Monday, October 12, 2015

Candice .....-up!

Charlie McCarthy to Edgar Bergen: "Jezus Edgar did your relative Candice ever ....-up majorly this time!"

Up next .....

Stephen Harper and Elections Canada style voter suppression?

Dear CyberSmokeBlog:

Encountering long lineups at your advance polling station? Here's the cause of the problem;

Rules only allow one voting booth per polling station no matter how many are waiting.

This is one solid reason to vote ABC (Anyone But Conservatives).


Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for this.
Pierre "Here Skippy, Skippy" Poilievre Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for (Un) Democratic Reform

"Skippy" is the same individual who was the point person for Stephen Harper responsible for strong arming through the House of Commons the controversial, and what many have called the (Un)Fair Elections Act, which has already been court challenged. Passed last year, Bill C-23 amended the Canada Elections Act in ways several have contended make it harder for some to vote rather than easier.

"Dick Weed" and his Conservative colleagues were so concerned with trying to limit the number who could vote (to the benefit of the Harper government) they missed the obvious as noted in the CBC article below.

As for Elections Canada, CyberSmokeBlog says to you WTF? Why isn't there online voting to assist those with mobility issues (e.g. seniors and residents in health care facilities), as well as, young people who virtually live on the internet?
Clare L. Pieuk
B. C. election worker quits due to long lineups

'We have made repeated appeals to our election headquarters,' says former worker David Beatie

Sunday, October 11, 2015

A federal elections information officer angrily quit and stormed out of a Vancouver Centre advance polling station Sunday, frustrated by on-going waits that voters are experiencing and the lack of help from Elections Canada.

"Until a minute ago, I was an employee of Elections Canada. I have now quit," said David Beattie who has worked for six elections including this one.
"For all three days of this election there has been at least a 90-minute to two-hour [lineup] at this polling station," he told the CBC at the Roundhouse Community Centre where he was working.
Meera Bains

Small town girl in a big city. I report on national and regional stories. Journalist with CBC News Vancouver. Opinions are my own

Joined August 2010

Long lineups on day 3 of advanced voting #elexor42# Roundhouse community centre #4Vancouver ... almost an hour wait

3:34 PM - Octoer 11, 2015

He says at least four temporary elections workers at the community centre have also quit.

"We have made repeated appeals to our election headquarters ... to do everything they can to relieve voter frustration," he said. "They have done nothing."

In an email sent to CBC News, Elections Canada says returning officers are taking measures to accommodate the volume of electors while still following what is required under the Canada Elections Act.

At advance polls, the poll clerk has to write the name and address of each elector and have the elector sign the document.

Only then can the poll clerk strike the elector's name from the list. Only the deputy returning officer can check an elector's ID and hand them a ballot.

"There is normally only one ballot box at advance polls," wrote Dorothy Sitek, who speaks for Elections Canada in B.C. "The act does not allow Elections Canada to just set up additional desks when there is a lineup."

Increase in polling stations, voters

In 2011, there were 3,258 advance polling sites while this year there are 3,423.

But those numbers are small compared to the number of polling stations available across Canada on the actual election day. In 2011, there were more than 66,000.

Elections Canada said 780,000 electors voted on Saturday, the second day of advance polls.

"This brings the total for the first two days of advance polls to 1,642,000," wrote Sitek "This represents a 34 per cent increase over the 1,223,000 electors who voted during the first two days of advance polls at the 2011 federal general election."

Beattie says whatever efforts have been made, more are needed.

"You cannot persuade me that it's not possible to bring more people in to explain the situation."

Elections Canada's twitter feed is a long litany of answers to complaints from would-be voters with the responses full of thanks for patience.
Eileen Sallam and her husband waited an hour to vote Sunday. It was the second time they had tried to vote at this polling station. (CBC)

Voters at the polling station where Beattie used to work share his frustration.

"I would come in and see the long lines and go away," said Eileen Sallam, who with her husband lined up for about an hour to vote. "I came back yesterday and now I'm back again today."

Advance voting continues on Thanksgiving Monday.

With files from the CBC's Meera Bains and Kiran Dhillon

Sunday, October 11, 2015

"Rat Face" has a protégé!

Dear CyberSmokeBlog:

I'm sure this guy's Mom did not teach him to talk like that.

Here is another good site.


Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for this. Sounds like the lad is a protégé of "Rat Face."

Clare L. Pieuk

Saturday, October 10, 2015

You ran a very dirty campaign Mr. Harper now voters will make you pay!

Up next .....

Vote strategically kick Harperman in the nuts!

Strategic deal in 16 key ridings can scuttle Harper: Tech Pro

Data cruncher details how parties, voters could work together to beat Tories

By David Beers
Saturday, October 10, 2015
Based on CBC projections, says Ali Kashani, NDP/Liberal cooperation could deliver this result on October 19.

A Vancouver-based technology entrepreneur has energized the Anybody But Harper movement this election with a 16-riding proposal to snatch victory from the Conservatives.

A robotics and computer visioning expert, Ali Kashani usually uses his data-crunching skills inventing systems that save energy and digitize photos. Now he has identified 16 ridings he says hold the key to which party, the Conservatives or the Liberals, will win a minority government on Oct. 19.

In those ridings, either an NDP or Liberal candidate is running closely behind the Conservative. Kashani challenges the Liberal and the NDP parties to agree that whoever is running third in those 16 ridings will have their candidates endorse the stronger non-Conservative opponent instead.

He also charts poll projections in those ridings to help people vote strategically to prevent the election of another Harper government.

"By latest projections, the Conservatives will win over half of their seats (65 of them) thanks to 'vote splitting,'" writes Kashani, in an article published earlier this week on the site Medium, and picked up by Huffington Post Canada.

"These are ridings that will be won by the Conservatives even though the total progressive vote is more than 50 per cent. The easiest way to change the election result is by getting the progressive parties to cooperate and claim back a small portion of these seats.

"The good news," calculates Kashani, "is that there are 16 ridings that will swing this election!"

