Politics
3 min

Robo-call revelations blowing up

Hold your guns, everyone! Peter MacKay insists that the robo-calls were an “isolated incident” and that the guilty
party has already been caught, so no need to go further.  And Mike Duffy says it’s a “third party
who was responsible. Err, except
this came out – a damning revelation by a former call-centre employee who had
been hired by the Conservatives to call out and tell people about changed
polling locations that didn’t make any sense, and yes, she did complain to the
RCMP (only to be told there was nothing they could do about it), and Elections
Canada. Susan Delacourt wants the party to produce the scripts they had those
call centres use. Bob Rae wants the contracts and invoices for the various call
centres the Conservatives employed. Kady O’Malley tracks the ridings where
polling locations had actually changed, and it doesn’t match up to the
Conservative explanations. Meanwhile, over in Waterloo, there are allegations of phone tricks of another kind – a Liberal campaign office’s phone lines being
jammed by incoming fax tones. And Maher and McGregor dig deeper into what went
down in Guelph and elsewhere with those robo-calls.

A Liberal staffer was unmasked as the
culprit behind the “VikiLeaks” account, and he immediately resigned. Rae took
personal responsibility and offered an unequivocal and personal apology to
Toews. You know, the kind of apology the Conservatives never offer. Instead, the
Conservatives came back with this gem full of accusations. Klassy!

Meanwhile, the National Post has done some digging and found even more damaging revelations about just what went down at Rights & Democracy – the government-sponsored
rights promotion agency whose chairman died of a heart attack amid attacks by
Conservative appointees to the board and bitter disputes within the
organization that led up to it. There remain plenty more unanswered questions,
but in light of everything else that has been said about this organization, it
paints a bleak picture of what appointments made by the Harper government have
done to our foreign policy credibility as a result. Paul Wells parses the
revelations here.

Not that it’s a surprise, but the Senate passed only Conservative amendments to the omnibus crime bill and voted down
all Liberal ones.

The Commons voted unanimously to support a
non-binding NDP opposition day motion on First Nations education. Which is
great symbolism, for what good it will do. But can I also remind you that if the
government votes for your opposition-day motion, you’re doing it wrong. You’re not actually “getting things done” the
way you claim. Opposition-day motions are when opposition parties are supposed
to say why the government doesn’t deserve supply – that is, the money they want
to carry out their programs. And because opposition parties can’t seem to
remember this simple fact these days but would rather debate feel-good motions
instead – no matter how worthy or important those goals may be – it ultimately
means they’re not doing their jobs, and it does continue to have a
deleterious effect on Parliament’s ability to do its job properly.

The head of the Royal Canadian Navy says, Don’t worry, things are tickety boo with the submarines, and yes, we really do
need them. Also needed – a “Big Honkin’ Ship,” also known as an amphibious
assault ship, which would be incredibly useful for relief missions where the
ports are blocked, like what happened in Haiti.

And MPs want a red light on the camera
that’s currently on in the Chamber – you know, so that they can talk into it or be sure that
they look engaged, rather than, oh, you know, actually engaging in the debate
and not simply being room meat whose sole purpose is to ensure quorum while
canned speeches are recited in isolation, because the MP flees the House as
soon as he or she is finished. But hey, you know, this is show biz, and it’s
all about the illusion of democracy rather than having MPs who do their jobs.

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