I wonder if it ever occurs to Conservatives that when their luck changes and they find themselves on the outside looking in, they might be subject to a little payback. Or even a lot of payback. Their attacks on anyone who opposes them are so vicious and over-the-top that they may not find much in the way of sympathy and understanding when they need it most.
The latest target of Conservative wrath is Frank Graves, the CEO of Ekos Research. The applicants mounting a legal challenge to election results in seven ridings submitted a study by Ekos as evidence to support the claim that the fraudulent phone calls were targeted at non-Conservative voters and did affect voter turnout. Lawyers for the CPC recently filed a study of their own by a market research analyst who was critical of the Ekos study's methodology. I guess the Conservatives decided that wasn't going to be enough. With this crew it never seems to be enough.
On Tuesday the CPC's lawyers made another filing that amounts to a personal attack on Graves. The judge is being asked to throw the Ekos study out completely because Graves is so biased against them that he couldn't possibly provide an objective interpretation of statistical evidence. And even if he could, he's not equipped to do so because he's not really an expert in anything though he's been in the business for 32 years. I had the impression that the man has had some success in his chosen field. I gather I'm not the only one since, as Graves notes, "Ekos ranked second last year as a market research supplier to the Harper government."
There's also the implication that Graves is a not-so-secret Liberal since his firm did so much business with previous Liberal governments. That one never gets old. Does it apply to all the pollsters that the Liberals hired? Until Stephen Harper came along, I believe Paul Martin was the reigning Canadian champion when it came to commissioning a poll before making any and every decision. If the feds begin avoiding all the companies who benefited from that, who's left? But I digress.
Needless to say, Frank Graves is a tad miffed.
Reached Thursday, the Ekos president called the Tory motion defamatory, saying the Conservatives have sketched a false portrait that tries to undermine his ability to draw conclusions from his research. He said he's strongly considering legal action in response.
There you go. More work for Conservative lawyers — the new growth industry in Canada.
I wonder if this scorched earth approach indicates that the Conservatives are really nervous about this legal action. I also wonder, and not for the first time, if the presiding judge in this trial will have occasion to explain carefully to the CPC's lawyers that he's quite capable of evaluating evidence without have them go on and on and endlessly on about everyone else's motives. Since I believe everyone's due back in court next week, we might soon find out the answer to the latter.
Meanwhile the only other news I have on any of the other Friday files involves NDP MP Pat Martin and some unfortunate comments he made when the whole robocon controversy began making headlines. This Globe and Mail report will fill in the details if you've forgotten but the short version is that Martin publicly accused RackNine of being complicit in the fraudulent robocalls that targeted voters in Guelph. He and the party are being sued for his trouble and since RackNine has refused all settlement offers, Martin has set up a website to raise funds for his legal defence. The CBC's Kady O'Malley followed up yesterday to report that donations to the fund that exceed $500 will be public knowledge since they'll be considered as gifts and subject to publication under the Conflict of Interest Code. That might be good to know.
The Supreme Court of Canada still isn't dropping any clues as to when they'll issue a ruling on Etobicoke Lakeshore. Elections Canada hasn't dropped any clues about anything lately as far as I can tell. And if Dean Del Mastro's around, he's not saying anything of interest.
But Democracy Watch redesigned their website and, at least at first glance, did a nice job of it. So we've got that going for us.