My first response to news of the #robocall scandal was “What took so long?” I remember reading – and relaying – the reports of anomalous and dubious doings on Election Day. Here are some relevant excerpts from my social media activity, followed by analysis and a call to action. First, from Twitter:
RT @WayeMason This is a criminal act | Messages provide false polling station info http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/messages-provide-false-polling-station-info/article2007127/ via @globeandmail
There was also this other illegal Election Day action, perpetrated by the PM himself:
Back to #robogate. The day after the election, a note appeared on Facebook: “6,201 reasons to get frustrated.” The note (which you need to sign in to FB to see) documents just how razor-thin the newly elected Harper majority is, by reviewing results from fourteen key ridings that the Conservatives narrowly won:
6,201. Friends, this is not the title of the newest Rush album. This is a number we need to remember over the course of the next four years and especially during the next election. 6,201 is the COMBINED margin of victory across the 14 most closely contested Conservative ridings in Canada. The COMBINED margin of victory. This is how close the election actually was. In each of these races the Conservatives had a margin of victory of less than 800 votes. Most margins were much, much smaller. See below for a statistical breakdown.
Of the fourteen ridings analyzed in this note, it now appears that ten were subjected to the robocall scam: Nipissing-Timiskaming, ON; Etobicoke Centre, ON; Elmwood-Transcona, MB; Don Valley West, ON; Mississauga East-Cooksville, ON; Winnipeg South-Centre, MB; Labrador, NL; Yukon; Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar, SK; and Bramalea-Gore-Malton, ON.
The Conservatives are well known to be light-years ahead of the other parties in voter data-mining. And they’ve demonstrated little but contempt for democracy, from the repeat prorogues to the contempt ruling. The extent of #robogate suggests an orchestrated, anti-democratic exploitation of Conservative-held data on voters and ridings. #Elxn41 was apparently a battlefront in our fragile young century’s information wars. There are numerous petitions to sign to demand a full inquiry and criminal investigation. Sign one today.
Photo adapted from an original used courtesy of Elections Canada.