If Kashani's strategy succeeds, the Liberals would win 126 seats, the Conservatives just 106, and the NDP 104.

Kashani's article, headlined "There Is Actually a Way to Guarantee Harper's Defeat," includes four British Columbia swing ridings among his list of 16.

In each, his proposed approach could deprive the Conservatives of a seat and deliver eight to the Liberals and eight to the NDP. Kashani urges citizens to apply pressure to the campaign contacts he provides, and to vote strategically.

Kashani's list:


These are the ridings where the NDP supporters must vote for the Liberal Party candidate:

Brampton Centre (Ontario)
Ask NDP candidate Rosemary Keenan to endorse Liberal's Ramesh Sangha:
Twitter: @rosemary_k_ndp

Aurora -- Oak Ridges -- Richmond Hill (Ontario)
Ask NDP candidate Brenda Power to endorse Liberal's Leona Alleslev:
Twitter: @brendapowerndp

Saint John -- Rothesay (New Brunswick)
Ask NDP candidate AJ Griffin to endorse Liberal's Wayne Long:
Twitter: @angelajogriffin

Bay of Quinte (Ontario)
Ask NDP candidate Terry Cassidy to endorse Liberal's Neil Ellis:
Twitter: @BayofQuinteNDP

Vaughan -- Woodbridge (Ontario)
Ask NDP candidate Adriana Zichy to endorse Liberal's Francesco Sorbara

Haldimand -- Norfolk (Ontario)
Ask NDP candidate John Harris to endorse Liberal's Joan Mouland:

Northumberland -- Peterborough South (Ontario)
Ask NDP candidate Russ Christianson to endorse Liberal's Kim Rudd:
Twitter: @RussNDP

King -- Vaughan (Ontario)
Ask NDP candidate Natalie Rizzo to endorse Liberal's Deb Schulte:
Twitter: @nataliemrizzo


These are the ridings where the Liberal Party supporters must vote for the NDP candidate:

Jonquiere (Quebec)
Ask Liberal candidate Marc Pettersen to endorse NDP's Karine Trudel:

Cariboo - Prince George (British Columbis)
Ask Liberal candidate Tracy Calogheros to endorse NDP's Trent Derrick:
Twitter: @TracyCalogheros

Regina - Qu'Appelle (Saskatchewan)
Ask Liberal candidate Della Anaquod to endorse NDP's Nial Kuyek:
Twitter: @teamdella2015

Edmonton Griesbach (Alberta)
Ask Liberal candidate Brian Gold to endorse NDP's Janis Irwin:
Twitter: @votebriangold

Mission - Matsqui -- Fraser Canyon (British Columbia)
Ask Liberal candidate Jati Sidhu to endorse NDP's Dennis Adamson:
Twitter: @VoteJatiSidhu

Coquitlam - Port Coquitlam (British Columbia)
Ask Liberal candidate Ron McKinnon to endorse NDP's Sara Norman:
Twitter: @RonMcKinnonLib

North Okanagan - Shuswap (British Columbia)
Ask Liberal candidate Cindy Derkaz to endorse NDP's Jacqui Gingras:
Twitter: @CDerkaz

Essex (Ontario)
Ask Liberal candidate Audrey Festeryga to endorse NDP's Tracey Ramsey:
info@audreyfesteryga.caTwitter: @AudreyFesteryga

Tiny fraction of voters could swing election

Strategic voting, and its corollary for no-chance candidates, strategic withdrawal, are controversial practices, Kashani acknowledges. (See Green candidate Lynne Quarmby's rebuttal against strategic withdrawal here.) Kashani argues:

"Strategic voting is a politically aware populace's solution to systematic electoral defects." He acknowledges in many ridings the races are too close to be able to reliably make a strategic choice, but says the 16 ridings he has identified don't apply because the gap between the second place candidate and the Conservative leader is tight, and the third place candidate clearly is not "within striking distance."
Dr. Ali Kashani, CEO Sepio says his Tory-defeating approach "only requires the cooperation of one-fifth of one per cent of voters " and is fair because it amounts to swapping not negating votes.

He notes his approach "only requires the cooperation of one-fifth of one per cent of voters (0.18 per cent), and every strategic vote for one party is offset by a vote for the other, thus not changing the overall popular vote outcome. With limited resources for grassroots organization, focusing on a small set of ridings where voters face the least amount of emotional resistance is the most effective way to make strategic voting work in Canada."

In his argument, Kashani does not mention the Greens, currently polling under five per cent nationally. Other advocates of strategic voting, however, have noted that in some races the Green vote could siphon enough anti-Harper votes to deliver a victory to the Conservative candidate.

Along with a chart showing the projected vote percentages per party in all 16 ridings, Kashani offers a four-pronged call to action that is gaining traction via social media:

"Calls, emails, and social media campaigns directed at the leaders of the progressive parties are the best ways to advocate their cooperation:

Liberal Party: 1.888.542.3725,, @JustinTrudeau
NDP: 1.866.525.2555,, @ThomasMulcair

"A petition asking party leaders to cooperate has already garnered over 8,500 signatures.

"We should also encourage the third-place candidates in the 16 ridings to endorse their progressive peers…. "Finally, if you are a voter in these ridings, vote strategically! Share this with your friends and neighbours, and encourage them to do the same."

Find Kashani's original article on Medium here.

Read more: Politics, Election 2015

David Beers is founding editor of The Tyee.

Another batshit crazy judge!

Judge Jerri Collins: 5 fast facts you need to know

Thursday, October 8, 2015

A judge in Florida is facing outrage after she jailed a domestic violence victim for three days because she didn’t show up to testify against her abuser.

There have now been calls for elected Seminole County Judge Jerri L. Collins to resign or be impeached after video of her berating the victim and sending her to the county jail was reported on by WFTV. You can watch the video above.

Collins has not commented about her decision to jail the victim, who has not been identified publicly.

