Thursday, March 29, 2012

An example of the need to stop Robocalls in their tracks

I was watching the CTV news last night (Give me a break.  It is the only channel I can get here) and at the end of a segment on the Alberta election campaign there was a mention of people complaining about receiving rude  calls at 5:30 A.M. from the PC party.  Which the PCs denied making.  I looked on the website but could not find the actual segment.  If anyone else has seen this please let me know so I can update with a link.

It is obvious that the provincial wing of the Harper Party (aka Wild Rose) isn't scared of using the same tactics as are under investigation federally.  These tactics must be excised from our politics.  And the people authorizing them sent away for a long time.Recommend this Post

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Looking back at the effects of voter suppression in 2008

I read with interest Professor Anke S. Kessler's draft paper on the effect of Robocalls on the 2011 election.It reminded me that I had run a series of posts from 2008-2010 on voter suppression and it's effects on elections.  These posts can be found here.  I still find this one particularly instructive with regards the power of vote suppression aimed at a particular party.

It would appear that Harper realized that shameless character assassination against a far better man wouldn't be enough.  So off to direct voter suppression he would go in 2011.

But all is not lost.  If we can motivate people to look past the despicable Rovian tactics of Harper we might be able to experience a higher vote turnout.  Sort of like I described here.  As a matter of fact, I like the implications of this graph so much I am going to repost it.
So the answer is: Get people out to vote.  As with all problems, once the solution is apparent, the path to achieve it becomes clearer.Recommend this Post

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Cons need to join AAA

Attack Ads Anonymous that is. (or What is up with the Attack Ads?: Inferring the final act of Robcon).

So they went back to the only trick the Reform Pony knows.  Attack Ads.  But why now?  So early in their mandate.  Against an interim leader.

One pundit feel this is aimed a long game:
So there is unaccustomed dissatisfaction in the land, and the government is shaky at precisely the moment it had thought it was finally solid. These new “positive” ads seem designed to adjust ominous perceptions.  
On the other end of the spectrum, a blogger leading the Robocon charge mapped out a scenario weeks ago in which an election could be forced through non confidence.
I think the attack ads are evidence of an incipient Harper initiated election premised upon a need to "clear the air over Robocon" so he can return to providing a "safe and strong economy".

It is apparent that Robocon was the result of a coordinated effort of the CPC national campaign.  All that is required is the final proofs.  None of the spin is working.  So far, the Beav is a good source for the data on which to base our induction.  What else can they provide on which to base a prediction on?

How about that these most diaphanous of defences are they best they have:
I don't know of any organization the size of a national political party which does not perform a post-event analysis. ...
It is also well-known that large organizations, whether they be corporations, churches, government departments or national political parties, watch media items related to their activities like a hawk. Message management, (something the Harperites treat as a religious item), requires never allowing a potentially damaging item to drift around without at least some prepared tactical response.
And that means that the same items which Alison has shown to have been in public view in those early days of May 2011 were a part of the scrutiny that most assuredly was carried out by the Harper campaign immediately after the election. They knew then that there was a bright shining light and they would have prepared for any exposure. From May 2011 to February 2012 they were trying to cover up. 
Any competent party leader would also have been aware. In May, 2011.
That would mean that Harper knew, chose not to know, or is just plain stupid. 
So they most likely did this crime, knew the inherent dangers and had a contingency plan in place.  And that plan isn't working.  There is evidence that 77 ridings were affected by this scam.  That is 5.5 times the margin of the Conservative "majority".

One could predict (as I hope) that this will lead to an election forced over this scandal.  Either called for by the courts, non-confidence could be declared or the writ might be dropped by Harper as a defence tactic as the trail leads ever closer to him.

Calling for an election would be an example of  flucht nach vorne (trying to get out of a tough situation by being even more aggressive).  Attack is all Harper knows and it has worked for him so far.  He isn't going to try something new when everything is on the line.  It also bears remembering that he loves campaigning and hates governing (the boring bits between campaigns).  And an election is an opportunity to bleed the Liberal bank accounts down even further.

It doesn't matter in the end.  As this plays out, we must remember we are dealing with a ruthless authoritarian tyrant.  He has displayed the willingness to go where no one else has to achieve and maintain dictatorial power.  He won't go easily.  He prorogued Parliament twice to avoid a confidence vote.  What will he do when he might be facing jail time?  It will be an ugly campaign.  No holds will be barred (whether ethical, legal or moral).  But it will be an opportunity to fight for our democracy.

A common gripe about Canadian history is that it is boring due to a paucity of pitched battles.  Those people should be careful what they wish for.Recommend this Post

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Take a moment to feel sorry for Michael Sona

Yes, I remember Michael Sona and his actions from last May.  At the time I was thinking about how strong a kool-aid dependency he must have.  In my opinion, to have run in to disrupt a legitimate polling station requires a hyper-fanatical devotion to a cause.  That sort of outburst didn't appear to be particularly rational.  This cult-like sort of commitment seems to be a trait of several Conservative supporters.  They will follow the brand right or wrong.  And they have developed a faith in their Dear Leader that the majority of the country just can't fathom.

So put yourself in Michael Sona's shoes.  You had a something in your life.  You believed in it.  You dedicated yourself to the advancement of the cause.  It gave meaning to your life.

And then at the first sign of trouble, the leaders of the cult scraped you off the bottom of their shoes.  So, like a strong majority of Canadians, I believe we must find who did perpetrated this crime.  We must send them to jail for a long time.  We must fix the system.

But there likely is a price being paid by all these Conservatives junior staffers that have bus tread marks on their backs from the last 6 years of Harper rule.  People betrayed by their cult suffer consequences.  I hope this isn't the case for Mr. Sona and those others that proceeded him under the bus.  But if it is, I hope he has a strong support mechanism in place.Recommend this Post

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Phollow the phones?

The person who purchased the scammer phone used in Guelph used the puerile pseudonym "Pierre Poutine".   It is likely that if other phones were used, similarly insulting aliases were used.  Would it not be a fruitful endeavour to get a list of the names these phones are sold to and look at the purchasers names?  This increases the chances of uncovering the trail.

And if the only people who use these phones are drug dealers, Tony Soprano and (as seems likely) Conservatives why are they allowed?Recommend this Post