Tonight We Smoke Them Out

Ratfucking has come to the Great White North, courtesy of the Conservatives:

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. […]

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.

It looks like the Tories will try to pin this on a 23 year-old staffer, who’s already resigned. The opposition isn’t buying it, and have starting to use the “N word” (Nixonian). Harper has personally issued a blanket denial, saying that “our party has no knowledge of these calls”, which seems like a statement begging to be refuted. It will be interesting to see if this is enough to bring down Harper’s government.

61 replies
  1. 1
    beltane says:

    It is like a disease with conservatives, they just can’t help themselves. Or perhaps conservatism itself is the disease, an incurable degenerative moral condition.

  2. 2
    c u n d gulag says:

    ‘Harper has personally issued a blanket denial, saying that “our party has no knowledge of these calls…”’

    I see their’n Northern Conservatives learned something from our’n:
    To cheat.
    And, ‘When faced with the truth – lie like a rug!’

    Uh, yeah, sure – it was a 23 year-old staffer…

    And if it wasn’t?
    Maybe it was… SATAN?!?!

  3. 3

    One person did all of that? In 18 different locations?

    Wow. Talented person. Maybe Microsoft or Apple or somebody ought to track down this disgraced staffer and offer him/her a job.

    I’m pressed.

    [Yeah, I know my slang is out of date. Sue me.]

  4. 4
    scot says:

    Shit obviously flows uphill.

  5. 5
    Anya says:

    This doesn’t surprise me. The Harper Conservatives in Canada are modeling themselves after the American Conservatives. They’re as fanatical on social issues as ours, but they can’t get away with it in Canada, so Harper silences his crazies, so that they don’t scare the public. Instead he focuses his energy on changing Canadian institutions, including destroying the CBC – which he sees as a major obstacle to a conservative permanent majority.

  6. 6
    Anya says:

    A bit of an OT: Via Benen “Romney claimed that Syria is Iran’s “route to the sea.””

    This is worse than Sarah Palin’s Russia comment. I don’t know why it’s not getting any attention.

  7. 7

    OT, but . . .

    Obama’s playlist for the campaign. You have to have Spotify. Okay. I reached the point on Spotify where it said “You are 90 seconds away from music” or something like that. Forty-five minutes later, I was in. Then I set it up to play the list.

    The music was crap. What the hell? Talk about a tin ear! Sheeez!

    If someone liked the chosen music, I’d like to hear that opinion.

    Maybe I’m too old. Bah humbug. Get off my lawn. Also, too.

  8. 8
    Quincy says:

    This may be wishful thinking, but is there any chance that a different regime could kill the Keystone pipeline from Canada’s end, so we can stop worrying about it here?

  9. 9


    But, but, but . . . Iran has ocean-front property. And ports. And a navy.

    [Obviously Iran has a liberal bias.}

  10. 10


    Or perhaps conservatism itself is the disease, an incurable degenerative moral condition.

    This one.

  11. 11
    cathyx says:

    Republicans are the same the world over.

  12. 12
    Chris says:


    A bit of an OT: Via Benen “Romney claimed that Syria is Iran’s “route to the sea.””

    I assume he meant “route to the Mediterranean?”

  13. 13
    amk says:

    cons will be cons.

  14. 14
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    What’s funny is that the 23-year-old staffer is actually from New Jersey. That’s right — born in the U.S.A.

  15. 15
    SFAW says:

    It will be interesting to see if this is enough to bring down Harper’s government. water flows uphill.

    After NN years of (American) Conservatives not holding themselves accountable for their misdeeds – in fact, they generally hold liberals accountable for conservatives’ own misdeeds (“Stop hurting my toe with your balls!”) – why would they suddenly have enough class to accept responsibility for their own actions? Just because they’re not American Con-men?

    Disclaimer: I have no idea whether Canadians can recall (or whatever) their government. But if there’s no mechanism to do so, then why should the Cons give up power? And, yes, I’m too damn lazy to find out what the ins-and-outs of Canadian government mean in this regard.

  16. 16
    amk says:

    Eat Your Heart Out Mitt

    President Barack Obama is moving the location of his Vermont visit to accommodate more people, and adding a headline local musical act to the bill.

