in the Elections Act. But as we’ve been saying there is a lot of noise and limited evidence so far. I’d like to see more evidence if Canadians really are talking about the “largest case of electoral fraud in Canadian history” as at least on MP has put it.

I asked for and received a copy of the same access to information records that Glen McGregor and Stephen Maher of Post Media said they used for their original story. I’m sure they have other documents but this is the ATIP they used. You can read the thing below in full, it was a request for email traffic from Elections Canada on voting day.

While it does mention calls from people claiming to be from Elections Canada and misdirecting people in Guelph it doesn’t really shed much light on the subject that was not already known.

Beyond this post-mortem comment from Elections Canada:

“There was no conduct reported that would bring into question the integrity of the election result overall or the result in a particular riding. Although misconduct was reported in several ridings, there is no complaint that it affected the final result. There is some speculation in the media that the dirty tricks may have affected the result in some close contests.”

The document goes on to describe misleading calls in Guelph and the fact that some activity is legal but seen as “unfair” by candidates.

What is fascinating is that the “robocall” issue takes up perhaps three pages of 190 pages released.

Most of the rest of the document consists of reports of returning officers, deputy returning officers and other elections workers not showing up, not bringing the ballots, or leaving early. On page 158 you can read about the RCMP being called in to find a DRO and poll clerk in Fond-du-Lac. The polling station was reported closed, the Mounties found them out having dinner and ordered them back to work.

From these pages it would appear more people had their voting attempt interrupted or put off by missing elections workers that “robocalls.”

We should all remember that it was McGregor that brought the world the “in and out” story which was the last big scandal of widespread election rigging which resulted in a plea deal over administrative charges and not the criminal conspiracy it was played as at time. Are we facing the same thing again? Time will tell.

Read the document yourself.

 

Elections Canada "voter suppression" ATIP – A 2011 00013 Response Records

COLUMN: Warmington – Hey, teachers leave those kids alone

- February 29th, 2012

Gregg BereznickTeachers should leave parenting to the parents

by Joe Warmington

“We do work hand-in-hand with these families because we co-parent.” — Waterloo Regional School District Superintendent Gregg Bereznick

So does this mean the kids at school now refer to their teachers as “co-mom” and “co-dad?”

Does the co-parent attend the ballet recitals, hockey practices, help pay the bills, drop them off at the dental appointments and go down to the hospital when a child has a fever, too?

Or do co-parents stop parenting once their union wages end at 3:30 p.m?

What arrogance!

There are so many questions that have been raised out of the Gungate debacle in Kitchener — from the way police strip search people who have committed no crime to the power social services have to go into a home and retrieve a family’s children for absolutely no valid reason. Read more…

COLUMN: Akin – Robocalls to supress votes are worse that Twitter hijinks

- February 28th, 2012

Vikileaks bad, robocalls worse

by David Akin

We know one thing for certain when it comes to all the allegations about “political dirty tricks” circulating in Ottawa these days.

It was a Liberal — a staffer who spent years working on Parliament Hill for ministers and MPs — who was behind a smear campaign against Public Safety Minister Vic Toews.

This smear campaign manifested itself on Twitter where the staffer, Adam Carroll, hid himself behind a pseudonym called Vikileaks30 to publish details about Toews’ personal life, including excerpts from a messy divorce proceeding.

It was clear from the Vikileaks30 posts that Carroll did what he did as a response to Bill C-30, which Toews had tabled in the House of Commons, that gives police and bureaucrats controversial new powers to obtain Internet subscriber information without a warrant.

Even before Carroll’s identity was known, this form of political discourse was universally condemned by politicians in Carroll’s own party as well as other parties and was razed by pundits of all political leanings. And yet, Carroll’s Twitter broadcasts of publicly available information was not illegal. It was despicable, certainly, but beyond losing his job, Carroll is unlikely to face further sanction. Read more…

COLUMN: Warmington – Strip searches are all too common despite high court ruling

- February 28th, 2012

Strip searches get police in trouble

by Joe Warmington

TORONTO - Perhaps the “monster” in the room is that police routinely strip search people despite the Supreme Court saying they are not supposed to.

Because of a drawing of a picture of a gun to chase off “bad guys and monsters” by his four-year-old daughter, Jessie Sansone was arrested outside her school, handcuffed, hauled to a police station.

He was told to disrobe and subjected to a strip search in which his testicles were lifted and he was required to bend over.

It was egregious, invasive, unwarranted and unnecessary.

No matter how hard they try, Waterloo Regional Police’s strip-searching of the 26-year-old is indefensible and just plain wrong.

In fact a Supreme Court of Canada ruling in 2001 clearly states “strip searches (are) inherently humiliating and degrading for detainees regardless of the manner in which they are carried out and for this reason they can’t be carried out simply as a matter of routine policy.”

But they happen all the time. Read more…