OVER TWO DAYS in January, 2010, the Manning Centre for Building Democracy held a campaign school at Delta Ocean Pointe Resort in Victoria in preparation for the 2011 election. Revelations of what went on during those two days has yielded intriguing insight into what might lie behind the current robocall scandal. The Manning Centre is a Conservative think-tank operating out of Calgary, headed by Preston Manning, and board members include Gwyn Morgan, ex-CEO of EnCana Corp and other luminaries of the oil and gas industry.
By Briony Penn, April 2012
Links between election fraud and oil interests are so thick, it appears bitumen itself is lubricating the connections.
Lately, a lot of allegations have been made that there were election irregularities and some outright crimes committed in the 2011 election. What we do not know is who was responsible.
The "robocall" voter suppression fraud has all the elements of a Scooby-Doo mystery, but the same principles apply in looking at the evidence to figure out if the guilty party is really a sea monster or Old Man Johnson in a rubber mask.
Having worked in an IT shop for a while and with automated election systems, there are several questions I noticed need to be asked.
One of the (many!) important questions raised by the robocall scandal is whether or not the deceptive calls did in fact achieve their presumed goal of inducing supporters of opposition parties to stay home and not vote.
Yet another shadowy community group has registered as a third-party advertiser with Elections Canada using Conservative Victoria lawyer Bruce Hallsor's contact information.
Deluged with a staggering volume of grievances about fraudulent calls in the last election, Elections Canada is referring some complainants to another federal regulator – the CRTC – that also has