Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Other Robo-calls.

When I was first getting involved in politics one of my friends took the time to explain something of the political landscape of Southern Ontario to me. The way politics are done in London is subtly different than how they're done in Windsor, which does things differently than Bruce county. One of the things I remember most clearly is what he told me about Guelph "Politics there are dirty; lies, cheating, corruption, the whole spectrum of deceit." At the time I didn't think much of it, figured he was probably exaggerating things for the benefit of the new guy.

While, in recent weeks everything he said and more has been shown to be true.

Everyone is familiar by now with the Robo-calls scandal, perpetrated by the as yet unidentified "Pierre Poutine". What they may be less familiar with are the Robo-calls sent out by Frank Valeriote, the Liberal Party candidate in the riding. The calls attacked Conservative candidate Marty Burke over the issue of abortion. If these were simply nasty calls by the Liberals that would be one thing, but they weren't.

 The Liberals were clearly trying to hid their tracks, not wanting to take responsiblity for the nasty nature of the attacks. These robo-calls used a fake number to prevent any call back attempts, and the recording was of a female who identified herself as "Laurie MacDonald", a person who the Liberal's now admit doesn't exist.

Worse than all that though is that these calls deliberately didn't say who paid for, or directed them, something that is required for all political advertising, so as to avoid any blowback two days before the election. Frank Valeriote has admitted that the calls came from his campaign, and that they were illegal, but has not issued any apology for them.

Elections Canada says they are looking into the matter, but as of yet no charges have been laid.

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