Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Robogate: "Malicious, fictitious, smear based on absolutely no evidence?" You be the judge and jury!



Dear CyberSmokeBlog:

Thanks so much for posting that clip of Shelly Glover re: the robocall scandal on your blog. I will copy below the letter I sent to the 2 addresses you posted.

All the best,
Jan Slakov
Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
Concern About Electoral Problems NOT A Smear

 Dear Shelley Glover,

When I first heard you on the radio, it was a wonderful story showing that you have real understanding and compassion for other women who, like you, grew up in less than ideal circumstances, but unlike you, have resorted to prostitution to make money.

So I was somewhat surprised to hear you saying something I feel needs correcting, when I was listening to the radio yesterday.

You were referring to the robocall scandal, saying that the Liberal and NDP parties are engaged in a "malicious, fictitious, smear based on absolutely no evidence."

Woah. First of all, many of the people concerned, including myself, are not members of the Liberal or NDP parties. But the main problem with what you said is that I am sure it is NOT fictitious or merely a smear campaign. We have real reasons to be concerned.

Indeed, in my riding there was a close race between Conservative Gary Lunn and the Liberal candidate in the 2008 election. MANY people, including me, got a phone call urging us to vote for the NDP candidate whose name was still on the ballot although he had had to withdraw from the race. People who had a phone number display feature on their phone traced the number being displayed as that of the NDP riding association president's fax machine. Needless to say, the calls did NOT come from him or his fax machine.

Elections Canada looked into the complaints but was unable to get clear evidence about who exactly was responsible. But there were other complaints about how Conservative supporters ran their campaign. You can read about the long list of problems here:

http://deepclimate.org/2011/04/29/conservative-democracy-deficit-on-vancouver-island/

and here http://www.commonground.ca/iss/238/cg238_May-Lunn.shtml.

As a result of our experience, friends and I put together a press release during the last election, calling for fair elections and also set up a Facebook page, "Canadians for Fair Elections".

Will you issue a correction to tell people that those of us who are concerned about dirty tricks in Canadian elections are not being "malicious" or talking about something that is "fictitious" and "based on no evidence"?
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Dear Jan Slakov:

Thank you very much for contacting CyberSmokeBlog. Like you we too found Ms Glover's explanation somewhat lacking. Could 31,000 plus complaints to Elections Canada all be wrong? As for the British Columbia example you've cited, we are unable to comment because this is the first we've heard about it.

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk


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