1. The victim says she didn't come to court because of anxiety
Judge Jerri Collins (Ballotpedia)

Video recorded in the courtroom shows an angry Judge Jerri Collins berating the sobbing victim.According to WFTV, the contempt of court hearing happened in July.

The victim told the judge and the state victim’s advocate that she was feeling anxiety about testifying, so she did not come to court. She told the victim’s advocate that she wanted to have the charges dropped and just move on with her life, WFTV reports. But Judge Collins showed no sympathy.

“You think you’re going to have anxiety now? You haven’t even seen anxiety,” Collins told the victim.

Collins asked her if the statements she made to police after the father of her child was arrested were true, and the victim replies that they were.

“Then why wouldn’t you come to testify?” Collins asked.

The woman replied, “I’m just not in a good place right now.”

Collins then said, “And violating your court order did not do anything for you. I find you in contempt of court. I hereby sentence you to three days in the county jail.”

The women, crying and screaming, says, “please! I’ll do anything!,” but is ignored by Collins.

“Turn around,” Collins tells her. “You should have showed up. I’ve already issued my order.”

2. The abuser in the case received a 16-day sentence
The woman's abuser, Myles Brennan, was sentenced to 16 days in jail. (Seminole County Sheriff's Office)

The suspect in the case, who has prior domestic violence convictions, according to WFTV, was accused of choking the victim and threatening her with a kitchen knife.

Myles Brennan, who is the father of the woman’s 1-year-old child, was sentenced to 16 days in jail for simple battery.

3. Advocates for domestic violence victims have blasted Collins for her decision

Advocates for domestic violence victims have expressed outrage over Collins decision.

“She’ll never call again. Look what happened to her. She could be lying, broken in a ditch somewhere, and she would probably not call police because of what happened to her in this place,” Jeanne Gold, the CEO of SafeHouse, a Florida organization that offers shelter to abuse victims, told WFTV. Gold called the judge’s behavior “appalling” and “horrible.”

4. Collins was appointed to the Bench by Governor Jeb Bush in 2015

Collins was appointed to the Seminole County Court by former Florida Governor and 2016 Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, according to Ballotpedia. She has now been re-elected to the bench several times.

Collins, who earns $138,000 a year as a judge, graduated from Eastern Illinois University and Mercer University Law School. She began her career as an assistant state’s attorney in Seminole County, and then opened a private practice in Longwood, Florida, before becoming a judge.

She has received negative reviews in the past from those who have appeared before her.

“She is the worst judge in all of central Florida,” a person claiming to be a criminal defense lawyer wrote on the anonymous review site The Robing Room, in July.

Another reviewer said, “She is the worst judge I have ever appeared in front of. She is completely bias towards the state and does not try to hide it one bit. She is nasty to the attorneys and defendants that appear in front of her and has no business on the bench.”

Another comment says:

"My name is Patricia Tommaso, and I am using my husband’s email address. I was in front of Judge Collins this morning. This is a very nasty person; she issued a summary judgement in a pre-trial conference, which my papers said could not happen. My husband tried to talk for me, but she told him to shut up and would have had him removed from the courtroom. My husband is a well-educated individual, and I was crying, and he was just trying to talk for me. She made fun of his medical condition (he is close to being terminal), she found that funny. She is a terrible individual in my opinion, and I will be filing a complaint with the JQC. I am a businessperson (for 30 years) in Central Florida, and I will do everything that I can do at the next election to get her voted out."

A civil litigator wrote in 2013, “I agree with Patricia and the other comments. She is capricious and has no logic to her rulings. She rules based on her emotions. She also does give a lot of legal advice from the bench, which she is not supposed to do as a judge. She is biased, and that comes out clearly.”

She has also been accused of having a bias against women. A poster named b_enright, wrote,


But some have stepped up to defend her:

"I served as a volunteer mediator in the Small Claims Court in Seminole County, and had numerous opportunities to observe Judge Collins. (So I am an impartial observer, never having appeared before her as a litigant.) She is sometimes very sharp. However, it is always when attorneys try to run over pro se (i.e. self-rep) defendants. She will not tolerate attorneys who argue with her. The attorneys should know that they can always appeal her rulings to the Circuit Court. She always shows respect for the litigants until they show disrespect for her. She knows the law, and knows that in many instances the rules of civil procedure give the Court a great deal of leeway. Some of the pro se litigants try to argue with her. My guess is that some of the negative comments here come from people who have done that. Judge Collins will not tolerate that."

5. She was most recently re-elected last year and her term lasts until 2021

Collins was re-elected to her seat in 2014, and her six year term does not end until 2021.

She was challenged by Sandra Rivera and Alex Finch.

“My reputation is one of fairness, firmness and hard working,” Collins told the Orlando Sentinel during an editorial board interview last year (watch it above). She told the editorial board she has a “positive impact on the citizens and the litigants that come before the court.”

“I’ve enjoyed my role as a judge. I enjoy the law. Most importantly, I enjoy serving my community,” Collins said.

Friday, October 09, 2015

More beyond sleazy 2015 Conservative voter suppression?

Good Day Readers:

Let's start with this trailer.

Hopefully, the full length documentary will be available prior to October 19! Producer Peter Smoczynski has put together a very-well researched and documented feature length film. Being chronically cynical of politicians, CyberSmokeBlog has never believed the courts got to the bottom of the scandal. In all probability the 9-month sentence (plus probation) low level Guelph, Ontario Conservative apparatchuk Michael Sona was given was but the tip of the iceberg - the Conservative Party rot extended much, much deeper and higher. You've all seen what Stephen Harper if capable of ..... and plenty more.

Are you to believe that no one other than Mr. Sona in the Conservative Party knew of this? Not bloody likely!

Here's the background to Nobody Saw It Coming as supplied by a CSB reader. Scary, scary what those Conservatives will do to stay in power!

Clare L. Pieuk
Timely film shows voter suppression in the past:Will it happen again?

By Warren Bell in Opinion, Politics | October 6th 2015

Left: Photo of Prime Minister Harper in September 2015 by Mychsylo Prystupa. Right: Conservative MP Gary Lunn

For most Canadians, organized electoral fraud seemed to emerge with the 2011 election with the robocall scandal.

