Crooked Conservatives and Voter Fraud, Voter Suppression;
it’s the same thing
on either side of the northern border

cross posted from

If they cheat to get elected, how can you expect those people from that kind of a party to give you honest government?  Clearly, you can’t expect honest government, and the conservatives who do it won’t deliver it to you – and neither will those who don’t engage in corruption, but still are perfectly willing to work with the manifestly corrupt people in their party.

As it becomes clear to the Republicans that they face low turnouts and lower voter interest in many of their candidates, and as their 2010 majorities slip away in recall elections, I expect to see more of the kind of voter suppression and illegal activities from conservatives like those over the border to our north….what you might call the not-so-true north.

Canada is facing protests over the validity of last year’s elections, citing unprecedented levels of ‘American REPUBLICAN style dirty tricks’ that could invalidate the election of politicians from the Prime Minister on down:

Second Rally to Protest
Voter Suppression in 2011 Federal Election

TMTVNEWS.COM, Nelson BC Canada — (submitted) In response
to Democracy Canada’s call for a second day of action to protest voter
suppression in last year’s federal election, concerned citizens in Nelson will
be meeting on Saturday, March 31, at 12:00 at City Hall. The previous day of
action on March 11 saw people from 32 cities in Canada converge to call for a
public inquiry into the robo-call affair.

Jean-Pierre Kingsley, a former chief electoral
officer at Elections Canada, has called the scope of the illegal robo-calls
unprecedented and says that jail time should definitely be considered if the
allegations can be proven. The allegations must be dealt with swiftly and
transparently because they erode our democracy and cast real doubt on the
legitimacy of the Conservative’s claim to a majority government. Regardless of
who might be behind the scandal, protecting democracy is a non-partisan

Thirty-one thousand Canadians have reported irregularities in the last election,
and 700 incidents are under investigation by Elections Canada. While some like
to portray the misleading robo-calls as trivial and characteristic of the dirty
tricks that all politicians take part in, harassing voters at odd hours of the
day or night and deliberately misleading voters by telling them to go to
incorrect or non-existent polling stations is not a case of politics as usual.
Harassing voters and misleading them are voter suppression techniques and they
are unjust and illegal.

According to a recent Postmedia News poll, 75 per cent of
Canadians support a call for an independent inquiry with judicial powers to look
into the robo-call affair. Prime Minister Harper has countered by saying that
Elections Canada is invested by law to investigate and must continue in its
role. But Elections Canada will not obtain all of its promised new investigative
powers for at least another six months, when required legislation might be
passed. Moreover, Canadians have seen with the in-and-out fraud of 2006 how
seriously and for what length of time Elections Canada can become bogged down in
acrimonious litigation, right up to the Supreme Court. For these reasons,
Canadians need a public inquiry into the Robocall fraud, and we need it today.

I am ashamed that it is the tricks used by Republicans and other conservatives in my country that were used.  THESE are those same people who claim they are so concerned about the security and purity of our elections that they need to force through any way they can voter ID laws.  Those laws don’t make elections more secure, but they DO make it more difficult specifically for voters they target as likely to be opposition voters, and generally they prevent large groups of people who can legally vote, but who they believe won’t vote for THEM from casting their ballots at all.

Over and over, those in Canada who engaged in this, their conservative party, suggest this is just normal politics  the way conservatives do it south of their borders.  It is illegal there, and it is illegal here.  New laws or new constitutional amendments wouldn’t change that it is the REPUBLICANS, it is the CONSERVATIVES – those dirty people who like to give lip service to religion and ‘family values’ and talk up morality – that are doing this, over and over, in place after place, to win elections. 

In Maryland it led to arrests, convictions and jail time.  It was widely reported in last year’s Wisconsin elections from a Koch Brothers funded entity.  The Koch Brothers have their hands in a lot of what is arguably corrupt organizations, from robo-calling front groups to ALEC.

Every time a conservative politician or other spokesperson, like right wing bloggers, make the patently demonstrably false statement that elections have been stolen from the right, every time you DON’T see them making mention of the numerous efforts on the right to rig elections – from the Indiana Secretary of State, the person RESPONSIBLE for honest elections, being arrested and convicted for voter fraud, perjury and other crimes, or the Maryland conviction for voter suppression by the Republican candidate’s campaign, or the misinformation mass mailings from Americans for Prosperity, funded by the Koch brothers, and robo calls directing people to vote at the wrong place and /or on the wrong day.

If there is any question that this is organized, well funded CONSERVATIVE voter suppression and election fraud either here  or in Canada, this is evidence to the contrary, from conservative political operatives to conservative bloggers (emphasis added in large, bold other than title, and underline are mine – DG):

UVic professor claims voter suppression promoted at conservative campaign school

While the Conservatives continue to deny their involvement in the robocall scandal, stories linking Conservative insiders to “dirty tricks” continue to surface.

The latest link is courtesy of John Fryer, a member of the Order of Canada and an adjunct professor at the University of Victoria.

In the wake of the robocall scandal, last week, Fryer penned an open letter describing a campaign school he attended two years ago, at the Conservative-aligned Manning Centre for Democracy.

“In January, 2010, my UVic inbox had an e-mail invite from a democracy centre to attend a campaign school. Intrigued, I signed up for the three-day event,” Fryer wrote in the letter published in the Globe and Mail.

“Topics covered included voter identification. Discussion ensued about suppression techniques. Instructors explained voter suppression tactics were borrowed from those used by the U.S. Republican Party. Many kinds of suppression calls were canvassed. Another instructor gave detailed explanations of how robo-calls worked, techniques for recording messages, plus costs involved.

“Instructors made it clear that robo-calling and voter suppression were an acceptable and normal part of winning political campaigns.”

In a later interview with Emma Pullman of the Vancouver Observer, Fryer claims that in a question and answer session, attendees discussed voter suppression tactics. They talked about posing as a member of another party, and about making rude calls at inconvenient times as a strategy to get the supporter of another party to not go out and vote for their candidate.

Pullman did some research into the so-called “campaign school” and found several Conservative links.

“The event’s star-studded slate of speakers included former Press Secretary to Stephen Harper (and current President of Sun Media) Kory Teneycke and David Akin, the National Bureau Chief for Sun Media,” Pullman wrote in a column published Wednesday.

“Other headliners were Stephen Taylor, founder of the Blogging Tories, and Dimitri Pantazopoulos, a former pollster for the federal Conservatives, the Canadian Alliance and the Reform Party who is now the Principal Secretary to Premier Christy Clark.”

Pullman claims the school was organized by Fraser McDonald of the Manning Centre in addition to Richard Ciano and Nick Kouvalis, both founding partners of Campaign Research Inc.

According to a recently Ottawa Citizen article, Campaign Research did work for at least 39 Conservative candidates in the last election, and was paid nearly $400,000 for the work.

Campaign Research was also the firm implicated in the campaign against Irwin Cotler.  In December, the company allegedly placed misleading calls to the Liberal MP’s  constituents falsely claiming he was resigning his seat.

There is no indication, however, that Campaign Research was in any way involved in the robocall scandal.

For their part, Liberal blogger Warren Kinsella says Kouvalis is denying Fryer’s story.

“Some [that were] present [at the campaign school] are calling Prof. Fryer a liar,” writes Kinsella.

Check out [Fryer’s] C.V.  I’m not sure I’d want to play a battle of the reputations with this gentleman.”