    His March 30 trip to Burlington had been scheduled for the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center on Williston Road, but campaign officials said Friday that an “overwhelming response” has prompted a move to the University of Vermont’s athletic complex on campus.


    If Mittens wanted a crowd today, he should have invited Obama.

  17. 17
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    Via Benen “Romney claimed that Syria is Iran’s “route to the sea.”

    Shorter OvenMitt: “Maps, how do they work?”

  18. 18


    If Mittens wanted a crowd today, he should have invited Obama.


  19. 19
    Peter says:

    @SFAW: There’s no mechanism for Canadian voters to recall the government, but members of parliament can trigger an election at any time by voting no-confidence in the Prime Minister. This isn’t too likely since Harper’s Conservatives (lamentably) have a majority in the House, but it’s a rather narrow one so just a few Conservatives crossing the aisle could do it.

    The real question is whether the opposition parties would want to. We just got done with this election, Canadians were already election-fatigued, and both major opposition parties have leadership races (for the Liberals because Ignatieff resigned following the disastrous last election, and the NDP because Jack Layton died of cancer) still ongoing. Unless there’s real outrage and demand for it by the public I’m pretty skeptical.

  20. 20
    Don K says:


    Well, since the Conservatives won a majority in the last election, they can’t be forced out unless a sufficient number of Conservative MP’s voted against the Government in a no-confidence vote (seen any pigs flying lately?). I suppose Harper could be forced out by the party, but he’d just be replaced by another winger through whatever mechanism the Conservatives have for choosing a new leader. Any actual Canadians feel free to chime in, please.

    Edit: I see Peter replied while I was writing mine.

  21. 21
    Peter says:

    @Don K: Well, whoever the Conservative party chooses for its next leader probably wouldn’t be as vile as Harper. It’s tempting to conflate the Conservatives and the Republicans but outside of the big man himself, they’re more like the Republicans of thirty-forty years ago.

    (That doesn’t mean I’ll ever vote for them at any level of government ever, mind you)

  22. 22
    Jager says:

    From a Canadian blogger pal of mine, Warren Cosford. (conservatives are just as sleazy up there)


    Good Lord NO! He’s nowhere near as smart as Gingrich.

    Toews (pronounced TAVES) is a small town type politician who did not even know what was contained in Bill C30.
    He preached his Christian, strong family values policies and now is just a little upset that Anonymous and others have found his divorce records indicating multiple sex partners and relationships while he was in his oh so holy Christian relationship with his wife and family.

    Toews wants to spy on Canadians on line WITHOUT A WARRANT and the Harper government with it’s parliamentary majority actually expected this law to pass quietly because Canadians are so, so unaware of what their government is doing. Not this time!

    TAVES and Harper and the majority of their party can go to hell….and before Anonymous is through with them…maybe they will.

    One thing for sure…small minded public safety minister Toews will now have to learn to read and Harper will have to appoint some people for key positions that actually have a love for Canada, it’s laws and our constitution. Toews must be fired, not just for proposing such a Hitleresque piece of legislation but for not even knowing what is contained in the proposed Act.

    Bill C30, the Internet Surveillance Act. is the most dangerous piece or national legislation that I can recall in the years I have been alive.
    Brian in the Great White North)

  23. 23
    scot says:

    @SFAW: No recalls up here but maybe the results in these 18 ridings could be invalidated which would take away the con majority. Wishful thinking tho.

  24. 24
    Svensker says:


    Do you have a link?

  25. 25
    Scot says:

    @Peter: I don’t agree with that Peter. Kenney, Del Mastro, Baird etc,etc. These guys are every bit as bad as modern day Republicans

  26. 26
    SFAW says:

    Thanks to all youse guys for the Canadian tutorial/info.

    I wish I could say that it’s nice to know that Cons are the same the world over – but it’s not.

  27. 27
    Strandedvandal says:

    Excellent use of Tragically Hip.

  28. 28
    Munira says:

    @SFAW: We won’t get a better government as long as the moderate/left opposition is split unless people finally figure out what Harper’s all about. He’s a sneaky devil – Bush-like in his ideology but much smoother.