But that was actually the second election in which these tactics were employed. The successful test-drive took place three years earlier.

Here’s the story of what happened in the Saanich-Gulf Islands (SGI) riding in 2008, based on a stunning new documentary by veteran journalist and filmmaker Peter Smoczynski.

Called “Election Day in Canada: the rise of voter suppression,” the documentary — currently in its final stages of production — lays out the entire sordid episode, and its better-known aftermath, in painfully clear detail.

Where it all began, on Canada’s West Coast

Return with me to September, 2008.

Stephen Harper’s minority government – the smallest minority in Canadian history, with 40.6 of seats, is under the gun. It has already hung in longer than any Conservative minority government in Canada’s history. But as public opposition to its tactics grew, it becomes clear to party strategists that they had best not wait for the scheduled election in 2009, even though the Conservatives themselves have passed the law that put that date in place.

September polls show that there has just been a small burst of support for the Conservative Party, and Harper senses that the new Liberal Leader, Stephane Dion, will be vulnerable in a hard-hitting campaign.

So on September 7, the Prime Minister goes to the Governor-General, Michaëlle Jean, and tells her he wants to dissolve Parliament. She acquiesces, precipitating a short, 5 ½ week election campaign.

Saanich-Gulf Islands is a laid-back riding, located on (and around) Vancouver Island, with the oldest median age in the country. It’s about as far away from Ottawa as one can get without falling into the Pacific. But digitally, it’s right next door.

The Conservative candidate in Saanich-Gulf Islands (SGI) is Gary Lunn, a former Reform Party incumbent who has been the riding MP since 1997, always with a comfortable absolute margin of nine to 12 per cent of votes. A lawyer and then-Minister of Natural Resources in the Harper cabinet, he has been a zealous advocate of the oil sands, pipelines and nuclear reactors.

He is also a high-profile political figure, who has fired the head of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission after she drew attention to failing safety provisions.
A new challenger and an unexpected twist

But as controversy swirls around his questionable campaign funding, Lunn is challenged by an unusually strong Liberal candidate – Briony Penn, a university professor, award-winning writer and popular media personality with a long and impressive history of environmental advocacy. She also has deep local roots, being a 5th generation Vancouver Islander.
Liberal candidate, Briony Penn

On September 23, barely two weeks into the election campaign, the NDP candidate, Julian West, up till then a strong contender as well, suddenly drops out over disclosures of questionable personal behaviour 12 years earlier.

The NDP riding association sends a letter to all it supporters, telling them that because Julian West dropped out just after the deadline for registering a new candidate, the NDP will not be running a candidate at all. They release all supporters to vote for whoever they wish.

There were several other candidates, but they are unlikely to come close to winning. The election campaign is now a de facto two-way race, with Briony Penn moving up steadily on the incumbent Gary Lunn and, as the campaign draws to an end, even surpassing him in some polls. Julian West, though absent, is still pulling in a few die-hard (or uninformed) votes, but at less than one per cent.

Environmental organizations, dissatisfied with the Harper government’s weak record on environmental protection, sense a potential victory. They broach strategic voting ideas, suggesting that non-Conservative voters transfer their ballots to the party most likely to defeat the selected Harper candidate.

The boys from Ottawa come to town

As tensions mount in the riding, a new development takes place— unobtrusive to most at the time, but one that would have dramatic effects.

The “suits” move in.

A team of organizers from Ottawa install themselves in Gary Lunn’s office, and the sometimes inept actions and pronouncements from their candidate vanish. The tone of the Conservative campaign becomes tough, polished and professional.

As Briony Penn describes it in the film, the chill they bring is “like… we were the hobbits and suddenly the orcs had invaded... a mood came down over this sleepy little tidewater…[as] Ottawa suddenly realized that there was a threat… it was phenomenal.”

Remember this important detail. The name of the dropped-out NDP candidate, Julian West, remains (by law) on the ballot, even though he is no longer running.
Canada’s first (but not last) robocall crime unfolds

On the evening before the election, it happens: Canada’s first modern, deliberate act of voter suppression.

Thousands of machine-dialed calls flood into the homes of NDP supporters, and some others, featuring a young woman’s voice saying:

“Stephen Harper is the wrong kind of strong — wrong on the economy, wrong on healthcare, and wrong on the environment. Stéphane Dion has been his best friend over the last year and now wants to impose a second carbon tax on British Columbia. Jack Layton and the NDP won't let that happen but will put the priorities of the kitchen table first. Tomorrow, vote Julian West…”

With ruthless precision, the misleading message shove apparently disenfranchised voters back onto the now non-existent NDP bandwagon.

The calls are later confirmed to have originated in the U.S.

The telephone number linked to the calls – later shown to be false or “spoofed” – is that of Bill Graham, head of the local NDP riding association, lending the automated message extra credibility.

When he hears about what is happening, Briony Penn’s campaign manager Kit Spence is stunned:

“I couldn't react. I just didn't know what to do. There was just no time to do anything and to react.”

But voters do react: they vote, in instantly inflated numbers, for non-existent candidate Julian West.

From less than one per cent of voter support in the days before the election – and despite a written notice telling its supporters that there is no NDP candidate — bamboozled voters flock back to the NDP banner.

On election day -- the following day -- they give the fictitious candidate 3,667 votes, or nearly six per cent of votes cast.

The margin between Gary Lunn, the declared winner, and Briony Penn the runner-up is 2,631 votes -- barely four per cent of votes.

In other words, the ballots cast for the now-fictitious candidate Julian West, which have mushroomed overnight, exceed the margin of Gary Lunn’s narrow victory by over a thousand votes.

Gary Lunn is swept back into Parliament.

Elections Canada and the RCMP open the door to future voter suppression

Though petitioned repeatedly by various groups and individuals to investigate this fraudulent (and in fact illegal) first use of misleading robocalls for the purpose of voter suppression, federal Elections Canada and the RCMP both refused to pursue the source of these calls across the border to their American source.

