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dieseltaylor

Election fraud in Canada!!??!!

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I am shocked. Belief in democracy requires it to be voter friendly and safe.

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1142109--robocalls-elections-canada-expands-probe-into-fraudulent-messages-in-2011-vote

OTTAWA—Elections Canada has extended its probe of phony election calls to include yet another Ontario riding as the watchdog agency launches an online complaint form to help field reports from concerned voters.

Canadians who think “fraudulent calls interfered with their right to vote, or who have information about such calls” are being asked to pass along what they know to elections investigators, it says.

Elections Canada has enlarged its “inquiry” centre to handle the high volume of phone calls and email traffic, agency spokesperson Diane Benson said. The agency has been flooded with reports from voters — 31,000 by last Friday — about harassing or misleading phone calls in the 2011 federal election.

The agency’s experience in quickly ramping up for a federal election is now being used to gear up for the growing investigation, Benson said Tuesday afternoon. “It’s that kind of experience we’re using now to respond.”

She said Elections Canada and the Commissioner of Canada Elections “have the capacity to expand and contract according to needs: electoral needs or investigative demands.”

The move comes as elections investigators are asking questions about telephone calls steering voters to a fake polling station in the riding of Kingston and the Islands.

Ron Hartling, head of the Liberal riding association there, said voters got “aggressive, loud” calls from people claiming to be from the Liberal campaign in the weeks leading up to the vote.

Then, in the days just before the vote, local voters got calls directing them to fake voting sites, Hartling said.

In one case, a voter got a call the night before the May 2 election from someone claiming to be from Elections Canada who told her the voting station had been moved owing to a heavier than expected turnout. She was directed to a distant church. When she arrived, she found only a woman giving piano lessons, Hartling said.

He said the local Liberals didn’t complain about the incidents to Elections Canada at the time because they lacked hard evidence, such as recordings or phone numbers showing where the calls originated.

But last week he did report his concerns, asking that the “net be broadened” to include his riding. On Saturday, he spoke to an investigator for Elections Canada.

“I do know that Elections Canada is following up on these leads,” he told the Star.

In the Commons on Tuesday, Liberal MP Frank Valeriote said voters were steered amiss across the country on election day.

“In Guelph, it was the Quebec Street Mall. In Kingston, voters were misdirected to St. Joseph’s Church. In Saanich–Gulf Islands, it was St. John’s United Church. In Sydney, Cape Breton, a voter was misdirected to New Waterford, 30 kilometres away. Even the member for Windsor–Tecumseh was misdirected to St. Anne’s Church,” said Valeriote, who represents the riding of Guelph.

“This could not have been one lone Conservative rogue in Guelph. This required collaboration and resources across Canada. This is a pattern of voter fraud that simply cannot be denied,” he said.

The NDP wrote to Elections Canada on Tuesday to pass along reports of “unusual and potentially illegal activities” in 18 ridings, including three in the Greater Toronto Area.

Elections Canada investigators have also obtained a court order asking the online payment service PayPal to hand over its records related to the Conservative Party’s campaign in Guelph.

In that riding, reports of fraudulent calls to voters have been traced back to a cellphone registered in Quebec under the pseudonym of “Pierre Poutine.”

That phone was used to direct automated calls that in turn directed people to cast their ballots at the wrong polling station. It is hoped the PayPal records may reveal whoever was behind the illegal and undocumented scheme.

PayPal said in a statement that it had been served with a production order related to the Elections Canada probe.

“PayPal is working to support this investigation, but also adheres to a strict privacy policy to protect the confidential information of our users,” wrote Martha Cass, a company spokesperson. “As a result, we cannot provide additional comment on this investigation.”

Meanwhile, Le Devoir has raised questions about whether the national campaign effectively transferred money “in and out” to local campaign accounts, not for advertising expenses, but for voter identification and mobilization purposes.

The Quebec newspaper reported that at least two Conservative candidates in Quebec agreed to requests by the national campaign office to pay money to RMG — the Toronto-based Responsive Marketing Group — during the 2011 campaign but told the newspaper they did not know exactly what services were rendered for the money.

“We were a kind of mailbox for funding that,” Le Devoir quoted defeated Conservative candidate Bertin Denis, who lost to the NDP’s Guy Caron in the riding of Rimouski-Neigette-Témiscouata-Les Basques. “We had nothing to say on the operations of it. They didn’t call me, and nobody was called. I wasn’t part of a survey, nobody consulted me.”

Denis said his riding had been targeted by Conservative Party headquarters as winnable, so the party agreed to spend more on it, putting some $55,000 into the campaign.

“We didn’t pay (the contract with RMG)” he is quoted in Le Devoir. “The funding came from the national and we wrote a cheque.”

His official agent Ghislain Pelletier confirmed to Le Devoir that “we were strongly advised to take it.”

Pelletier said the Conservative Party “sent us the bill and I paid it on the recommendation of the party.”

Asked if the party or RMG supplied the local campaign with the results of the calls, Pelletier, a trained accountant, said: “Absolutely nothing, ma’am. If I were in a private business, I would have demanded a report.”

The Conservative Party later issued a statement from Denis, saying it was a local campaign expense for RMG to undertake voter identification in the riding.

Le Devoir also cited the riding of Chicoutimi–Le Fjord as another among 18 Quebec ridings that recorded expenses of varying amounts paid to RMG.

In that riding, former journalist Carol Néron, who ran for the Conservatives and lost, admitted he got reports on voting intentions for the $15,000.01 charged to his campaign. But, he said, “I can’t really say if I got my money’s worth or not.”

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A majority of Canadians believe the Liberal Party (55%) and the Conservative Party (63%) are likely to provide false and misleading information to voters through telephone calls with pre-recorded messages during a political campaign. In fact, two-in-five Canadians (39%) think the Tories are “very likely” to rely on this tactic.

So Americans aren't the only ones disenfranchised with this democracy garbage? I, for one, welcome the postapocalyptic thunderdome-ocracy, and the wanton destruction of thecontemporary political assemblage for which it stands.

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I hardly answer the phone any more unless I recognise the number on the call display. I let the answering machine get almost everything. I will call back if I think it's worth the bother.

I sure as wouldn't believe a call telling me that the voting booth has moved. I would be calling elections Canada to confirm.

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Yeah I hardly see how it is voter fraud to tell some idiot to go miles out of their way.

You would confirm the info, or even if you went where they said, you could just go somewhere else later. And how would they know they are misdirecting people who are going to vote for the other guy?

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And how would they know they are misdirecting people who are going to vote for the other guy?

I don't know about Canada, but in most of the States, you register with a party affiliation and that is a public record. That's no guarantee that a voter will vote the party slate, but it's a good guess.

Michael

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I have always felt auto-diallers should be outlawed. Is there anyone who thinks they serve a useful purpose?

I'm with JonS in that obviously there are people who think auto-dialers serve a purpose, but I hang up as soon as I here a recorded voice on the other end of the line. I wonder if I've missed out on collecting any lottery winnings.

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Thanks, JonS.

Robocall update:

There's a break in the case and a full confession is expected later today from the person who's responsible. We'll see what kind of punishment the perp will get.

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