Campaign Capers: It's like pulling teeth


McGregor and Maher published another installment in their series covering the robocalls controversy a couple of days ago. They led with the news that Allan Mathews, the former RCMP investigator who has been working as an investigator for Elections Canada, has been asked to submit an affidavit in the case of the applicants who are seeking to overturn the election results in six ridings. If he complies, he may end up on the stand for cross-examination.

But this, several paragraphs into the story, is just as interesting if not more so.

Earlier this month, a few days after the Ottawa Citizen and Postmedia News reported on email records that showed Elections Canada officials suspected the Conservatives of "mischief" with misleading telephone calls during the last election, Shrybman wrote to the agency to complain that it had failed to provide the emails when he requested records of complaints in August.

This week, Elections Canada agreed to introduce records containing the emails...

The Conservatives have maintained all along that this challenge is being brought by sore losers who didn't like the election results. That line of attack is blunted by the fact that the emails in question reflect complaints that Elections Canada received before anyone knew what the results were. Those complaints began coming in two days before election day.

It sounds as though this was as much news to Shrybman as it was to the rest of us. And why would that be?

If Shrybman had known about the complaints that inspired those emails and prompted Elections Canada to make inquiries of the CPC before the polls had even closed, why would he only be complaining now? So when he made his request of Elections Canada, why did the agency fail to supply this evidence? They were already releasing information, so why hold back on the subject of the earliest complaints they received? How does the information they withheld differ materially from the information they released except to make the applicants' case stronger?

Why is it so difficult to get those who are supposed to be protecting the integrity of our democracy to talk to the people on whose behalf they're supposed to be working?

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Blog post by Michael Valpy:

"...If the Conservatives were only calling their own supporters why did the Ekos survey show that the majority of people called were supporters of other parties? And why would the Conservatives be giving their own supporters wrong information about polling stations? That doesn’t make any sense. And how did the callers get information about who supported which party? And how do we get a full-fledged inquiry with teeth into who’s dicking around with our democracy?"

He asks a lot of questions. Reminds me of me.

It just get darker.. uglier ...
To say its a national disgrace is a stupid stupid understatement ..

Canada went from being a blessing on democracy
a shining light ....
to being a blight .. a cancer

Thank you Mr Harper, thanks you Mr Flanagan, thank you Mr Manning
Thanks Van Loan, Del Mastro.. Fantino, Clement, Kent
Go crazy Oliver, Baird .. you are a MAJORITY ...
and can jamm it up our .. uh

Thank you for your spokesperson's denials
We understand that you are important and busy polyticians ...
and thus not available to your electorate ...

PROC Committee, March 29, 2012

Mr. Marc Garneau:
As my final question, there appears to be a bit of a disconnect. You told me that people can proceed with a court challenge and then go ahead, but in some cases, obviously, the information that the elections commissioner may be collecting over the course of the next year might be instrumental in the judge's ruling, but that judge will not necessarily have that information.
Do you automatically sort of feed into the...? If you know that a court challenge is being issued and you come up with something, do you feed that information to the judge so that it may assist him or her in their...?

Mr. Marc Mayrand:
Again, as amicus curiae, we will provide information that the court would find useful, information that we can gather that the court would find useful in its hearing of the matter. I shouldn't speculate at this point in time. I don't know if the court will be asking for information that is under investigation.... I don't know how the court will manage that.

Mr. Marc Garneau:
So the way it's done is that the court, in looking at it, will sort of automatically call Elections Canada and say, “Do you have any light to shed on this?”

Mr. Marc Mayrand:
We've been served by the proceedings, but it's mainly driven by the applicants. The applicants will have to set what the evidence is to support their proceedings, and they will determine what they need in terms of information and witnesses. Again, it's a traditional court process. They will serve subpoenas and ask witnesses to bring information with them.