In the film “Election Day in Canada: the rise of voter suppression,” Green Party leader Elizabeth May, who trounced Gary Lunn in 2011 with her massive grassroots on-the-ground campaign, noted wryly:

“…Whoever was playing with robocalls in Saanich Gulf Islands in 2008 was finding out a couple of important things – it could be done, and the RCMP and Elections Canada would drop the ball and never find out who did it.”
Dramatic and revealing interviews

When I saw the Saanich-Gulf Islands segment of this documentary, it took my breath away.

While it's unclear who was behind the calls, the tactic directly favoured the Conservative Party of Stephen Harper. And the film shows clear similarities between this and the later robocall scandal.

By the way, it's no accident that the U.S. electoral scene plays an important role in this story.

With the privatization of voting counts, and the advent of electronic vote count systems, the USA has become the go-to country for organized electronic voter fraud.

Previously local, small-scale, and likely to leave a relatively clear trail, voter suppression has been massively expanded by digital technology to potentially involve thousands or even millions of votes. Obscured by the anonymity of digital processes, it leaves no personal traces behind – something that a paper-based system always generates.

American electronic voting systems, furthermore, are controlled by a small number of enterprises, to the point of near-monopoly ownership. Its key figures are closely linked to right-wing political figures. Over the last decade, any voting outcome anomalies have overwhelmingly favoured right-wing or even far-right candidates.
The documentary film

“Election Day" is the result of several years of back-breaking work by filmmaker Peter Smoczynski.

Nearly complete, it contains an abundance of dramatic and revealing interviews with MPs, party leaders, journalists, scholars, court challenge litigants, and experts on the Fair Elections Act. Among those interviewed are:
  • Jean-Pierre Kingsley, Chief Electoral Officer for Elections Canada for 17 years
  • Tom Mulcair, federal NDP leader
  • Elizabeth May (current incumbent in Saanich-Gulf Islands)
  • MPs Irwin Cotler, Brent Rathgeber, Inky Mark, Craig Scott and Frank Valeriote (from Guelph, where robocalls played out in 2011)
  • Authors Michael Harris (Party of One) and Lawrence Martin (Harperland)
  • Journalists Stephen Maher (National Post) and Glen McGregor (Ottawa Citizen) who broke the 2011 robogate story
  • Duff Conacher of Democracy Watch
Michael Sona, the young Conservative operative who went to jail for his part in the 2011 robocall scandal

It also details the startling experiences of ordinary voters on the receiving end of direct voter suppression.

Viewing and sharing this documentary may be the single best way for ordinary Canadian citizens to insulate themselves against the likely use of voter suppression techniques during the days leading to the election on October 19, because it shows, in stark detail, how the “black ops” have been used, and how they are likely to be used once more.
How to support the film

Funding for this video, which challenges questionable practices directly linked to the federal government, has been hard to come by. No one can watch this film without feeling moved to do something to change things for the better.

So I am going to end with an appeal.

If you are concerned about the future of Canadian democracy, and don’t want our election process to be subverted by U.S.-style voter suppression, I urge you to help crowd-fund the last stages of preparation of this film for public release – before October 19.

Here is the link to the Gofundme campaign.

And please don’t forget to vote.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

A Politics 101 Primer for Rat Face!

Good Day Readers:

It's hard to believe "Rat Face" could be so stupid! Does he really believe you can remove politics from politics? "It's who you know in the PMO!" to which CyberSmokeBlog would add that's the way its always been and will continue even with Tom Mulcair as Prime Minister notwithstanding.

Hard to believe "Rat Face" is so "" stupid but then again it's probably that cheap, on sale too tight Hudson Bay underwear that's making him talk stupid yet again!

Clare L. Pieuk
Pat Martin says NDP government would take politics out of appointments

Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Winnipeg Centre NDP candidate says an NDP government would remove and possibility of political interference in organizations such as the Canadian Museum of Human Rights. (CBC News)

Pat Martin, who is running to keep his seat for Winnipeg Centre, calls the Canadian Museum for Human Rights a "prime example of an abuse of the appointments process," and promises a solution to the problem under an NDP government.

Martin referred to reports of influence by the federal government on the content of the museum through the board of directors and that some of those directors are political appointees.

Human rights museum staff leave amid interference allegations
Human rights museum board behind push for 'positive' stories

Martin says if the New Democrats are elected they would install a non-partisan Public Appointments Commission to oversee appointments to federal boards of museums and other institutions.

The idea is similar to one set up by the Conservatives in the spring of 2006 as a centrepiece of its accountability policy. The commission was to oversee the appointment for hundreds of federal boards and agencies, removing political patronage from the process.

Costly federal appointments office has nothing much to do

Prime Minister Stephen Harper scrapped the commission after federal opposition parties voted down his appointment of an Alberta businessman and friend to be its first commissioner.
Pat Martin says if the New Democrats are elected they would install a non-partisan Public Appointments Commission to oversee appointments to federal boards of museums and other institutions.

Martin said an NDP government would install a "functioning, robust" commission, saying nothing offends Canadians more than the standard for an appointment being "who you know in the PMO."

Martin said allegations of political interference at the Winnipeg-based national museum "tarnish the reputation of the CMHR."

Human rights museum staff leave amid interference allegations

The NDP's plan got a lukewarm response from prominent Liberal candidate Jim Carr.

"It might be worth considering to see if there is a better way," said the candidate for Winnipeg South Centre. "The day-to-day operations and creative content should be a million miles away from government."

Carr wouldn't go as far as endorsing Martin's call for a new commission, but added, "We should always be working at better ways to appoint commissioners and board members of crown corporations."

Carr, who was a board member of the CBC, said he could recall absolutely no government influence on the direction of news coverage or creative content at the broadcaster, from the board of directors or otherwise.

Martin said his party is tremendously proud of the CMHR in Winnipeg, but it's important the board is appointed "through merit, not political membership."

