Elections Canada has traced fraudulent phone calls made during the federal election to an Edmonton voice-broadcast company that worked for the Conservative Party across the country.
While the agency investigates, aided by the RCMP, the Conservatives are conducting an internal probe. A party lawyer is interviewing campaign workers to find who was behind the deceptive “robocalls.”
Elections Canada launched its investigation after it was inundated with complaints about election day calls in Guelph, Ont., one of 18 ridings across the country where voters were targeted by harassing or deceptive phone messages in an apparent effort to discourage Liberal supporters from voting.
A Citizen-Postmedia investigation has found calls misdirecting voters were also reported in ridings across the country: Kitchener-Waterloo, Kitchener-Conestaga, London-West, Parkdale-High Park, Winnipeg South Centre and Sydney-Victoria. It is possible that they were caused by robo-dialing errors.
Liberal supporters in a dozen ridings, mostly in Ontario, reported mysterious harassing calls, often late in the evening or early in the morning, where rude callers from a phone bank pretended to be working for the Liberals. The calls seem to have been an attempt to alienate Liberal voters in ridings where the Liberals and Conservatives seemed to be in close contests.
I guess when you are shooting for a majority with polls that indicate you may still be in minority territory, anything goes. I predict that these illegal calls, clearly an orchestrated campaign across several ridings, will lead to a slap on the wrist and exactly one (1) low-level staffer or volunteer being underbussed. I also have to ask: is it common for one party to have the membership list(s) for the other parties? These illegal phone calls were specifically targetting Liberal supporters in what pollsters thought would be close Con/Lib ridings.
PS – Sorry about linking to the National Pest, but they seem to have the best information available. Kudos to Stephen Maher and Glen McGregor. Maybe Andrew Coyne’s editorial presence is doing some good over there?