  29. 29
    Jager says:

    @Svensker: Warren had the story a few days ago and I picked up this comment today from one of his regulars.There is this video from anonymous. There a pile of videos on this bill as you can see on the right hand side of the YouTube page,

  30. 30
    Peter says:

    @Scot: Baird I certainly agree with (the other two I’m not particularly familiar with), but you can’t look at the Conservative party and see a uniform selection of disgusting sleazoids the way you can with Republicans. They’re on their way there if they don’t course-correct, but they aren’t there yet.

  31. 31
    smintheus says:

    In Canada at least there are official investigations when this happens. In the US, the government and news media both yawn and ignore fraud regularly committed by Republicans.

    For example, in 2004 the Bush re-election campaign here in PA pulled the game of making deceptive Election Day calls. We received one and retained a recording of it, sending a copy to the local clerk of elections. She said that she’d received many similar complaints about Bush campaign sending voters to the wrong polling place, and promised to investigate. But no investigation ever occurred, we never heard back from the government.

  32. 32
    scot says:

    @Peter: Baird is the best of those three and they are the tip of the iceberg. Your not seeing the forest for the trees. Law and order, mega prisons, beefing up military, cutting social programs, muzzling scientists. Jeez, how could it get worse. Course correction would have to be a u-turn.

  33. 33
    Peter says:

    @scot: Preaching to the choir, my friend. My disclaimer of ‘not as bad as the Republicans’ should be taken as an expression of how bad the Republicans are, not of a general defense of the Conservatives. Like I said, I won’t ever be voting Blue again at any level of government. They’ve lost my vote for a lifetime.

  34. 34
    Thor Heyerdahl says:

    Last time we turfed out the Federal Conservatives, we left them with 2 seats.

    Ah the “Reform” party who merged with the Conservatives…turns out you were the same corrupt bunch of moths to a flame that the Conservatives under Mulroney were that you claimed to be fighting against.

    No wonder the Liberals have been in power for so long in Canadian politics…it takes them that long to clean up the Tory shit.

  35. 35
    Alison S says:

    Elections Canada is looking into this. Hopefully the media spotlight will put pressure on them to be really thorough. It is conceivable that those ridings affected, and where the Cons won by a slim margin might have their elections nullified and by-elections called. If that were to happen, with any luck, the Cons would lose their majority.

    Could Harper be forced from the leadership? Given his iron fist, I should think that would be difficult. Any of the pretenders to his crown are equally abhorent but not as smoothly focused. Well maybe the odious Jason Kenney is. The others come across as angry, right-wing bullies.

  36. 36
    Mnemosyne says:


    If you needed any more proof that Republicans took all of their anti-Soviet propaganda and just did a simple search-and-replace in Word with the new boogeyman, this is it.

  37. 37
    Privatize the Profits! Socialize the Costs! says:

    It would actually be pretty funny if the Cons went for Bulldog Baird, because I have the firm impression that he is a closet gay…

    Conservatives, when out of power, demand to be brought back in to counter Liberal corruption.

    Once elected, their answer to every criticism of their own corruption is that “Hey, the Liberals did it, too!”

    But vote fraud on this scale has not to my knowledge occurred in the 40+ years I’ve lived in Canada…

    The only answer the Cons are going to have is to try to emasculate Elections Canada in pretty much the same way that they did Statistics Canada.

    I know my Tory buddies can be counted on, as usual, to eat up with a spoon whatever kind of shit that Harper will be dishing out…

  38. 38
    sloan says:

    Mistermix, are you Canadian? Dual citizen myself, and have lived in both countries a couple of times now. I noticed the Kraft Dinner reference the other day and the Tragically Hip lyrics. Just wondering.

  39. 39
    Kim says:

    I don’t have much confidence in Elections Canada or the RCMP to provide the investigation this will take to depose/expose the criminals here. I don’t have much confidence that the Canadian Press will hold their feet to the fire either, sadly, though it was them (PostMedia) who broke the story, so maybe that’s a good sign.

    Remember the RCMP Commishioner is not even allowed to speak without having it cleared by the Prime Minister’s Office. I have my fingers crossed though and I know that Canadian Bloggers will do our best to continue to expose this.

  40. 40
    RedKitten says:

    @Alison S:

    Elections Canada is looking into this. Hopefully the media spotlight will put pressure on them to be really thorough. It is conceivable that those ridings affected, and where the Cons won by a slim margin might have their elections nullified and by-elections called. If that were to happen, with any luck, the Cons would lose their majority.