Winnipeg South Centre Tory candidate Joyce Bateman released a statement Wednesday night, saying in part, "Our government makes appointments based upon merit."

Manitoba MP denies outgoing CEO Stuart Murray caught between Tories, Liberals

Requests for comment were made to Conservative candidate Steven Fletcher (Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia—Headingly), but a response was not provided.

C'est l'heure de partir Harperman ..... si beaux cheveux!

Good Day Readers:

Remember the good old days when it was "the economy stupid?" Not any more it's now "the niqab stupid." Merde!

Clare L. Pieuk

Tories release niqab ad day after Harper blames rivals for making veil an issue

Ryan Maloney
Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Conservatives have released a new ad focused on the niqab just one day after Stephen Harper blamed his rivals for making the Muslim face veil an "issue."

The French spot, released online Wednesday, courts Quebecers by slamming Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau's position that women should be allowed to take the oath of citizenship with their faces covered.

While Thomas Mulcair has said the same — arguing the courts have already settled the matter — the ad makes no mention of the NDP leader.

The ad references poll numbers suggesting that most Quebecers want women to take the oath without their faces covered. The spot argues Trudeau is offside with "Quebecois values."

Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe is also against the wearing of the niqab during the oath, and has argued New Democrats and Liberals are out of sync with Quebecers.

The niqab debate has proven deeply divisive and, in the eyes of many, has dominated entirely too much of the campaign.

It was revealed last week that just two women have refused the oath because of the rule changes instituted by the Tories in 2011, while there have been more than 680,000 citizenship ceremonies since then.

Harper was asked to address the issue in a sit-down interview with CBC host Rosemary Barton Tuesday after the federal government lost its bid to stop Toronto woman Zunera Ishaq from wearing the niqab while taking the oath.

The Tory leader reiterated that the government will bring in legislation on the matter if re-elected, calling it an issue of equality.

But Harper also said his government would "examine" whether or not those working in the public service should be allowed to wear the veil.

"Quebec, as you know, has legislation on this," he said. "And we're looking at that legislation. But as I say, we're a society of openness and of equality and this is what we want to promote.

"And look, the vast, vast majority of Canadians understand our position on this and are behind it. The other parties have made a decision to make this an issue because they are frankly offside on public opinion, but that's their choice."

"You haven't made this an issue?" Barton asked.

"We're on side with public opinion on this, and I think Canadians understand this very clearly," Harper said, before conceding that the economy is the biggest issue of the campaign.

At an event in London on Wednesday, Trudeau was asked by a reporter if public servants should have to leave their faces uncovered while doing their jobs.

The Liberal leader accused Harper of doing "anything he can to deflect from the fact" that Canadians want change.

"He is stirring up the politics of fear and division in a way that quite frankly is unworthy of the office he holds, and he needs to stop because no election win is worth pitting Canadians against Canadians," Trudeau said.

Those words were similar to ones used this week by Danny Williams, who was Progressive Conservative premier of Newfoundland and Labrador from 2003 to 2010. He told The Canadian Press that Harper was trying to capitalize on bigotry, and attempting to distract Canadians from larger issues like the economy and health care.

"To try and use those kinds of tactics to pit people against people in the country so that they end up voting for his party and he gets re-elected, I just think that's quite shameful,'' Williams said.

"It's one thing to get elected, but if you're going to be the prime minister of this great country of ours and show leadership, then you should be trying to unite the country, not divide it. And that's exactly what's happening.''

With files from The Canadian Press

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Wednesday, October 07, 2015

"Hey, Harperman ..... and how many of these did you say Canada has?"

Hijab, Burka and Niqab use around the world

"No, you renounce your heritage you redneck Harper Conservative!

James "Redneck" Cumming Conservative candidate Edmonton Centre

Good Day Readers:

Here's how stupid "Redneck" is - he tried to mix it up with a law professor no less! Those Conservative candidates sure have been simultaneously shooting themselves in the groin, head and feet lately - no mean feat (nice pun).
They're dropping like flies!
Clare L. Pieuk
Law Prof claims Tory candidate told him to renounce his heritage over citizenship law concerns
Edmonton Centre candidate James Cumming calls allegations 'completely false'

Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Edmonton Centre Conservative voter Ubaka Ogbogu says he was told by Tory candidate James Cumming that he could renounce his heritage if he were worried about Bill C-24. Cumming calls the allegations 'completely false.' (CBC)

Ubaka Ogbogu on being advised to renounce his heritage.

A University of Alberta law professor wants an apology from a Conservative candidate after he says he was advised to "renounce his heritage" if he is worried over the new citizenship law's possible effect on his children.

Ubaka Ogbogu recently greeted Edmonton Centre Conservative candidate James Cumming on his doorstep, and was eager to talk about the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, or Bill C-24.

Bill C-24 and the politics of citizenship
Revocation of citizenship: 5 things to know
Bill C-24 up for debate as first Canadian stripped of citizenship
Munk leaders' debate: Harper, Trudeau battle over bill to revoke citizenship
Live blog | Get breaking news from the campaign trail

The law allows the federal government to revoke Canadian citizenship from people convicted of terrorism, espionage or treason — provided they are also citizens of a second country.

Ogbogu is worried his two young girls, who were born in Canada but have dual citizenship, could be sent to Nigeria, where he was born, if he were ever implicated in a terrorist act or even a less serious crime.

"He really didn't have any response to that when I pushed him on the fact my daughters would lose their citizenship," Ogbogu said.

"He then said to me if the law was a concern to me, I should renounce my heritage and I'll be OK," he said. "Those were his exact words.

"I was dumbfounded"

The false debate?

Good Day Readers:

At a time when the country is beset with so many problems, why is Stephen Harper obsessive-compulsive anally fixated about the niqab? There can be but one explanation - he's playing wedge politics hoping to split the Liberal and New Democratic Parties so he can slink into the Province of Quebec to scoop up votes from them.

Elizabeth May said it best during a recent televised leaders' debate:

It's a false debate .... What is the impact of the niqab on the economy? What is the impact of the niqab on climate change? What is the impact of the niqab on the unemployed?"

Clare L. Pieuk
Niqab debate pushes Conservatives to first place in Quebec

By Elizabeth Thompson
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
The Canadian Press/Ryan Remiorz
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party has edged into first place in Quebec, buoyed by the divisive debate over Muslim women wearing niqabs, according to a new public opinion poll.

The latest EKOS Research poll, conducted earlier this week, found the Conservatives in the lead with the support of 28 per cent of respondents compared with 25 per cent for Justin Trudeau’s Liberals and 24 per cent for Tom Mulcair’s New Democrats.

The difference between the three parties is within the poll’s margin of error of 4.9 percentage points for the Quebec level results.

Gilles Duceppe’s Bloc Québécois is trailing at 17 per cent, while Elizabeth May’s Green Party is at 4 per cent.

However, the province-wide numbers don’t tell the full story.

“There are very different micro-regional races going on in Quebec,” said Frank Graves, president of EKOS Research. “The overall numbers will not reveal what is going to happen. You have to start breaking it down into some of the micro-regions to really get a feel for what is happening.

“For example, the most obvious is (that) what is happening in Quebec City really is quite different from what is happening in other parts of the province, although now I think that effect is moving out more broadly into the south and the north and other rural or less urbanized areas of Quebec.”

That rise for the Conservatives has been coming at the expense of the NDP, which has dropped to second place in the Quebec City area.

While the federal election started out as a debate about the economy in Quebec’s seat-rich regions, Graves says the debate is now about values, identity and the niqab — the veil worn by some Muslim women that covers the lower half of their face.

“The Conservatives are doing very well in those areas (of the province) and this niqab stuff is selling big time,” said Graves. “The dog whistles are definitely working. It is as impressive as it is depressing.”

While it was the Bloc Québécois that helped inject the question of identity politics into the campaign with ads featuring a niqab, Graves said it’s the Conservatives that are benefitting from it with their anti-niqab stance.

“The Bloc may actually be helping the Conservatives,” he said.

If the trend continues, it could mean 25 or more seats for the Conservatives in Quebec, Graves said.

Going into the election, the Conservative had only five seats in Quebec – all but one in areas just outside of Quebec City.

In the Montreal area, it is a very different battle, said Graves. There, the fight is principally between the NDP and the Liberals, with the NDP still slightly in the lead.

“The NDP is still doing well in the Outaouais, the Monteregie, they’re very competitive on the island and Laval and in the West Island they are very much in the race.

“They’re in the race in most places but what was going to be a runaway matching or eclipsing their performance in 2011 now doesn’t appear to be happening.”

In 2011, the NDP’s Orange Wave swept over Quebec, giving it 59 of Quebec’s 75 seats in the last Parliament and nearly 43 per cent of the vote. The Liberals won seven seats and the Bloc was relegated to four seats.

The Bloc Québécois isn’t doing much better in this election than it did in 2011, Graves said.

“I don’t see the Bloc going anywhere. They’re lower at this point than they were at this stage in 2011.”
Ekos Interactive wide

However, with less than two weeks to go before voters go to the polls, things could still change, said Graves.

“I really have no idea how this is going to play out. But we’re getting close to the finish line – not much more room for twists and turns.”

A climate conference to nowhere; over $140,000 in taxpayer money; and a huge carbon footprint!

Leona Aglukkaq's huge taxpayer carbon footprint times 26!

Leona Aglukkaq spent more than $140 K to speak at close of Lima climate conference

Wednesday, October 7, 2015
OTTAWA — Nunavut Conservative candidate Leona Aglukkaq spent more than $140,916 as environment minister to attend a climate change conference with 26 staff and government officials.

The Canadian delegation at the meeting in Lima, Peru, for the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in December 2014, didn’t generate much news — aside from the government’s own release.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, who attended the conference, said Aglukkaq and federal officials should have stayed home and saved taxpayers the money.

“The world would have been better off if Canada had not shown up at any negotiations,” May told The Huffington Post Canada. “The world community is increasingly angry with Canada for showing up, because we drag down progress.”

Aglukkaq spoke to sparsely populated room at the closing event, May said, and the minister repeated talking points that erroneously gave the impression that Canada was actually tackling oil and gas emissions even though no regulations have ever been adopted.

The bulk of the travel costs for the Canadian delegation — $92,188.80 — was spent on hotel rooms at Dazzler Lima, a hip downtown hotel with a rooftop pool. The hotel bill suggests that the delegation left 28 rooms unoccupied but taxpayers were still stuck with the $6,652.80 in extra costs.

Aglukaaq and the 26 officials used 26.13 tonnes of carbon emissions, according to an online carbon footprint calculator, to fly to the conference in Lima. Aglukaaq flew first class at a cost of $7,860.87, while her chief of staff and director of communications flew coach at a cost of $3,464.68 each. The only other public servant whose travel costs have been disclosed managed to get there for $2,650.58.

Flight costs for other employees of Environment Canada are not disclosed because they are mid-level staff.

Per diems cost about $31,286 while the total cost of the airplane trips was not disclosed. Rough estimation would place the costs at an additional $55,000 to $85,000.

The Canadian Embassy in Lima went to great effort to organize a private reception for the environment minister on December 8, but she originally booked a flight scheduled to arrive after the reception had ended.

The government described the evening reception as a “discussion” the minister was hosting to highlight the importance of incorporating traditional knowledge into environmental decision making, May wrote in her blog at the time. The Green Party leader, who was the only Canadian MP present at the conference, was not invited to the embassy’s event.

Hunter Tootoo, the Liberal candidate in Nunavut who, polls suggest, is giving Aglukkaq a run for her money, said he thinks constituents will be interested to find out more about the minister’s first-class travel plans.

“I’d be saying, look how come you spent $100,000 on hotel rooms to attend a climate change conference in [Peru] but when there is one in Toronto, you’re off boating in Baker Lake,” Tootoo said.