    From your mouth to the FSM’s ears. I loathe Harper with the heat of a thousand suns. He’s slowly and systematically gutting every single Canadian institution that doesn’t paint him in a good light.

    Between him, and Peter “Why the Long Face” MacKay, I am SO fucking sick of these clowns.

  41. 41
    Jymn says:

    Hopefully, news of this fiasco will spread in the US media. Canadian progressive blogs don’t have much traction in their own country and the media in Canada is 90% run by Conservatives.

  42. 42
    Billy Beane says:

    Fortunately Canada isn’t quite a plutocracy yet so I expect them to get to the bottom of this and justice will be done. Hopefully they can trace it back to Harper. I hate that clown!

  43. 43
    Billy Beane says:

    @Jymn: As a Canadian who has lived here most of my life that is not really my take. It’s not like the US. Not at all! Conservatives here are far left of Conservatives in the US. The whole country is far left of the US.

    So the media is not conservative like in the US either. We don’t really have an insane right wing media and most of it would violate our hate speech laws anyways.

  44. 44
    ditch digger says:

    It’s been coming for awhile, but they’re going full throttle now with the majority. Bill C-30 has most of the goodies you got in the PATRIOT Act, and we even got it titled like down there where the name alone makes it hard to vote against. Our is called “The Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act”, and Toews actually went there saying you were either for it, or for the child predators.

    At least our media doesn’t always go for the false equivalency, although you are seeing that more and more. We love to tell ourselves how much more informed we are than those below the 49th, but we’re just as bad for low information voter as anyone else. Hell, I could walk down the street right now and ask the first 10 people I saw if they were aware that civil unions for LGBT were legal in Canada, if 3 knew the answer was yes I would be surprised.

  45. 45
    Patricia Kayden says:

    As a Canadian (dual American citizenship), I had no idea that such things happened in Canada. Don’t remember any shenanigans with elections when I was growing up there. Shocking.

    Must ask my parents about this since they love Harper and voted for him (and get Christmas cards from him!). WOW.

  46. 46
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @Peter: I went to uni with Baird; we were both at Queen’s. He was a scumball then too; enough so that even the campus Conservative club folks didn’t really like him. This was back in the early 90s; he was the kind of guy that if he was working on an essay in a comp lab and someone from one of his classes was there and left to go hit the can, he’d walk over to their machine and format their floppy.

    As for the likelihood that this will bring down the government, I’d rate that as lim(x->0). They have a majority, and the only faint hope will be if Elections Canada invalidates those 18 ridings’ election results because of the voter suppression. Personally, I hope they do and not just because of the fact that they’re all CPoC ridings; if we want to avoid the poison of voter caging here, we need to punish it harshly… however, I’m not holding my breath that they will.

    The only thing holding the Harper Government(tm) back is that so far every time they’ve tried something really outrageous the public pushback has been quite massive… and justifiably so. The new crime bill is absolutely terrible.

  47. 47

    As much as I would like to see the harper government fall, it’s not likely to happen. This could very well be the conservatives sponsorship scandal. We would be wise to build the case against them. Leave the demands to resign till we see the whites of there eyes.

  48. 48
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @scot: I remember them well from their time in the Harris government. I knew that Harper was not serious after he put that lying scumbag Flaherty in charge of the nation’s finances. He was caught cooking the books after the 03 election in Ontario, misstating the numbers by hundreds of millions, claiming they were running a surplus when actually they were seriously in deficit. The fact that he’s Finance Minister makes me contemptuous of Harper. The fact that he’s in politics makes me contemptuous of the electorate in Whitby-Oshawa. Unfortunately, there’s lots of that to go around… Oda got her seat back in Durham after being caught red-handed falsifying documents that had been signed by her staff, Toews is so clearly a cretin that I can’t understand how anybody could have voted for him, Clement basically blew three times the money implicated in the Liberal adscam scandal on his business buddies up in the Muskokas, and the list could go on and on for the Harris retreads currently running things in Ottawa.

    I’ve lost a tremendous amount of respect for the folks in Ontario for continuing to re-elect these clowns.

  49. 49
    smelter rat says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Patricia, this is a new trend in Canadian politics, brought to us by the Harpercons. It’s friggin sad.