Earlier this summer, Aglukkaq chose not to attend the Climate Summit of the Americas and instead spent her time in her riding with voters. Her office told The National Observer she was celebrating “the creation of Nunavut and the culture of Nunavummiut.”

Aglukkaq's spokesman Ted Laking said the Greens and the Liberals were being hypocrites for suggesting Canada should not have participated in the UN process to address climate change. It "is shocking and shows a lack of principles," he wrote in a statement.

“Canada makes no apologies for participating in the UN led climate change negotiations every year. While at the COP20 negotiations Minister Aglukkaq had several key bilateral meetings including one with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon," he added.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

You're full of baloney  **** Stephen Harper just look at Justin he's not brain dead yet!
Harper's claim pot is 'infinitely worse' than tobacco contains 'a lot of baloney'

By Jordan Press
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
OTTAWA — "Tobacco is a product that does a lot of damage. Marijuana is infinitely worse and it's something that we do not want to encourage." — Conservative Leader Stephen Harper.

Canadians have one of the highest rates of cannabis use in the world, and a relaxation of marijuana laws is now an election issue.

It's a path Conservative Leader Stephen Harper vehemently opposes, using it to drive a wedge between him and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, who wants to legalize marijuana. After Harper clashed with Trudeau over the issue last week, the prime minister was asked Saturday why he was so opposed.
"There's just overwhelming and growing scientific and medical evidence about the bad, long-term effects of marijuana. We've spent a couple of generations trying to reduce the usage of tobacco in Canada with a lot of success," Harper said.

"Tobacco is a product that does a lot of damage. Marijuana is infinitely worse and it's something that we do not want to encourage."

So, is cannabis "infinitely worse" than tobacco?

Spoiler alert: The Canadian Press Baloney Meter is a dispassionate examination of political statements culminating in a ranking of accuracy on a scale of “no baloney” to “full of baloney” (complete methodology below).

Marijuana does carry health risks and there is growing medical evidence about long-term health effects, but there is "a lot of baloney" when it comes to marijuana being "infinitely worse" than tobacco.

Let's sort through the haze.


While there is about 20 years' worth of research on the health effects of marijuana, the science is still evolving about how the level of usage and the potency of strains affect health.

A report from the Centre for Mental Health and Addiction in Toronto, citing multiple research studies, said that daily or near-daily use of marijuana can affect cognitive and psychomotor functioning by slowing down how quickly one thinks and acts. The report also ties regular, long-term cannabis smoking to respiratory problems with links to bronchitis and cancer.

Frequent marijuana use could also exacerbate pre-existing mental health issues, although that link is not well understood.

There are also concerns about addiction. About one in every 10 cannabis users risks becoming dependent. The rate for tobacco users is much higher at 68 per cent.

Each year, about 37,000 Canadians die as a result of smoking tobacco. Tobacco use costs the health care system an estimated $4.4 billion.

The Canadian Cancer Society says that tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, with more than 70 per cent of those chemicals being carcinogens. Among the four leading causes of death in Canada — cancer, heart disease, stroke and lung disease — smoking tobacco is a main risk factor.

The society says that smoking tobacco is estimated to be responsible for almost one-third of all cancer deaths, and 85 per cent of all lung cancer cases.


Research has shown that about four per cent of marijuana users report some sort of health, legal or financial trouble, said David Hammond, the CIHR Applied Chair in Public Health at the University of Waterloo. The amount for tobacco is higher: anywhere between 30 and 50 per cent, Hammond said, suggesting that tobacco use carries more health concerns than marijuana use.

Heavy, long-term use of marijuana by teens has been linked to an increased risk of schizophrenia-related mental health disorders in early adulthood, said Steven Laviolette from Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, who researches the effects on the brain of nicotine and THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana. However, Laviolette said, those teenagers are using marijuana with a heavy amount of THC. (One potent strain has 18 per cent THC; medical marijuana in Canada tops out at about five per cent.)

Research has also shown these teens may have a genetic predisposition to developing mental health disorders, he said, blurring links between smoking marijuana and mental health issues. As well, a chemical in marijuana, known as CBD, has been shown to be an anti-psychotic that counteracts THC, Laviolette said, creating a debate with more subtleties than political sound bites allow.

The Canadian Cancer Society says research linking marijuana smoking to increased cancer risks "is not as strong or comprehensive as the evidence that links tobacco use and cancer." Part of the problem is that marijuana smokers also use tobacco and sometimes mix the two substances.

With mental health issues, the science isn't conclusive because marijuana use may exacerbate underlying issues.

"We certainly know enough to know that there are important risks," Hammond said.

"We don't know exactly the level of some of those risks and the direction of causality — is it just people who are already struggling that start using marijuana? — but we certainly know enough to know that youth should be discouraged from using this. Pregnant mothers should be absolutely discouraged from using this."


Marijuana does carry some health concerns — of that there is little debate. Saying it is "infinitely worse" than tobacco is "a lot of baloney" on the CP scale. The data on marijuana use and the links to health appear to be focused on heavy use of high-potency strains by teenagers and pregnant women, with fewer side effects found in casual, adult marijuana users.

"In terms of the statement that marijuana is infinitely more harmful than tobacco, there's simply no evidence at all to suggest that's true either in terms of health care costs, or in terms of relative health dangers," Laviolette said. "The cancers and other source of pulmonary diseases associated with smoking — to use the word infinitely — are infinitely more serious than what we would ever encounter with smoking marijuana and that's well-established."

Hammond said both substances carry harms and risks to users, "but the harms and risks from smoking are significantly greater than marijuana use."


The Baloney Meter is a project of The Canadian Press that examines the level of accuracy in statements made by politicians. Each claim is researched and assigned a rating based on the following scale:

No baloney — the statement is completely accurate
A little baloney — the statement is mostly accurate but more information is required
Some baloney — the statement is partly accurate but important details are missing
A lot of baloney — the statement is mostly inaccurate but contains elements of truth
Full of baloney — the statement is completely inaccurate