  50. 50
    Peter says:

    @polyorchnid octopunch: My assessment of the odds on the government falling is pretty much in line with yours. I think it’s conceivable if the opposition pushed for it – phenomenally unlikely, but not completely outside the realm of possibility – but I can’t see the opposition spoiling for that fight in the first place.

    However, if this talk of by-elections plays out, Harper could lose his majority. That would please me greatly.

  51. 51
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @Peter: The opposition can not make it happen. That’s how it is when there are majority governments. The only thing that might make it happen are if Elections Canada calls for by-elections. It’s the only way.

  52. 52
    Silver says:

    What kind of fucking moron looks at the US from Canada and says, “We need to be more like that shithole?”

    I don’t understand it.

  53. 53
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @Silver: One-tenth of one percenters who love your tax regime for the super rich.

  54. 54
    Peter says:

    @polyorchnid octopunch: The opposition can’t make it happen on their own, but if enough of a stink is made about a stolen election I can see it being POSSIBLE to peel off some Tory MPs. It would be a million to one shot, though, and this all assumes that the opposition was willing to spoil for that fight. I’m not exactly holding my breath.

  55. 55
    ditch digger says:

    This alone won’t be enough to mobilize the opposition, but I’m sure it isn’t the only thing that is going to come out over the next year.

  56. 56
    Mike Adamson says:

    The Conservative party has been using Republican consultants for several campaigns now so it’s not surprising that this sort of thing is migrating north. The party is becoming very much like its Republican cousin although there are still remnants of the old style Tories here and there. For the most part though the objectives, the principles and the influences are the same.

  57. 57
    Privatize the Profits! Socialize the Costs! says:

    What kind of fucking moron looks at the US from Canada and says, “We need to be more like that shithole?”

    … um, that would be our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper…

    Remember the Iraq invasion in 2003?

    Harper was the one raging every day in the House of Commons that the Liberal govt was “anti-American” for not joining the invasion!!!

    I shit you not.

  58. 58
    Silver says:

    It was a rhetorical question :)

  59. 59
    Mark says:

    @polyorchnid octopunch: Hey, I went to Queen’s too. For those not initiated, it’s the only place in Canada where kids go to college and become *more* conservative. Full of what you’d recognize as Young Republicans.

  60. 60
    Gloria says:

    The entire world knows, Canada is a stink hole of corruption. Harper is not a favorite among the other country’s. Harper is banned from, the New Trans Pacific Trade Group. The U.N. refused Harper a seat. He always manages to anger everyone at the meetings of the Nations. Durban, Davos and Copenhagen for some. Harper is known as, a petty gasbag, arrogant, stubborn, impossible to work with, and co-operates with no-one.

    We know Harper hates the internet. He hates his dastardly deeds being posted. He now has sneak meetings behind closed doors, to keep his next underhanded attack a secret. 15 police officers were caught watching porn, on the computers in the detachment. On our tax dollars. They are supposed to be disciplined, however, that we believe when we see it.

    Then there is the election fraud going on. The robocalls were paid by the Conservatives, even though Harper said, he knew nothing about them. Elections Canada said, it’s quite common robocalls, always go astray, these calls went to homes in Canada, that were NOT Conservatives. Imagine that selection? The envoice is posted on, Dammit Janet’s web site. Harper also campaigned over a Calgary radio station, ON ELECTION DAY, strictly illegal. I imagine Elections Canada will approve that too. Harper also didn’t know, he had a convicted felon working for him either.

    I doubt Harper will attack any country that has Russian or China’s support. Russia has said, it would be a mistake to attack Iran. Harper is busy selling Canada out to China. BC is a totally sold out province. Harper is permitting China, to buy up the tar sands. China is bringing their own people to work the tar sands and our mines. China has numerous company’s in Canada. They are going to bring their own people to work those too.

    Fadden of CSIS warned, China was encroaching much too far into Canada. How right he was. He named BC as the worst province. Vancouver is completely overrun by Chinese.

    Harper should be tried for treason, and jailed for life, for the destruction of Canada.

  61. 61
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @Mark: Well, that’s not completely true. However, it’s a lot more true than it used to be. I live and grew up in Kingston. The student body has moved a long way up the socio-economic ladder over the last decade or two. I really noticed it when I went back to pick up comp sci in the mid-oughts.

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